Mitropa Cup: Hungary and Italy take gold

by Albert Silver
5/31/2014 – The Mitropa Cub in chess holds a unique status as a team event with national squads without being part of any of the official FIDE cycles. Despite this, it is now in its 33rd edition, with a full roster of teams and grandmasters playing. The men's event was won by Hungary thanks in large part to a monster result by Peter Acs, the Italians took the women's. A large illustrated report.

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The Mitropa Cup is one of the great traditional chess festivals, marked not only by the numerous tournaments held in all modalities, and chess-popularizing activities, but the unique team event organized with national squads of players. With events such as the Asian Nations Cup and numerous others, readers might ask in what way the Mitropa is different, and the answer is that it is not a part of the official FIDE calendar. Why is this relevant? It is far easier to bring in teams of players representing a country if there is a promise of qualifying for the Olympiad or FIDE's special incentives such as norms being worth double. The Mitropa, stemming from the German 'Mittel' (central) Europe', has managed to establish itself by virtue of the power of its tradition, and a promise to help players not committed elsewhere to prepare for the Olympiad.

The trophies and medals for the winners

History

The first unofficial Mitropa Cup was organized and held in 1953. It was the brainchild of Gertruda Wagner, who together with her husband Karl, and the president of the Austrian Chess Federation, Kurt Jungwirth, managed to organize the inaugural edition in Vienna. At its origin this tournament was organized only for countries from Central Europe. Later countries from South and Western Europe joined. The winner that year was Belgium, but it would take another 23 years for the concept to be rehabilitated after which the event has persisted regularly. The first Women's Mitropa Cup was organized in 2002, and since 2005, the men's and women's events have been held together.

Organizer Marek Zelnicky and IA Ivan Syrovy

The 2014 Mitropa Cup

The playing hall

This year the Mitropa Cup, held in Hotel Kultura in the Ruzomberok town square in Slovakia, is enjoying its greatest draw since 1993, with ten teams playing in both the Open and Women's team event, and over 20 grandmasters in all. In the Open event, teams of four players come to play, and the Elo favorites were unquestionably the Hungarian, who not only fielded a team of grandmasters on all boards, but also held the highest average Elo.

The Czech team with players and coaches

The Polish team was led by GM Jan-Krysztof Duda on board one (left)

Naturally, favoritism only takes you so far, especially when the advantage is a meager 15-25 Elo against top rivals, and one must still perform accordingly, but the team was led by Peter Acs (2572) who posted an astounding 8.0/9 throughout and a 2806 performance. Though the team performed within their expectations, none of the players actually performed beyond their ratings, and it was steamroller result of Peter Acs that clinched match after match for the Hungarians, making it no exagerration to say he won the Mitropa Cup for them.

The competition was decided in a thrilling final round between Germany and Hungary, with everything on the line. Hungary had five team wins and three draws, while the Germans led with six wins and two draws. On board one, Germany scored first with a lightning win by David Baramidze over Robert Ruck, while Svane and Hera drew on board three. Hungary struck back after Krisztian Szabo (2543) overpowered  Max Berchtenbreiter (2409), leaving the match, and tournament, fittingly in the hands of Acs-Heimann on board two.

