Nepomniachtchi chasing Ivanchuk in Capablanca Memorial

by ChessBase
6/19/2010 – 19-year-old GM Ian Nepomniachtchi started with four draws before losing to Ivanchuk in round five. Since then the tide has changed: first he defeated Alekseev in a 66-mover in round six; then he took Bruzon's Berlin Defence apart; and finally Ian had a bit of luck against Nigel Short. Now, with two rounds to go, Ian is just half a point behind the leader, Vassily Ivanchuk. Round eight report.

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XLV Edición del Torneo Capablanca in Memoriam 2010

The Capablanca Memorial, a tournament commemorating José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (1888–1942), who was World Champion from 1921 to 1927, is taking place in Havana, Cuba, from June 9th to 22nd, 2010. There are three groups: the Elite, Premier and Open. The Elite Group, a category 18 event with an average rating of 2700, is a double-round robin with Vassily Ivanchuk, who won the event three times in a row from 2005 to 2007, followed by Evgeny Alekseev, 19-year-old Ian Nepomniachtchi, the reigning European champion, World Championship finalist Nigel Short, and top Cuban players, Leinier Dominguez, who won it in 2008 and 2009) and Lazaro Bruzon.

The first half of the event was dominated by Ivanchuk, who started by beating Nigel Short in round one. The latter bounced back with two consecutive wins (over Alekseev and Cuban Bruzon), and drew Ivanchuk in their return round game. Short was in second place, but was stopped in his tracks by 19-year-old Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, who is doing remarkable things at this Memorial tournament.

European Champion Ian Nepomniachtchi, who turns 20 in July

Nepomniachtchi had started the event with four draws before losing to Ivanchuk in round five. But since then the tide has changed dramatically. First he defeated Evgeny Alekseev in a 66-mover in round six; then he took Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon's Berlin Defence apart; and finally had a bit of luck against Nigel Short in round eight:

Short,N (2685) - Nepomniachtchi,I (2695) [B23]
45th Capablanca Mem Elite Havana CUB (8), 18.06.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bg7 7.Be3 Nf6 8.Be2 Bd7 9.Nb3 Rc8 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qe1 a6 12.Kh1 b5 13.Rd1 Nb4 14.Rd2 Nxc2 15.Rxc2 b4 16.Bxa6 Ra8 17.Bd3 bxc3 18.bxc3 Ra4 19.e5 Nd5 20.Bd4 Bc6 21.Rd2 Qa8 22.exd6 exd6 23.Bxg7 Re8 24.Qa1 Ne3

The two have fought a raging battle in this Sicilian Dragon, but now Nigel Short blunders the sure draw away with the careless 25.Rg1? Nepomniachtchi punishes this move with ruthless efficiency: 25...Nxg2! 26.Rgxg2 Rxa2 27.Rxa2 Qxa2 28.Bf1 [28.Qxa2 Re1+ 29.Bf1 Rxf1#] 28...Bxg2+ 0-1.

Current standings

In the Premier event, a category 13 event with an average rating of 2574, Cuban GM Yuniesky Quesada Perez is still leading with 4.5/7, ahead of three other players half a point behind him.


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