Donchenko wins Cracovia Open 2020

by André Schulz
1/4/2021 – Alexander Donchenko was the favourite in the A-Open of the Cracovia Chess Festival, which despite Corona was played over the board. With a win in the final round, the German Grandmaster won the tournament convincingly with 8.0/9. | Photo: Tournament website

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At the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 (27.12.2020 to 4.1.2021) the Polish city of Cracow hosted a large chess festival, in which the players faced each other at the board.

Cracovia 2021

The festival comprised six tournaments and was held at the Galaxy Hotel in Krakow. To play in the A-Open an Elo-rating of 2100 or higher was required, the F-Open was for players with a rating of less than 1600.

Masked chess

The majority of the participants came from Poland, but a few players from abroad also took part, including Alexander Donchenko. With a rating of 2668 the German Grandmaster was number one seed and favourite to win the tournament. He lived up to this role.

After eight rounds Donchenko led with 7.0/8 and in the last round he faced the young Polish IM Szymon Gumularz.

 

The game began with a main line of the Catalan. White has more space but Black has the bishops. However, he cannot keep his extra-pawn. All in all, chances are equal.

15.d5 exd5 15...Bb7!?

16.exd5 Bb7 17.Re1 Qd8 18.Rad1 Nd7 19.axb5 Nb6 19...axb5 20.Nxb5 Ra5 21.Nc3 Re8=

20.bxa6 Rxa6 21.Ne5 Ra5 22.Nc6 Bxc6 23.dxc6 Qf6 24.Rd2 Re5 25.Rxe5 Qxe5 26.Re2 Qc5 27.Qd2 Qa5 27...Qf5!? to prevent White's next move might have been better.

28.Qf4 Bxc3 28...Rc8 29.Bh3 f5 30.h5 and White has a strong attack. After 30...Bxc3? 31.bxc3 Qxc3 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.Qg5 White would be winning; and after 28...Nc8 29.Nd5 Nd6 30.h5 White threatens h6 and Sf6.

29.bxc3 Qxc3 30.Qxc7 Now both sides have passed pawns, however, White's c-pawn is the better one.

30...Qd4 Better was 30...Qd3

31.Qe5 Qd3 32.h5 gxh5 32...c3 33.h6 f6 34.Qc7+–

33.Be4 Qd1+ 34.Kg2 f5 34...Qxe2 35.Bxh7+ Kxh7 36.Qxe2 and the white queen rules.

35.Bf3 h4 36.Qe6+ Kh8 37.c7 Qd4 38.Qh6 Dg7 39.Qxb6 hxg3 40.fxg3 1–0

With this win Donchenko also won the tournament.

Finals standings A-Open

Place Title Name Fed. FIDE Total MBch. Bch. Prog. Norm Chg
1 GM Donchenko, Alexander GER 2668 8.0 41.50 51.00 39.5   1.01
2 IM Janik, Igor POL 2480 7.0 36.00 47.50 34.5   1.66
3 GM Bartel, Mateusz POL 2638 6.5 40.00 52.00 36.0   -0.32
4 FM Fus, Jakub POL 2401 6.0 39.50 51.00 32.0   1.54
5 IM Gumularz, Szymon POL 2516 6.0 37.00 48.50 32.0   0.12
6 GM Sadzikowski, Daniel POL 2528 6.0 37.00 48.00 33.5   -0.06
7 FM Godzwon, Iwo POL 2347 6.0 33.50 44.50 28.0   1.55
8 IM Sieciechowicz, Marcin POL 2386 6.0 29.50 39.00 30.5   0.69
9 FM Miś, Mieszko POL 2358 6.0 29.00 37.00 24.5   -0.18
10 IM Jarmuła, Łukasz POL 2464 5.5 35.00 45.00 30.0   -0.13
11 FM Kucza, Karol POL 2294 5.5 34.50 45.00 29.5   1.80
12 IM Brodowski, Piotr POL 2439 5.5 33.50 44.00 29.5   0.00
13 WIM Śliwicka, Alicja POL 2333 5.5 31.00 40.50 27.5   0.63
14   Kopylov, Daniel GER 2342 5.5 30.50 39.00 25.0 k 0.11
15 IM Goluch, Piotr POL 2353 5.5 30.50 38.50 24.5   -0.27
16 m Kozak, Antoni POL 2375 5.5 29.00 36.50 23.0   -0.87
17 FM Seemann, Jakub POL 2323 5.0 38.00 46.50 31.0   1.38

66 players took part.

Dressed to play

Games

 

Links


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