Mar del Plata 2012 : A bloodthirsty round at the top

by Albert Silver
10/18/2012 – If round six saw the leaders caught by others, it was merely a prelude to the cutthroat round to follow. On the top ten boards, there were only two draws and many a head was lopped off. It started top-seed Lazaro Bruzon beating his compatriot in just 22 moves, followed by wins by Leitão, Iturrizaga, and Ortiz. Report, pictures and an annotated game by GM Sergio Slipak.

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7th Continental Chess Tournament / Mar del Plata 2012

Tourney type: Eleven-round swiss open
Time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game and a 30 second increment as of move one.
Location: Mar del Plata, Argentina
Dates: October 12-21, 2012
Prizes: 1st - US$5000, 2nd - US$3400, 3rd - US$2400, 20 prizes in all, not including prizes per category.

Special: Event is considered a world championship qualifier thus all norms earned are worth double.

Mar del Plata 2012 : A bloodthirsty round at the top

Report and pictures by Albert Silver


A view of the adjacent playing room for the top boards


Uruguayan IM Bernardo Roselli

If round six saw the leaders caught by others, it was merely a prelude to the cutthroat round to follow. On the top ten boards, there were only two draws and many a head was lopped off. It started with the blitzkrieg on board one when top-seed Lazaro Bruzon beat his compatriot in just 22 moves, guaranteeing his place in the top for the rounds to follow.

On board two, it was a battle between the Peruvians as rising prodigy Jorge Cori faced veteran GM Julio Grand Zuniga. Though it ended in a draw, it was a battle to the end as is typical of Granda Zuniga’s uncompromising play.


Peruvian GM Julio "I never compromise" Granda Zuniga

Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga put a brake to Brazilian GM Krikor Mekhitarian, and GM Rafael Leitao also steamrolled Argentine Diego Valergo. If the top placed Argentines, Valerga and Felgaer fell from grace, they were promptly replaced by Flores and Mareco. The Americans also had a good day, as IM Hungaski kept his GM norm chances alive after a tense draw against Canadian GM-elect Eric Hansen, and both Kaidanov and Shabalov made sure they were not outpaced by the leaders.


A tense draw between Canadian Eric Hansen (2527) and Robert Hungaski


Alexander Shabalov had a good win in round seven

Annotated game by GM Sergio Slipak

[Event "VII Continental Americano"] [Site "Mar del Plata, ARG"] [Date "2012.10.17"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Bruzon Batista, Lazaro"] [Black "Bacallao Alonso, Yusnel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D74"] [WhiteElo "2717"] [BlackElo "2580"] [PlyCount "43"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] {The top-seed GM Lazaron Bruzon continues to lead the rankings thanks to his impressive strenght with white. Here he defeated his compatriot GM Bacallao Alonso in just 22 moves.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 {A version of the Gruenfeld played against the English Opening.} 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. d4 Na5 {An acceptable line, but more common is} ( 9... e5) 10. Bf4 b6 11. e4 (11. Qd3 Bb7 12. e4 e5 13. Bxe5 Re8 14. Bxg7 Bxe4 15. Qd1 Kxg7 16. Re1 Bd5 {1/2-1/2 Tukmakov,V-Djuric,S/New York 1990/CBM 016 ext (16)}) 11... Bb7 12. Qc2 $1 {The main purpose of Black's play in the Gruenfeld is to attack the white pawn center, using a variety of small tactical shots. The text move sidesteps several of these problems which could occur after} (12. Qd3 {Here the undefended queen is on the same column as her opponent. This can be taken advantage of with} e5 $3 13. Bxe5 (13. Nxe5 $2 g5 $1 {followed by Bxe5.}) 13... Re8 $1 14. Bxg7 Bxe4 {followed by Kxg7 with comfortable black play as in Tukmakov-Djuric, New York 1990.}) 12... e6 13. Rad1 Qe7 14. Rfe1 Rad8 15. h4 $1 {Once he has stabilized his center and completed his development, Bruzon undertakes kingside operations.} h6 16. c4 $5 {A risky move as it gives a bit of leeway to the bishop on g7, which presently pressures d4, since White's space advantage was threatening to smother Black's play.} Qb4 $5 {Black seeks counterplay by attacking White's pawns but compromises his pieces.} 17. Bf1 Bc6 18. Qc1 Ba4 $2 {A decisive mistake. The h6 pawn now falls and there is no time to solve the problem of Black's misplaced pieces on the queenside.} 19. Rd3 $1 Kh7 20. c5 $1 Rxd4 {There was no solution anyhow as the queen is caught and can only be saved at the cost of material.} ({For example} 20... bxc5 21. Bd2 Qb6 22. Ra3) 21. Bd2 Qc4 22. Nxd4 1-0


FIDE Continental President Jorge Vega enjoys a laugh with IM Carolina Lujan


Brazilian FM Ricardo Teixeira plays fellow compatriot Miton Okamura

Standings after seven rounds

Rk
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB2 
1
GM
Bruzon Batista Lazaro
CUB
2717
6.0
30.0
2
GM
Iturrizaga Eduardo
VEN
2639
6.0
30.0
3
GM
Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo
CUB
2579
6.0
29.0
4
GM
Leitao Rafael
BRA
2617
6.0
28.5
5
GM
Granda Zuniga Julio E
PER
2647
5.5
30.5
6
IM
Hungaski Robert Andrew
USA
2451
5.5
29.5
7
GM
Perez Ponsa Federico
ARG
2489
5.5
26.0
8
GM
Mareco Sandro
ARG
2581
5.5
26.0
9
GM
Flores Diego
ARG
2598
5.5
25.5
10
GM
Cori Jorge
PER
2522
5.5
25.0
11
GM
Shabalov Alexander
USA
2570
5.5
25.0
12
GM
Kaidanov Gregory S
USA
2587
5.5
25.0
13
GM
Valerga Diego
ARG
2485
5.0
30.0
14
IM
Tristan Leonardo
ARG
2442
5.0
29.5
15
GM
Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag
BRA
2503
5.0
29.5
16
GM
Bacallao Alonso Yusnel
CUB
2580
5.0
29.0
17
GM
Ricardi Pablo
ARG
2505
5.0
27.5
18
GM
Hernandez Guerrero Gilberto
MEX
2531
5.0
27.5
19
GM
Felgaer Ruben
ARG
2579
5.0
27.0
20
WGM
Cori T. Deysi
PER
2411
5.0
26.0
21
IM
Kanefsck Gustavo
ARG
2358
5.0
26.0
22
IM
Krysa Leandro
ARG
2381
5.0
26.0
23
IM
Molina Roberto Junio Brito
BRA
2400
5.0
25.5
24
FM
Pichot Alan
ARG
2300
5.0
25.5
25
IM
Toth Christian Endre
BRA
2357
5.0
25.0

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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