GM Peter Acs was the name of the tournament with his fantastic result

[Event "Mitropa Cup 2014"] [Site "Ruzomberok"] [Date "2014.05.31"] [Round "9"] [White "Acs, Peter"] [Black "Heimann, Andreas"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2573"] [BlackElo "2522"] [PlyCount "140"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "SVK"] [WhiteTeam "Hungary"] [BlackTeam "Germany"] [WhiteTeamCountry "HUN"] [BlackTeamCountry "GER"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Qd6 13. Re1 Rae8 14. Nd2 c5 15. Ne4 Qc6 16. c4 Nb6 17. f3 {The novelty. Although this move does weaken the dark squares around White's king, more importantly it neutralizes Black's ambitions on the a8-h1 diagonal and makes the attack much harder to get rolling.} (17. cxb5 axb5 18. Qf3 c4 19. dxc4 bxc4 20. Bc2 f5 21. Nc3 Qxf3 22. gxf3 Bxf3 23. Bf4 Bb4 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Bxf5 Bxc3 26. bxc3 Nd5 27. Bd7 Re2 28. Bb5 Nxf4 29. Bxc4+ Bd5 30. Bxe2 Nxe2+ 31. Kh2 Nxc3 32. a4 Ne4 33. a5 Nxf2 34. a6 Ne4 35. a7 Nf6 36. a8=Q+ Bxa8 37. Rxa8+ Kf7 38. Kg3 g5 39. Kf3 Kg6 40. Ra5 h5 41. Ke3 h4 42. Kf3 Kh6 43. Ke3 Kg6 44. Rb5 g4 {1/2-1/2 (44) Svidler,P (2749) -Muzychuk,A (2580) Caleta 2012}) 17... Bh4 18. Re2 bxc4 19. dxc4 f5 20. Nc3 { Black still has some compensation for the pawn, with superior development, but it needs to be used energetically, or White's extra pawn will begin to weigh.} Qg6 {Black is struggling to find ways to keep his initiative going. This does threaten Bxf3, easily parried, but the queen is misplaced here and will need to move again soon.} ({Better was} 20... Rxe2 21. Nxe2 Re8 22. Bd2 Qf6 23. Bc2 {would keep the balance as Black's coordination and activity still offset the pawn.}) 21. Qf1 Qd6 22. Bd2 (22. Be3 {followed by Rd1 seemed more logical.}) 22... Rxe2 23. Qxe2 Bc6 24. Rd1 Re8 25. Qf1 Qg3 26. Bc2 g6 (26... Bf6 {would have used the dark square infiltration to his advantage.} 27. Bxf5 Be5 $1 28. f4 {Forced.} Bd4+ 29. Kh1 Bf2 $1 {is the computer's suggestion and it looks good. The idea is not only to cover e1, and threaten g6-h5 and Qxh3+, but if} 30. Ne2 $2 {Black takes with} Rxe2 {and the rook cannot be taken because of} 31. Qxe2 Qxg2# {Without the bishop on f2, the queen would still be protecting g2.}) 27. b3 Bf6 28. Ne2 Qe5 29. Bd3 Qb2 30. Bb1 $2 Nd7 ({Black misses his chance as both players overlook the tactical shot} 30... Nd5 $1 {The point is that if} 31. cxd5 (31. Qf2 Nf4 32. Bxf4 (32. Nxf4 $4 Bd4 $1) 32... Rxe2 33. Qf1 Bd4+ 34. Kh1 Rf2 35. Qe1 {and though the engines say equal, White is the only one in danger here.}) 31... Bb5 $1 {not only recovers the piece, but Black would now have a dangerous advantage.} 32. Bc1 (32. Re1 Qxd2 {wins a piece.}) 32... Qxe2 33. Qxe2 Bxe2 $1 {and suddenly the rook is trapped! Ex:} 34. Rd2 ( 34. Re1 Bc3) 34... Bc3) 31. Nf4 Bd4+ 32. Kh1 Ne5 33. Nd5 Kf7 34. Nb6 Nd7 35. Nd5 Ne5 36. Be1 Nd7 37. Nf4 Nf6 38. Bd2 Be3 39. Nd3 Qd4 40. Ba5 Bb7 41. Bc7 Qc3 42. Qe1 Qxe1+ 43. Rxe1 Bd4 44. Rxe8 Kxe8 45. Bh2 Kd7 46. Bg1 Bxg1 47. Kxg1 Kd6 48. Kf2 g5 49. g3 g4 50. Nf4 Ke5 51. fxg4 fxg4 52. h4 Be4 53. Bxe4 Nxe4+ 54. Ke3 a5 (54... Nxg3 $2 55. Nd3+ Kd6 56. Kf4 Nf1 57. Kxg4 $18) 55. Nd3+ Kf5 56. a3 h6 57. h5 Nxg3 58. Nxc5 Nxh5 59. Nb7 {Although a theoretical draw, it is not over yet, and Black stumbles fatally.} Nf4 $2 {After a long hard fight, a fatal blunder.} 60. Nd6+ Ke6 61. Kxf4 Kxd6 62. Kxg4 Kc5 63. Kh5 a4 64. b4+ Kxc4 65. Kxh6 Kd5 66. Kg7 Kc6 67. Kg6 Kb6 68. Kf6 Kb7 69. Ke5 Ka6 70. Kd4 Kb6 1-0

A fantastic win that not only secured the win for Hungary, but also won the gold for the Hungarians. The German team, no doubt disappointed by the turn of events, can be proud of their performance though. Their second place result came in spite of having no fewer than three teams ahead of them on the initial pecking list. In third came Slovakia, whose star player GM Petrik Michalik, scoring 7.5/9 and a 2770 performance, was only overshadowed by Acs, and no one else coming close.

