Konstantin Landa wins Third ACP tournament

6/8/2004 – It was a bit of a surprise, since he was not a top seed. But the Russian GM who now lives in Germany had a great day and, with great tenacity and a bit of luck, he was able to clinch the Third ACP Internet Blitz Chess event, staged on the Playchess.com server and sponsored by ChinaCom. Final report.

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Tournament home page

Finals

The finals of the Third ACP tournament ended this weekend with a bang. The surprise winner was 32-year-old GM Konstantin Landa, who defeated top seed Alexey Dreev, who was nominally 140 Elo points stronger on the FIDE lists. The runners up behind Dreev were Peter Heine Nielsen and Sergey Karjakin, the latter a 14-year-old GM from Ukraine.

List of qualifiers for the final

Name
Elo
Alexander Shabalov
2624
Alexey Dreev
2689
Anatoli Vaisser
2573
Bartlomiej Macieja
2633
Christian Bauer
2595
Emanuel Berg
2495
Evgenij Najer
2606
Igor Glek
2571
 
Name
Elo
Jan Gustafsson
2579
Konstantin Landa
2550
Laurent Fressinet
2638
Mikhail Kobalia
2630
Peter Heine Nielsen
2628
Sergey Karjakin
2580
Tigran Petrosian
2539
Vladimir Baklan
2615

The qualifiers were split into four groups of four players each. These played matches of four games each against the three other participants in the groups. The two highest scoring players proceeded to the knockout stage.

Group 1 was easily won by Alexey Dreev, who was victorious in all his matches. The second place was closer, but in the end it was taken by a one-point advantage by Evgenij Najer over Emanuel Berg.

Results Round one

Group 1
AD
EN
CH
EB
GP
MP
Alexey Dreev
XXX
2,5
3
3
8,5
6
Evgenij Najer
1,5
XXX
2,5
2
6
3
Christian Bauer
1
1,5
XXX
2
4,5
1
Emanuel Berg
1
2
2
XXX
5
2

In Group 2 was all Karjakin. The 14-year-old boy wonder finished every match victoriously and was two and a half points ahead of the field. Behind him both Fressinet and Baklan shared 5.5 points each, but since the former had won their personal match with 2.5:1.5 it was Fressinet that went through to the next round.

Group 2
LF
VB
SK
TP
GP
MP
Laurent Fressinet
XXX
2,5
1,5
1,5
5,5
2
Vladimir Baklan
1,5
XXX
1,5
2,5
5,5
2
Sergey Karjakin
2,5
2,5
XXX
3
8
6
Tigran Petrosian
2,5
1,5
1
XXX
5
2

Group three saw Konstantin Landa in great form. His score of 9.5/12 was the best in the entire tournament, and the 4:0 against Jan Gustafsson a real surprise. Second was Bartlomiej Macieja, who beat Gustafsson and Alexander Shabalov in their individual matches.

Group 3
BM
AS
JG
KL
GP
MP
Bartlomiej Macieja
XXX
3
2,5
1
6,5
4
Alexander Shabalov
1
XXX
2,5
1,5
5
2
Jan Gustafsson
1,5
1,5
XXX
0
3
0
Konstantin Landa
3
2,5
4
XXX
9,5
6

Group 4 was dominated by the very strong Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen, who scored 7.5/12 for an overall victory. Vaisser and Glek tied for second, but since Glek had won the individual match it was he who qualified. However due to a regular tournament he was scheduled to play in he could not appear for the quarterfinals and was replaced by Anatoli Vaisser.

Group 4
MK
PHN
AV
IG
GP
MP
Mikhail Kobalia
XXX
2
0
1,5
3,5
1
Peter Heine Nielsen
2
XXX
3
2,5
7,5
5
Anatoli Vaisser
4
1
XXX
1,5
6,5
2
Igor Glek
2,5
1,5
2,5
XXX
6,5
4

Quarterfinals

In the quarterfinals Dreev, Karjakin and Landa scored clear wins in their four-game matches, while Peter Heine Nielsen had to settle it in a tiebreak against Evgenij Najer.

Alexey Dreev
3-1
Anatoli Vaisser
Peter Heine Nielsen
3-2
Evgenij Najer
Sergey Karjakin
2,5-1,5
Bartlomiej Macieja
Konstantin Landa
2,5-1,5
Laurent Fressinet

Semifinals

The second-last phase of the tournament was extremely exciting and saw Alexei Dreev win 3:1 against Peter Heine Nielsen. Dreev displayed extraordinary endgame finesse. In the other match Konstantin Landa was able to defeat the spectators' favourite Sergey Karjakin, who took the defeat in his stride and chatted a while with the audience.

Alexey Dreev
3-1
Peter Heine Nielsen
Sergey Karjakin
0,5-2,5
Konstantin Landa

Final

In the Final Alexey Dreev was the clear favourite, and in the first game it looked as though everything was going to go in the expected direction, Dreev winning in just 23 moves. In the second game he was in big trouble, but a very tenacious defence led to a draw in 83 moves. In the third game with white he had the chance to clinch the tournament, but Landa was able to create tactical complications, exchange bishops and win a pawn. Dreev seemed a bit stunned and did not defend well, allowing Landa to win and pull even.

Suddenly it was Konstantin Landa, playing with the white pieces, who was the favourite to win. But Dreev easily equalised in the fourth game and could have held it to a draw. However the Muscovite wanted more and in his attempts to win he weakened his position. Landa won the game and the match.

Alexey Dreev
1,5-2,5
Konstantin Landa

We congratulate Konstantin Landa for his very fine victory. Our anti-cheating software has revealed that it is highly unlikely that he used any computer assistance. Landa played like a human grandmaster on a very good day. I personally overlooked the checking of the games, and warn skeptics about a tendency to treat any victory by a player who is not the top seed as cheating. Is it not so that regular tournaments also see surprise winner playing extremely well on a given day. Landa's games were neither "engine-like" to any degree that could arouse suspicion, and the tactical soundness of his games remained within the normal GM range, even if you ignored the three worst games (under the assumption he had purposely blundered in these to muddy the picture). Konstantin's blunder value was almost identical with that of Jan Gustafsson in the first round.

We wish to congratulate Konstantin Landa on his great victory in the third ACP Internet tournament. We also wish to thank ChessBase for staging it, and ChinaCom for providing the prize money. The ACP of course is the initiator and organiser, and we hope to see many more exciting events of this kind on the Internet.

Martin Fischer, tournament director

Prizes

Winner $1,800
Runner-Up $1,200
Semi-finalists $600 each
Quarterfinalists $300 each
Places 9 to 16 $100 each

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