Clash of the Young Titans in Cuernavaca

by ChessBase
2/8/2006 – A tournament with ten of the world's strongest under 24-year-old players is taking place in Mexico. In the lead after four rounds is the US Champion Hikaru Nakamara, a.k.a. “Star Wars” on the Playchess server, ahead of former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov and Ukraine's wonderboy Sergey Karjakin. Big illustrated report.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


“Clash of the young titans” in Cuernavaca, México

By Seppe De Vreesse-Pieters

On the second of February of 2006, the “Young Masters World Chess Encounter” started at Cuernavaca, México. Great names, like Ukraine’s former fide world champion Ruslan Ponomariov (22), the worlds’ youngest ever grandmaster Sergey Karjakin (16) and Andrei Volokitin (19) are topping the list. Also Topalov’s successful second Ivan Cheparinov (19), US Champion and maybe the greatest Internet chessplayer of our times Hikaru Nakamura (18). The other five players are “hispanohablantes” – Spanish speaking; from Spain Francisco ‘Paco’ Vallejo Pons (23) known from the Linares tournaments, former world junior champion Lázaro Bruzón (23) and his welll-known Cuban countryman Leinier Domínguez (23), ‘veteran’ Rubén Felgaer (24), the best Argentinean player hoping to fill up the gap of legend Miguel Najdorf and last but not least Mexico’s hope in these days, Manuel Leon Hoyos (16) the only IM in this field. A great tournament that promises fireworks and highly interesting to watch.


The tournament hosts, amongst the best players, younger (<24) players of the world, in a really nice environment. 25 or 30 degrees Celsius during this time of the year is only something Europeans or northern people can dream about right now. It is the second time that the organizers accomplish this feat, after the 2004 match between Nakamura and Karjakin held in the same city. At the opening of the tournament René Santoveña Arredondo, the organizer and the principal of the National Autonomous University of Cuernavaca, expressed his wish to arrange another tournament at the end of this year with the best female players of the world. Ambitious, but realistic if we compare it to the recent failure of the Morelia organization.

The location

Cuernavaca, capital of the state of Morelos is located at 120 km distance southwards from Mexico City. Actually world-wide known as "The City of Eternal Spring" due to its excellent temperate climate with an annual average of 20ºC. The ancient name of Cuernavaca is "Cuauhnahuac" in Nahuatl –the language of the Aztecs- which means "Place near or by the side of the groove". It is a city that is always active and quite vivid; some mayor attractions are the city center for its touristical attractions and for its bright nightlife.

Important places to visit are the Palace of Cortes or Cuauhnahuac Regional Museum. The Palace dates back from the colonial era, built in 1533 over a "Teocalli or Aztec Temple".  It served as the summer residence of the conqueror Hernán Cortes and actually houses one of Mexico's finest museums. Among others, you can admire one of the most famous murals of Diego Rivera painted in 1929.

For people interested in more Cuernavaca attractions, I would like to refer to:

The tournament itself is organized in a historically valuable place, called the Borda Garden a famous residence built by Don Manuel de la Borda at the end of the XVII Century. It was also the residence of Emperor Maximiliano de Habsburgo and his wife empress Charlotte, daughter of the former king Leopold the second of Belgium, the country of the author of the present article.

About the tournament

The tournament was officially opened on the first of February. Firstly the players were informed of the rules. A nice gesture of the tournament organizers was the fact that on the day before, players could decide between themselves what chess rhythm they would play. They all decided that 100 minutes with a 30 seconds increment per move would be nice. They also agreed with the proposal of GM Marcel Sisniega (see picture) to play under the “Sofia chess rules”. That means no draw offers except in the following cases: An obvious draw in an endgame or a dead drawn position, a draw by a threefold repetition of the position. The players were especially invited by the different organizers for their fighting chess mentality, so those rules would only make them fight a lot more!

Afterwards the lots were drawn and really nice battles were programmed: Ponomariov (2723)-Nakamura (2644), Volokitin (2665) -Vallejo Pons (2650), Bruzón (2650) - Domínguez (2638), Cheparinov (2625) – Karjakin (2660) and Leon Hoyos (2428) - Felgaer (2607).

