Chigorin Memorial: A gaggle of grandmasters

10/10/2013 – With so many elite events currently running, such as Bilbao, the King’s Tournament in Bucharest, and of course the Russian Super Final, it would be easy to gloss over the Chigorin Memorial, an open held in St. Petersburg. Don’t, because if anything is certain, it is that you don’t need to have a long list of A-players to have a recipe for great chess.

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Chigorin Memorial: A gaggle of grandmasters

With so many elite events currently running, such as Bilbao, the King’s Tournament in Bucharest, and of course the Russian Super Final, it would be easy to gloss over the Chigorin Memorial, an open held in St. Petersburg. Don’t, because if anything is certain, you don’t need to have a long list of A-players to have a recipe for great chess.

The Chigorin Memorial, held from October 5-9, 2013, with a prize fund of two million rubles (circa US$ 62,000) attracted 261 players from 20 nations, and an immensely strong field with no fewer than 44 grandmasters and 55 masters. The range of ages goes from 67 to a single-digit nine years old. At the top of the Elo pecking order is Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov (2729 FIDE), followed by his compatriot Alexander Areschenko (2714) and Russian Evgeny Alekseev (2707)

261 players and gaggles of grandmasters and masters

After five rounds, no one has been able to maintain a perfect score, and no fewer than nine share a score of 4.5/5. The highest performance of the group is second seed Areschenko with 2844 FIDE, though for whatever reason he is only 6th by tiebreak. Last year he enjoyed a "golden double" as the local press put it, by winning both the Chigorin Memorial and Botvinnik Memorial. WIth so many grandmasters though, he and his rivals have their work cut out for themselves.

22-year-old Maxim Matlakov (2682) is one of the event's heavy hitters

Grandmaster Sanan Sjugirov (front left) has a full appreciation of the challenge ahead

Sanan Sjugirov (2632) commented, "The competition is very high. There are more 40 GMs, maybe more. Many Olympic champions, major tournament winners make this a very prestigious tournament. My goal is to raise my rating and try to take a podium place at least. "

Among the largest overachievers is 16-year-old Arsen Kukhmazov, rated 2239 but with a 2519 performance, but a close eye should be kept on 13-year-old Russian Saveliy Golubov (2233) who is undefeated with 3.5/5 and a hefty 2477 performance. Good stuff.

Young players have been making their mark

The chess-enamored country has enjoyed covered the event in numerous media outlets

Here are is a TV news report on the Chigorin Memorial:

  

A news report by TV 100

Current standings after Round 5

Rk SNo Name FED Rtg Pts  TB 
1 19 GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2611 4.5 17.5
2 6 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2682 4.5 17.0
3 15 GM Korneev Oleg ESP 2622 4.5 17.0
4 8 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2656 4.5 16.5
5 1 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2729 4.5 16.0
2 GM Areshchenko Alexander UKR 2714 4.5 16.0
7 17 GM Ponkratov Pavel RUS 2618 4.5 15.5
8 4 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2684 4.5 15.5
9 18 GM Zhigalko Andrey BLR 2615 4.5 15.5
10 28 GM Belous Vladimir RUS 2554 4.0 18.0
11 32 GM Gabrielian Artur RUS 2541 4.0 17.5
12 29 GM Bukavshin Ivan RUS 2553 4.0 17.0
13 9 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2654 4.0 16.5
14 5 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2683 4.0 16.0
10 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2651 4.0 16.0
41 GM Can Emre TUR 2513 4.0 16.0
17 20 GM Solak Dragan TUR 2611 4.0 16.0
18 31 GM Stocek Jiri CZE 2543 4.0 16.0
19 7 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2659 4.0 15.5
20 11 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2644 4.0 15.5

Click for full standings

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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