Krk is the Golden Island of Mediterranean

10/19/2006 – That, precisely translated, is the name of the tournament, which was held in the little town of Njivice on the Croatian island of Krk. The event is a women's ten-player round robin, which give budding young talents the opportunity to make WIM and WGM norms. Or spend some time playing chess on the Adriatic sea. Big pictorial report by Valery Golubenko.

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Irina Vasilevich wins Golden Island Krk

By Valery Golubenko

This year the traditional women's tournement was staged in the coastal town of Njivice on the Croatian island of Krk. The tournament tends to move around the island. This year it was organized under the patronage of local island authorities – the districts of Omishal, Bashka, Dobrinj, Malinska, Vrbnik, Punat, and the capital Krk, the Croatian Chess Federation, the Hotel Jadran of Njivice (accommodation and playing venue), and a local branch of the Erste Bank Group, one of the best-positioned banks in Central Europe.


The island of Krk is the heart of Croatian culture

Krk is a Croatian island, the second largest Adriatic island, with a population of around 16,000. It has been inhabited since before 10th century BC. The Romans called it Curicta and it was the scene of sea combat between the fleets of Caesar and Pompeius during the Roman Civil War. Krk has historically been a center of Croatian culture.

Krk also proudly displays the syllabic "r" of the Croatian language, which can play the role of a vowel in certain words. There is a famous tongue-twister: "na vrh brda vrba mrda" which has four words with syllabic "r"s. We warn you, this sentence is only for professionals – you should not to try to pronounce it at home.


Symbol of the town of Njivice


The town of Njivice and view of the neighboring island of Cres, which is the largest Croatian island. But most people in Croatia believe that Krk is larger.


The players stayed in this hotel

Opening ceremony was dedicated by Mrs Elida Ruzhic, responsible official for culture, sport, and technical culture in all Seaside-Mountain region of Croatia.


TD Ivan Mandekic (left), Erste Moneyer (delivering a speech), and local authorities

This time the whole half of ten participants had the WGM title, including a piping hot Muscovite champion Irina Vasilevich.


From right: WGM Ana Srebrnic, WGM Mirjana Medic, Snjezana Djeno, WGM Irina Sudakova, WGM Tatiana Kostiuk, Iulia Gromova, and in the second row WGM Irina Vasilevich, and GM Ognjen Cvitan.


A local folk band and dance group


The start of an exhibition game between WGM Irina Vasilevich and WGM Tatiana Kostiuk, with Jakov Smojver (left) as arbiter, and GM Ognjen Cvitan (right) as commentator


Irina makes her move...


...while Tatiana considers her reaction.


Serious chess: Valentina Golubenko vs Rajna Sargac


Snjezana Djeno vs Yulia Gromova

Some chess fragments

Sudakova,Irina (2376) - Medic,Mirjana (2271) [C00]
WGM Golden Mediterranean Island KRK Njivice (1), 09.09.2006


Position after 35.g3-g4?

35...Ng5! 36.Qg3 f4! 37.Qg2 Qf6?? [37...f3! 38.Nxf3 Nh3+ 39.Kf1 Nf4 40.Rxe8 Nxg2 41.Kxg2 Qa4µ] 38.h4 Nf7 39.Nf3?! [39.g5 Qf5 40.Qe4І³] 39...Re3 40.Rxe3 fxe3 41.Qg3 g5 42.hxg5 Nxg5 43.Nxg5 Qxg5 44.Qc7+ Kg6 45.Qd6+ Kf7 46.Qc7+ Kg6 47.Qd6+ Kf7 ½:½. [Click to replay]

The following game between two Irinas in the middle fifth round for decisive for the first prize:

Sudakova,Irina (2376) - Vasilevich,Irina (2340) [B49]
WGM Mediterranean Golden Island KRK Njivice (5), 13.09.2006

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 Qc7 7.f4 b5 8.Nxc6 Qxc6 9.Bf3 Bb7 10.Be3 Qc7 11.0–0 Ne7 12.Qd2 Ng6?! [Doubtful novelty in the Taimanov variation. Previously in chess history Black played only 12...Nc6 and only twice: quick drawish in 1962 Minic-Gipslis, Match USSR-Yugoslavia and ... 43 years later, in game Sudakova 2360 – Gasparian 2227, EU-Cup Women'2005 13.Rad1 Na5 14.Qf2 Nc4 15.Bd4 Nxb2 16.Nd5 exd5 17.Rde1 0–0–0 18.Bxb2 Bc5 19.Bd4 Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Qc4 21.Qa7 dxe4 22.Be2 Qc6 23.a4© Irina then won on move 52, so she was more than well prepared!] 13.Qf2 Be7 14.g3 0–0 15.Rad1 d6 16.Rd2 Rac8 17.Rfd1 Qb8 18.h4!


