Ivancuk wins Capablanca Memorial

12/8/2006 – The XLI Capablanca Memorial took place as a six-player double round robin category 17 tournament in the hotel Habana Riviera, Cuba. Top seeds were Vassily Ivanchuk and Evgeny Bareev, who dutifully finished first and second. The three Cuban participants landed at the bottom of the table. Games and results.

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41st Capablanca Memorial

For those of you unfamiliar with Roman numerals, here's a brief primer: the system, which was introduced in classical antiquity and is used today for traditional reasons, is based on certain letters which have numerical values. I is one, V is five, X is ten, L is 50 and C is 100. Multiple symbols are used to produce numbers in between these values, subject to certain rules. Placing a shorter symbol before a longer one means it is subtracted, e.g. IV is one subtracted from five and used instead of IIII. In the case of the Capablanca Memorial "XLI" stands for fifty minus ten plus one, or 41 (unless of course Xli is a Chinese company that sponsors chess).


Roller coaster event for Evgeny Bareev of Russia

Second seed Evgeny Bareev of Russia lost his first-round game to Jesus Nogueiras of Cuba with a capital blunder:

Bareev,E (2683) - Nogueiras,J (2554) [D94]
Capablanca mem Elite Havana CUB (1), 21.11.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 a6 8.a4 a5 9.Qb3 Na6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Ne5 Nb4 12.Bd2 Be6 13.Rfc1 Nc6 14.f4 Qb8 15.Be1 Rd8 16.Nb5 Rc8 17.Bf3 Ra6 18.Bg3 Qa8 19.Rc3 Rb6 20.Rac1 Bf8 21.h3 Rd8 22.Qd1 Ne8 23.Be1 f6 24.Nd3 Bf7 25.g4 e6 26.Bh4 Kg7 27.f5 exf5 28.gxf5 Ne7 29.fxg6 hxg6 30.Bg4 Nc6 31.Qf1 Nb4 32.Rc8 Rxc8 33.Rxc8 Qa6 34.Bd7 Nxd3 35.Bxe8 Bxe8 36.Nc7 Bd7 37.Nxa6 Bxc8 38.Nc7 Bf5 39.Nxd5 Rc6 40.e4 Bxe4 41.Bxf6+ Kg8 42.Nc3 Bf5 43.Bg5 Re6 44.Qf3 Re1+ 45.Kg2 Re4 46.Qd1 Rxd4 47.Qb3+ Kh7 48.Bf6 Rd7 49.Qc4 Bh6 50.Ne2 Ne1+ 51.Kf2 Nd3+ 52.Kg2 Ne1+ 53.Kg3 Nc2 54.Kh2 Ne3

Bareev has been superior throughout the game, but now falters: 55.Qh4?? Rd2 0-1 – White cannot save the pinned knight.

In round four Bareev lost again with the white pieces, this time to Ivanchuk.

Bareev,E (2683) - Ivanchuk,V (2741) [E37]
Capablanca mem Elite Havana CUB (4), 24.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 Nc6 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nf3 Qf6 11.e3 Bg4 12.Be2 0-0 13.0-0 Rfe8 14.Bd2 d4 15.Rad1 Nxd2 16.Qxd2 Rad8 17.Qc1 d3 18.Rxd3 Rxd3 19.Bxd3 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Ne5 21.Be4 Nxf3+ 22.Bxf3 Qxf3 23.Qd1 Qf5 24.b4 h6 25.Re1 a5 26.e4 Qg6+ 27.Kf1 axb4 28.axb4 Rxe4 29.Qb1 Qa6+ 30.Kg2 Rg4+ 31.Kh3 Rg6

Bareev has been on the defensive, and now he completely loses the thread: 32.Qf5 Qc6 (threatening mate) 33.Re4 Rg5 34.Qf3 Qd7+ 35.Kh4 Rg1 36.Qe3 and from here on it is a forced mate. 36...Qf5 37.Re8+ Kh7 38.Qe4 g5+ 0-1.


The winner: Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine

In the first half of the tournament Evgeny Bareev was down by three draws and two losses, but he made up for it by scoring four wins and one draw in the second half. That almost brought him victory, had it not been for Vassily Ivanchuk, who started with two wins (against Bruzon and Nogueiras), a draw and then a win and a loss (to Miton). In the second half Ivanchuk one a single game and drew the rest (the final game pragmatically in 17 moves against Miton) to end up half a point ahead of Bareev.

The three local grandmasters, for whom this event is staged, ended at the bottom of the table.


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