There was an opening reception with some interviews for the local press and chitchatting with the local chess fans. Many young Mexican players took that chance, asking for autographs from their idols. Talking with Hikaru Nakamura, he told me he never played before with Ponomariov, so he would have hard work to do at night. I believe Ruslan Ponomariov thought exactly the same so on his request the players went shortly afterwards to their very nice hotel Villa Bejar located at minutes of the Borda Garden, in the suburbs of Cuernavaca..

The games

Manuel León Hoyos, the young Mexican IM, my personal friend, who I try to help out a bit with the preparation of his games, using the excellent ChessBase products, had lots and lots of work to do the night and the morning of the playing day because of the difference in chess level and the experience level.

Preparing the game with Manuel León Hoyos, 16 years old, IM (2428)

His first game was with Rubén Felgaer who is a very solid and strong grandmaster. Like always in chess hours and hours of work, worked out the other day when the GM from Argentina deviated from his usual repertoire. “It is all in the game”.

Although being very nervous during the game, because of the fact that Manuel is the first Mexican player in history to get a chance to play the world’s top on Mexican soil, he managed this pressure quite well. The game ended in a draw against the much higher rated Rubén Felgaer in a game with mutual chances. I would like to remind it was Manuel’s fifth game with a +2600 players -2 draws with Akobian before, and 2 losses against Bruzón and Onischuk)

I think almost everyone was especially eager to see what Hikaru was going to do against Ruslan Ponomariov. Was he going to play the Najdorf or what will he do? Well the expression of surprise on the face of Ruslan was saying a lot after the 1.e4 e5(!) from Hikaru.

Ponomariov,R (2723) - Nakamura,H (2644) [C77]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (1), 03.02.2006
1.e4 e5 (!) no Najdorf, no Sicilian with e6, nor a Scandinavian in this important game. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6

5. d3. Hikaru commented to me after the game that this isn’t really combative. But both said in the general analysis that it was the first game of the tournament and to have a good start some caution was necessary. Besides Ponomariov got really surprised by 1…e5. 5…b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Ponomariov: “the idea is opening the a-file because the black rook is worse on b8 than a8, although the advantage is minimal since white has no threats” Rb8 8. axb5 axb5 9. Nc3 h6 deviation from Ponomariov-Adams, although Ponomariov played only axb5 afterwards Nc3. But the idea is the same. Nakamura: “I wanted to prevent Bg5 like in the Adams game”, Ponomariov: “yes, I had some improvement on that game”. I guess we will need to wait to see that improvement. 10. Nd5 d6 11. c3 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. Be3 Here the players offered the public interesting insights because g4 was a possibility here, so that move was analyzed. Ponomariov said that he was a bit worried about the safety of his king after g4 because he already opened up the queen flank also, a big risk for a first round game. He concluded that it was maybe the way to improve the position. For example: 13. g4 Bg6 if 14.d4 then simply exd4 15.cxd4 Bb4 and black is already better. If 14. Nh4 then Hikaru would have played Nxe4 15.Nxg6 Nxf2 with a very unclear position. Fritz9 mentions simply 14.Nxf6 QxNf6 15.Bd5 with a plus for white. Ruy Lopez fanatics should analyze it! The game was followed by quite logical moves: maybe 20.e5 was simplifying a lot. 13…Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Ne7 15. Bb3 Bb6 16. d4 exd4 17. cxd4 c5 18. dxc5 Bxc5 19. O-O O-O 20. e5 Rc8 21. e6 Qb6 22. exf7+ Bxf7 23. Re1 Ng6 24. Bxf7+ Rxf7 25. Qd5 Qb7 a virtual draw offer 26. Qxb7 Rxb7 27. Ra6 Ne5 28. Nxe5 dxe5 29. Rc1 Rbc7 30. Bxc5 Rxc5 31. Rxc5 Rxc5 32. Rb6 Rc1+ 33. Kh2 Rc2 34. Rxb5 Rxf2 35. Kg3 Rc2 36. Rxe5 Rxb2 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay].

The game was quite interesting, but always balanced like they showed the audience in a very interesting public analysis by both players together with Marcel Sisniega. The interesting part was that the players shared their ways of thinking at different moments of the game.

An interesting game with a good result for both. All the other games resulted in draws, too, although there were serious attempts to play for the win, especially by Ivan Cheparinov, the only foreigner who speaks Spanish too. Trying to play for a win against Karjakin was interesting. The “little fellow” of 1.90m always defended excellently but maybe there were some possible improvements.

