Malakhatko, Short, Hector win Politiken Cup

8/1/2006 – The Politiken Cup in Copenhagen was won by three of the highest rated players in the field. Top seed Nigel Short just made it, beating his 13-year-old trainee Parimarjan Negi in the last round – an important victory that proves that it is right for the Negis to pay Nigel for the training sessions and not the other way round. Report.

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The Politiken Cup was held as part of the Copenhagen Chess Festival, from July 22nd to 30th, 2006. Over 250 participants from all over the world played in the different groups.


The playing venue: Quality Hotel Høje Tåstrup in Taastrup


The playing hall for the different groups

In the last round of the tournament leader Vadim Malakhatko drew against Curt Hansen, while Nigel Short beat Negi Parimarjan and Jonny Hector beat Lars Karlsson with black. This left Malakhatko, Short and Hector at joint first with points out of nine games.


GM Lars Karlsson in the final round against GM Jonny Hector

Final standings

Pl
Seed
Player Rating
Points
MiBu SoBe
 1
 4
GM Vadim Malakhatko 2594
44.5 46.50
 2
 1
GM Nigel Short 2676
40.5 43.25
 3
 6
GM Jonny Hector 2508
40.5 42.50
 4
24
FM Allan Stig Rasmussen 2353
7
44.0 42.25
 5
13
IM Jacob Aagaard 2457
7
41.5 38.25
 6
19
 Evgeny Degtiarev 2378
7
40.5 37.00
 7
 2
GM Curt Hansen 2625
7
39.5 39.25
 8
12
IM Denes Boros 2462
7
39.5 38.25
 9
 5
GM Nick E. de Firmian 2559
7
39.0 38.75
10
 7
GM Lars Karlsson 2506
44.5 37.75
11
 8
 GM Stellan Brynell 2497
43.0 37.25
12
10
 IM David Howell 2479
43.0 36.75
13
15
GM Carsten Høi 2386
42 35.25
14
 3
GM Rafael A. Vaganian 2598
41.5 36.25
15
 9
IM Parimarjan Negi 2480
41.0 35.00
16
30
FM Casper Dahl Rasmussen   2290
40.5 34.75
17
23
FM Geir Sune Tallaksen 2356
39.5 34.00
18
22
IM Bjørn Brinck-Claussen 2358
38.5 34.25
19
20
FM Thorbjørn Bromann 2364
36.5 33.25
20
16
Dharma Tjiam 2391
36.5 31.75
21
29
FM Esben Lund 2296
36.0 31.50
  • The 1146 games of this tournament have been collected and the names standardised by Rob Vlaardingerbroek. We give them to you in the ChessBase format (CBV, 132 KB) which can be read using ChessBase, Fritz or any compatible program.
  • Official web site


    The winner (on tiebreak) GM Vadim Malakhatko, 2594


Nigel Short about to beat Indian super-talent Parimarjan Negi

Nigel told us that he was forced to beat his student Negi, if just to demonstrate to Parimarjan's father that the direction of flow of cash (from them to him) for the training sessions was justified. In his Guardian column Nigel's work with Parimarjan is described.

The Guardian, Thursday July 13, 2006: The summer is very hot in Greece and there is nothing I would like better than to cool off by swimming in the sea, or watch cricket on satellite TV. Alas, economic necessity occasionally obtrudes on this oneiric existence. So when an Indian gentleman emailed me asking whether I would be prepared to coach his 13-year-old son, Parimarjan Negi, I accepted with, if not quite over-brimming enthusiasm, then a degree of satisfaction. The boy had already acquired a notable reputation in the chess world, but I confess I had not expected him to become a grandmaster between leaving home in Delhi and arriving at my door, as happened. In comparison, Vishy Anand, the patriarch of Indian chess, reached this milestone at the age of 18. He was considered very young at the time – he was one of the youngest ever – but arguably these perceptions need to be recalibrated. In fairness, it should be pointed out that the goalposts have moved somewhat in the intervening decades: one might justly say that they are now considerably wider and that even the England football team might score. Nevertheless, even a things-were-better-in-my-day curmudgeon such as myself has to acknowledge the profound strength of today's generation. The laptop – that omnipresent powerful learning tool – was bound to have an impact sooner or later.


