Bazna R01: Shirov and Ivanchuk start with black wins

by ChessBase
6/15/2009 – Romgaz and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” are staging a double round robin tournament with six top GMs in Bazna, Romania. In the first round Alexei Shirov defeated Gata Kamsky and Vassily Ivanchuk beat the country's top GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, both with the black pieces. Live coverage on the official site and We bring you a first introductory report.

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ROMGAZ and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest are staging a double round robin tournament with six of the world's top GMs: the young Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaidjan, Elo 2756, ranking 5th in the world), the experienced Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, Elo 2746, 12th in the world), Alexei Shirov (Spain, Elo 2745, 13th), Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2733, 15th), Gata Kamsky (USA, Elo 2720, 24th), as well as the best ever rated Romanian chess player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Elo 2675, 55th in the world), 2005 European Champion. The competition is taking place from June 14th to 25th 2009 in Bazna, Romania.

Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move.

The beautiful Transylvanian spa town of Bazna in Romania [Photo Ayon Travel]

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The venue and opening ceremony

The hotel property of the energy company Romgaz...

...which is sponsoring the event to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary

It is located on a pitoresque place, surrounded by woods and it's a

Tennis courts are part of the hotel complex

The driving force behind the organization of this tournament is the Romanian WGM Elisabeta Polihroniade

At the opening ceremony Elisabeta introduced the players, who would come one by one and then stay in front of the journalists and spectators.

The local hero, the best ever rated Romanian chess player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu

Boris Gelfand, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Vassily Ivanchuk, Teimour Radjabov and Gata Kamsky

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Boris Gelfand and Alexander Huzman...

...who has been Gelfand's second for twenty years

All participants pose togetherfor a group photo.

The man with the Romanian sash is the Mayor of Bazna, second from right in the front row is the General Director of Romgaz, Marcel Piteiu. At the official ceremony Alexei Shirov was missing, since he came later on due to the tournament in Poikovsky.

Round one summary

Round 1: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Teimour Radjabov 
 Boris Gelfand
  Gata Kamsky 
 Alexei Shirov

Teimour Radjabov, who drew the round one game against Boris Gelfand

In Radjabov-Gelfand the players repeated until move 22 the game Leko-Gelfand played in April 2009 in Nalchik and won by the Hungarian GM. However, Gelfand was confidently repeating the game and it was Radjabov who was thinking longer in the opening. At the press conference after the game Radjabov said that he could not remember exactly the game Leko-Gelfand and that’s why he invested so much time for his opening moves. On his 23rd move White implemented a new plan, which brought him a better endgame. However, Radjabov was short on time and didn’t use all his chances to increase the advantage.

Vassily Ivanchuk started with a black pieces win against Liviu Nisipeanu

Nisipeanu and Ivanchuk played the Zaitsev Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Soon the players reached a very complex strategical position, where Ivanchuk had recent practical experience from the White side. Nisipeanu was playing creative, but the Romanian GM invested too much time and soon found himself in the time trouble. In tactical complications a single bad move from White led to a quick victory for Ivanchuk.

Gata Kamsky started with a loss to Alexei Shirov

Kamsky-Shirov was a very hard-fought long game. Both sides had the advantage on different stage of the game. Then on move 26 both players missed a tactical shot. Being short of time Kamsky made another big mistake on move 31 and after that the American ended up in a difficult rook endgame, which he couldn’t save.

Annotated games by GM Dorian Rogozenco to follow...


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

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