Mendonca clear winner at the Hamburg GM tournament

by André Schulz
5/31/2022 – The Hamburg Chess Club hosted a GM tournament and an IM tournament last week. Leon Mendonca from India won the GM tournament. Frederick Svane scored a GM norm — 24 hours later Svane's third and last GM norm in the Bundesliga was also official. In the IM tournament, Brandon Clarke was the clear winner. | Photo: Hugo Schulz, Vasilios Kotronias, Leon Mendonca, Frederik Svane and Frank Bracker (Frank Bracker)

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Svane becomes a GM

In the second half of May, the Hamburg Chess Club organized two international chess tournaments, a GM tournament and an IM tournament. Both tournaments were played in parallel in the clubhouse premises and in the auditorium of the city district school Alter Teichweg, which functions as an ‘elite school’ of sport and has an award-winning and committed headmaster in Björn Lengwenus. The school is also the venue for the Bundesliga matches of the Hamburger SK.

The tournament was organized by Frank Bracker, who was supported by the referees Hugo Schulz and Werner Szudra.

Hugo Schulz, Frank Bracker and Werner Szudra

Both tournaments were played with ten players, some of whom came from the large reservoir of the Hamburger SK while others were invited out-of-town and international players.

In the GM tournament three players took part who already held the grandmaster title, the Hungarian Peter Prohaszka, who plays for Nickelhüte Aue in the German league; the 18-year-old Indian Leon Mendonca, appointed grandmaster by FIDE in January 2021; and the Greek Vasilios Kotronias, who has recently attracted attention as an author.

The remaining seven players are fighting to get their GM title. Frederik Svane, Jonathan Carlstedt, Ruben Koellner, Georgios Souleidis, Lawrence Trent, Malte Colpe are all IMs, while Tom-Frederic Woelk has yet to get his IM title.

At the halfway point, the three grandmasters were ahead, all with two wins and two draws. In the fifth round, however, Prohaszka suffered a defeat against Malte Colpe and fell behind.

In round six Leon Mendonca gave Ruben Koellner a taste of his own medicine with the black pieces. The Philidor Defence is actually Koellner’s favourite system with Black.

Ruben Köllner

After five rounds, Mendonca had thus taken the sole lead, ahead of Vasilios Kotronias, who was half a point behind.

Thanks to a strong final spurt with wins over Jonathan Carlstedt, Tom-Frederic Woelk and in the final round against Georgios Souleidis — with a draw in between against Peter Prohaszka — the young Indian secured tournament victory.

Frederik Svane also stepped on the gas once more. He won in the last three rounds against the two grandmasters, Peter Prohaszka and Vasilios Kotronias, and then against Ruben Koellner, which earned him a GM norm. Frederik Svane followed that up in the Bundesliga and 24 hours later picked up another norm, his third and final norm.

Final standings - GM tournament

Rg. Name  Wtg1 
1 Mendonca Leon Luke 7,0
2 Svane Frederik 6,5
3 Kotronias Vasilios 6,0
4 Prohaszka Peter 5,0
5 Colpe Malte 4,5
6 Trent Lawrence 4,5
7 Souleidis Georgios 4,0
8 Carlstedt Jonathan 3,0
9 Köllner Ruben Gideon 3,0
10 Woelk Tom-Frederic 1,5

All games

 

Clarke wins IM tournament

The IM tournament also had a grandmaster player in Normundis Miezis. The Latvian, IM Brandon Clarke from England and the Swiss FM Daniel Fischer provided international flair. National player Lara Schulze was the only woman in the two tournaments. The remaining players either represented Hamburg — Arne Bracker, Michael Kotyk, Isaac Garner and Jeremy Hommer — or nearby clubs, like Miichael Kopylov from SK Norderstedt, or his son Daniel Kopylov, who plays for Harksheide Norderstedt.

Brandon Clarke proved to be the superior player. The Brit won six of his nine games and drew three times. With 7½ points, he won the tournament with a 1½-point lead. Lara Schulze finished in the upper half of the table with 5½ points.

Daniel Kopylov, Brandon Clarke, organizer Frank Bracker and Normunds Miezeis

Final standings - IM tournament

Rg. Name  Wtg1 
1 Clarke Brandon G I 7,5
2 Kopylov Daniel 6,0
3 Miezis Normunds 6,0
4 Schulze Lara 5,5
5 Kopylov Michael 5,0
6 Bracker Arne 4,0
7 Fischer Daniel 3,5
8 Kotyk Michael 3,0
9 Garner Isaac 2,5
10 Hommer Jeremy 2,0

All games - IM tournament

 

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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