Carlos Torre Open: Snowless winter (1/2)

by Alina l'Ami
12/28/2015 – Though four players managed to claw their way to a tie for first, they certainly reached it by different roads. Top-seed Lazaro Batista Bruzon took first after a very focused tournament, not even allowing a smile to distract him from his goal. Whereas Jorge COri, who lost in the second round, staged a fantastic comeback to join the podium. Report by Alina L'Ami.

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Except for a humongous list, I didn't ask much for Christmas this year. Leaving aside my personal wishes, I just want you, dear reader, to be healthy, happy and loved! Even though you may have a different religious or spiritual perspective, be it atheism or agnosticism, I trust that your end-of-the-year days are filled with everything you wanted: perhaps a crowded house with family and presents or simply enjoying quiet solitude.

Your reporter had the unique chance to feel that paradise exists!

To swim here was magical, unusual, unexpected, undefinable. It is also a good thing I can
swim well enough, as the 50 meter depth is not a picnic if one gets tired

In case these December days caught you off guard, in other words your rating dropped, your games are far from ideal or you didn't receive any gifts, not to mention the possibly complicated relations with the other human beings... stay calm. Christmas is not a date, and winter holidays are not seasonal. It is all about the feeling and state of mind, which can persist and be celebrated all year round, no matter where you are or with whom you are. If for some reason you have the blues right now, remember: tomorrow is another day. As for today, I hope you will accept my article as a small virtual “present”.

If you haven't had the chance yet to visit the famous Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico, then
there is Plan B – the pyramid is coming to you…in a virtual visit!

I have been told that the top was where human sacrifices took place, a very potent source
of nourishment for the Mayan deities truly fascinating history that is worth discovering.

One of the new 7 Wonders in the World, which is no surprise given its popularity, both in
the past...

...and in the present.

It used to be an honour to give your life for a higher cause...

...which was witnessed at times by these enigmatic cenotes, ideal for
the practice of rain, life and death rituals. They were also considered
the home of the water gods by the ancient Mayans. I think they were
almost in need of a new offering...luckily it was not my turn, as I sort
of succeeded in photographing this without losing my camera or break
some bones. (I almost fell)

In the Yucatan Peninsula there are three types of cenotes : open ones that look like ponds
or springs, semi–open ones that are partially covered by a dome shaped rock formation, and
the underground cenotes that I have yet to see, mostly hidden inside a cavern.

A great trip is even better with great people: with the Capablanca Memorial's tournament
director, Carlos Rivero González and his lovely wife

Yes, it is true that winter holidays are supposed to take place in the “winter”, with snow and hot drinks, but who says we cannot paint the town pink under a hot 35 C. sun?!

From my perspective, it is actually even better, especially if we talk about Mérida, Mexico! And by the way, I heard that it is precisely hot drinks that help you beat the heat… or the rather low air-conditioned temperature set in the Carlos Torre Repetto Open tournament hall.

The opening ceremony with its first symbolic move

The tournament t-shirt

Quite “strange” some might say that I have only two photos from Merida's downtown...but I
have a good excuse: all the points of interest in Yucatan are rather far. Furthermore, when
the games are in progress, it is quite difficult to un-glue myself.

Merida's cathedral, built with the stones from the pyramid that stood in its exact spot before

Top eight boards in the main tournament hall…

… and many more spaces to house the rest of the 400 players.

As promised in my previous report, I return with the second part of the Mexican tale, which had a happy-end for the top seed: no disappointment here for the favourite, Lazaro Bruzon Batista, who firmly occupied the first place, with no losses and an excellent 7.0/9!

Clear first, even though shared with three more players: Lazaro Bruzon Batista

The Cuban was always super focused; I can say I never saw him smiling...until he got his trophy!

Lazaro Batista Bruzon - Alan Pichot

[Event "27th Carlos Torre Mem"] [Site "Merida MEX"] [Date "2015.12.20"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Bruzon Batista, Lazaro"] [Black "Pichot, Alan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E81"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2517"] [Annotator "Alina l'Ami"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2015.12.17"] {Played in a straightforward yet elegant fashion this game is a fine example of the winner's strength. The Cuban player took the half-poisoned pawn in a highly topical line in the Saemisch and after a less orthodox continuation, he proved that Black could no longer hope for compensation. I cannot say much more: watch the game and see how "easy" chess can actually be...} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. dxc5 dxc5 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Bxc5 Nc6 10. Be3 Nd7 11. Nge2 Nde5 12. Nf4 b6 13. Rc1 Ba6 14. b3 e6 15. Be2 Nb4 16. O-O Ned3 17. Nxd3 Nxd3 18. Rcd1 Nb4 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Rc1 f5 21. a3 Nc6 22. Nb5 Bxb5 23. cxb5 Nd4 24. Bc4 Kf7 25. Kf2 fxe4 26. fxe4 Ke7 27. g3 Rf8+ 28. Kg2 Rc8 29. a4 h6 30. h4 Rd8 31. Bf4 Rc8 32. Bd2 Ke8 33. g4 Rc7 34. Bf4 Rc8 35. e5 Ke7 36. Rd1 Rd8 37. Rd2 {A beautiful game deserves a beautiful finishing touch: the black kinght is trapped right in the middle of the board! Having your mind like a steel trap despite the rough schedule is something to be admired and learned from. If you find out how, let me know.} 1-0

Another important victory for Lazaro against Andrey Baryshpolets

A good tournament for the Ukranian GM nevertheless: ninth place and nine more rating points...

