Donchenko and Saric share first place in Skalica

by André Schulz
9/3/2020 – At the grandmaster tournament in Skalica, Slovakia, Alexander Donchenko and Ivan Saric shared first place on 7½ out of 9 points. While Saric finished undefeated with six wins and three draws, Donchenko, who incidentally was defeated by Saric in round 4, obtained seven wins, drew once and lost once. | Photos: Amruta Mokal / Sophie Nikoladze

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Donchenko on the rise

Slowly but surely, the international over-the-board tournament scene is taking shape again.  The Skalica International Tournament was played at the Ludmilla Hotel and was organized by the local chess club as part of a larger festival, which also included an open event, blitz, rapid and children’s tournaments. This was the festival’s second edition.

Alexander Donchenko came from winning in České Budějovice and the ACP Knockout Tournament, and continued his run of good form by sharing first place in Skalica despite losing his round-four game against eventual co-winner Ivan Saric. 

The German grandmaster compensated for the defeat with a series of consecutive victories. In the last round, he defeated Austrian IM Felix Blohberger.

 

21.Ng5 Nd5 22.Nxe6 Nxc7 23.Nxf8 Ne8

[Or 23...Rd8 24.Nxh7! (24.Rxc7 Rd1+ 25.Kf2 Rd2+ 26.Kf3 Kxf8 is less clear.) 24...Ne6 and the white knight is freed with 25.Bh3 Kf7 26.Bxe6+ Kxe6 27.Ng5+]

24.Nd7 Kf7 25.Nc5 Rc8 26.Rc3 Nd6 27.Nxa6 Rxc3 28.bxc3 bxa6 29.c4 Re6 30.Bd5+ Ke5 31.Kf2 Ne8 32.Ke2 Nf6 33.Bb7 Nd7 [33...a5 34.c5+–]

34.Bxa6 Nc5 35.Bb5 [Already two pawns down, Black can only delay the inevitable defeat.]

35...a5 36.Bc6 h6 37.Kf3 Nb3 38.Ke2 Nc1+ 39.Kd2 Nb3+ 40.Kc3 Nc5 41.Bf3 Na4+ 42.Kd2 Nc5 43.Bd1 Ne4+ 44.Kd3 Nc5+ 45.Ke2 Nd7 46.Ba4 Nc5 47.Bc2 Nd7 48.Kd2 Nc5 49.Kc3 Na6 50.c5 Kd5 51.c6 1–0


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

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