Kirill Shevchenko wins Lindores Abbey Blitz Tournament

by André Schulz
11/9/2021 – Following the Grand Swiss tournaments in Riga, a blitz tournament was held in honour of Mikhail Tal, whose 85th birthday anniversary is celebrated today. The young Ukrainian Kirill Shevchenko (19-years-old) got clear victory. Fabiano Caruana came second, ahead of Arjun Erigaisi. | Photos: Mark Livshitz and Anna Shtourman

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Shevchenko clinches sole first place

Young players are pushing forward. At the Grand Swiss, the youngsters already showed what they are made of. And they continued to do so in the subsequent blitz tournament, played in honour of Mikhail Tal (1936-1992), who would celebrate his 85th birthday today.

The fight for tournament victory developed between some established top players like Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave or Levon Aronian and some young stars. In the end, Kirill Shevchenko, aged 19, won the tournament.

The blitz tournament was played over nine double-rounds according to the Swiss system. The main sponsor was the Scottish whiskey distillery Lindores Abbey. The idea for the memorial tournament came from the well-known referee Alexander Bakh, who was good friends with Mikhail Tal.

A total of 120 players took part in the tournament, including many well-known names. 

Indian young star Arjun Erigaisi (18) had the strongest start, as he honoured Tal’s memory by playing exciting, sacrificial chess from the get go. He started with 9½ points from the first five double-rounds, beating players as strong as Levon Aronian, David Howell and Rauf Mamedov by a 2-0 score.

In the eighth double-round, however, Erigaisi lost outright to Kirill Shevchenko 0-2, and relinquished the lead to the Ukrainian.

 

31...Rxg3+ 32.hxg3 Qxg3+ 33.Kf1 [33.Kh1 Bd5+ 34.Nxd5 Rd1+ 35.Qf1 Rxf1#]

33...Bh3+ 34.Ke2 [34.Rxh3 Qxh3+ 35.Ke1 Rf3–+] 34...Qe3#

0–1

Before the final round, Caruana and Shevchenko were tied atop the standings. Caruana drew his game against Aronian. Shevchenko beat Hail Martirosyan to become the tournament winner. The Ukrainian took home the first prize of USD 10,000.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was able to fend off the attack of youth in the final round — with a lot of luck:

 

13...Ncxe5?! Courageous, but the sacrifice does not work. 14.dxe5 d4 15.Qe4 b5 [15...dxc3 16.Qxb4–+]

16.Bc2? To prevent the next move. [16.Bb3+–]

16...f5 17.exf6!? [17.Qe2?! dxc3 and Black is proved right.]

17...Re8 18.Bb3+ Kh8 19.Kf1? [The right way forward was 19.fxg7+ Kxg7 20.Be6 Qd6 21.Kf1 Qxe6 (21...Rxe6 22.Qxa8 dxc3 23.bxc3 Bxc3 24.Rb1=) 22.Qxd4++–]

 

19...Rxe4 20.fxg7+ Kxg7 21.Nxe4 White has a rook and a minor piece for the queen, but Black is clearly more active.

21...Qf8 22.Rh3 Qf5 23.Rg3 Bd6?! [23...Be7!]

24.Nxd6 cxd6 25.Kg2 Kh8 26.Bg5 h6 27.h5 [27.Bxh6 Nxh4+ –+]

27...hxg5 28.hxg6 Kg7 29.Re1 Rf8 [29...d5–+]

30.Re4 [30.Re7+ Kxg6 31.Re6+ Rf6 32.Re8=]

 

30...d3? [30...Qc5!? preparing ...Rf4.]

31.Rd4 [31.Re7+ Kxg6 32.Re6+ Rf6 33.Re8 Rf8=]

31...Rf6 32.Bd5 Qe5 33.Rxd3 Rxg6 34.Be4 Rf6 [34...Rh6!? preparing Kf8 and Qh8.]

35.Rd5 Qxb2 36.Rdxg5+ Kf8 37.Bd5 After a few missed chances, Black now has to be careful.

 

37...Qd4?? [37...Ke8=]

38.Rg8+ Black is mated.  1–0

The Frenchman, seeded first in the large field, finished in thirteenth place.

