Kurnosov leads at Aeroflot Open 2009

2/20/2009 – In recent years, the Aeroflot Open in Moscow (February 17–26) has become established as the world's strongest open tournament. The top section is limited to players rated 2550 or over – and has 76 participants of whom only seven are not GMs. The prize fund is 70,000 Euros, with 21,000 going to the winner. After three rounds Igor Kurnosov leads with 3.0 points. Games and results.

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The Awesome Aeroflot Returns

This year, the Aeroflot Open in Moscow returns once again to its now-traditional venue, the tourist and hotel complex "Izmailovo". The nine-round Swiss event takes place between 16 February (arrival date) and 27 February (departure date), with the rounds being played between 17-25 February inclusive. On 26 February, a qualification tournament will take place, for the 2009 World Blitz Championship. The total prize fund for the top group is Euro 70,000, with the winner taking home Euro 21,000, plus a place in the Dortmund tournament, to be held later this year.

The top section of the event is limited to players rated 2550 or over. The 76-player field includes only seven players who are not GMs, three of them being WGMs. The top seed is Shakryar Mamedyarov, and the strength of the event is shown by the fact that Loek van Wely, one of the few Western GMs to have been a regular at the Aeroflot,  is seeded just 28th! Bacrot, Naiditsch and Milov are the other leading non-Russian/USSR representatives, whilst Ian Nepomniashy is one of the former winners, who has returned to challenge for top honours once again.

The official tournament website has seen some "interesting " features in past years, most notably the days when the games were presented in the form of scanned copies of the players' handwritten scoresheets! Dr Robert Hubner, and others with a taste for papyrology, might have been able to make sense of the games, but lesser mortals had rather a hard time. Happily, those days are past, and this year, the site has the games of each round posted very promptly, using the increasingly standard "Chess Theatre" display system. Less impressively, however, the official site seems not yet to have awoken to the existence of the digital camera, and consequently we find ourselves devoid of photographic images of any kind.

After four rounds, the lead in the tournament is held by Igor Kurnosov, whom regular readers of the ChessBase news page will know as the winner of the recent Hastings tournament. Kurnosov is the only player on 3/3, and is followed by Mamedyarov, Moiseenko, Tomashevsky and Grachev, on 2.5. Naiditsch and Bacrot are among those on 2, but van Wely has made a disastrous start with just 0.5/3, and is languishing on board 37, in Friday's fourth round pairings.

