Nine years of history

by Alina l'Ami
11/11/2015 – The Romanian Kings Tournament has a long tradition. The first edition was played in 2007. After nine years of prestige and a string of changes, the 2015 event faced rather challenging times from an international perspective. Alina l'Ami is stepping in and brings you an inspiring retrospective with annotations by Carlsen, Caruana, puzzles, photos and more.

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Nine years of history

There is no secret I love talking, thinking or writing about Romania and it is with great enthusiasm that I come to you now with a chronology from the very heart of...Transylvania! As much as some would be thrilled to hear frightening spooky stories with vampires & co, from the misty Romanian pristine forests, I'm afraid I will have to leave that into the hands of Hotel Transylvania's director and focus on something more tangible: chess.

Not only wild tales and mysteries emerged from our beautiful region (as if this horse-shoe of the Carpathians became some sort of imaginative vortex), but also important resources, particularly natural gas. This is directly connected to what interest us most, since without “Romgaz” (the largest natural gas producer and the main supplier in Romania) there would be no “Kings Tournament”, of which I am sure you heard about during its nine years of history.

Medias is the headquarters of Romgaz and one of the main locations to host the traditional chess tournament, with the first edition dating back to 2007 and the latest having just finished a week ago.

It is far from easy these days to have your ducks in a row but through effort and a series of changes, the Romanian grounds welcomed year after year a large number of top players, in spite of the inevitable challenges. So before jumping to any rash conclusions, according to which the prosperous event downgraded to a tournament interesting only for the local audience, allow me to bring you a quick retrospective first and we'll wrap things up at a later stage.

The first two editions, 2007 and 2008, were held in Bazna, which is not far away from Medias, and had an incredibly strong line-up: 11 renowned players fighting in a Round Robin format.

As far as the eye can reach, one can discover one strong player after another,
so no wonder that the public was glued to the monitors.

In 2008, the youngest participant (I am sorry Nigel, but I cannot repress a smile) won the tournament and had a great time too, as Erwin l'Ami and yours truly can confirm :)

First and second place – this time the chess read prevailed...

Young and restless visitors:)

Unfortunately for Timman, the Romanian escapades left a bitter taste behind, but only from a chess point of view, as our wines are simply out of this world! For one of our best players though, Mihai Suba, the 4th place in the 2008 edition was a great result, which gives me the opportunity to bring you a very nice example from his book “Dynamic Chess Strategy”.

The 'counter-check man'! Explanation in the game below (photo Alina l'Ami)

[Event "Bucharest Club Tournament"] [Site "?"] [Date "1968.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Chesca"] [Black "Suba"] [Result "0-1"] [Annotator "l'Ami Alina"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r4rk1/pp1b3p/4pB2/3pPn2/1P6/8/P3BP1P/1R1q2RK b - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "1"] {"Dynamic Chess Strategy" by Mihai Suba - "Making his last move (8.Bf6+), instead of probably winning 8.Bxd1!, my opponent euphorically yelled 'check' and this nearly induced me to play 8...Qxg1+ ('counter-check!') 9. Rxg1+ Kf7 10.Bh5 mate. After the better-pondered} 1... Ng3+ {I yelled back 'counter-check!' An ordinary chair could not resist the shock of our hero, who by no means could be considered a lightweight; the two broke down with a terrific noise and I became the 'counter-check man'.} 0-1

The 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions were held in Bazna (2009) and in Medias, respectively, but the number of players were reduced from 11 to 6, in order for the organizers to be able to invite “la crème de la crème” of chess.

A typical working pose for Ivanchuk (photo Alina l'Ami)

The next two years were very attractive for the Romanian media and for the international public alike, as the greatest Carlsen was present too, grabbing along the way nothing less than two times the first place.



No doubt that one of the advantages Magnus has is an enviable physical shape, acquired through..., where he is very good at! (Wijk aan Zee 2015, photo Alina l'Ami)


