Carlos Torre Open: Snowless winter (2/2)

by Alina l'Ami
12/29/2015 – When having lived in a country where Christmas is synonymous of snow and sleighs, it can be quite disconcerting to find oneself in hot sunny pastures, even if distracted by a very busy tournament schedule. Nevertheless, how can one complain with paradise on one side, and ancient civilizations on the other? A large pictorial by Alina L'Ami.

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Shared first as well with 7.0/9 was the Cuban GM Yuniesky Quesada Perez

The third Cuban on the podium to also share first was Alonso Yusnel Bacallao (left)

Professional chess can be rough at times, particularly with two rounds a day

Alan Pichot - Yusnel Bacallao Alonso

[Event "27th Carlos Torre Mem"] [Site "Merida MEX"] [Date "2015.12.20"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Pichot, Alan"] [Black "Bacallao Alonso, Yusnel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "2517"] [BlackElo "2525"] [Annotator "Alina l'Ami"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "k1r4r/pp1qbpp1/1np1p2p/8/2PP1B2/6PP/PP2QPB1/1K1RR3 w - - 0 20"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2015.12.17"] {The Cubans came with a clear goal: to take home as much as they can! Which they did, as one can easily see 3 players sharing the 1st place! Yusnel Bacallao Alonso was one of them, collecting 7.0/9 points, with no losses and with a beautiful counter-move in round eight:} 20. d5 {After this move many could say that White is breaking through and the bishop pair will show its strength sooner or later. It was rather never, due to the well timed counter:} cxd5 21. cxd5 e5 $1 {Sacrificing a pawn for a long term initiative.} 22. Qxe5 Bf6 23. Qd6 Qa4 24. b3 Qb5 25. Bf1 Qa5 26. Bd2 Rc3 $1 27. Rc1 Rxc1+ 28. Kxc1 Qxa2 29. Qb4 Nxd5 30. Qa4 Qb2+ 31. Kd1 Nc3+ 32. Bxc3 0-1

For the European players though, over the board life was not easy, in spite of the good organization and all the provided facilities. Favourites in the race, Aleksey Dreev and Sergey Tiviakov, succeeded in minimizing the damage and ended honorably in 5th and 6th positions, respectively.

Fifth place for Dreev

Tiviakov took sixth

Chess is cool with...

…Rolando Alarcon Casellas from Cuba.

Erwin l'Ami, rated third on the starting list, closed the chapter on a less fortunate 12th place, after losing to Jorge Cori in the last round. Yup, just one round can make the difference between "having a good tournament after all" and one that is rather below par. However, what can you do when your body has gone to work in the playing hall, while your mind remained in bed, enjoying just a little bit more of sleep? This wicked internal rhythm can prove quite tricky when disrupted by hard work, time zones and sleep deprivation. Two games a day for five consecutive days require at least eight or nine hours of brain defrag during the night, but if one doesn't have the luxury of a complete reboot due to long games or immoderate adrenaline...the entire system can fall apart.

Something went wrong? Maybe, but that won't spoil the nice experience! (just quoted my husband)

Erwin L'Ami - J. Flores Guerrero

[Event "Carlos Torre Memorial"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.12.19"] [Round "5"] [White "l'Ami, Erwin"] [Black "Flores Guerrero, J."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A80"] [WhiteElo "2628"] [BlackElo "2322"] [Annotator "Alina l'Ami"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r7/5k2/2p1p1pp/PpPp4/3P1P2/4Pq1P/6RK/4Q3 w - - 0 62"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] {Chess has been and will always be a practical game. Therefore, one needs to feel the "right" moment to take risks or, on the contrary, to avoid them. Erwin was better throughout the entire game but slowly his advantage vanished in thin air and soon he reached a position which was clearly not in his favour anymore. Equal yes, but how to make further progress?! Since a draw was far from ideal, given his tournament situation, the Dutch GM decided: all or nothing and played:} 62. a6 $1 {Obviously the"!" mark stands for his courage and for sensing that the trend was on his side, therefore a bit of risk wouldn't hurt. And indeed, it was the best possible approach, as both players were under a minute and it is not so easy to foresee the evilish trap set by White...} Rxa6 63. Qh4 h5 $2 {This is a very logical move, especially in time trouble and precisely what was Erwin counting on! Before he played a6 though, he saw that Black has} (63... Ra7 {and if} 64. Qxh6 Qh5 {and White can only hope to hold...}) 64. f5 $1 {A very strong move, which was missed by Black.} exf5 ({If} 64... gxf5 65. Qd8 {with a deadly attack.}) 65. Qg5 {A sudden and very effective attack out of the blue!} Qxg2+ 66. Kxg2 Ra7 67. Qd8 1-0

No efforts are spared to play a good game (Cuban GM Aryam Abreu Delgado)

Patience, patience, patience...if you still have it after a couple of days of double rounds: congrats!
You are eligible for a fabulous career!

The proud winner and finally smiling: Lazaro Batista Bruzon

The media was there to record the event

Learn from the best: at the end of the tournament, they are still able to
play even more chess?!?

No matter how tired one is, the show must go on. This happened with the organizer who, after the exhausting tournament days, didn't spare his energy to take us by car to Cancun (more than three hours of driving) when finding out we might have problems with our planned connection.

Javier Herrera Aussin, above and beyond the call of duty, showed is endless energy that he
shared with the three players squeezed in the back

This is what I call true love for the game! Total darkness will not stop a real chess fan continuing
his road to chess improvement. His mother is obviously helping with both the flashlight and with
the solutions on the laptop.

Nevertheless, Erwin and yours truly, had a magnificent albeit very condensed time. So if you are looking for an antidote to combat the possibly too compact schedule...we found it!

Next year you can surely beat the eventual jet lag and get used to the Latin American style of playing non-stop chess by joining the Mexican Chess Circuit, starting on September 10th and ending mid-December. Bearing some similarity with the famous already Catalan Circuit, the Mexican one will consist of the following events:

  1. Copa Independencia, Mexico City
  2. Copa Quintano Roo Camara y Asociados, Cancun, Quintana Roo
  3. Jugando en Concreto, Villahermosa, Tabasco
  4. Marcel Sisniega in memoriam, Cuernavaca, Morelos
  5. Carlos Torre Repetto, Merida, Yucatan.

In between tournaments, you can take some days off to visit the gorgeous Mexican sites like Uxmal

Uxmal is one of the most important sites to see in Mexico

The serpent was a very important social and religious symbol, revered by the Mayans. Mayan
mythology describes serpents as being the vehicles by which celestial bodies, such as the sun
and stars, cross the heavens. The shedding of their skin made them a symbol of rebirth and renewal

You can see on the right side the main structure of Uxmal, the Pyramid of the Magician, which has so
many legends that even three articles would be insufficient to properly mention them all. So do travel!

Happy visitors!

These tournaments are worth keeping in mind; I don’t know about you, but I haven't achieved all my aims in 2015. Luckily 2016 is approaching fast, so... there will be plenty of new chances for everybody, dear chess friends all over the World!

Playing chess with Mayan deities

The candles are an example of how strongly Mexicans feel about their spiritual selves

Happy holidays to you all!

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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