David Anton and Sabrina Vega win Spanish Championships

by André Schulz
9/9/2020 – Before the 9th and last round of the Spanish Championship Alexei Shirov was sole first with 8.0/9, but in the last round he lost with Black against Jaime Santos. This allowed David Anton, who won against Manuel Perez, to pass Shirov to become Spanish National Champion 2020. Sabrina Vega won the Women's Championship, it was her seventh title.

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Spanish Championships 2020, Round 9

In the last round Shirov played with Black against Jaime Santos and was ready for a theoretical duel in a line of the Semi-Slav. Shirov has played this line a couple of times before and Santos certainly was well prepared.


Here Black tried a pawn sacrifice that is well-known from similar position but still is striking.

12... c5 13.bxc5 Bxf3 14.cxd6 Nd5 15.gxf3 Qg5+ 16.Kh1 Qh5 17.Be2 Nxc3 18.Rg1 Rfd8 19.e4 e5 20.Be3 Nxe2 21.Qxe2 exd4 22.Rg5 Qh6 23.Bf4 Qf6 24.Rf5 d3 25.Qe1 Qb2 Also possible is 25...d2 ½–½ (65) Harding,T (2356)-Grayland,S (2367) ICCF email 2015.

26.Kg2 Nf8 According to the Mega Database this is a new move. 26...a6 happened in O'Hare,C (2446)-Lloyd,G (2250) ICCF email 2016 but White won in 65 moves.

27.Rd5 Ng6 The engines prefer 27...Qe2 or 27...Ne6.

28.Bg3 h5 29.h3 h4 30.Bh2 Rc2 Threatening to win with ...d2.

31.Rd1 Qxa3 31...Re2!? pushes the queen to a bad square. 32.Qf1 Qxa3 33.R1xd3 Qb2

32.R1xd3 Qb2 33.Qe3 White is better. He has the better minor piece and White's pawn in the center are strong.

33...Rd7 34.f4 Re2 35.Qf3 Re1 36.Rd1 Rxd1 37.Qxd1 Qb4 38.Qd3 Qc4 39.Qxc4 bxc4 40.f5 Nf8 41.Rc5 f6 42.Rxc4 a5 43.Rc8 Kf7 44.Ra8 Rb7 45.Rxa5 Nd7 46.Ra2 g5 47.fxg6+ Kxg6 48.Rc2 Rb5 49.Rc7 1–0

Shirov's main rival, David Anton, with an Elo-rating of 2688 the number one seed, played with White against Manuel Perez who used to be Shirov's second. Anton outplayed Perez in a King's Indian/Benoni position.


15... e5 Better is the Benoni-move 15...e6

16.0–0 h4 17.Ne2 f5?! Opening the position on the kingside and in the center favours White. More solid was 17...exf4!? though White is still better.

18.Nd2 Nd7 19.Nf3 Qe7 20.Bd2 Nb7 21.Qc2 White's advantage is obvious. The rook on a8, the bishop on c8, and the knight on b7 are out of play. And the pawn on f5 is weak.

21...Nd8 22.exf5 e4 23.Bxe4 Rb8 24.Nc3 Nf6 25.Bd3 gxf5 26.Bxf5 Bxf5 27.Qxf5 Rb2 28.Rce1 Qf7 29.Rb1 Qb7 30.Rxb2 Qxb2 31.Rb1 Qa3 32.Ng5 Re8 33.Rb3 33... Qa5 34.Nce4 Qc7 35.Nxf6+ Bxf6 36.Qg6+! Qg7 37.Qxe8+ Qf8 38.Qh5 Qg7 39.Rb8 and Black gets mated. 1–0

With this win and thanks to Shirov's defeat, David Anton passed Shirov and became Spanish Champion 2020. It is his first title.

The Women's Championship was won by Sabrina Vega. It is her seventh title. She won in 2008, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

In Spain, which has been severely affected by the Corona pandemic, people have to wear masks, and so pictures of the winners look a bit strange.

The three winners: Ivan Salgado, David Anton und Jaime Santos 

The winners of the Women's Championship: Sonia Gil, Sabrina Vega and Cecilia Guillo

The arbiters

The tournament attracted about 140 players and was carefully monitored medically. At the beginning there were three corona cases. The corresponding players were sent home quarantined.

Final standings





André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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