Ivanchuk leads Capa Memorial with MMDCCCLXXXI performance

by ChessBase
6/17/2010 – The XLV edition of the annual tournament dedicated to the greatest Cuban chess player ever, José Raúl Capablanca, is VI rounds deep. Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk is in top form and has scored IV plus half a point in VI games, followed by Nigel Short with III plus one half and a MMDCCLXVIII performance. What is wrong with us, you ask? As usual we have caught the Roman numeral fever.

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XLV Edición del Torneo Capablanca in Memoriam 2010

The Roman numeral XLV translates to 45 – L is 50, X is 10, but is subtracted from 50 since it is placed before the digit, V is five. So the number is "ten-less-than-fifty and five" – can you imagine how the Romans were able to build roads and bridges with this convoluted numeral system? Modern Americans know it mainly through the Superbowl – the next one will be, by chance, the XLVth edition – and, like Bart Simpson, from the Rocky movies (in the "Lemon of Troy" episode). The Europeans are familiar with Roman numerals from the Ciudad de Villarrobledo tourneys – as you will doubtlessly remember, Anand won the editions XV, XVII, XIX and XXI. If you couldn't follow our main page blurb you can use this converter to translated the numbers.

The Capablanca Memorial

The Capablanca Memorial is a tournament commemorating José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (1888–1942), the greatest Cuban chess master, who was World Champion from 1921 to 1927. The first José Raúl Capablanca Memorial was held 20 April to 20 May 1962 in the Habana Libre hotel in Havana, Cuba. Miguel Najdorf was first in a field of 22 players that included Spassky, Smyslov, Polugaevsky, Gligoric and Pachman.

The fourth edition of the tournament in 1965 was unusual. US Champion Bobby Fischer was invited and offered a $3,000 appearance fee, but the U.S. State Department would not allow him to travel to Cuba due to hostile Cuba-US relations. So Fischer played his games by telex from the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. Former World Champion Vasily Smyslov (USSR) won the tournament with 15½/21, Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia), Efim Geller (USSR), and Fischer shared second through fourth, a half point behind.

Here for the record are the winners of the pervious 41 editions of the Capablanca Memorial

1 1962 Havana  Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
2 1963 Havana  Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union)
3 1964 Havana  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union), Wolfgang Uhlmann (East Germany)
4 1965 Havana  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union)
5 1967 Havana  Bent Larsen (Denmark)
6 1968 Havana  Ratmir Kholmov (Soviet Union)
7 1969 Havana  Alexey Suetin (Soviet Union), Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union)
8 1971 Havana  Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia)
9 1972 Cienfuegos   Anatoly Lein (Soviet Union)
10 1973 Cienfuegos  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union)
11 1974 Cienfuegos  Ulf Andersson (Sweden)
12 1975 Cienfuegos  Ulf Andersson (Sweden)
13 1976 Cienfuegos  Boris Gulko (Soviet Union)
14 1977 Cienfuegos  Oleg Romanishin (Soviet Union), Guillermo García González (Cuba)
15 1979 Cienfuegos  Evgeny Sveshnikov (Soviet Union)
16 1980 Cienfuegos  Alonso Zapata (Colombia), Lubomir Ftacnik (Czechoslovakia)
17 1981 Cienfuegos  Vitaly Tseshkovsky (Soviet Union)
18 1983 Cienfuegos  Lev Psakhis (Soviet Union)
19 1984 Cienfuegos  Jesus Nogueiras (Cuba)
20 1985 Havana  Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia)
21 1986 Havana  Carlos García Palermo (Argentina), Julio Granda Zúñiga (Peru)
22 1987 Camagüey  Carlos García Palermo (Argentina), Denis Verduga (Mexico)
23 1988 Havana  Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Soviet Union)
24 1989 Holguín  Amador Rodriguez (Cuba)
25 1990 Havana  Adelkis Remón (Cuba)
26 1991 Havana  Valeriy Neverov (Soviet Union)
27 1992 Matanzas  Henry Urday Cáceres (Peru)
28 1993 Matanzas  Mark Hebden (England)
29 1994 Matanzas  Loek van Wely (Netherlands), Tony Miles (England), Alonso Zapata (Colombia)
30 1995 Matanzas  Tony Miles (England)
31 1996 Cienfuegos  Tony Miles (England)
32 1997 Cienfuegos  Peter Leko (Hungary)
33 1998 Havana  Robert Hübner (Germany), Ivan Morovic (Chile), Yaacov Zilberman (Israel)
34 1999 Havana  Tony Miles (England)
35 2000 Varadero  Alexander Volzhin (Russia)
36 2001 Havana  Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain)
37 2002 Havana  Lázaro Bruzón (Cuba)
38 2003 Havana  Julio Granda Zúñiga (Peru)
39 2004 Havana  Lenier Domínguez (Cuba)
40 2005 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
41 2006 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
42 2007 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
43 2008 Havana  Leinier Dominguez (Cuba)
44 2009 Havana  Leinier Dominguez (Cuba)

The 45th Capablanca Memorial 2010

This year's event is taking place from Jund 9th to 22nd 2010 in in Havana, Cuba. There are three groups: the Elite, Premier and Open. The Elite Group, a category XVIII event (got it? ten+five+three) with an average rating of 2700 is a double-round robin with Vassily Ivanchuk, who won the event three times in a row from 2005 to 2007, followed by Evgeny Alekseev, 19-year-old Ian Nepomniachtchi, the reigning European champion, World Championship finalist Nigel Short, and top Cuban players, Leinier Dominguez, who won it in 2008 and 2009) and Lazaro Bruzon.

Leading by a full point with a 2881 performance: Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukraine

The first half of the event was dominated by Ivanchuk, who is in brilliant form, scoring no less than 4.5/6 with a 2884 performance. He started the event with a bang by beating Nigel Short in a hair-raising game in which both players seemed to be trying to outdo the other in creative play. He followed this by a win over Alekseev in the very next round, and never let go of his lead, solidifying it in round five by beating rising Russian star, 19-year-old Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Former World Championship challenger Nigel Short

If British veteran Nigel Short was demoralized by his opening loss, he certainly didn’t show it. After two draws in rounds two and three, he bounced back with wins over Alekseev in round four, followed by another win, over Cuban Bruzon on the black side of a MacCutcheon French, in round five, to climb his way to clear second. A draw in round six against Ivanchuk kept him at 3.5/6 and a 2766 performance.

European Champion Ian Nepomniachtchi, who turns 20 in July

The round six draw between the leaders was all the European champion Nepomniachtchi needed, and the young Russian GM scored the only win of the round, converting a rook endgame against Alekseev.

Current standings

In the Premier event, a category XIII (ten+three) event with an average rating of 2574, Cuban GM Yuniesky Quesada Perez is leading with 4.0/6. Here are the current standings:

Karpov to visit the Capablanca Memorial
Anatoly Karpov is arriving in Havana on Friday for a visit at the invitation of the Cuban sports authorities, the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER). The former World Champion will meet with local sports authorities and with participants in the Capablance Memorial tournament. Source: Escambray.


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