Strong closed tournaments in a tiny Crete town

by Daniel Fernandez
9/29/2018 – A new round of Fischer and Capablanca Memorial tournaments took place in Anogia, Crete from September 11th to 19th. Grandmaster DANIEL FERNANDEZ was there and has annotated nine games for your enjoyment. | Photo: Tango7174 (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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A Mediterranean chess destination

The village of Anogia in Crete has — probably to the surprise of most of its 3,000 residents — become known as a chess destination. Following on from the success of his Heraklion series, organiser Konstantinos (Kostas) Klokas and a team of his associates have decided to make a fixture out of the Anogia closed tournaments as well.

Kostas Klokas

Kostas Klokas | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

In this edition, there were three closed tournaments — the IM section, the "Fischer" GM-section, and the "Capablanca" GM-section. I played in the Capablanca tournament. While I don't quite understand what the connection of the two World Champions was to Crete, what must be said is that the allure of the names (and the island) keeps bringing a large and varied crowd of people to this corner of the Mediterranean.

Prize giving

The prize giving | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

Greeks

Greek players were of course also well represented | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

In the IM-section, one of the main surprises was that two significantly lower-rated players were able to dispatch their IM opponents, including one with the black pieces.

 

Lekic

Montenegrin IM Dusan Lekic | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

Nevertheless, the laid-back atmosphere meant that it was difficult to let a defeat bother one for long: here is Dusan enjoying some downtime with local organiser George Ntagiantas and the future of Greek chess!

Another very exciting game from this section was played by the Bulgarian woman master, Tsveta Galunova:

 

Moving on to my section, there was a sustained narrative throughout of utter domination by the top seed, GM Alberto David, who before this tournament was best known to me for the large number of countries with which he has connections (even FIDE affiliations)!

Capablanca winners

The three prize-winners (L-R): GM David; local norm-hunters K. Anagnostopoulos and G. Mitsis | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

I was duly demolished by the in-form winner:

 

Elsewhere, one notable story revolved around the young super-talent from India, D. Gukesh, born in 2006. After losing two games on the trot, including one to me which he really shouldn't have, this young prodigy held on to a crumbling position against his compatriot in round seven, before coming back triumphantly in a sharp, but well-controlled encounter.

Gukesh

Indian D. Gukesh | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

His opponent in that game was another in-form player, the German FM Theo Gungl, who had started with a win and six draws, and required 1½/2 for an IM norm. So, naturally, the opening chosen was ambitious from both sides.

 

To round off our coverage of the Capablanca memorial, let's see an attacking effort from Russian GM Aleksandr Karpatchev:

 

Aleksandr Karpatchev

Aleksandr Karpatchev | Photo: Tzoulia Ntagianta

Finally, we come to the Fischer memorial. The three prize-winners posed for a picture afterwards, and I am featuring a game from each of them.

 

Fischer tournament prize winners

(L-R):GM Velten, GM Ernst, WGM Kulkarni

Dutch GM Sipke Ernst did an especially good job to recover from his bad start, ending up on the podium despite beginning with 2/5!

As you can see, some incredible fighting chess occurred in Crete this time around, and despite the fact that it didn't go my way at all, I will be back someday to do battle in this land of steep hills and strong coffee!

Final standings (5th Capablanca Memorial)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 David Alberto 7,0 0,0
2 Anagnostopoulos Konstantinos 5,5 0,0
3 Mitsis Georgios 5,0 1,5
4 Gukesh D 5,0 1,0
5 Karpatchev Aleksandr 5,0 0,5
6 Gungl Theo 4,5 1,0
7 Fernandez Daniel Howard 4,5 0,0
8 Anand Nadar 3,5 0,0
9 Nitish Belurkar 2,5 0,5
10 Rydstrom Tom 2,5 0,5

Final standings (5th Fischer Memorial)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Velten Paul 6,5 0,0
2 Ernst Sipke 5,5 2,0
3 Kulkarni Bhakti 5,5 0,5
4 Chakravarthi Reddy M 5,5 0,5
5 Tate Alan 5,0 0,0
6 Akshat Khamparia 4,5 0,0
7 Kapnisis Spyridon 4,0 0,0
8 Markidis Konstantinos 3,5 1,0
9 Pfreundt Jakob 3,5 0,0
10 Balokas Dimitrios 1,5 0,0

Final standings (3rd Capablanca Memorial)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Avramidou Anastasia 6,0 0,5
2 Dushyant Sharma 6,0 0,5
3 Milonakis Georgios 5,5 0,0
4 Patil Mitali 5,0 1,0
5 Pavlidis Anastasios 5,0 1,0
6 Galunova Tsveta 5,0 1,0
7 Lekic Dusan 4,0 0,0
8 Prraneeth Vuppala 3,5 0,0
9 Kelesiadis Georgios 2,5 0,5
10 Frendzas Panayotis 2,5 0,5

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Once part of a 'golden generation' of young players in Singapore, he moved to England in his late teens and attended Cambridge University. Immediately after graduation, he began training as a time series analyst and also working on his chess, finally becoming a grandmaster in November 2017. He writes chess articles frequently and with enjoyment, and his first chess book is out in May. Away from the board, he enjoys table-tennis and language learning.
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rokko rokko 9/30/2018 10:52
As always, very interesting and insightful comments from Daniel which make it worthwhile to look at these games from less well-known players. PS: it would be useful for future reference if the game data were more complete, with first names and ELO.
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