[Event "Bazna Kings 5th"] [Site "Medias"] [Date "2011.06.18"] [Round "7"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2815"] [BlackElo "2776"] [Annotator "Carlsen,M"] [PlyCount "143"] [EventDate "2011.06.11"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ROU"] [EventCategory "21"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2011.07.15"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 h6 9. Bd2 {This variation is naturally not especially dangerous for Black. However, as the game shows, White has some chances for a small, stable edge.} O-O 10. e3 Bxc5 11. Rc1 Qe7 12. Be2 a6 13. Qd3 {An important move; Black should not be allowed to play ...b5 and ...Bb7 with easy play. Qb3 with the same idea was also possible, but I felt that the queen would be better on d3.} Nb6 14. O-O Bg4 {Frankly, I didn't understand why he wanted to provoke Nd4, as in general exchanges favour White here.} (14... Be6 {was perfectly sensible.}) 15. Nd4 Bd7 {I don't think it was necessary to withdraw the bishop immediately as after} (15... Rac8 16. Bxg4 (16. b3 {is probably more accurate, but should hardly trouble Black much either}) 16... Nxg4 17. Nf3 Ne5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 { Black is fine:} 19. b3 d4 20. f4 dxe3 $1 21. fxe5 exd2+ 22. Kh1 dxc1=Q 23. Rxc1 Rfd8 24. Qf3 Bd4 25. Ne2 Rxc1+ 26. Nxc1 Bxe5 $11) 16. Bf3 Rfe8 17. b3 Ba3 ( 17... Ne4 18. Nxd5 {just loses a pawn.}) 18. Rc2 Rac8 (18... Ne4 19. Nce2 { does not change too much.}) 19. Nce2 {Now White is definitely better. However, it is still difficult to make any substantial progress.} Rxc2 20. Qxc2 Be6 { Very sensible, as Ba5 was an annoying threat. The text gives the knight a square on d7.} 21. Bc1 Rc8 (21... Bd6 {would be desirable, but gives White some time to regroup:} 22. Bb2 Rc8 23. Qb1 Nbd7 24. Nf4 Ne5 25. Be2 {with a very pleasant position.}) 22. Bxa3 Qxa3 23. Qd2 Bg4 $1 {An important move. After the bishops are gone, White will not have too many resources left, and the temporary lack of coordination in the black camp (the knights on b6 and g4 are loose, and even the rook might be hanging in some lines) cannot be exploited.} (23... Nbd7 24. Nf4 Qe7 25. Rc1 Rxc1+ 26. Qxc1 Ne5 27. Be2 { would give White the kind of position he's aiming for.}) 24. Bxg4 Nxg4 25. Nf5 Nf6 26. h3 {I spent a lot of time on this and the next few moves, looking for a way to increase my advantage, but everywhere Black defends easily enough.} Kh7 27. Qd4 Nbd7 28. Qf4 Nf8 {The most natural.} (28... Qxa2 29. Ned4 Qa3 { looks risky, but is probably also playable:} 30. g4 (30. Nd6 Rc1 31. Rxc1 Qxc1+ 32. Kh2 Qc7 $11) (30. Nxg7 Kxg7 31. Nf5+ Kg6 32. b4 Qc3 {leads nowhere}) 30... Rc1 31. Rxc1 Qxc1+ 32. Kg2 g5 33. Qd6 Qc5 {and Black is ok.}) 29. Neg3 (29. Nxh6 $2 {was tempting, but doesn't quite work:} Ne6 30. Qf5+ (30. Qh4 g5 31. Qg3 Ne4 $1 (31... Kxh6 32. f4 {is actually quite dangerous}) 32. Qf3 Kxh6 33. Qxf7 Qd6 34. Ng3 Ng7 35. Nxe4 dxe4 36. Qxb7 Rc6 {and only Black can be better}) 30... Kxh6 31. g4 Qb2 32. Ng3 g5 $1 (32... g6 {is what I calculated, and is also quite sufficient:} 33. g5+ Kg7 (33... Nxg5 34. Qxc8) 34. gxf6+ Qxf6 35. Qxd5 Rc2 $11) 33. f4 Rc1 {and White is busted} (33... gxf4 34. g5+ Nxg5 35. Qxf4 Rc1 36. h4 Rxf1+ 37. Kxf1 {might be enough for a draw})) (29. Ned4 Ng6 30. Qd6 Qxd6 31. Nxd6 Rc7 {and it's unclear what the knight is doing on d6.}) 29... Ng6 (29... Ne6 {was possibly even more precise. It looks weird to give the white queen such a nice post on e5 for free, but after the cool} 30. Qe5 Rc6 $1 {White has nothing} 31. Nxg7 Nxg7 {shows the point of ...Rc6.}) 30. Qd4 Qc5 { The only move (the threath of Nxg7 was very unpleasant). Now White has to exchange queens.} 31. f3 Qxd4 32. Nxd4 Ne5 33. Rd1 g6 34. Kf2 Kg7 35. Nge2 Kf8 36. g4 {White is still a little better here, but since the only black weakness is well defended and Black is active enough, there are no real winning chances. } Nc6 37. Rc1 Ke7 (37... Ne7 {was quite possible. Short on time, I was intending to repeat moves once, and then think about whether to exchange rooks or knights. I would probably have chosen the first option.}) 38. h4 Kd6 39. h5 {There is not really anything else. In order to have any chances for a win, I need to create a weakness on the kingside, and there h6 is the target.} Ne7 ( 39... gxh5 40. Nf5+ $1 (40. gxh5 Nxh5 41. Rh1 Nxd4 42. Nxd4 Ng7 43. Rxh6+ Ne6 $11) 40... Kd7 41. gxh5 Nxh5 42. Rh1 Nf6 43. Rxh6 {would be unpleasant for Black.