First board of Slovakia, GM Michalik, put in a star performance

Slovakia came in third in the Open section

Final Open standings

Rk
SNo
Team
Fed
Gms
  + 
  = 
  - 
 TB1 
 TB2 
1
2
Hungary
HUN
9
6
3
0
15
24.5
2
8
Germany
GER
9
6
2
1
14
22.0
3
5
Slovakia A
SVK
9
5
2
2
12
20.5
4
3
Austria
AUT
9
3
4
2
10
19.0
5
1
Italy
ITA
9
3
3
3
9
19.5
6
9
Switzerland
SUI
9
2
4
3
8
16.0
7
10
Poland
POL
9
3
1
5
7
17.0
8
4
France
FRA
9
2
3
4
7
16.0
9
7
Czech republic
CZE
9
1
3
5
5
15.0
10
6
Slovakia B
SVK
9
0
3
6
3
10.5

Women's Event

The Italians were the Elo favorites in the Women's competition

The Women's event was no less dramatic, and the initial lineup favored the Italians, who fielded two full Ims, the only team with this pedigree, followed by the German team, coached by Dorian Ragozenco in his first outing as the squad leader. Italy and Germany both scored an equal number of match points, and the final tiebreak was decided by game points, in which Italy edged out Germany by a single half point! Italy's IM Olga Zimina, with 5.0/6 and WIM Marina Brunello with 5.5/7 exceeded what was expected of them, and deservedly earned the gold, but special mention must be made of Germany's WIM Filiz Osmanodja who punched in a fantastic 8.0/9 and was the single greatest performer in the competition.

Final Women's standings

Rk
SNo
Team
Fed
Gms
  + 
  = 
  - 
 TB1 
 TB2 
1
1
Italy
ITA
9
6
2
1
14
13.0
2
8
Germany
GER
9
6
2
1
14
12.5
3
3
Austria
AUT
9
5
1
3
11
11.0
4
2
Hungary
HUN
9
1
7
1
9
9.0
5
10
Poland
POL
9
3
3
3
9
8.5
6
5
Slovakia A
SVK
9
2
3
4
7
8.0
7
9
Slovenia
SLO
9
2
3
4
7
8.0
8
6
Slovakia B
SVK
9
3
1
5
7
7.0
9
4
Czech republic B
CZE
9
2
3
4
7
7.0
10
7
Czech republic A
CZE
9
0
5
4
5
6.0

 

A festival

Aside from the main team competition, attracting platoons of viewers every day online at both the official site and on Playchess, it bears remembering this was as much a festival of chess as a main event. In parallel, the Slovak Rapid Chess Championship was held won by Slovak grandmaster Mikulas Manik, while second place was taken by the budding young talent Zilina Jergus Pechac.

The live chess game was all about wowing the audience

There was also a classic live chess game, using people as pieces, but with a twist. Although each move was played out by costumed chess players and swordmen, the game itself was played blindfold by two talented young players, Juraj Druska and Stefan Mazur. The game ended in a draw in 55 moves. After the game, a large fireworks display was held that lasted for over ten minutes. Finally, at the end, there were blitz tournaments that are always a success with aficionados.

A festival without children would be no festival at all

GM Sergey Mosvesian receives some guidance from his betters

The event is organised by Ruzomberok Chess Club under the supervising of the tournament director  Marek Zelnicky and the chief arbiter Ivan Syrovy, with thanks to the contribution of the Slovak Chess Federation, the town of Ruzomberok, Kia Motors Slovakia foundation in Pontis Foundation and other partners.


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



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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jergus jergus 6/1/2014 12:51
videos :
http://www.c7c5.com/?pgid=videos&event=Mitropa+Cup+2014
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