Israeli grandmasters triumphed at the Corrida Chess Tournament

by ChessBase
9/25/2018 – World-class players, such as David Navara, Alexei Shirov, Veselin Topalov, Richard Rapport, Valentina Gunina, Jon Ludvig Hammer or Markus Ragger were the stars of the eighth annual Nový Bor at the Corrida Chess Tournament, which was won by the Israeli grandmasters. The main match was dominated by Boris Gelfand (pictured), who beat the Czech no.2 chess player Viktor Láznička, 6:2. The match between Tadeáš Kriebel and young Israeli player Nitzan Steinberg ended with a narrow victory for the visiting player. | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

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by Petr Boleslav

The small town in North Bohemia used to be renowned mainly for the art of its local glassmakers. But since 2011, this craft is matched by the art of chess, which can be experienced in Nový Bor at the Corrida Chess Tournament.

The opening ceremony was held on Sunday August 26th at the town hall of Nový Bor, where the guests were welcomed by Jaromír Dvořák, the mayor and Roman Mužík, the chairman of the Chess Club of Nový Bor. Then, under the watchful eye of IA Pavel Votruba and in front of the cameras of Czech Television, the Israeli players drew their lots. Boris Gelfand drew black for his classical game, while Nitzan Steinberg drew white.

Drawing of lots

The mayor of city Jaromír Dvořák welcomed Boris Gelfand | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

The press conference was followed by simultaneous exhibitions. Boris Gelfand stood against twelve players, drawing with Roman Mužík, Milan Lesage, Jiří Kadeřábek and Kateřina Šmajzrová. Nitzan Steinberg was challenged by twenty players, most of them youths. He was beaten by Štepán Dolenský, while Vlastimil Babubla jr., Matouš Brůna, Michal Papoušek, Kryštof Hofman, Filip Dolenský and Václav Paulus achieved draws.


The simul of Nitzan Steinberg  | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

Ajeto, the glassmaker restaurant, not only offers its guests delicious food but also a view of the glassmakers at work. In the last week of August however, the glassmakers were outshined by the chess players, who could experience the atypical playing atmosphere for the first time on Monday the 27th of August.

Gelfand and Laznicka

Gelfand vs Láznička through the glass | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

Grandmaster Boris Gelfand proved his master-class and great experience during the match. The two introductory classical games ended with a draw but on the third day, Gelfand took the lead when he won both rapid games. The following two classical games were marked by Láznička’s attempts to change the course of the match but the two games ended in a draw, as well. The Israeli grandmaster entered the Saturday finals, leading by two points. He refused all theoretical speculations about a possible tie-break since he won both rapid games.


Navara, Gelfand and Laznicka

Special commentator for day of rapid games was David Navara | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

The match between the younger players, twenty-year-old Israeli grandmaster Nitzan Steinberg and home player Tadeáš Kriebel was a seesaw battle. The first three days were taken over by the initiative of the home player and he managed to achieve a promising lead of 3:1, after winning one classical game and one rapid game. But in the end, it was Steinberg who won, catching up with Kriebel in the fifth round and then winning by two points in the final rapid games.


Steinberg vs Kriebel

Tadeáš Kriebel vs Nitzan Steinberg | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

The finals of the eighth annual of the Corrida Chess Tournament of Nový Bor were truly dramatic. The Czech players experienced tough times when the Israelis outplayed them by 4:0. Overall, the Israelis beat the Czech Republic, the final score being 10½:5½.

Vlastimil Hort

Chess legend Vlastimil Hort visited Nový Bor | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a fierce match. The players truly gave it their all,” declared Vlastimil Hort, a Czech chess legend, who spent three days at the tournament. “The Corrida tournament is very original. The chess game held in a glassmaking environment is truly fascinating.”

Closing ceremony

Closing ceremony (L to R): Petr Boleslav, Roman Mužík, Boris Gelfand, tennis legend Helena Sukova, Viktor Láznička and chief arbiter Pavel Votruba | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

The closing ceremony on Saturday included an honoured guest, Czech tennis legend Helena Suková, who handed the winners their glass trophies, traditionally made and designed by the company Lasvit.

Match results - classical games

Name Elo 1 2 3 4 Pts.
GM Boris Gelfand 2703 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 2
GM Viktor Láznička 2662 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 2
Name ELO 1 2 3 4 Pts.
GM Nitzan Steinberg 2535 1/2 0 1 1/2 2
IM Tadeáš Kriebel 2488 1/2 1 0 1/2 2

Rapid games

Name Elo 1 2 3 4 Pts.
GM Boris Gelfand 2684 1 1 1 1 4
GM Viktor Láznička 2692 0 0 0 0 0
Name ELO 1 2 3 4 Pts.
GM Nitzan Steinberg 2389 0 1/2 1 1
IM Tadeáš Kriebel 2399 1 1/2 0 0

All games



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