Fourways International brings elite to Bermuda

by ChessBase
1/16/2004 – If you want to see top-level chess outside of Europe, this is your chance. The Fourways International is underway in beautiful Bermuda. The impressive field includes US champ Alexander Shabalov, perennial star Boris Gelfand, and last year's winner Giovanni Vescovi. Shabba won in the first round to take the early lead. Games and report.

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The elite hit the beach in Bermuda

When we asked ChessBase readers for their chess Christmas lists several asked Santa for a supertournament in their part of the world. For many that means the Western Hemisphere since just about all the top events take place in Europe. Apparently the man in red got to work quickly because the 2004 Fourways International just started in Bermuda!

For everyone freezing their pawns off right now your excuses are up. It's a little rainy but warm in Bermuda right now and you've got a chance to mix chess with pleasure, to coin a phrase.

This is a double round-robin category 16 event with an average Elo of 2648. It runs from Jan. 15-25. The location might be in North America but the field is mostly European. (To the surprise of many, even Americans, the beautiful British colony of Bermuda is located around 1000 kilometers off the coast of the Carolinas and isn't in the Caribbean.)

Standings after round one

View/download all gamesOfficial siteFourways Inn, Bermuda

Reigning US Champion Alexander Shabalov got right to work, taking the lead with a trademark tactical melee against Iordachescu. Several times it looked like the Romanian would escape with his skin and the half point but Shabalov would find ways to complicate yet again and eventually Black succumbed.

Top seeded Boris Gelfand of Israel defended his usual Najdorf against Sergei Movsesian, who is now representing Slovakia. A very sharp duel ended in a perpetual check.

Maybe their luggage was lost in the Bermuda Triangle, which would be the only excuse Giovanni Vescovi (Brazil) and Bartlomiej Macieja (Poland) could have for their 14-move non-game. They didn't bother going through the motions out of an innocuous variation of the Petroff.

Vescovi won this event last year with a scorching 8/11 ahead of Peter Svidler. Shabalov had a miserable event fresh from his US Championship win. He's been hot lately on the usual circuit of American open tournaments.

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