Cheparinov,I (2625) - Karjakin,Sergey (2660) [D15]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (1), 03.02.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3 a5 8.Be2 Na6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qb3 Nb4 11.Rfd1 b6 12.Na2 Nxa2 13.Rxa2 Nd7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Rc1 Bb7 17.Qa3 Qxa3 18.Rxa3 f6 19.Bd3 Rfd8 20.h4 g6 21.Rac3 Kf7 22.h5 Rab8 23.g4 Nf8 24.hxg6+ hxg6 25.g5 Ne6 26.gxf6 Kxf6 27.Kg2 c5 28.Rh1 Bc6 29.Ne5 Bxa4 30.Rh7 Nf8 31.Rf7+ Ke6 32.Be2 Kd6 33.Rf6+ Ke7 34.Rf7+ Kd6 35.Bg4 c4 36.e4 dxe4 37.Nxc4+ Kd5 38.Ne3+ Kd6 39.Nc4+ Kd5 40.Ne3+ Kd6 41.f3 exf3+ 42.Bxf3 Bb5 43.Rf6+ Ke7 44.Ng4 Rxd4 45.Re3+ Kd7 46.Ne5+ Ke7 47.Ng4+ Kd7 48.Ne5+ Ke7 49.Rc6 Nd7 50.Nxd7+ Kxd7 51.Rxg6 Rd2+ 52.Kg3 Rd3 53.Bg4+ Kc7 54.Rg7+ Kc6 55.Bf3+ Kd6 56.Rg6+ Kc7 57.Rg7+ Kd6 58.Rg6+ Kc7 59.Rg7+ Kd6 ½-½. [Click to replay].

The other games were reasonable draws. The Cubans played a long theoretical variation of the Slav, very well known to Domínguez, who never got into trouble. Volokitin was trying hard against the Berlin Wall of Vallejo Pons, but once more, it proved hard to break down (who doesn’t remember Kasparov’s great efforts against Kramnik). Maybe a voyage to Germany could help the Ruy Lopez players, to learn how to break down such a wall.

Day Two

On the second day it was Hikara Nakamura who outplayed his opponent in his famous blitzy chessstyle that really impressed the other participants. This was a sweet revenge for Hikaru after the really bad performance against Volokotin in the 2005 Lausanne final where he H-bombed himself with the already famous 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5?! !? Today he surprised everyone opening up with 1.d4 instead of his more usual 1.e4 and from start to finish he played “al toque” like we use to say in Spanish, you could say on “the punch line” responding almost instantly on the moves of Volokitin. The game of the day went like this:

