Ernesto Inarkiev is the 2016 European Champion

by Albert Silver
5/24/2016 – It was nothing short of an imperial performance by Russian GM Ernesto Inarkiev who stormed away with the tournament from start to finish, defeating all his would-be challengers, to end on 9.0/11 with a 2882 performance. Igor Kovalenko, who lost to him in round nine, bounced back with two big wins to take sole second. Here is the report with games and positions.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Follow the games live on playchess

Photos from the official site

The accolades and the hype throughout the coverage were well-deserved as Ernesto Inarkiev was in stellar form. He had already shown this with a huge 2901 performance in the Russian Team Championship just a week before, but showed no sign of slowing down as he continued to do Godzilla imitations stomping down on his rivals. Sound like more hyperbole? Consider this then: this month alone he has accumulated a 43 Elo gain based on 17 games, with 10 wins and 4.5/6 against 2700+ opposition.

In the final two rounds, with a domineering  score of 8.0/9, a full point ahead of the field, he secured his gold medal with two draws. However, even the draw in the final round held interest as it re-examined the Scotch Opening that Kasparov had employed against Nakamura in the blitz tournament held in St. Louis the month before.

The last and key round. Having only 7.0/10, Piorun could not even expect silver if he won,
since three players stood at 7.5/10. Inarkiev had already scored 2.5/3 against them.

Kacper Piorun - Ernesto Inarkiev

[Event "17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016"] [Site "Gjakova KOS"] [Date "2016.05.23"] [Round "11.1"] [White "Piorun, Kacper"] [Black "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2681"] [BlackElo "2686"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2016.05.12"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. c3 Nge7 7. Bc4 Ne5 8. Bb3 Qg6 9. O-O d5 10. Bf4 {It must be said that it is not a little remarkable that the last person to make a serious contribution to this opening is.... Kasparov. Even his exhibition games bring something.} Bh3 (10... Bg4 11. Qc2 Bxd4 12. cxd4 N5c6 13. Qd2 Qxe4 14. f3 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Qxd4+ 16. Qxd4 Nxd4 17. Bxc7 Kd7 18. Bg3 Nxb3 19. axb3 Nf5 20. Nc3 d4 21. Rfd1 Rhd8 22. Rd3 Kc6 23. Ne2 Rd5 24. Rad1 Rad8 25. Bf2 Kc5 26. Rc1+ Kb5 27. Rc4 b6 28. Ng3 Nh4 29. Kf1 Ka6 30. Rc7 Rf8 31. b4 g6 32. Ne2 Nf5 33. Nxd4 Nxd4 34. Rxd4 Rf5 35. Rd3 Rf4 36. Rb3 Kb5 37. Rxa7 Re8 38. Rb7 Re6 39. Re3 Ref6 40. Kg2 Rxb4 41. b3 Kc6 42. Ra7 h5 43. Rc3+ Kb5 44. Re7 Rf5 45. h4 g5 46. hxg5 Rxg5+ 47. Kh3 Rf5 48. Rb7 Ka6 49. Re7 Rbf4 50. Ree3 Kb5 51. Bg3 Rd4 52. Re5+ Rd5 53. Rxd5+ Rxd5 54. Rc4 Rd3 55. Rf4 Rxb3 56. Rxf7 Kc4 57. f4 b5 58. f5 Kd5 59. Rd7+ Ke4 60. f6 Rf3 61. f7 b4 62. Kg2 b3 63. Re7+ {1-0 (63) Kasparov,G (2812)-Nakamura,H (2787) Saint Louis 2016}) 11. Bg3 h5 12. Ba4+ c6 13. exd5 h4 14. dxc6 {The engines suggest this offers nothing and allows Black to equalize, if nothing more.} ({ Following their proposed path to an edge, the main line starts with} 14. Bc2 f5 15. gxh3 hxg3 16. fxg3 O-O-O 17. Qe2 Rxd5 18. Kg2 Qd6 (18... Qh6 19. h4 g6 20. b4 Bb6 21. Bb3 $14) 19. Nxf5 Nxf5 20. Bxf5+ Kb8 21. b4 Bb6 22. a4 a5 23. bxa5 Bxa5 24. Ra2 {White is up material, but is tied down to parry Black's activity and threats, so it can be judged as unclear.}) 14... N5xc6 15. gxh3 hxg3 16. hxg3 Rxh3 17. Kg2 Qh6 18. Bxc6+ bxc6 19. Rh1 Rxh1 20. Qxh1 Qxh1+ 21. Kxh1 Rd8 22. Kg2 Bxd4 23. cxd4 Rxd4 24. Nc3 Rd2 25. Na4 Rc2 26. Re1 Kd7 27. Kf3 1/2-1/2

