Czech Open: Korobov remains king.

by ChessBase
8/3/2010 – The Czech Open is a huge event with literally dozens of tournaments, and brought 1314 players from 44 countries. It included events ranging from Blitz pairs to Fischer Random and bughouse. The grandmaster event was won a second straight time by Anton Korobov, with a huge 8.0/9 score, ahead of 38 GMs, and 54 IMs. We bring you a couple of his pearls in the illustrated report.

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The Czech Open, an international chess and games festival, began Thursday, June 15th, in Pardubice, Czech Republic. The Czech Open Festival is a part of series of international chess festivals that are part of the Czech Tour 2010/2011.

This year marks the 21st year of this festival tradition, and is a veritable chess bonanza. This is to say it isn't merely a collection of events such as a grandmaster tournament, with a couple of opens to complement it. Don't misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with that, but at the Czech Open you also get Team events (join up with some buddies, or make it a family event), as well as some rare treats such as:

  • a Blitz by Pairs tournament,
  • Active Chess by Pairs,
  • Fischer Random,
  • and even the club favorite: a bughouse tournament!

In other words, this is a festival geared toward everyone from the stratospheric reaching grandmaster, to the weekend blitz warrior out for a laugh with friends.

The most important event is the Pardubice Open grandmaster tournament belonging to the ACP world series, which brought 39 GMs, and 54 IMs, to fight for the top honors. The tournament was nine rounds of top level chess, but one player was clearly playing on a different speed: Anton Korobov. It is worth noting, that the 25-year-old Ukrainian, winner of the 2009 edition as well, was also the clear second-place finisher of the Aeroflot Open this year, behind Liem Le Quang. Here, he ran away with the tournament in such fashion that he won by a full point ahead of the field, with 8.0/9 and a whopping 2811 performance. In second place, was Swedish IM Hans Tikkanen (2469), edging four others on tiebreak, with 7.0/9, and also the most extreme overperformer of his group with a 2711 performance, good for a GM norm by the penultimate round. In third was reigning world under-16 champion, Indian international master S.P. Sethuraman.

The winner's podium (left to right): Hans Tikkanen, Anton Korobov, and S.P.

Final standings

Rk.   Name FED RtgI Pts. 
1 GM Korobov Anton  UKR 2657 8
2 IM Tikkanen Hans  SWE 2469 7
3 IM Sethuraman S.P.  IND 2513 7
4 GM Kravtsiv Martyn  UKR 2559 7
5 GM Grigoriants Sergey  RUS 2566 7
6 GM Gabrielian Artur  RUS 2559 7
7 GM Rakhmanov Alexandr  RUS 2590 6.5
8 GM Maslak Konstantin  RUS 2560 6.5
9 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan  IRI 2585 6.5
10 GM Stocek Jiri  CZE 2587 6.5
11 GM Safarli Eltaj  AZE 2603 6.5
12 GM Jaracz Pawel  POL 2541 6.5
13 IM Kuljasevic Davorin  CRO 2551 6.5
14 IM Danin Alexandre  RUS 2509 6.5
15 GM Zakhartsov Viacheslav  RUS 2608 6.5
16 IM Pridorozhni Aleksei  RUS 2553 6.5
17 IM Baryshpolets Andrey  UKR 2450 6.5
18 IM Musunuri Rohit Lalith Babu  IND 2502 6.5
19 IM Schneider Ilja  GER 2515 6.5
20 GM Durarbeyli Vasif  AZE 2501 6.5
21 IM Michalik Peter  SVK 2453 6.5
22 GM Shomoev Anton  RUS 2561 6.5

In the very first round, Korobov gave a hint as to his form with the following game, peppered with tactics, overwhelming his opponent.