Parimarjan Negi during his game against his trainer Nigel Short

The Guardian, Thursday July 20, 2006: An amusing bit of trivia that I came across recently is that Adwaita, the tortoise of Robert Clive of India (1725-1774), died as recently as March 2006, in Kolkata Zoo. I find such determined longevity in a pet rather disrespectful. When I kick the bucket, I shall ensure that the family goldfish do their duty and perish with me.

One of the slightly disconnecting things about coaching someone as young as Parimarjan Negi, the 13-year-old Indian grandmaster I am endeavouring to train at the moment, is that a date like 1989, which seems but yesterday to me, has no emotional resonance for him. It is just a historical number, like 1453. Sharing the common prejudice of youth that newer is self-evidently better, he expresses genuine astonishment, when looking through old games, that previous generations were not uniformly hopeless.

On the Politiken tournament Nigel wrote

The Guardian, Thursday July 27, 2006: Humiliation. Mated horribly by a schoolteacher from Greenland. How bad can it get? I should have spotted the bad omens when I struggled against lowly rated Englishman Jeffrey Dawson in the first round. My opponent had sailed for six days in his boat from Lowestoft to Denmark. He is a master yachtsman, for goodness' sake, not a master chess player. I overcame his dogged resistance in the end. Next came Graeme Kafka from Edinburgh. Nice surname, but why is it, in a tournament full of Scandinavians, I am playing only Brits? This one went a bit smoother. I began to kid myself that I was finding form.

Warning lights flashed in the next encounter against Per Andreasen. Here was someone rated way below myself and, unusually these days, even older than me. With the white pieces, it should have been a stroll in the park. Instead I found myself a pawn down, busted, and in horrible time trouble. Luckily my opponent had even less time. Unable to withstand the tension, he committed hara-kiri by exposing his own king. When he forfeited on time, with just one move still to make, his position was more ruined than the Parthenon.

Next came Jens Kristiansen, two metres tall, and the source of today's woe. The last time I played him was in Esbjerg, 1984, the day before I earned my grandmaster title. I rarely let veracity intrude on a good story but, to be strictly factual, he is not an Inuit but a Dane who has just returned from a lengthy assignment in a far-flung corner of the Empire. An international master, he has more or less retired from chess these days, but he was more than good enough for me. If only I could find solace in the local night life... Alas, here in Taastrup – surely one of the most boring places on earth – there is no life of either a nocturnal or diurnal nature.

Kristiansen,Jens (2425) - Short,Nigel D (2676)
Politiken Cup Copenhagen (4.1), 25.07.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Nc3 d6 4.d3 c6 5.f4 b5 6.Bb3 Nf6 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Qe7 11.Rf1 Bb7 12.Qd2 a5 13.a4 Bb4 14.Qf2 bxa4 15.Bxa4 Nc5 16.Nd2 Ncd7 17.Nc4 0-0 18.Ne3 Qc5 19.Kd2 Ba6 20.Qf3 Bb5 21.Nf5 Bxa4 22.Nxg7 Nxe4+ 23.Qxe4 Qd4 24.Nf5 Qxe4 25.dxe4 Bb5 26.Rf3 Kh7 27.Rd1 Nc5 28.Kc1 Bxc3 29.Rxc3 Nxe4 30.Re3 Ng5 31.Bxg5 hxg5 32.Rh3+ Kg6

In a fairly hopeless position Nigel played 32...Kh7-g6 and got mated: 33.g4! Rh8 34.Rd6+ f6 35.Rd7 Rxh3 36.Rg7# 1-0. He has bravely annotated the game in his Guardian column (click on the link above).

Short vocabulary trainer

  • obtrude – verb, impose or force on someone; from Latin obtrudere ‘to push’.
  • oneiric – adjective, relating to dreams or dreaming; from Greek oneiros ‘dream’.
  • curmudgeon – a crusty, ill-tempered, usually old person; origin unknown.
  • veracity – noun, conformity to facts; accuracy; from medieval Latin veritas, truth.
  • metre – British orthography for meter, which is the decimal system equivalent for 1.094 fields (or "yards"). Scientists will know that a metre is the distance travelled by light in absolute vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
  • Inuit – a member of the people inhabiting the Arctic areas of northern Canada, Greenland, Alaska or eastern Siberia); the Algonquians called them Eskimo, which translated to "eaters of raw flesh", and has subsequently become a politically incorrect epithet; the people inhabiting the Arctic areas call themselves the Inuit, which translates simply to "the people".
  • diurnal – adjective, of or during the daytime; from Latin diurnalis, from dies ‘day’.


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