... but the winner gets all the attention.

Closing ceremony where...Santa Claus is coming to town

Jorge Cori had an amazing comeback after losing in the second round,
and ended tied for first, second on tiebreak

Jorge Cori - Giuseppe Leiva

[Event "27th Carlos Torre Mem"] [Site "Merida MEX"] [Date "2015.12.19"] [Round "6.8"] [White "Cori, Jorge"] [Black "Leiva, Giuseppe"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2596"] [BlackElo "2389"] [Annotator "Alina l'Ami"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.12.17"] {Personally, I have a deep respect for all the strong players, no matter their style, be it positional, dynamic or romantic, I like them all, as long as there is something to learn. However, when I see inventiveness, originality, creativity...these are the moments I am taken aback, to only realize later on what a nice concept I had the chance to witness! This was the case with Cori's game in round six, when his daring yet rare approach paid dividents. Enjoy! Of course you can spoil the fun and set your engine on, but I suggest to leave it in peace, as the game is really complicated; with any additional external help the whole overview will get stained by all sorts of suggestions and this is not the point. The main idea is: how nicely all the pieces of White's puzzle came back together, after a highly unconventional play.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. g4 $1 b5 4. d3 Bb7 5. Bg2 e6 6. h4 $1 h5 7. g5 d5 8. exd5 b4 9. Ne4 exd5 10. Ng3 g6 11. N1e2 Bg7 12. f4 f5 13. gxf6 Bxf6 14. f5 $1 Bxh4 15. fxg6 Qf6 16. Rf1 Qxg6 17. Bf4 Ne7 18. Qd2 Nbc6 19. O-O-O Bf6 20. Bh3 Bc8 21. Bxc8 Rxc8 22. Rg1 Qf7 23. Rdf1 Rg8 24. Be3 h4 25. Nh5 Rxg1 26. Nxf6+ Qxf6 27. Rxg1 h3 28. Bxc5 Qf3 29. Rg3 Qf5 30. Qh6 Ne5 31. Bxe7 Kxe7 32. Qxh3 Qf2 33. Qh4+ Qf6 34. Qxb4+ Ke6 35. Qb6+ Rc6 36. Nd4+ {The talented Peruvian player reminds me of Julio Granda Zuniga, as if they attended the same chess school!} 1-0

Jorge Cori - Mariano Ortega Amarelle

[Event "27th Carlos Torre Mem"] [Site "Merida MEX"] [Date "2015.12.20"] [Round "7.6"] [White "Cori, Jorge"] [Black "Ortega Amarelle, Mariano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B18"] [WhiteElo "2596"] [BlackElo "2466"] [Annotator "Alina l'Ami"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r2k3/Rr6/4pBp1/3p1bKp/3P3P/R4P2/8/8 w - - 0 68"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2015.12.17"] {I remember I was looking at this game (while I was in the car, on my way to Chichen Itza...good we have such technology on our side!) and briefly concluded: ah ok, Black is a pawn up but White has some sort of grip in the position. Should be draw; and off I went to climb the pyramids. When I returned, I was amazed by how White succeeded to apply pressure, forcing Black to soon go astray!} 68. Be5 Rxa7 69. Rxa7 Rb3 70. f4 Kd8 71. Kf6 Rh3 72. Kf7 Rb3 73. Bd6 Rb1 74. Kf6 Re1 75. Bc7+ {After a long game, another decisive moment came: e8 or c8?} Ke8 {This proved the fatal mistake. Black cannot do much after this decision, which, at first glance, looks extremely natural.} ({ Better was} 75... Kc8 {moving away from the dangerous territories.}) 76. Bb6 Re4 77. Re7+ Kf8 78. Bc7 Rxd4 79. Rd7 Kg8 80. Rd8+ Kh7 81. Rd7+ Kg8 82. Be5 { Surprisingly, Black is unable to save himself from the mating nets and soon he will suffer severe material losses.} Re4 83. Rd8+ Kh7 84. Kf7 Rxe5 85. fxe5 Bg4 86. Kf6 ({Even faster was} 86. Rg8 Bf5 87. Rg7+ Kh8 88. Kf6 {zugzwang} d4 89. Rd7 d3 90. Rd8+ Kh7 91. Kf7 {and again - zugzwang!} g5 92. hxg5 h4 93. Rd4 { with a clear win for White}) 86... Bf5 87. Rb8 Bg4 88. Rb7+ Kg8 89. Kxg6 Kf8 90. Kf6 Ke8 91. Rh7 Kd8 92. Rg7 Ke8 93. Ra7 Kd8 94. Ra6 Kd7 95. Kf7 Bf5 96. Rd6+ Kc7 97. Kf6 Bg4 98. Kg5 Kb7 99. Kf4 Kc7 100. Ke3 Bf5 101. Kd4 Bh3 102. Kc5 Bg4 103. Ra6 Kd7 104. Ra7+ Ke8 105. Kd6 Kf8 106. Kd7 Kf7 107. Ra4 Bf5 108. Rf4 Kg6 109. Kd6 Bg4 110. Rf6+ Kg7 111. Ke7 Bf5 112. Rf7+ Kg6 113. Kf8 d4 114. Kg8 Kh6 115. Rxf5 1-0

Continued in part two

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.


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