Keres, Kortschnoi, Karpov – revisiting Tallinn

1/15/2006 – A week ago we reported on a Rapid Chess tournament in Estonia, dedicated to the memory of Paul Keres. Today we return to Tallinn, putting the spotlight on the famous guests, the historical ambiance – and the previously neglected women's section of the event. Spectacular pictorial report.

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The Keres Memorial Rapid chess tournament took place in Tallinn, Estonia, from January 6th-9th January 2006. This yearly event is dedicated to Estonia's greatest sporting hero, Paul Keres. This year the top group was won by Ivanchuk, Karpov and Kasimdzhanov, but it was also marked by a record-breaking negative performance by Alexei Shirov, who scored a single draw in nine games.


What is going on here? Alexei Shirov losing his first-round game against untitled 18-year-old Nikita Vitiugov from Russia.

We asked around a bit to try and understand what had happened to the world-class player. He looked fine, his colleagues told us, accompanied by his wife WGM Viktoria Cmilyte and apparently in excellent cheer.


... and then to Emmanuel Berg from Sweden

Alexei himself had little to say, except the following: when one is out of form in a regular tournament one can at least seek refuge in unambitious draws. But in fast rapid chess games, like those played in Tallinn, that is not really an option. We will leave it at that, and not harp on what must be a painful memory for this great chessplayer.


Shirov-Ivanchuk in the final round. Vassily Ivanchuk won.

Keres Memorial revisited

Pictorial report by Valery Golubenko

At the opening ceremony of the Keres Memorial Mark Taimanov spoke to the visitors. He said he thought Keres would be happy not to have lived in the computer chess era. There were solo songs by Estonian singers, very loud, causing Kortschnoi a bit of distress. The whole ceremony was mainly in Estonian.


The opening ceremony, with a lot of famous guests


Juri Averbakh, Wolfgang Unzicker, Alexei Shirov, Viktoria Cmilyte – and behind the last two: Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Mark Taimanov!


Viktor Kortschnoi with wife Petra, Boris Spassky (background left: Genna Sosonko)


Meeting the organisers: Karpov, Ivanchuk, Kasimdzhanov


The playing venue with the games in progress


Projection of the games for the audience


Spectators – amongst them on the far right Viktor Kortschnoi

There was some disappointment about the non-participation of chess legend Viktor Kortschnoi. Originally the regulations allowed for six players from the B-Group to join the seeded players in the finals. Since Kortschnoi expressed a willingness to play in the final, the number of qualifying places was reduced to 5. Nobody protested, the newspapers announced that people would be able to see a renewed clash between Karpov and Kortschnoi. But the B tournament ended with an Estonian IM in sixth place. So the organisers decided to – apologize to Kortschnoi and to give him a wild-card for the next Memorial in 2007! It was a very sad situation. Kortschnoi was just a spectator, as you can see in the picture above. As for me, I wanted to see him play. Who knows what will be in one year?


Viktor Kortschnoi in Tallinn [photo Nikolai Sharubin]

The final results of the top Men's A group:

Nr. Name  Nat.
Rating
Pts.
S/B
Perf.

1.

GM Ivanchuk, Vassily

UKR

2729

7

27.5

2801

2.

GM Karpov, Anatoly

RUS

2672

7

26.5

2808

3.

GM Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 

UZB

2670

7

26.0

2808

4.

GM Berg, Emanuel

SWE

2540

5.5

19.25

2682

5.

GM Kosyrev, Vladimir

RUS

2527

4.5

17.00

2604

6.

Vitiugov, Nikita

RUS

2573

4.5

14.25

2599

7.

GM Jemelin, Vassili

RUS

2523

4

10.00

2561

8.

IM Liva, Riho

EST

2425

3.5

9.25

2535

9.

GM Agrest, Evgeni

SWE

2591

1.5

6.00

2324

10.

GM Shirov, Alexei

ESP

2710

0.5

0.75

2139

A link to the games is given below. Some of the games published on the tournament are incomplete, for unknown reasons. For instance the first round game Ivanchuk-Liiva was over 100 moves long and lasted for one hour and 15 minutes (a record for a 15+10 game!). And indeed it was a very ingenious game by Ivanchuk!