27-year-old Igor Kovalenko from Latvia had no less remarkable a tournament, showing a fire in his belly that could not be snuffed out. After facing Inarkiev in round nine and being thoroughly outplayed, one might have expected him to catch his breath, and regroup with a draw, but there was no time for this, and he showed exceptional strength of character by forging two wins in his final two rounds to capture sole second with 8.5/11 and a 2787 performance.

Kovalenko - Fressinet

White has complete control and it is now time to close the deal.
White to play and win.

[Event "17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016"] [Site "Gjakova KOS"] [Date "2016.05.22"] [Round "10.4"] [White "Kovalenko, Igor"] [Black "Fressinet, Laurent"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2644"] [BlackElo "2692"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1R1n2k1/3r1qp1/5pQp/2p1p2P/r7/4B1P1/4PP2/1R4K1 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "17"] [EventDate "2016.05.12"] 31. R1b7 $1 {Not only can the rook not be taken, but the direct threat of Rxd8+ is fatal.} Ra1+ (31... Rxb7 32. Rxd8+) 32. Kh2 Qxg6 (32... Rad1 33. Rxd8+ ) 33. hxg6 Rad1 34. Rxd7 Rxd7 35. Bxc5 {Black resigned as there is no defense against the mate. Ex:} h5 {The king is boxed in and can do nothing to escape his cage.} 36. Be7 h4 (36... Rxe7 37. Rxd8+ Re8 38. Rxe8#) 37. Bxd8 Kf8 38. Bxf6+ Rd8 39. Rxd8# 1-0

The tournament saw this stamp issued especially in its honor. A very nice touch.

15-year-old FM Luca Moroni from Italy scored an IM norm in the tournament

In the last round, top-seed David Navara (2735) had an unusual finish to his game as his opponent found himself losing a bishop. Naturally, blunders happen to anyone, but it must be said the way it was dominated and captured was not your everyday sequence.

Navara - Pashikian

[Event "17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016"] [Site "Gjakova KOS"] [Date "2016.05.23"] [Round "11.4"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Pashikian, Arman"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2735"] [BlackElo "2612"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2rr2k1/1p2Rpp1/1q1p3p/1P1P4/8/3Q1N1P/1P3bPK/R7 b - - 0 30"] [PlyCount "26"] [EventDate "2016.05.12"] {It is almost hard to believe at first, but} 30... Rc7 $2 {actually loses the bishop by force.} 31. Re2 $1 Rcc8 {Black realizes his blunder, possibly praying White is not aware of the depth of it, but there is no return, and Navara saw it just as well. The point is that Black cannot evacuate the queen to let the bishop eventually escape to b6.} ({The immediate} 31... Bc5 { is no help.} 32. Ra4 $1 {and there is no way to prevent b4.} Bf2 33. Rae4 { and Qd2 is coming next.} Rf8 {Forced since Re8+ was mate.} 34. Qd2 Bc5 35. b4 { and the bishop falls.}) 32. Qd2 Bc5 33. b4 Qxb5 34. bxc5 dxc5 35. Re7 c4 36. Qf4 Qxd5 37. Ne5 Rf8 38. Nd7 Rce8 39. Rae1 Rxe7 40. Rxe7 Rd8 41. Qc7 Kh7 42. Qxd8 Qd6+ 43. Re5 1-0

Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons also enjoyed an excellent tournament, defeating German talent
GM Alexander Donchenko in the last round to end on 8.0/11 in 5th place with a 2777 performance

Nisipeanu - Khismatullin

White is up material, but the opposite-colored bishops do promise chances
for Black to hope for a miracle. White ended them here. White to play.