Nakamura,H (2644) - Volokitin,And (2665) [E29]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (2), 04.02.2006
1. d4 (!) Hikaru really seems incredibly well prepared and sharp this tournament. He got some major criticism after his performance against the Indian Ganguly past December. Then, once more he tried simply too much in a drawn position. But he is only 18, that’s the toll he has to pay for his ambition, but generally he is just great to watch, like we can observe in this game. Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. Bd3 Nc6 8.Ne2 b6 9. e4 quite an agressive approach against the nimzo-indian defence. Hikaru is showing his hunger for a win Ne8 10. O-O Ba6 11. f4 f5 GM Wells comments here: preventing the advance of white's f-pawn to f6 is pretty well compulsory, but this, while the most popular way, is not the only one. Black has also tried systems based upon ...f6. Wells: It is essential to prevent the intended march of white's f-pawn to f6, although, as I discussed at length in CBM 75 it can also be stopped at f5 rather an f4. However, while the most famous examples have turned out quite well for black it seems to be the text which is generally more trusted in practice. 12. exf5 (!?) also possible is Ng3 for instance, but it seems that thanks to the ideas of Karpov black has sufficient counterplay 12…g6 13. Be3 and then Nd6 or cxd4 like in the Yusupov-Karpov games from 1989 and 1993, (see chessbase megabase). exf5 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Ng3 g6 15. Be3 d6 16. Bxf5 Hikaru explained to the public that only hours before this crucial game he analyzed this sacrifice gxf5 17. Qd5+ Rf7 18. Qxc6 Bb7 19. Qa4 Qf6 (N) Only this move is a novelty!. Until now Hikaru hadn’t used any time. In the championship of Denmark 2003 GM Schandorff played here 19…h5 following a theoretical recommendation of the 1991 Correspondence game between the unknown Hollis against Hovde which the latter went on to win. In the Pedersen (2508)-Schandorff (2563) white won in the following way: 20.Rab1 Ng7 21.Qd1 h4 22.Nh1 Qe8 23.Nf2 h3 24.Rxb7 Rxb7 25.Qxd6 Rc8 26.Qd5+ Rf7 27.Bxc5 hxg2 28.Rd1 Qe6 29.Bd4 Rxc4 30.Qxg2 Qe2 31.Rb1 Rc8 32.Kh1 Qe6 33.Rg1 Qc6 34.Nd3 Qxg2+ 35.Rxg2 Kh7 36.Rg3 Rb8 37.Kg2 Rb1 38.Kf3 Rd1 39.Ne5 Rb7 40.Rh3+ Kg8 41.Ke2 Ra1 42.Nc4 Rc7 43.Ne3 Ne6 44.Rh8+ Kf7 45.Be5 Ra2+ 46.Kf3 Rd7 47.Nxf5 Rxa3 48.Rh7+ Ke8 49.Nd6+ Rxd6 50.Bxd6 Rxc3+ 51.Ke4 Kd8 52.Kd5 Re3 53.Be5 Nf8 54.Rh8 Ke8 55.Bd6 1-0. 20. Rab1 Ng7 (here Volokitin was already in severe time trouble, trying to survive with the 30 sec per move bonus) 21. Qd1 Re8 22. Re1 Qg6 Fritz9 fancies Qxc3 here, with an acceptable position for black. With 1 minute against 70 Volokitin didn’t take the pawn. 23. Bf2 Rxe1+ 24. Qxe1 h5 25. h4 Rd7 26. Qd1 Kh7 27. Qa4 Qf7 28. Rd1 Ne6 29. Be3 Qg7 30. Kf2 Kg6 31. Rd2 Qe7 32. Qd1 Qxh4 33. Rxd6 +- the game is basically lost here but it is really hard to find good improvements for black after 22…Qg6. Black’s several weaknesses on d6, f5 and h5 are now hard to defend Re7 34. Rd7 Qh2 35. Rxe7 Qxg2+ 36. Ke1 Qxg3+ 37. Kd2 Kf6 38. Rh7 Nxf4 39. Qf1 Ng2 40. Bxc5 Be4 41. Bd4+ Ke6 42. c5 Qg5+ 43. Kd1 Qg4+ 44. Kc1 Qg5+ 45. Kd1 Qg4+ 46. Qe2 Nf4 47. Rh6+ Kd7 48. Qxg4 hxg4 49. Rh7+ Kc6 50. Rxa7 g3 51. Rg7 g2 52. Kd2 Ne6 53. Rg8 f4 54. Bf2 f3 55. a4 Nf4 56. Ke3 Bd5 57. Rg4 Ne2 58. c4 Bf7 59. a5 Nc3 60. Rf4 Bh5 61. Kd2 Nd1 62. Rf6+ Kc7 63. Ke1 Nb2 64. Bg3+ Kd7 65. Kf2 Nd1+ 66. Kg1 Nc3 67. Bf2 Ne4 68. c6+ Kd8 69. Re6 Nxf2 70. Kxf2 Bf7 71. a6 Bxe6 72. a7 1-0. [Click to replay].

The game of the day, since Hikaru really managed to impress everyone to take the lead of the tournament together with Paco Vallejo Pons (1,5 out of 2) when the latter won in a weak game of local player Manuel León Hoyos.

Worth replaying is also the Cheparinov-Ponomariov, a French Winawer defence that resulted in a nice position for Cheparinov, but gradually changed in a clearly better position for Ponomariov when White did some slow moves. Ponomariov couldn’t take advantage and the game ended up in a draw. Cuban star Leinier Dominguez had no trouble equalizing in a fashionable Petrov Defence against Sergey Karjakin and his compatriot Bruzón made also a draw against Rubén Felgaer.

