From the Brooklyn Bridge

by ChessBase
5/7/2004 – The fourth round of the Canarias en Red Internet Chess Festival brought eight new qualifiers for Sunday's final (plus two Spanish places). Amongst the top scorers was an old friend, Aleksander Wojtkiewicz, a leading Polish player who lives and teaches in Baltimore, USA. In the server chat Aleksander told us a harrowing story.

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The Canarias en Red Internet Chess Festival

Once again 260 players participated in the fourth qualifier, so that now we have already had a total of over 1000 participants. It was necessary to score at least 9.5/13 in order to qualify for the final on Sunday. But a good Buchholz rating was also necessary if you scored only 9.5 points. To get a good Buchholz it is important to be in the top group as early as possible during the round. Which means that every game, even the very first one, is important. Coming from behind to score against lower-rated opponents (the "Swiss Gambit") can easily backfire here.

The winner was 20-year-old Michail Panarin of Russia, playing under his well known Playchess handle "topotun". Second was Russian GM Vladimir Belov, the man who knocked out Alexander Grischuk in the first round of the ACP final. The other qualifiers were David Gochelashvili (david333), GM Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (Alexwojt), GM Andrei Sokolov (Andrei21), Sead Bicevic (cobise), Arnold Essing (deadmold) and Jan-Peter Delfs (lion). The two best Spanish players, Alberto Suares (topchess2) and Samuel Correa Hernandez (sapinunc) also qualified.

A note on disconnections: the program that we use to run the tournament pairs all players who are registered and in the room at the time a round begins. If a player is not present he will not be paired. Naturally the software cannot tell whether a participant has decided to withdraw from the tournament or whether he or she has suffered a disconnect. It is not possible to play the game later. If you have missed a round the only thing left to do is to continue playing in the following round. Disconnects are part of Internet chess and people simply have to accept it as bad luck, even if it is very frustrating.

For those of you who haven't qualified there is one more chance: tonight at 20:00h CET (= GMT +2) in the usual place (see below).

Martin Fischer, tournament director


One of the participants in yesterday's fourth round was an old friend, Aleksander Wojtkiewicz. This very strong Polish GM today lives in Baltimore, USA, where he teaches chess and stages tournaments. We know him as a very entertaining person with some of the best anecdotes that have come out of Eastern Europe – an area not exactly famous for sophisticated joke-telling.

During the tournament Alex complained in the chat window about the timing of the final: 12:00h CET (= 10:00h GMT) was six a.m. in Baltimore. It's three a.m. in California, where Hikaru Nakamura, another qualifier, lives. But while Hikaru can stay up Saturday night for the final, Aleksander must actually set up an alarm clock and get his head cleared (see Nigel Short's rules) in order to be ready for the games.

We explained why the final is being held so early: the Spanish sponsors expect a lot of spectators in Internet Cafes and chess clubs to watch. And the best time for this is the Spanish "siesta" hours.

During the chat session Alex told us about a time, just over two and a half years ago, when he returned from a trip to Los Angeles at the same unearthly hour. "I flew into New York from Vegas at six in the morning. I was in my car on Brooklyn Bridge, driving home, when there was a huge noise and commotion. A plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Then there was the noise of the second plane approaching, and women were screaming 'it's the fire brigade bringing in water to put out the flames.' But it was the second plane that slammed into the building. The bridge was closed for traffic, and thousands of people streamed out of Manhattan by foot to escape the carnage. There was a terrible smell, which hung around downtown for a month." Scary. We are reminded that the very first report in our new ChessBase News page design was on the destruction of the WTC, uploaded to the news database on September 12, 2001.


Below it the cross table for the top 40 players. A total of 260 players participated.

1 topotun 2600 10.5 / 13
2 Vladimir Belov 2540 10.5 / 13
3 david333 2460 10.0 / 13
4 alexwojt 2580 10.0 / 13
5 Cobise 1858 10.0 / 13
6 Andrei21 2740 9.5 / 13
7 Deadmold 2244 9.5 / 13
8 lion 2448 9.5 / 13
9 Rrhioua 2068 9.5 / 13
10 ruudi 2430 9.5 / 13
11 badenia 2500 9.5 / 13
12 Podgaets 2445 9.5 / 13
13 rabiega 2744 9.0 / 12
14 topchess2 2370 9.0 / 13
15 Bullmover 2427 9.0 / 13
16 stirlitz 2190 9.0 / 13
17 lietuvis 2528 8.5 / 13
18 Kendo 2400 8.5 / 13
19 Klosterfrau 2575 8.5 / 13
20 ftorodent 2383 8.5 / 13
21 jek1975 2144 8.5 / 13
22 Tinz 2406 8.5 / 13
23 Petr Hába 2596 8.5 / 13
24 Robir 2138 8.5 / 13
25 rpolaczek 2334 8.5 / 13
26 real cheater 2043 8.5 / 13
27 Rapaces 2380 8.5 / 13
28 hanny 1947 8.5 / 13
29 sapinunc 2030 8.5 / 13
30 Sir Render 1969 8.5 / 13
31 Neverhood 2343 8.0 / 13
32 FightingDragon18 2250 8.0 / 13
33 JFernandez 2337 8.0 / 13
34 unkman 2213 8.0 / 13
35 Todilla 2314 8.0 / 13
36 Tih_dos 2277 8.0 / 13
37 giul 2216 8.0 / 13
38 Daniel vonTudosa 1950 8.0 / 12
39 fermik 2064 8.0 / 13
40 greyhoundz 2064 8.0 / 13

The Canarias en Red Internet Chess Festival will be held from Monday May 3rd until Sunday May 9th, 2004 on the server, in the special Canarias en Red tournament rooms.

To play in this tournament you can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

The qualifiers will be held from Monday May 3rd to Friday May 7th at 20:00h server time (=CET, GMT +2). You do not need to book a place in advance, simply go to the tournament room at the specified time and click "Join". It is possible to play in more than one qualifier. The final will be held on Sunday, May 9, at 12:00h server time (=CET, GMT +2). This is the time for registering, not the start of the games. Qualifiers and the finals are 13 round Swiss tournament with a rate of play of three minutes for each side plus one second increment per move. The total prize sum is $5,600 (€4,800), the winner takes $1,575 = €1,350.

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