Chess despite the war: The Anfield Cup in Kyiv

by Mikhail Golubev
10/27/2022 – On 24 February 2022, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine and war has been raging in the country ever since, and Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has been the target of repeated airstrikes. But the Ukrainians still play chess. Mikhail Golubev sends a report about a small but remarkable tournament: the 1st Anfield Cup. | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

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For obvious reasons, this year, there haven’t been many serious chess events in Ukraine. But maybe I should apologize for the long delay in writing about nice tournament in which I participated.

The 1st Anfield Cup was a two-day rapid tournament (15+10) in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, which took place from September 24th-25th , 2022.

The Anfield Pub https://www.facebook.com/pubanfield.kyiv is a unique place for Ukrainian fans of the FC Liverpool, who at the same time might also be fans of Ukrainian football teams). Dmytro Zagorovskyi, the pub’s owner and the sponsor of the tournament, was an active chess player in the past, and, returning to his old passion, also participated in the tournament.

Tournament organiser GM Vadim Malahatko and Dmytro Zagorovskyi, the sponsor of the tournament | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Remarkably, on the first day, after all four rounds were played, the pub returned to its routine and showed a football match between Ukraine and Armenia which attracted many viewers.

All in all, 57 players, including 7 GMs, one WGM and 11 IMs, took part in the Anfield Cup (mainly from Kyiv, though some also came from other cities – I, for example, from Odessa).

The main organizer of this tournament (and of several other important chess events in Kyiv!) Grandmaster Vadim Malakhatko, who in 2001 won the World Team Championship with Ukraine, also played himself.

Most of the Grandmaster living in Kyiv used the opportunity to play in the tournament. However, two GMs from the Ukrainian capital, Georgy Timoshenko and Igor Kovalenko, could not take part because both serve in the Ukrainian army.

FA Lana Afandiyeva performed the duties of the Chief Arbiter. The pictures of the tournament which I use with gratitude in this report are from her impressive project Lana Chess Photography https://www.facebook.com/Chessfotolana/

Another person deeply involved in the tournament was the arbiter-supervisor IA Oleksandr Prohorov.

The football journalist Artem Frankov, who is well-known in Ukraine, helped with the organization, and being a good non-professional chess player, he also played and scored 4.0/9.

A tense fight between many players of similar strength ended in a sole victory of IM Vladislav Bakhmatsky who finished with 7.0/9.

The crucial game: In the final round Bakhmatsky (right, with Black) won against GM Alexey Kislinsky | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Final standings

Rk.     Name Rtg FED Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1
 
IM Bakhmatsky Vladislav 2397 UKR 7 43,5 38,5 47,5 6
2
 
GM Vysochin Spartak 2455 UKR 6,5 46,5 41,5 50,5 4
3
 
GM Andreev Eduard 2386 UKR 6,5 46 41 50,5 4
4
 
IM Pavlov Sergey 2333 UKR 6,5 44 40,5 47 4
5
 
GM Golubev Mikhail 2335 UKR 6,5 42,5 38,5 46 5
6
 
NM Grebeniuk Semen 2238 UKR 6,5 41 37 44 5
7
 
IM Golichenko Ilija 2463 UKR 6 41,5 37,5 44 5
8
 
GM Kislinsky Alexey 2301 CZE 6 40,5 36,5 43,5 5
9
 
IM Frolov Artur 2348 UKR 6 37 34 40 4
10
 
GM Shishkin Vadim 2256 UKR 5,5 47,5 42,5 51,5 4
11
 
IM Samunenkov Ihor 2354 UKR 5,5 46,5 41,5 50,5 4
12
 
IM Skliarov Viktor 2332 UKR 5,5 42 38 44,5 4
13
 
IM Grinev Valeriy 2366 UKR 5,5 41,5 37,5 45,5 4
14
 
  Pyrig Roman 2055 UKR 5,5 41 38 43,5 4
15
 
  Skliar Andrey 2341 UKR 5,5 40 36 44 3
16
 
IM Dmitrenko Viktor 2266 UKR 5,5 39,5 35,5 42,5 3
17
 
FM Stavroyany Sergey 2218 UKR 5,5 38,5 36 41 5
18
 
IM Vypkhaniuk Ihor 2340 UKR 5,5 37 33,5 40 4
19
 
GM Malakhatko Vadim 2438 BEL 5 45,5 41 49 3
20
 
IM Maly Alexey 2276 UKR 5 44,5 41,5 47,5 4
21
 
FM Sydoryka Vladyslav 2150 UKR 5 43 39 47 5
22
 
NM Taborov Boris 2243 UKR 5 41,5 37,5 45 2
23
 
NM Mikhalsky Vladimir 2213 UKR 5 39,5 37,5 41 4
24
 
  Kazakov Maksym 2060 UKR 5 38 34,5 40,5 5
25
 
GM Sergeev Vladimir 2315 UKR 5 37,5 33,5 40 5
26
 
  Paryokha Serhiy 2161 UKR 5 36,5 34 38 4
27
 
FM Popovkin Petro 2161 UKR 5 36 32,5 38 4
28
 
WGM Vozovic Oksana 2338 UKR 5 32,5 29,5 35,5 5
29
 
WFM Yeshchenko Uliana 1911 UKR 4,5 42,5 39 45,5 4
30
 
AGM Levchuk Dmitry 1986 UKR 4,5 39 35 40,5 4

...57 participants. Source: chess-results

I’m glad about my result and I am glad to have played this tournament: the last tournament I played in Kyiv is 25 years ago! It was good to meet many chess colleagues in these tense and tragic times...

The rising star of Ukrainian chess, IM Ihor Samunenkov, who is a really big talent, was almost always among the top and showed interesting chess. Only a loss in the final round prevented him from finishing in Top 10. But he still won a prize, because Vadim Shishkin, who was 10th, also won another prize, and this helped Samunenkov, who finished 11th, to become one of the prize-winners.

WGM Oksana Vozovic, kickboxer, Ukrainian women’s champion 2006 and formerly member of the national women’s chess team, currently has a very serious job in the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) and almost stopped playing in tournaments. But this time she participated and won the 1st women’s prize.

Games, played on boards 1-6, were broadcasted live and preserved for eternity. I selected and partly annotated 24 of these games. It wasn’t intentional, but the tournament winner Bakhmatsky and Samunenkov appear most often – with 6 and 7 games.

I should also provide a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0afEYTSupxs to the Kyiv TV report from the second day (September 25th).

At the closing ceremony, the hope was expressed that the tournament will become traditional, an idea which I can only support!

Olena Hrebenyuk, who is a soloist at the National Opera, accompanied the closing ceremony | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Games

 

 


Mikhail Golubev is a Ukrainian grandmaster, chess journalist and organizer. In 1996 he won the Ukrainian national championship in Yalta.
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