Keres Colloquium in Tallinn


A special colloquium with Vassily Ivanchuk, Anatoly Karpov, author Ülo Tuulik, Memorial organiser Reio Ojavere and Viktor Kortschnoi.


Ivanchuk gives his opinion


Anatoly Karpov enjoying the discussion


Always animated: Viktor Kortschnoi


... and in discussion with German GM Wolfgang Unzicker


German GM and Fischer-Spassky arbiter Lothar Schmid

Photos by Nikolai Sharubin (Molodezh Estonii)

Historical exhibits from the Keres Museum

The Women's A Section

In the women’s section five winners of the qualifying tournament attended the three invited players: GM Pia Cramling (2515, Sweden), WGM Viktoria Cmilyte (2470, Lithuania), and an Estonian player, WIM Monika Tsiganova (2282), by the organizer’s choice. The preliminary competition was confidently won by WIM Ilse Berzina (2278, Latvia) – 6 (7), second was WGM Tatiana Grabuzova (2355, Russia) with 5½, 3rd and 4th Estonian players WIM Tatiana Fomina (2196) and WFM Valentina Golubenko (2146) with 5 points. The last to qualify was WGM Dagne Ciuksyte (2370, Lithuania) with 4½.

This was the result of the main Women's A section

Nr. Name  Nat.
Rating
Pts.
S/B
Perf.

1.

WIM Berzina, Ilse

LAT

2278

5.5

17

2564

2.

GM Cramling, Pia

SWE

2515

4.5

14

2402

3.

WFM Golubenko, Valentina

EST

2146

4.5

13

2455

4.

IM Cmilyte, Viktoria

LTU

2475

4

12.75

2356

5.

WGM Grabuzova, Tatjana

RUS

2355

3

8.5

2273

6.

WGM Ciuksyte, Dagne

LTU

2370

2.5

8

2219

7.

WIM Tsiganova, Monika

EST

2282

2

7.75

2176

8.

WIM Fomina, Tatjana

EST

2196

2

5

2188

After two initial black wins the sole lead was grasped by WFM Valentina Golubenko from the little Estonian city of Kohtla-Jarve.

Ciuksyte,Dagne (2370) - Golubenko,Valentina (2146) [B82]
Keres Memorial 2006 (2), 07.01.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.f4 a6 7.Qf3 Qb6 8.Nb3 Qc7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Bd2. New move. 10.Be3 or 10.g4 are known continuations. 10...b5 11.0–0–0 Bb7 12.Qe2?! Nc6 13.Rhe1?! Nb4 14.a3 Nxd3+ 15.Qxd3 0–0 =/+ 16.Nd4?! Nd7! -/+ 17.g4 Nc5 18.Qe2 Bf6 19.e5 dxe5 20.fxe5 Be7 -+ 21.g5 Rfd8 22.Bf4 Qa5 23.h4 b4 24.axb4 Qxb4 25.Qe3 Qa5 26.h5 Rab8 27.g6 Qa1+.

28.Nb1. Or 28.Kd2 Nb3+! 29.cxb3 Qxb2+ 30.Kd3 Rbc8 31.Rc1 Bb4 32.Ne4 a5 33.Rxc8 Ba6+ 34.Rc4 Qxb3+ with Waterloo. 28...Bd5 29.Qc3 Na4 30.Nb3 Rxb3. White resigned: 0-1. [Click to replay on a separate board].

In the fourth round Valentina made a draw in a very seesaw game vs Swedish GM Pia Cramling, again with black, and was overtaken by WIM Ilse Berzina. 