Position after 18. h2-h4!

18...f5! 19.h5 Nh8? [19...fxe4 20.Bg4 (20.Nxe4? Ne5і=/+) 20...Ne5! 21.Bxe6+ Kh8= 22.Bxc8?! Qxc8ƒ] 20.exf5± Rxf5 21.Bg4 Rf6 22.Bd4 e5 [22...Rh6 23.Qe2+-] 23.Ba7 Qa8 24.Bxc8 Qxc8 25.Nd5 Bxd5 26.Rxd5 Qg4 27.Qg2! Nf7 28.Be3 Rf5 [28...Qxh5? 29.g4+-] 29.Rf1 Rxh5 30.fxe5 Bg5? [30...Rxe5 31.Rxe5 dxe5 32.Qa8+ Bd8 33.Rf3 h5 34.Kg2+-] 31.Bxg5+- Rxg5?! 32.Rxd6 Qc8


Position after 32...Qg4-c8

33.Qd5?! [33.Rxf7! Kxf7 34.Qd5+ Ke7 35.Rc6 Qd7 36.Qc5+] 33...Rxg3+ 34.Kf2 Rg5 35.Re1?? [35.Rd7 Qe8 (35...Qf8 36.Ke2 Rxe5+ 37.Qxe5 Nxe5 38.Rxf8+ Kxf8 39.Ra7) 36.Re1 Rf5+ 37.Kg1 Rg5+ 38.Kh1 Rh5+ 39.Kg2 Rg5+ 40.Kh3]


Position after 35. Rf1-e1??

35...Rf5+?? [35...Qf5+ 36.Qf3 Nxd6 37.exd6 Qxc2+ 38.Re2 Qc5+ 39.Qe3 Rf5+ 40.Kg2 Qxd6–+] 36.Kg1 Rg5+ 37.Kf2 Rf5+ 38.Kg1 Rg5+ 39.Kf2 ½:½. [Click to replay]

Valentina Golubenko was a point down from her second WGM norm, but this time she was successful in the game versus Irina Sudakova.

Golubenko,Valentina (2239) - Sudakova,Irina (2376) [E12]
WGM Mediterranean Golden Island KRK Njivice (4), 12.09.2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Ba6 5.Qc2 c5 6.e4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bc5 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Bg5 [Despite this new move, the like position has been met in game Lev 2390 – Taimanov 2515, Tel-Aviv 1990 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 Rc8 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Bf4 with soon draw] 9...0–0 10.Nc3 Be7 11.Be2 Rc8 12.f4 Valentina chooses more active move than Bf4 from the game Lev-Taimanov 12...h6! 13.Bh4 Nb8?! [13...e5!] 14.e5 Ne8 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Qe4 f5 17.Qd4 d6 18.Rd1 dxe5 19.Qxe5 Nc6 20.Qe3 Nd6= Equality ... and a trap for Valentina.


Position after 20...Ne8-d6=

21.Rxd6? Qxd6 22.c5 bxc5 23.Bxa6 Nd4 24.Qd3 Rc6 25.Bc4


Position after 25. Ba6-c4

25...Qxf4?! [Understandable, but 25...Nxb3 26.Qxd6 Rxd6 27.Bxb3 Rb8 with a bad _|_ for White] 26.Ne2 Qh4+ 27.g3 Qf6?! [27...Qe4! 28.Qxe4 fxe4] 28.0–0ч Kh7 29.Nexd4 cxd4 30.Bb5 Rd6 31.Nc5 Qe7 32.Bc4 Rf6?! 33.Rf4І Rc6? [№33...Rb6 34.b4 e5 35.Rxf5 e4 36.Qf1 g6 37.Rxf6 Rxf6] 34.b4± e5 35.Rxf5 e4.


Position after 35... e5-e4

36.Rxf6!+- Rxc5 [36...exd3 37.Bxd3+ Kg8 38.Rxc6 Qe3+ 39.Kg2] 37.Re6 Qxe6 38.Bxe6 Rc1+ 39.Qf1 Rxf1+ 40.Kxf1 Kg6 41.b5 Kf6 42.Bc4 Ke5 43.a4 Kd6 44.a5 Kc5 45.b6! 1–0. [Click to replay]


Position after 45. b5-b6

Snjezana Djeno, boat captain Ivan, Iulia Gromova, Ana Srebrnic and, sitting, Tatiana Kostiuk. The girls outplayed the captain and his navigator in blindfold chess (the captain and navigator were allowed to see the board, and earned a trip on the top deck of their vessel. This snapshot was sent to me by Tatiana Kostiuk.


A view from the sea on a rainy day


...when the waters grow choppy


But in the end nature makes its traditional gesture of peace

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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