Jorge Cori is the new Ibero-American champion

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
9/7/2019 – After organizing one of the strongest elite tournaments from 1978 until 2010, the Spanish city of Linares has not ceased to host important chess events. This year, the VII Ibero-American Tournament took place from the 10th to the 18th of August at the auditorium of "El Pósito". Jorge Cori (Perú), Francisco Vallejo (Spain) and Carlos Albornoz (Cuba) finished the nine-round Swiss tournament tied atop the standings on 7 points. Cori had the best tiebreak score and claimed first place. | Photo: FIBDA

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7th Ibero-American Championship 

The Ibero-American Chess Federation (FIBDA, Spanish for Federación Iberoamericana de Ajedrez) was created in 2004 and started organizing tournaments for the belonging countries since 2006.

The first of such events took place in Ayamonte, Spain and was won by Cuban grandmaster Lázaro Bruzón. Two years later, in 2008, the tournament was played in parallel with the International Linares Tournament, which on that occasion took place in two venues, first in Morelia (Mexico) and then in Linares — Vishy Anand won the elite event, while Julio Granda took the Ibero-American title (pictured). The second and third editions were played in Mexico City and Quito respectively, with Brazilian Gilberto Milos and Spaniard Iván Salgado winning each of the events.

The competition returned to Linares in 2014 and, for the first time, it was an open event. With 82 players from 20 different countries participating, tournament victory was finally claimed by Paraguayan grandmaster Axel Bachmann — the best woman player was Ana Matnadze from Spain. Finally, the 2015 edition was played in Bilbao, concurrently with the Bilbao Chess Masters (won by Wesley So). Lázaro Bruzón got a second Ibero-American triumph, while Sabrina Vega had the best score amongst the women.

N. Year Venue Winner
I 2006 Ayamonte Lázaro Bruzón (Cuba)
II 2008 Morelia / Linares Julio Granda (Perú)
III 2010 Mexico City Gilberto Milos (Brazil)
IV 2012 Quito Iván Salgado (Spain)
V 2014 Linares Axel Bachmann (Paraguay)
VI 2015 Bilbao Lázaro Bruzón (Cuba)
VII 2019 Linares Jorge Cori (Perú)

Linares, 2019

The latest edition counted with the participation of 103 players from 18 countries, with 15 female players in the mix. In the end, Jorge Cori (top seed), Carlos Albornoz (ninth seed) and Francisco Vallejo (third seed) tied in first place after scoring 7 out of 9 points. The only player a half point behind the top scorers in the final standings table was Mikel Huerga, the 28th seed in the initial ratings list.

Albornoz and Vallejo had undefeated performances, which led to them getting to the final round sharing the lead on 6½ points — as they had not faced each other previously, they were paired up on first board, with Vallejo having the white pieces. A nominal favourite, Vallejo did not shy away from looking for chances to push with White. The Spaniard got a strategic edge with the bishop pair, but Albornoz showed good defensive ability to finally keep the balance. In the final position, Black's knight and rook hold things together:


Carlos Albornoz Cabrera

Cuban Carlos Albornoz Cabrera finished undefeated | Photo: Official site

Francisco Vallejo Pons

Spain's number one Paco Vallejo | Photo: Official site

Two players were a half point behind the leaders after round eight, and were fighting to get a place on the podium on board two — Jorge Cori had the white pieces against Chilean grandmaster Cristóbal Henríquez. Cori played ambitiously, creating an imbalanced position right from the get go, pushing his g and h-pawns and leaving his king uncastled. Henríquez kept his cool, maintaining a healthy pawn structure. By move 39, Cori was a pawn up in an endgame with rooks and bishops of opposite colours:


The long grind began, with Cori pushing stubbornly until getting a fine 102-move technical win. The effort paid off, as the top seed from Lima ended up getting first place on tiebreak criteria — Albornoz was second on tiebreaks.

Jorge Cori

Jorge Cori clinched tournament victory with a win in the final round | Photo: Official site

While the championship title was being fought over on the top two boards, eight players that had 5½ points after eight rounds looked for chances to move up in the standings table (or even a place in the podium). While three match-ups finished drawn — albeit after tough fights — the lowest-rated player in the pack obtained a full point and secured sole fourth place: Mikel Huerga beat José Cuenca with Black after the latter incorrectly gave up two pieces for a rook:


In a highly tense position, Cuenca forced matters with 15.Bg5 after thinking for almost half an hour. There followed 15...d7 16.h3 a6 17.xd7 xd7 18.c3 xd4 19.e3 g7 and Black had two pieces for a rook. White tried to prove he had compensation, but Huerga's precise play gave him a critical 48-move win.

Mikel Huerga

Mikel Huerga (right) stunned José Cuenca to get sole fourth place | Photo: Official site

The top scorer amongst the women was current Spanish champion Sabrina Vega. The player from Gran Canaria collected 6 points and finished the tournament with a win over grandmaster Renier Vázquez, the eight seed in the initial ratings list. Vega had the white pieces and exploited his opponent's blunder on move 43:


Keeping the tension with 43...a5 or 43...h5 was called for here, while 43...♛xe4 was a costly error. Vega found 44.f2 and Black resigned after 44...f5 45.xd6 xf2 46.e5+, with White's queen and rook in position to mate the opposite king in eight moves.

Sabrina Vega

Sabrina Vega was the best amongst the women for a second consecutive time in this event | Photo: Official site

Key games from round nine


Final standings

# Rk Tit. Name Pts TB1 TB2
1 1 GM Cori, Jorge 7.0 44.0 48.5
2 9 GM Albornoz Cabrera, Carlos  7.0 43.5 47.5
3 3 GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco 7.0 43.5 46.0
4 28 IM Huerga Leache, Mikel 6.5 46.0 49.5
5 10 GM Henriquez Villagra, Cristobal 6.0 47.0 52.0
6 5 GM Flores, Diego 6.0 47.0 51.5
7 21 GM Escobar Forero, Alder 6.0 45.5 49.5
8 32 IM Plazuelo Pascual, Juan 6.0 45.5 49.5
9 4 GM Delgado Ramirez, Neuris 6.0 45.0 49.0
10 19 IM Espinosa Aranda, Angel 6.0 44.0 47.5
11 2 GM Anton Guijarro, David 6.0 43.5 48.0
12 6 GM Salgado Lopez, Ivan 6.0 43.5 47.5
13 14 GM Krysa, Leandro 6.0 43.5 47.5
14 7 GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manuel 6.0 43.5 47.0
15 11 GM Cruz, Cristhian 6.0 42.5 46.0
16 12 GM Fier, Alexandr 6.0 42.5 46.0
17 39 IM Vega Gutierrez, Sabrina 6.0 41.5 43.5
18 22 IM Moreno Ruiz, Javier 6.0 39.5 42.5

...103 players

All games



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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