Four in a row: Lázaro Bruzón Batista wins Carlos Torre Memorial

by ChessBase
12/27/2016 – From December 15th till the 20th one of the strongest open swiss tournaments in the history of Latin America took place in the city of Mérida, Yucatán - Mexico. For the fourth time in a row and the fifth time ever, Cuban grandmaster Lázaro Bruzón Batista was victorious. He was the sole winner with 7.5 out of 9, edging out GM Aleksandr Shimanov from Russia and peruvian IM Deivy Vera Sigueñas, who both obtained 7 out of 9. Illustrated report.

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Carlos Torre Repetto Tournament in Mexico

By Seppe De Vreesse Pieters and I.M. Oscar Gerardo Sánchez Enriquez


From December 15th till the 20th, the 28th edition of the Carlos Torre Repetto Tournament, took place with a total of 497 players competing in six different categories. The main event was an open section for players with a +2000 rating and there were also 5 side events: a second category group for those rated between 1500 and 2000; a third category for beginners rated under 1500; and finally, three youth sections (-12, -10, -8).

The location

The tournament is played every year in Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán, in the southeast of Mexico. The city offers a lot to its visitors: good weather, great food, it is close to the beach and to several archeological sites of the ancient Maya culture. If you want to know more, check out the pictures that Alina L’Ami took last year: “Snowless Winter 1” and “Snowless Winter 2

The main event (“categoría magistral”)

In the open +2000 section 148 players from 21 different countries competed. 102 of them have an official Fide title (amongst others: 20 GMs, 5 WGMs, 25 IMs and 11 WIMs).

The beautiful playing site: the “Hall of history” (Sala de Historia) of the House of Government
(Palacio de Gobierno) of the State of Yucatán. The walls are decorated with
mural paintings that tell the history of Yucatán.

Significant was the participation of 38 cuban chess players (Bruzón, Quesada, Ortiz, Gómez Garrido, amongst others) and the presence of a few “teams”. Peru sent the complete the Olympic team from Baku (Córdova, Cori, Cruz, Vera,…) and also members of several US university teams like Texas Tech (Baryshpolets, Grover, Gorovets, Vorontsov, Torres Rosas, Andrenko, Muñoz led by their player-captain GM Alexander Onischuk), Saint Louis (Swiercz, Rambaldi, Ali Miranda) and Webster University (Shimanov, Durarbayli) played.

The presence of a lot of strong American players was due to the excellent management of tournament director Javier Alberto Herrera Aussin, the Patronage of Carlos Torre Repetto and the local authorities of the state of Yucatán.

The number one rated player, Alexander Onischuk with local authorities, at
the official opening of the tournament on Friday, December 16th.  

There were several pretournament favorites with Alexander Onischuk as a former US champion; Dariusz Swiercz, recent winner of the Millionaire chess tournament; Emilio Córdova and Jorge Cori of Perú; Lázaro Bruzón and Yuniesky Quesada from Cuba; Aleksandr Shimanov from Russia and Vasif Durarbayli, as well as a bunch of outsiders (Andrey Gorovets from Ukraine, Francesco Rambaldi from Italy, local hero Juan Carlos González).

Nevertheless, it was once again Lázaro Bruzón who showed his might again winning two crucial encounters on the white side in rounds 7 and 8: first he beat Rambaldi in a French Tarrasch and then he won against Swiercz after a crucial mistake of the black side in a Catalan opening.

Aleksandr Shimanov tried his best with the white pieces in a sharp battle in the last round against Bruzón, who lead by half a point. It wasn´t to be: black saved the draw playing a crucial sequence of forced moves: Qh3 and Kg6! allowing Rc2 (see below in the annotated games). Bruzón was victorious again in the overall standings.  

GM Lázaro Bruzón versus GM Francesco Rambaldi during round 7:
one of the decisive games of the tournament.