Cramling,Pia (2515) - Golubenko,Valentina (2146) [A57]
Keres Memorial 2006 (4), 08.01.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.Qc2 bxc4 6.e4 d6 7.Bxc4 Bg7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Re1 Nbd7 10.a4?! The novelty. The main move in this position is 10.h3 preventing the following black manoeuvre. 10... Ng4! 11.Na3 Nge5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Bf1 Rb8. Black stands between slightly better and better. 14.Rb1? f5?! 14...e6 with the same idea to use the exposed Rb1 was preferable. 15.f4 Ng4 16.h3?? After 16.e5! white could equalize: 16...Bb7 17.h3 Nh6 18.Rd1 dxe5 19.fxe5 f4 20.Qxc5 Bxe5 21.Nc4=. 16...Bd4+ 17.Kh1 Nf2+ 18.Kh2

18...Nxe4?! Black missed 18...e5!–+ 19.Nb5 Bg7 20.Nxa7 Qa5 21.Rxe4 fxe4 22.Nc6 Qe1 23.Nxb8 Qxf1 24.Be3 Qd3 25.Qxd3 exd3 26.Nc6 Bf6?! Bishops must be free to win. Simple 26...Kf7 was sufficient. 27.b4? cxb4?? Two black pawns are more dangerous: 26...c4 –+. 28.Rxb4 Kf7 29.a5 e6 30.dxe6+ Kxe6 31.Bd2 Kd5 32.Rb6 Re8? There was a draw by repetition after 31...Bf5 32.a6 Ra8 33.g4 Be4 34.Kg3 Kc5 35.Be3 Kd5 36.Bd2.

33.a6 Bxa6 34.Nb4+ Kc4 35.Rc6+ Kb5 36.Rxa6 Re2 37.Ra2?? Last chance to win was to return a piece back: 36.Rxd6 Rxd2 37.Nxd3. 37...Kc4= 38.Kg3 Bd4?! Also drawish 37...Bc3 38.Bxc3 Kxc3 39.Ra3+ Kxb4 40.Rxd3 Kc5, but in this case it’s White’s deal. 39.Kf3 Rf2+ 40.Kg3 Re2 41.Kf3 Rf2+ 42.Kg3 Re2 and draw by repetition: ½-½. [Click to replay].

Before the last round Berzina and Golubenko shared the leadership with 4½ points, Cramling was a point down. In the last game Valentina lost to Viktoria Cmilyte and was joined by Pia Cramling. The following game turned out to be decisive for the first prize:

Grabuzova,Tatiana (2355) - Berzina,Ilse (2278) [D30]
Keres Memorial 2006 (7), 08.01.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 b5 6.Ne5 Bb7 7.a4 a6 8.Nc3 Bb4 9.0–0 f6 10.Ng4 Nd7 11.Bd2! A very strong theoretical novelty! 11...Qb6 12.Nxb5 Bxd2 13.Nd6+ Ke7 14.Nxb7 Bb4 15.Nc5 Nxc5 16.dxc5 Bxc5.

The critical position. White didn’t find here a resounding 17.Rc1!! After 17...h5 18.Rxc4! hxg4 19.Qc1!! (to prevent 19...Rh5 20.b4 Bxf2+ 21.Rxf2 Rf5 with 22.e3) there would have been three winners in the women's section as well. 17.Qc1? h5 18.Ne3 Bxe3 19.fxe3 Nh6 20.Qxc4 Nf5 21.Qxc6 Qxe3+?? Black should change queens and play 22...Rab8 with an equal endgame. 22.Kh1 Rad8.

23.Qxa6?? Ein Tanz auf dem Vulkan! (a dance on the volcano). Simple 23.Rad1 gave good chances to win: 23...Rxd1 24.Rxd1 Kf7 25.Bf3± (25...h4 26.g4 Ng3+ 27.Kg2). 23...h4 24.g4 Ng3+ now with the forced mate 25.hxg3 hxg3+ 26.Bh3 Rxh3+ 27.Kg2 Rh2#. 0-1. [Click to replay].

It was not bad chess, considering the fast time controls of 15' + 10"!

Links

The author

Dr Valery Golubenko was born in 1961. In 1978 proposed his own definition of the unit of imaginary numbers in higher mathematics, and in 1991 he completed a PhD in mathematics and database search. Valery has worked with the Chess Informant since 1985. He was the Champion of Estonia in rapid chess from 1993 – 1995. and three times winner on board one in Estonian Team Championships, in 1986 (ahead of Jaan Ehlvest and Lembit Oll), 2003, and 2004. He is married and has two daughters, aged 14 and 2.

Valery Golubenko runs the Chess Club Diagonaal, Kohtla-Järve, Estonia



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