Ivanchuk wins Benidorm, Shirov second

12/9/2008 – In the first eight rounds of the "Torneo de las Estrellas" (tournament of the stars), a six player double round robin, Vassily Ivanchuk had 7½/8 and was leading by two points. Then he drew and lost a game to finish just half a point ahead of Alexei Shirov. More than five hundred points separated the strongest from the weakest player. Illustrated report with video.

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VII Festival Internacional de Ajedrez

This event was held in the Hotel Bali in Benidorm, Spain, from the 28th November to the 8th of December 2008. The Grand Torneo de las Estrellas (grand tournament of the stars) was a six-player double round robin, with more than five hundred points separating the strongest from the weakest player. It was part of an annual chess festival which includes side events like blitz, rapid opens, simulultaneous exhibitions, etc.

Here are the individual results from all rounds of the Torneo de las Estrellas:

Round one
Vassily Ivanchuk
1 - 0
Kateryna Lahno
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
0 - 1
Alexei Shirov
Xavier Vila Gazquez
0 - 1
Sergey Tiviakov
Round two
Kateryna Lahno
0 - 1
Sergey Tiviakov
Alexei Shirov
1 - 0
Xavier Vila Gazquez
Vassily Ivanchuk
1 - 0
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
Round three
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
0 - 1
Kateryna Lahno
Xavier Vila Gazquez
0 - 1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Sergey Tiviakov
0 - 1
Alexei Shirov
Round four
Kateryna Lahno
1 - 0
Alexei Shirov
Vassily Ivanchuk
1 - 0
Sergey Tiviakov
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
½ - ½
Xavier Vila Gazquez
Round five
Xavier Vila Gazquez
0 - 1
Kateryna Lahno
Sergey Tiviakov
½ - ½
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
Alexei Shirov
½ - ½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Round six
Kateryna Lahno
0 - 1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexei Shirov
1 - 0
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
Sergey Tiviakov
½ - ½
Xavier Vila Gazquez
Round seven
Sergey Tiviakov
1 - 0
Kateryna Lahno
Xavier Vila Gazquez
1 - 0
Alexei Shirov
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
0 - 1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Round eight
Kateryna Lahno
1 - 0
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
Vassily Ivanchuk
1 - 0
Xavier Vila Gazquez
Alexei Shirov
1 - 0
Sergey Tiviakov
Round nine
Alexei Shirov
1 - 0
Kateryna Lahno
Sergey Tiviakov
½ - ½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Xavier Vila Gazquez
0 - 1
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
Round ten
Kateryna Lahno
0 - 1
Xavier Vila Gazquez
Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
0 - 1
Sergey Tiviakov
Vassily Ivanchuk
0 - 1
Alexei Shirov

In the first eight games Vassily Ivanchuk conceded just one draw – he was leading by two full points, with 7.5/8 to Shirov's 5.5/8, and needing only half a point from the last tow games to clinch tournament victory. But as will sometimes happen, the meteoric flight ended abruptly. In round nine Ivanchuk got a draw against Sergey Tiviakov, to take overall victory, but the tenth round white pieces loss to Shirov was not in line with the four-fifths of the tournament.


Vassily Ivanchuk playing in and winning Benidorm

Alexei Shirov, on the other hand, had faltered in the middle of the event with suprise losses to Kateryna Lahno, 238 Elo points below him, and then to Xavier Vila Gazquez, who is over 300 points below the Latvian/Spanish GM. But three straight victories in the last three rounds brought Shirov a second place, half a point behind the leader.

Final standings

Rk. Title Name FED
Rtg
Pts.
1 GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR
2786
8.0
2 GM Alexei Shirov ESP
2726
7.5
3 GM Sergey Tiviakov NED
2686
5.5
4 GM Kateryna Lahno UKR
2488
4.0
5 IM Xavier Vila Gazquez ESP
2422
3.0
6 WGM Sabrina Vega Gutierrez ESP
2278
2.0


The playing venue, with the Estrellas group on the right


Alexei Shirov, half a point behind the winner


GM Sergey Tiviakov of Holland, two points behind Shirov


GM Kateryna Lahno, who scored a surprise win over Alexei Shirov


IM Xavier Vila Gazquez defeated Shirov in round eight, and then lost the remaining three games


WGM Sabrina Vega Gutierrez finished at the bottom of the tabler with 2.0/10 points


Europe-Echecs video: Ivanchuk teaches chess in Benidorm, Katya Lahon gives a simul


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