[Event "17th ch-EUR Indiv 2016"] [Site "Gjakova KOS"] [Date "2016.05.22"] [Round "10.11"] [White "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"] [Black "Khismatullin, Denis"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2669"] [BlackElo "2609"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/p4p2/5kp1/2r1b3/6Pp/1BP4P/PP2RPK1/8 w - - 0 34"] [PlyCount "3"] [EventDate "2016.05.12"] 34. Bxf7 $1 Bxc3 ({If Black recaptures, he will lose his bishop back after} 34... Kxf7 35. b4 $1 Rb5 (35... Rd5 36. c4 {and the rook cannot remain on the 5th.}) 36. a4 Rd5 37. c4 {and the rook can no longer protect the bishop.} Rd4 38. Rxe5 Rxc4 39. Rb5) 35. Bxg6 {and Black resigned, two pawns down with no hope.} 1-0

You might be wondering what is special about this image, and why it was chosen here. We
do not know either. For reasons that baffle the author of this report, and the chess media
at large, the photographer of the organizers almost never displayed images of any of the
top boards, but instead posted endless photos of boards 100+ in all the rounds. In fact, the
picture above was the only chess photo from the round nine gallery. Kind organizers, if you
are going to hire a photographer, please choose one who knows what the heck he is doing.

Winner Ernesto Inarkiev being interviewed by the media

Results of round eleven

Bd
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
Result
Pts
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
1 GM Piorun Kacper POL 2681 7 ½ - ½ GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2686
2 GM Goganov Aleksey RUS 2600 0 - 1 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2644
3 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2661 7 1 - 0 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2722
4 GM Navara David CZE 2735 7 1 - 0 7 GM Pashikian Arman ARM 2612
5 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2700 7 1 - 0 7 GM Donchenko Alexander GER 2569
6 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM 2601 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter GER 2669
7 GM Palac Mladen CRO 2577 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Dreev Aleksey RUS 2662
8 GM Bortnyk Olexandr UKR 2565 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Dubov Daniil RUS 2644
9 GM Tari Aryan NOR 2558 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2632
10 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2616 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Stupak Kirill BLR 2535
11 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2721 1 - 0 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2628
12 GM Lupulescu Constantin ROU 2620 1 - 0 GM Ponomariov Ruslan UKR 2715
13 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2618 1 - 0 GM Ragger Markus AUT 2696
14 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2692 1 - 0 GM Kozul Zdenko CRO 2591
15 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2602 ½ - ½ GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2691

Click for complete round results

Final standings after eleven rounds

Rk SNo Ti. Name Fed Rtg Pts  TB  Perf rtg+/-
1 12 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS
2686
9.0
72.5
2882
25.9
2 37 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT
2644
8.5
67.0
2787
21.2
3 26 GM Jobava Baadur GEO
2661
8.0
73.5
2791
19.4
4 1 GM Navara David CZE
2735
8.0
72.5
2796
8.6
5 5 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP
2700
8.0
71.0
2777
10.6
6 2 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL
2722
7.5
76.0
2763
6.7
7 16 GM Piorun Kacper POL
2681
7.5
69.0
2708
5.4
8 8 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA
2692
7.5
68.5
2734
6.6
9 60 GM Goganov Aleksey RUS
2600
7.5
68.5
2734
19.6
10 36 GM Dubov Daniil RUS
2644
7.5
68.0
2728
11.4
11 3 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS
2721
7.5
67.0
2732
2.1
12 13 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL
2685
7.5
67.0
2691
2.0
  15 GM Najer Evgeniy RUS
2681
7.5
67.0
2693
1.5
14 43 GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM
2632
7.5
66.5
2682
8.9
15 33 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR
2647
7.5
66.0
2691
7.8
  72 GM Palac Mladen CRO
2577
7.5
66.0
2671
16.0
17 50 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP
2618
7.5
66.0
2686
11.9
18 24 GM Dreev Aleksey RUS
2662
7.5
65.5
2663
1.6
19 51 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP
2616
7.5
65.5
2671
10.5
20 94 GM Stupak Kirill BLR
2535
7.5
65.5
2672
20.2
21 19 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter GER
2669
7.5
65.0
2688
4.2
22 85 GM Tari Aryan NOR
2558
7.5
64.5
2670
17.0
23 69 GM Demchenko Anton RUS
2589
7.5
64.5
2725
21.9
24 59 GM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM
2601
7.5
64.0
2688
15.7
25 48 GM Lupulescu Constantin ROU
2620
7.5
63.0
2662
7.7
26 83 GM Bortnyk Olexandr UKR
2565
7.5
62.0
2649
13.7
27 30 GM Saric Ivan CRO
2650
7.0
71.5
2674
4.5
28 55 GM Zubov Alexander UKR
2612
7.0
68.5
2716
14.5
29 80 GM Donchenko Alexander GER
2569
7.0
68.0
2692
17.6
30 58 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM
2602
7.0
68.0
2654
9.0

