Granda Zuniga supreme in Andorra

by Albert Silver
7/30/2015 – 48-year-old Julio Granda Zuniga recorded one of his strongest tournament results ever by winning the 2015 Andorra Open with the fantastic score of 8.0/9, including wins over his main rivals and a last round win over GM Adrien Demuth ensuring he would not share first. With this result, he earns a neat 27 Elo, and shows that age is just a number.

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At the top of the lineup is French GM Vladislav Tkachiev with 2661, followed very closely by Peruvian Julio Granda Zuniga, fresh from a good result in Benasque just before, and then the Ukrainian brothers Yuri and Andrey Vovk and Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga, all over 2600. The field was over 160 players with 15 grandmasters and over 30 masters.

Hailing from Israel, GM Artur Kogan came with his family, and inspired came in fourth

Eleven-year-old Maria Eizaguerri had a see-saw event in the literal sense of the word: in
the first round she lost, then in the second she won, then in the third she lost, and so on
all the way to the end finishing with 4.0/9

The star was unquestionably the Peruvian Julio Granda Zuniga, who at 48 is not expected
to be peaking the way he is now. A younger grandmaster commented, "I have no idea how
he does it". One thing is clear: Granda has lost none of his competitive fire.

Granda Zuniga - Delmuth

In the final round, White needed to win in order to ensure sole first place
and did so with no mistake, winning his game in under 30 moves. Here is
the finale: White to play and win.

Fellow South American GM Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela came in fifth, rebounding from
a loss in round six to Andrey Vovk with three wins

After beating Vladislav Tkachiev, Granda Zuniga needed to deal with his next rival Yuri Vovk that ended in a hair-raising finale.

[Event "33rd Andorra Open 2015"] [Site "Erts AND"] [Date "2015.07.23"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Vovk, Y."] [Black "Granda Zuniga, J."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2632"] [BlackElo "2652"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5k2/p7/2B5/b1P1P3/1p1P2p1/5p1r/P4R2/3K4 w - - 0 48"] [PlyCount "28"] [EventDate "2015.07.18"] {There is no question that this position is the kind to have the mind reeling, with blocks of passed pawns from both sides just begging to be queened. Though Black's pawns are more advanced, they seem well controlled by the white pieces. However, White blunders badly here, by advancing} 48. d5 $2 {The key problem is that it allows an important tactical trick that Black set up for his unsuspecting opponent.} b3 $1 49. Rf1 ({The problem is that} 49. axb3 {runs into} Rh1+ 50. Kc2 Be1 $1 {And not only is the rook caught, but one of the black pawns will promote sooner than its white rivals.}) 49... Rh2 $1 {[#] The point is that not only does it threaten Ra2-a1 and winning the rook, but there is no defense!} 50. axb3 Ra2 51. d6 Ra1+ 52. Kc2 Rxf1 53. e6 {[#] Here too, White's threats cannot be ignored. The immediate threat is e7+ and then promote to queen.} Bd8 (53... Re1 {was also winning.}) 54. Bb5 Rc1+ 55. Kxc1 g3 56. c6 g2 57. c7 g1=Q+ 58. Kc2 Qc5+ 59. Kb1 {There are a couple of land mines that Black needs to be careful not to step on.} Bf6 ({For example} 59... Bxc7 { fails to the zwischenzug} 60. e7+ {and the e-pawn will queen.}) ({and} 59... Qxd6 60. c8=Q) 60. Ba6 f2 61. Bd3 Qc3 0-1

Efforts were made to keep the event lively outside of the pure chess tournament. Here a
large barbecue was organized in the swimming pool area of the hotel.

Emilio Tardio from Spain puts on his war face

Alexey Sevenyuk came from Belarus to enjoy the mountain air and chess, and just like Maria
Eizaguerri above he alternated wins and losses in each round

20-year-old Marie Dubois overperformed with 140 Elo in excess of her rating

First place finisher Julio Granda Zuniga

In second place, just half a point behind was Ukrainian Andrey Vovk...

... and right behind was his brother Yuri Vovk in third.

Final standings

1 2 Granda Zuniga Julio E GM 2652 8.0
2 5 Vovk Andrey GM 2621 7.5
3 3 Vovk Yuri GM 2632 7.0
4 11 Kogan Artur GM 2526 7.0
5 4 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo GM 2625 7.0
6 13 Riff Jean-Noel GM 2502 7.0
7 1 Tkachiev Vladislav GM 2661 6.5
8 8 Lagarde Maxime GM 2544 6.5
9 9 Demuth Adrien GM 2531 6.5
10 19 Abergel Thal GM 2440 6.5
11 10 Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis GM 2529 6.5
12 12 Narciso Dublan Marc GM 2521 6.5
13 15 Aloma Vidal Robert IM 2451 6.5
14 16 Pulvett Marin Daniel IM 2446 6.5
15 34 Jolly Jean-Francois IM 2345 6.0
16 33 Trepat Herranz Joan FM 2351 6.0
17 7 Gozzoli Yannick GM 2567 6.0
18 6 Vazquez Igarza Renier GM 2581 6.0
19 21 Antoli Royo Joaquin Miguel IM 2430 6.0
20 14 Asis Gargatagli Hipolito IM 2472 6.0
21 17 Kalegin Evgenij IM 2445 6.0
22 36 Rudolf Anna IM 2335 6.0
23 24 Roser Kevin IM 2403 6.0
24 31 Trigo Urquijo Sergio FM 2358 6.0
25 30 Diaz Camallonga Carles FM 2358 6.0

Click for complete standings

Photos from official site


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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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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