Cathedral next to the playing hall

Day 3

On day 3 Hikaru Nakamura went on to take the sole lead, in an easy game against Manuel León Hoyos. Although White had a pleasant position (Nakamura had almost used as much time in 10 moves as for the whole game on the day before) he got into trouble after missing the strength of 13…Qc8 (!) on 13.Qxb7. One could say that this mistake is due to lack of experience of the local player.

The other four games ended up in draws. Vallejo Pons who was in the lead with Nakamura really reached easily an equal position against Lázaro Bruzón, who hasn’t been able to fight for a real win still. Ponomariov and his (former) second Karjakin played a threefold repetition in a Najdorf where black was just doing fine. Both are still waiting for a win and that can be considered as a surprise, especially after Karjakin’s very nice performance at Wijk aan Zee and Ruslan’s latest resurrection in Siberia and Pamplona, Spain. Volokitin had a bad day again, walking into a very nice preparation of Bulgarian Champion Ivan Cheparinov. Using up all his time, and counter sacrificing a pawn, he managed to share the point. Until now we have only seen a very underperforming Andrei. Maybe the rest day on Monday 6th of February will bring him some spirit for the second half of the tournament.

The nicest game of round three was the attractive battle between Leinier Dominguez (2638) and Rubén Felgaer (2607).

Dominguez,L (2638) - Felgaer,R (2607) [B33]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (3), 05.02.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bd3 Be6 12.0-0 Bxd5 13.exd5 Ne7 14.Re1 Bg7 15.c3 0-0 One of the classical chess “tabias” in the svesnikov, the players show that novelties are still possible in this opening played by many superGMs 16.Nc2 here Qh5 is more usual and a clearer way to fight for an advantage (see the dramatic game between Nigel Short and Michael Krasenkow, Fide Wch, 2004. where Short reached a huge advantage but left a full rook ‘en prise’) Qd7 (N) seems to be a novelty by Felgaer. Especially Re8 is being played in this position. 17.a4 17.Qh5 still looks the right reaction, if 17…e4 then 18.Bf1 Nxd5 19.Rad1 Nf6 with double-edged play for the pawn e4 18.Bf1 bxa4 19.Nb4 a5 20.Nc6 Nxc6 21.Bb5 Qb7 sacrificing the exchange, Rab8 was also a possibility. 22.Bxc6 Qxb2 23.Bxa8 Rxa8 24.Qxa4 Qxc3 25.Rac1 Qe5 26.Qc6 Rf8 27.Qb5 (!) a nice move by Leinier, white must be better here Qb2 28.Qd7 Qe5 29.Rc6 Qf4 30.Qxd6 Be5 31.g3 maybe Qh6 was possible Qd2 32.Qxe5 Qxe1+ 33.Kg2 e3 !! only move and nice defense by the Argentinean 34.Qxf5 34. Qxe3 QxQe3 35. fxQe3 Rd8 36.d6 and white is slightly better although black can hold e2 35.Qg5+ if 35.Rh6!? then 35…Qf1+ 36.Kf3 e1N+ (!) saves black 37.Kg4 Qc4 38.Kh5 Qd3! Kh8 36.Rc1 Qd1 37.Qf6+ Kg8 38.Qg5+ Kh8 39.Qf6+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay].

Day 4

Today not Nakamura but the rest of the bunch decided their games. Volokitin wasn't able to turn the tables in a Paulsen defense that changed into a more Classical Sicilian setup. Ponomariov showed his attacking abilities, getting a superior, but complicated position that resulted in his first full point after the really miscalculated 27….Bxb2+ by his friend Andrei Volokitin.

Ponomariov,R (2723) - Volokitin,And (2665) [B46]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (4), 06.02.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.a3 d6 8.f4 Be7 9.Qf3 0-0 10.0-0-0 Qc7 11.Rg1 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 b5 13.g4 d5 14.exd5 Bb7 15.Bd3 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Qh3 g6 18.f5 Bf6 19.Rb4 Be5 20.Rf1 a5 21.Rxb5 Rfb8 22.fxe6 Bxe6 23.a4 Rxb5 24.axb5 Bd5 25.b6 Qc6 26.Qh4 a4 27.Qe7

27...Bxb2+?? 27…Re8 and black seems to hold. 28.Kxb2 a3+ 29.Kc1 a2 30.Kd2 Be6 31.Qf6 Qg2+ 32.Rf2 a1Q 33.Qxa1 Qxf2+ 34.Bxf2 Rxa1 35.b7 Rb1 36.Be4 Bxg4 37.Bg3 Bf5 38.Bh1 Rxh1 39.b8Q+ Kg7 40.Qe5+ Kh6 41.Qe3+ Kg7 42.Qe5+ Kh6 43.Qf6 Rg1 1-0. [Click to replay].