Agaragimov,Djakhangir (2311) - Korobov,Anton (2657) [A00]
CZECH OPEN 2010 Pardubice (CZE) (1), 23.07.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.Qc2 dxc4 5.Qxc4 b5 6.Qc2 Bb7 7.Nbd2 Nd7 8.e3 Ngf6 9.Be2 Rc8 10.0-0 c5 11.Bxb5 cxd4 12.Qb3 Bd5 13.Qa4 dxe3 14.fxe3 a6 15.Bxa6 Ra8 16.Qb5 Bc5 17.Nb3 0-0 18.Nxc5 Nxc5 19.Qxc5 Rxa6 20.a4 Rc6 21.Qa3 Ng4 22.Qb4 Rc4 23.Qe1 Rc2 24.a5 f5 25.Qg3 h5 26.h3 h4 27.Qf4. The pawn is untouchable since after 27.Nxh4

Black has the fantastic shot 27...Qxh4!! 28.Qxh4 Rxg2+ 29.Kh1 Rh2+ 30.Kg1 Rh1 mate. 27...g5 28.Qa4

Black has two pieces en prise, but he has the last word: 28...Rxg2+! 29.Kxg2 Qc7! 30.hxg4 Qg3+ 31.Kh1 Bxf3+ 32.Rxf3 Qxf3+ 33.Kg1 fxg4 34.Bd2 h3 0-1 [Click to Replay]

Anton Korobov, with a 2811 performance, and a point ahead of the field, was clearly
on a different level.

This was only the sign of things to come, and in round six he played a small masterpiece.

Korobov,Anton (2657) - Smith,Axel (2416) [A00]
CZECH OPEN 2010 Pardubice (CZE) (6), 28.07.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Na5 11.Bd3 b6 12.Qd2 e5 13.Bh6 cxd4 14.cxd4 exd4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.f4 f6 17.f5 Qd6.

If the position looks familiar, it is because it is almost identical to the opening in the first game of the World Championship, in which Anand infamously forgot his preparation. Almost identical, but not quite, as in the aforementioned game, White had inserted Rac1 a couple of moves earlier. 18.Nf4 gxf5? This goes against the classic adage to not open lines when your opponent is better developed. Especially around the king. Though 18...g5 did not look fun for Anand, it still seems the safest route even here with the slight difference. 19.Nh5+ Kh8 etc. 19.exf5 Nc6?! Black should really be trying to develop extra quick now with 19...Bd7 and has seriously underestimated the danger. 20.Rae1 Ne5.

21.Rxe5!! The Ukrainian demonstrates the form and energy that brought him the title a full point ahead of the field. 21...Qxe5 If Black had taken with 21...fxe5 22.f6+! Kf7 (22...Rxf6 23.Nh5+ Kf7 24.Rxf6+) 23.Bc4+ Ke8 24.f7+ Kd8 25.Nd5! Be6 26.Qh6 Pinning the bishop. 26...d3 27.Ne3 And the bishop falls, since 27...Kd7 28.Rf6 d2 29.Bxe6+ Kc7 30.Bg4 Qc5 31.Bf3 Qc1+ 32.Nd1 Qc5+ 33.Kh1 Kd7 34.Rc6+- 22.Re1 Qc7 23.Qf2 Qf7 24.Qg3+ Kh6 24...Kh8

was no better since White would continue with 25.Ng6+!! Kg8 (25...hxg6 26.fxg6 Qd7 (26...Qg7 27.Qh4+ Kg8 28.Bc4+) 27.Qh4+ Kg8 28.Bc4+ Kg7 29.Qh7#) 26.Nxf8+ Kxf8 27.Qd6+ Kg8 28.Bc4 Qxc4 29.Re8+ Kg7 30.Qf8# 25.Re6! Qc7 26.Qh4+ Kg7 27.Nh5+ Kh8

28.Qxf6+!! Rxf6 29.Re8+ Rf8 30.Rxf8# Some players are quite touchy about getting mated, but it is obvious that Black was so impressed by his opponent's flawless gem that he saw no point in denying it to him. And who can blame him? 1-0 [Click to Replay]

Though the grandmaster open was the highest profile event, the myriad others all attracted players looking for that extra something that was a little different.

The Team Open brought players of all ages to show that four heads were better
than one.

The Blitz Pairs open brought together pairs pitting young against old...

or young with old.

Some enjoy a less predictable opening, such as Fischer Random. Notice the
bishops in the corners, and queens in the others. All boards got different starting

Whereas some prefer a less predictable game, such as the bughouse tournament.
The winners of these events also received complementary issues of Chessbase
Magazine DVD.

1314 players coming from 44 countries came to play in the events at the festival.

It wasn't just chess though. There were also events for bridge, backgammon, Magic,
and many other games.

More information about the festival and results of all tournaments can be found at the Czech Open website.


The games were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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