Batkhuyag Munguntuul from Mongolia won the women’s first prize of 3,000 USD, after scoring 9/18 points. Dinara Saduakassova (Kazakhstan) took second place, while Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) came third.

David Navara won the unofficial special prize for the best chess outfit.

In his address, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich recalled how he had met Tal as a child at a tournament in Estonia. Dvorkovich’s father Vladimir was also a chess arbiter, and while Tal and Dvorkovich Senior sat at dinner, Arkady Dvorkovich played chess with Tal’s daughter.


Final standings

g. Snr     Name sex Land Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3 
1 58
 
GM Shevchenko Kirill   UKR 2574 14,0 189,0 13 0,0
2 3
 
GM Caruana Fabiano   USA 2765 13,5 209,0 10 0,0
3 39
 
GM Erigaisi Arjun   IND 2616 13,5 206,0 13 0,0
4 25
 
GM Martirosyan Haik M.   ARM 2656 12,5 194,0 11 0,0
5 4
 
GM Navara David   CZE 2758 12,5 184,0 11 0,0
6 11
 
GM Xiong Jeffery   USA 2699 12,0 198,0 8 0,0
7 5
 
GM Dubov Daniil   RUS 2747 12,0 195,0 11 0,0
8 2
 
GM Aronian Levon   ARM 2767 12,0 194,0 10 0,0
9 9
 
GM Svidler Peter   RUS 2709 12,0 186,0 9 0,0
10 20
 
GM Sevian Samuel   USA 2668 12,0 176,0 11 0,0
11 50
 
GM Sargissian Gabriel   ARM 2596 12,0 172,0 10 0,0
12 65
 
GM Petrosyan Manuel   ARM 2553 12,0 168,0 11 0,0
13 1
 
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime   FRA 2838 12,0 166,0 11 0,0
14 8
 
GM Fedoseev Vladimir   RUS 2716 12,0 161,0 11 0,0
15 29
 
GM Gelfand Boris   ISR 2650 11,5 183,5 10 0,0
16 12
 
GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek   UZB 2690 11,5 181,0 11 0,0
17 21
 
GM Nihal Sarin   IND 2667 11,5 177,0 10 0,0
18 13
 
GM Sarana Alexey   RUS 2689 11,5 168,0 10 0,0
19 51
 
GM Esipenko Andrey   RUS 2592 11,5 160,0 9 0,0
20 7
 
GM Korobov Anton   UKR 2718 11,0 201,0 7 0,0
21 41
 
GM Anton Guijarro David   ESP 2613 11,0 186,0 9 0,0
22 46
 
GM Onyshchuk Volodymyr   UKR 2603 10,5 198,0 10 0,0
23 17
 
GM Mamedov Rauf   AZE 2678 10,5 192,0 10 0,0
24 15
 
GM Adly Ahmed   EGY 2683 10,5 189,0 10 0,0
25 44
 
GM Deac Bogdan-Daniel   ROU 2605 10,5 185,0 9 0,0
26 53
 
GM Niemann Hans Moke   USA 2592 10,5 178,0 10 0,0
27 56
 
GM Predke Alexandr   RUS 2580 10,5 178,0 8 0,0
28 24
 
GM Kravtsiv Martyn   UKR 2660 10,5 177,0 10 0,0
29 28
 
GM Grandelius Nils   SWE 2651 10,5 168,0 7 0,0
30 36
 
GM Adhiban B.   IND 2629 10,0 189,0 8 0,0

...120 players


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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Masquer Masquer 11/11/2021 09:26
@nirvana
Incorrect! Look at Navara's rating - it's really much closer to his classical rating than his blitz.
They are showing classical ratings for a blitz tournament!
nirvana1963 nirvana1963 11/10/2021 01:11
@Masquer The ratings are the official blitz ratings before the start of the tournament, see https://2700chess.com
Masquer Masquer 11/10/2021 09:05
If this is a blitz tournament why do you give the players' classical ratings??
ninth-pawn ninth-pawn 11/10/2021 07:46
Thumbs up to David Navara :-)
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