The game of the day can be considered the one of Manuel León Hoyos who outplayed Ivan Cheparinov in a very sharp Sicilian Dragon with some sacrifices.

Cheparinov,I (2625) - Leon Hoyos,M (2428) [B77]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (4), 06.02.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 This variation works especially well in the Sicilian dragon when white plays the slower Bb3 before Qd2 and 0-0-0. That is the point of switching from an accelerated dragon into a modern dragon. Manuel León and also dragón Specialist Rubén Felgaer know these lines very well. 11.Bxd4 b5 12.h4 attacking but what about white’s king in the middle? a5 13.h5 a4 14.Bd5 b4 (!) the best move here e5 loses because of 15.h6! As shown in Victor Bologan against Moldovan in 2005 15.Bxf6 exf6 16.Ne2 f5 (N) A well-prepared novelty by León Hoyos 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Bxa8 Qxa8 19.Qxd6 Bb5 20.Nf4 Rd8 21.Qe7 ?! fxe4 Black takes the iniative. White’s king never gets safe now 22.Kf2 Qc8 23.Qg5 Ba6 24.Kg3 Re8 25.Rad1 e3 26.Rhe1 Qc7 27.Kh3 e2 28.Rd2 Bxb2 29.Nd5 Qc8+ 30.g4 Kg7!! White is totally lost 31.Nf4 Rh8+ 32.Kg2 Bf6 33.Qd5 Rd8 34.g5 Rxd5 35.gxf6+ Kxf6 36.Nxd5+ Kg7 37.Kf2 Qh3 38.Rd4 Qh2+ 0-1. [Click to replay].

A good recovery of my friend Manuel León against Cheparinov, who had a very good start of the tournament. Other very worthy games were the ones between Karjakin-Felgaer and Vallejo-Domínguez, the last one ending in a draw after some good play by Vallejo Pons.

Felgaer surely made a decisive mistake in a Philidor-defense having played …26… e4 (here Rf8 was maybe the best move).

Karjakin,Sergey (2660) - Felgaer,R (2607) [C41]
Young Masters Cuernavaca MEX (4), 06.02.2006
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 c6 7.a4 0-0 8.Re1 b6 9.d5 cxd5 10.Nxd5 Bb7 11.b3 Rc8 12.Re2 Nc5 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Bd5 Qd7 15.Ba3 Bxd5 16.Qxd5 Ne6 17.Qb5 Qb7 18.Rae1 a6 19.Qb4 Rfd8 20.c4 Rd7 21.Rd1 Be7 22.Qe1 b5 23.cxb5 axb5 24.a5 Nf4 25.Ra2 f5 26.exf5 e4.

27.a6! Karjakin finishes his opponent in great style Qa8 28.g3 exf3 29.gxf4 Kh8 30.Qe6 ! Rdc7 31.Bb2 Bf8 32.a7 Qc6 33.f6 Ra8 34.Kh1 Qd7 35.Qd5 Raxa7 36.Rxa7 Rxa7 37.Rg1 Qe8 38.f5 1-0. [Click to replay].

Standings after four rounds


People can visit the official web site to follow the tournament. It offers information in Spanish and English. To view the games you need to click “Partidas en vivo” and to see pictures and comments on the games offered by the Mexican GM Marcel Sisniega and MI Raul Ocampo you click on “torneo” in the menu.

The author: Seppe De Vreesse-Pieters, from Belgium Europe. I am 27 years old and a historian. I live in México City, México. I learned chess at 15, got quickly a +2100 rating but I didn’t go on playing classical chess. I haven’t played in 5 years. I prefer blitz and rapid games, as a regular guest on playchess and the other famous chess server, playing these rhythms on an FM/IM level. Many of the Cuernavaca players I already played online. I have been living in México for three years, studying at the UNAM, the biggest university of Latin America, just finishing up a master and will start soon a doctorate. Personal friend of Manuel León Hoyos and helping him out a little with his preparation.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register