Capablanca Mem. Rd6: Yu and Kunin lead

by Albert Silver
6/22/2015 – After round five, it almost seemed like the Capablanca Memorial had some mystical parallel with the Norway Chess, as Yu Yangyi not only won again to reach 4.5/5, but did so after winning a dead lost game against Nepomniachtchi. Still, round six reverted that as he lost against Andreikin, who is now tied for second with Eljanov. Report and analysis.

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The Elite Group

It might seem rude to describe a player’s win as ‘lucky’, but how else can one
describe a situation the engines themselves evaluate as dead won?

The game had been an excellent effort by the Russian, until this position arrived in which he was objectively a bit worse. The young Chinese payer decided to go kamikaze and sacrificed a knight, however it was a bad move, and Nepo was doing a perfect job of refuting it.

[Event "50th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2015.06.19"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, I."] [Black "Yu Yangyi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2720"] [BlackElo "2715"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r5k/6b1/4P1B1/q2Np2p/2Pn3P/pP2N1P1/P7/1K1R1R2 b - - 0 30"] [PlyCount "28"] [EventDate "2015.06.15"] 30... Nxb3 $2 {Two question marks for its pure quality, but two exclamation marks for courage.} 31. axb3 a2+ 32. Kc2 Qa3 33. Kd3 e4+ 34. Kxe4 Qd6 35. Nf4 Qc6+ 36. Ned5 Rxb3 37. e7 $4 {From hero to villain in a single disastrous move. Dreadful.} ({After} 37. Kf5 {, not the only move, mind you, the engines give a +7 evaluation.}) 37... Qxc4+ 38. Kf5 Qc8+ 39. Ne6 Qc2+ 40. Kf4 Qxg6 41. Nxg7 Kxg7 42. Rfe1 Qf7+ 43. Ke5 Rb5 44. Kd4 0-1

A tough loss

To be honest, Ian had been having a bad event in any case, starting with two losses, but he had to feel that with this sort of loss, the stars were aligning against him. In round six, Pavel Eljanov played a good game and beat him, to reach parity.

Lázaro Brúzon in action

In the meantime, what goes around comes around, and after a very promising position versus Dmitry Andreikin, it was Yu’s turn to suffer as he lost control of it and went down in the endgame.

Standings after six rounds

Premier Group

If the first four rounds saw no fewer than six of the ten players level with 2.5/4 with nary a leader in sight, two more rounds changed the landscape of the Premier tournament as Vitaly Kunin, residing in Germany, broke away from the pack with two wins to take sole first with 4.5/6

Vitaly Kunin has taken sole lead with 4.5/6 and a 2760 performance

Standings after six rounds

Photos by Miguel E. Gómez Masjuán


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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