Click for complete standings

Schedule

Day
Date
Time
Program
Wednesday
11.05.2016
 
Arrival of participants
Wednesday
11.05.2016
20:00
Opening ceremony
Thursday
11.05.2016
22:00
Technical meeting
Thursday
12.05.2016
15:30
Round I
Friday
13.05.2016
15:30
Round II
Saturday
14.05.2016
15:30
Round III
Sunday
15.05.2016
15:30
Round IV
Monday
16.05.2016
15:30
Round V
Tuesday
17.05.2016
15:30
Round VI
Wednesday
18.05.2016
 
Rest day
Thursday
19.05.2016
15:30
Round VII
Friday
20.05.2016
15:30
Round VIII
Saturday
21.05.2016
15:30
Round IX
Sunday
22.05.2016
15:30
Round X
Monday
23.05.2016
11:00
Round XI
Monday
23.05.2016
20:00
Closing ceremony
Tuesday
24.05.2016
 
Departure

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

Bertman Bertman 5/26/2016 04:39
@rannewman

I have to disagree. The photographer really is clueless, and not just about what to shoot. I will not belabor the innumerous technical blunders in his shots, no matter who or what he was shooting.
rannewman@gmail.com rannewman@gmail.com 5/25/2016 07:45
@bertman

I agree with everything you said, however my point was that such claims should not be directed towards the photographer. The way I read the comment, it seemed to me like a personal attack ("please choose one who knows what the heck he is doing") - it's clear that with minimal guidence just about anyone would have taken photos of the more intresting matches, so blame the orgnizers, not the poor guy who now have this comment on his resume.
Bertman Bertman 5/25/2016 03:33
@rannewman

They were contacted directly multiple times by not just myself but also others, and that was not the reason. Also rounds were always posted a *minimum* of two days after they were over. In other words round seven was posted during round 10. Etc.

Without quality images, the reports suffer, readers suffer (who wants just a crosstable and PGN file?), all of which reflect on the event itself in the end. Photography isn't just a bonus for a good event, it is an essential part of it, and will ultimately determine how it is reported and perceived by fans and readers around the world. Selling tickets is great, but in the end far more people will be viewing and appreciating the event via the media reports and the images provided.

If nothing is said then nothing will change. When organizers get it right, you can be sure credit and compliments are given. It goes both ways.
hpaul hpaul 5/25/2016 03:12
My special congratulations to Aryan Tari, the 16-year old brand new GM from Norway, for his great tournament, tying for 6th at 7.5 points (22nd on tiebreaks). He has had a breakthrough year, getting his GM title, winning the Norwegian championship (no, Magnus didn't play), and now qualifying for the World Cup against all odds.
Gratulerer, Aryan!
goeland goeland 5/25/2016 07:46
+1 with rannewman.
rannewman@gmail.com rannewman@gmail.com 5/25/2016 07:37
The comment about the photos is so rude... as far as you know, the orgnizers asked the guy to take photos of the lower rated boards or whatever other reasons there are - there is no need to bash the photographer like that.
algorithmy algorithmy 5/25/2016 02:04
I almost skipped the last image in the report when I read the comment below it "You might be wondering what is special about this image, and why it was chosen here. We
do not know either. For reasons that baffle the author of this report, and the chess media
at large, the photographer of the organizers almost never displayed images of any of the
top boards, but instead posted endless photos of boards 100+ in all the rounds. In fact, the
picture above was the only chess photo from the round nine gallery. Kind organizers, if you
are going to hire a photographer, please choose one who knows what the heck he is doing."

Hahhhhhhh indeed, I visited the official website. it's Hilarious!!
1