Standings after three rounds

# Player FED Rtng Pts. Perf. w-We
1 GM Kurnosov, Igor 3.0 RUS 2602 3298 +1.35
2 GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2.5 AZE 2724 2853 +0.42
3 GM Moiseenko, Alexander 2.5 UKR 2676 2870 +0.67
4 GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2.5 RUS 2664 2865 +0.70
5 GM Grachev, Boris 2.5 RUS 2655 2859 +0.72
6 GM Bacrot, Etienne 2.0 FRA 2722 2714 -0.04
7 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij 2.0 GER 2693 2734 +0.16
8 GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2.0 RUS 2687 2728 +0.16
9 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2.0 ARM 2677 2705 +0.10
10 GM Smirin, Ilia 2.0 ISR 2647 2686 +0.15
11 GM Aleksandrov, Aleksej 2.0 BLR 2636 2698 +0.23
12 GM Zvjaginsev, Vadim 2.0 RUS 2636 2701 +0.25
13 GM Riazantsev, Alexander 2.0 RUS 2634 2686 +0.20
14 GM Kazhgaleyev, Murtas 2.0 KAZ 2630 2696 +0.26
15 GM So, Wesley 2.0 PHI 2627 2662 +0.12
16 GM Landa, Konstantin 2.0 RUS 2626 2722 +0.37
17 GM Petrosian, Tigran L. 2.0 ARM 2623 2657 +0.13
18 GM Lysyj, Igor 2.0 RUS 2620 2754 +0.53
19 GM Potkin, Vladimir 2.0 RUS 2613 2711 +0.39
20 GM Zhou, Jianchao 2.0 CHN 2612 2744 +0.53
21 GM Ehlvest, Jaan 2.0 USA 2595 2696 +0.41
22 GM Smirnov, Pavel 2.0 RUS 2579 2805 +0.91
23 GM Romanov, Evgeny 2.0 RUS 2576 2786 +0.85
24 GM Zhigalko, Andrey 2.0 BLR 2572 2783 +0.85
25 GM Grigoriants, Sergey 2.0 RUS 2565 2769 +0.83
26 GM Safarli, Eltaj 2.0 AZE 2564 2769 +0.83
27 IM Ponkratov, Pavel 2.0 RUS 2557 2744 +0.76
28 GM Dziuba, Marcin 2.0 POL 2556 2751 +0.80
29 GM Melkumyan, Hrant 2.0 ARM 2519 2747 +0.93
30 GM Dreev, Alexey 1.5 RUS 2688 2551 -0.55
31 GM Amonatov, Farrukh 1.5 TJK 2647 2568 -0.32
32 GM Bareev, Evgeny 1.5 RUS 2645 2565 -0.33
33 GM Mamedov, Rauf 1.5 AZE 2638 2563 -0.30
34 GM Li, Chao b 1.5 CHN 2628 2546 -0.34
35 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 1.5 RUS 2628 2559 -0.29
36 GM Pashikian, Arman 1.5 ARM 2621 2538 -0.34
37 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 1.5 USA 2619 2521 -0.41
38 GM Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan 1.5 IRI 2604 2610 +0.02
39 GM Huzman, Alexander 1.5 ISR 2602 2551 -0.20
40 GM Vaganian, Rafael A 1.5 ARM 2596 2582 -0.05
41 GM Zhigalko, Sergei 1.5 BLR 2587 2696 +0.44
42 GM Khairullin, Ildar 1.5 RUS 2574 2605 +0.13
43 GM Chuprov, Dmitry 1.5 RUS 2571 2547 -0.10
44 GM Shomoev, Anton 1.5 RUS 2567 2673 +0.43
45 GM Andriasian, Zaven 1.5 ARM 2564 2644 +0.32
46 GM Kotsur, Pavel 1.5 KAZ 2563 2638 +0.31
47 GM Sjugirov, Sanan 1.5 RUS 2562 2578 +0.06
48 IM Yudin, Sergei 1.5 RUS 2562 2646 +0.34
49 GM Filippov, Anton 1.5 UZB 2556 2634 +0.33
50 GM Dyachkov, Sergej 1.5 RUS 2553 2610 +0.23
51 GM Maslak, Konstantin 1.5 RUS 2541 2622 +0.34
52 WGM Shen, Yang 1.5 CHN 2448 2574 +0.51
53 GM Onischuk, Alexander 1.0 USA 2659 2456 -0.82
54 GM Predojevic, Borki 1.0 BIH 2650 2435 -0.87
55 GM Rodshtein, Maxim 1.0 ISR 2650 2438 -0.86
56 GM Bocharov, Dmitry 1.0 RUS 2647 2432 -0.86
57 GM Volkov, Sergey 1.0 RUS 2627 2425 -0.82
58 GM Bartel, Mateusz 1.0 POL 2594 2503 -0.36
59 GM Maze, Sebastien 1.0 FRA 2578 2498 -0.31
60 IM Chadaev, Nikolai 1.0 RUS 2568 2498 -0.28
61 GM Li, Shilong 1.0 CHN 2559 2455 -0.41
62 GM Vazquez Igarza, Renier 1.0 ESP 2558 2453 -0.41
63 GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav 1.0 UKR 2558 2509 -0.19
64 GM Minasian, Artashes 1.0 ARM 2557 2510 -0.18
65 GM Zhou, Weiqi 1.0 CHN 2542 2509 -0.12
66 GM Grigoryan, Avetik 1.0 ARM 2506 2432 -0.29
67 GM Wen, Yang 1.0 CHN 2504 2480 -0.09
68 IM Kosintseva, Tatiana 1.0 RUS 2497 2496 +0.01
69 IM Ipatov, Alexander 1.0 ESP 2493 2464 -0.11
70 GM Ajrapetjan, Yuriy 1.0 UKR 2490 2456 -0.12
71 GM Milov, Vadim 0.5 SUI 2669 2297 -1.41
72 GM Van Wely, Loek 0.5 NED 2625 2278 -1.32
73 GM Kotanjian, Tigran 0.5 ARM 2568 2254 -1.17
74 GM Ragger, Markus 0.5 AUT 2540 2348 -0.67
75 IM Kosintseva, Nadezhda 0.5 RUS 2486 2347 -0.46
76 IM Salem, A.R. Saleh 0.5 UAE 2473 2286 -0.65
77 IM Robson, Ray 0.5 USA 2455 2299 -0.52
78 GM Gajewski, Grzegorz 0.0 POL 2581 1845 -1.51

Vitiugov,Nikita - Maze,Sebastien
Aeroflot Open 2009 Moscow (1.5), 2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nfd7 9.Nf3 0–0 10.0–0 a6 11.Bd3 b5 12.Kh1 Re8 13.a3 c4 14.Bc2 Nc5 15.f5 Nbd7 16.Bg5 Bf6 17.h4 Ne5 18.Nxe5 Rxe5

19.fxg6 Bxg5 20.gxf7+ Kf8 21.Qh5 Bd7 22.Qxh7 Bf6 23.Rf4 Bh3 24.Raf1 Nd7 25.gxh3 1–0.

Report compiled by Steve Giddins

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