Final standings after 9 rounds

Rk. No.Ini.     Nombre FED Elo Pts.  Des 1   Des 2 
1 7
GM Bruzon Batista Lazaro CUB 2626 7,5 0,0 52,5
2 5
GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2633 7,0 0,0 55,5
3 16
IM Vera Siguenas Deivy PER 2516 7,0 0,0 49,5
4 3
GM Swiercz Dariusz POL 2646 6,5 0,0 57,0
5 1
GM Onischuk Alexander USA 2668 6,5 0,0 54,0
6 12
GM Cruz Cristhian PER 2531 6,5 0,0 53,5
7 8
GM Durarbayli Vasif AZE 2608 6,5 0,0 53,0
8 19
IM Espinosa Veloz Ermes CUB 2499 6,5 0,0 51,5
9 18
GM Gonzalez Zamora Juan Carlos MEX 2499 6,5 0,0 51,5
10 15
IM Gorovets Andrey BLR 2522 6,5 0,0 50,5
11 11
GM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2551 6,5 0,0 49,0
12 2
GM Cordova Emilio PER 2660 6,5 0,0 48,0
13 17
GM Martinez Duany Lelys Stanley CUB 2512 6,5 0,0 48,0
14 10
GM Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo CUB 2568 6,5 0,0 46,5
15 6
GM Quesada Perez Yuniesky CUB 2632 6,0 0,0 54,0
16 23
IM Rios Cristhian Camilo COL 2482 6,0 0,0 50,5
17 39
IM Leiva Giuseppe PER 2386 6,0 0,0 49,0
18 28
IM Vorontsov Pavlo UKR 2462 6,0 0,0 47,5
19 41
IM Martin Del Campo C. Roberto MEX 2379 6,0 0,0 46,5
20 21
IM Ali Marandi Cemil Can TUR 2487 6,0 0,0 45,5

...and another 128 players. Full standings:


Ermes Espinosa Veloz from Cuba and Deivy Vera Sigueñas from Peru obtained GM norms. Espinosa will be Cuba´s next Grand Master. 


Selected Games


Rounds 1 to 9


Problems to solve: (solutions at the end of the article)

Exercise 1: Emilio Cordova – Leonel Figueredo Losada

What is White´s best move to open up the position?

Exercise 2: Camilo Rios – Yuniesky Quesada Perez

How does Black win?

Exercise 3: Alexander Onischuk – Sahaj Grover

White to play to get a winning advantage.


In front: GM Darius Swiercz (l.) versus GM Cristhian Cruz (r.)
and in the back GM Lázaro Bruzón (l.)  versus GM Francesco Rambaldi (r.)

In front: GM Aleksandr Shimanov (l.) versus GM Vasif Durarbayli (r.) and in
the back GM Alexander Onischuk (l.)  versus IM Ermes Espinosa Veloz (r.)

Local player WIM Diana Carime Real Pereyra.

In front: WGM Lisandra Teresa Ordaz Valdés versus GM Sahaj Grover

The future of chess. Players from the -8 section.

Players from the second and third category under the watchful eye of the expert arbiter Hugo Arroyo.

The tournament director Javier Alberto Herrera Aussin (center with the white shirt) and the team of arbiters.

Proud winners of the prices. In the center with the blue shirt: happy GM Lázaro Bruzón from Cuba.

Price winner José Enrique Alayola Montañez, the only player who has participated in all 28 editions of the tournament.

Winners of the youth categories -12, -10 and -8.

Official website




Seppe De Vreesse Pieters, 38, from Ghent Belgium. Since 2002 living and working in Mexico City as a history teacher at the high schools of the National Autonomous University of México. Chess amateur and speed chess lover. I made 4.5 out of 9 in the tournament, beating a cuban IM rated 2464 in the first round. I wrote previously two Chessbase articles in 2006.

Oscar Gerardo Sánchez Enriquez, M.I., 27, from México City. Rated 2353 and currently trainer in a youth chess project in the city of Mérida as well as a chess teacher at the Anahuac Mayab Unversity.  


Exercise 1: 1. e4!! b4 [1...fxe4 31.f5! gxf5 2.g6 e3 (2...Qd4 3.Rxh7 Rxh7 4.Rxh7+-) 3.Rxh7 Qd4 4.Rh8+ Kg7 5.R3h7+ Kf6 6.g7+-] 2.Nd1 fxe4 3.Ne3 Rf8 4.Ng4 Ne8 5.Rxh7 Qxh7 6. Rxh7 and White won in 53 moves.

Exercise 2: 1...Ng4! 2.Re2 Bxf2+! 3.Rxf2 Ne3 4.Qe2 Nxc2 5.Rb1 Bxa2 6.b3 Bxb1 7.Nxb1 Na1 8.Qa2 d5! and Black won in 35 moves.

Exercise 3: 1. Qa3! and Black can´t defend the multiple attacks on its pieces and king.

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