}) 40. Rh1 gxh5 41. gxh5 Rg8 {Since the exchange of queens Ivanchuk had been playing more or less at blitz speed, and I was wondering whether he considered the position an easy draw, or was simply not in the mood for a painstaking defence. Anyway, White certainly has something to play for here, even though there is no doubt that Black should hold with sensible play.} 42. Ng3 Rg5 43. b4 (43. f4 Rg8 44. Kf3 Kd7 {leads nowhere. I thought it would be useful to postpone f4, as one of my knights or even the rook might want to use that square.}) 43... Kd7 44. Rh4 Ne8 45. Rf4 Nd6 46. a4 b6 {This was not necessary.} (46... Re5 {was quite ok. I don't see any serious was to play for a win here} 47. Rg4 Nef5 $1) 47. a5 {Naturally, I should not let the opportunity to create a potential weakness on a6 go, even though my own pawn on a5 might also be weak in some lines.} bxa5 48. bxa5 f5 $6 {I thought this was a serious inaccuracy during the game. There is no real need to leave this pawn as a target for both my knights. Staying put with ...Re5 was probably still fine.} 49. Rh4 Nc4 $2 (49... Rg8 50. Nge2 Rb8 51. Rh1 Rb2 52. Kg3 Ra2 53. Nf4 Rxa5 54. Ng6 {gives White a serious initative, as the king suddenly has a square on f4, and the black king might start to feel uncomfortable after a timely Ne5.}) 50. f4 Rg4 51. Rh3 {An ugly move, but I didn't want to allow} ( 51. Rh1 Nxe3 52. Kf3 Rg8 53. Rb1 Nc4 {which did not look clear to me at the board. Probably though, the position after} 54. Rb7+ Kd6 55. Ndxf5+ Nxf5 56. Nxf5+ Kc5 57. Rc7+ $1 Kb4 58. Ne7 {still offers winning chances, but it looked really messy.}) 51... Nd6 52. Rh1 Rg8 (52... Ne4+ 53. Nxe4 dxe4 54. Rb1 { just helps White, who is dominating.}) 53. Rb1 Ra8 54. Kf3 Kc7 55. Ne6+ { Once again, I was a little short of time, and wanted to repeat moves before going for Rb6.} (55. Rb6 {wins, as the following instructive variation shows:} Kd7 (55... Nec8 56. Ne6+ Kd7 57. Nc5+ Kc7 58. Rxa6 Rb8 59. Ne2 $18) 56. Nb3 Kc7 57. Nc5 Nc6 58. Nxa6+ Kd7 59. Nc5+ Kc7 60. Ne6+ Kd7 61. a6 $1 Kxe6 62. Rxc6 Kd7 63. Rc5 Rxa6 64. Ne2 $1 {and with Nd4 and Rxd5 to come, White should win.}) 55... Kc8 {I was a little upset that I allowed him this extra option, but White is still winning.} 56. Nc5 Rb8 (56... Nc6 57. Rb6 Kc7 {would transpose to the variations after 55.Rb6, and}) (56... Nc4 57. Rb7 {loses trivially.}) 57. Rxb8+ Kxb8 58. Nxa6+ Kb7 59. Nb4 {White is winning here, as Black doesn't have enough time to gobble up the a-pawn.} Nc4 60. a6+ Kb6 61. Ke2 Nd6 62. Kd3 Nb5 63. Ne2 Ka5 (63... Nc7 64. Nd4 Nxa6 65. Nxa6 Kxa6 66. Ne2 {with Kd4 and an easy win to come.}) 64. Nc3 Nc7 65. Nbxd5 $1 {A nice finishing touch. The king invasion is completely decisive, even a knight down!} Nexd5 66. Nxd5 Nxd5 67. a7 Nc7 68. Kd4 Kb6 69. Ke5 Kxa7 70. Kxf5 Nd5 71. Kg6 Nxe3 72. Kxh6 {Black is several tempi short here, so he resigned. I am happy with the way I conducted this endgame, although some of Ivanchuk's decisions and especially his time management left something to be desired.} 1-0


Chess means a lot of work but one reaches nowhere without having fun too!
Dorian Rogozenco is a constant presence in the tournament, known for his multitasking abilities!

We move on to the years 2012 and 2013, when we witnessed another downsize in the number of participants, but without having any compromises on the quality of the games. Moreover, to draw more awareness on the chess event, the organizers decided to move their whereabouts into the capital, to Bucharest.

The more inspiring, the better – Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies

It is true that Topalov appears to be occupying the 1st place but the rules required a Rapid tie-break to be played in case of equality, which was won with 1.5-0.5 by Ivanchuk, making him the overall winner.

The secret of the two times winner (2009 and 2012) in the Kings Tournament:
is to find the right balance between work and rest. (photo Alina l'Ami)

With such line-ups, success is almost guaranteed.

The 2013 winner (photo Alina l'Ami)

[Event "Kings Tournament 7th"] [Site "Bucharest"] [Date "2013.10.14"] [Round "8"] [White "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B40"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2779"] [Annotator "Caruana,F"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2013.10.07"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "ROU"] [EventCategory "20"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2013.11.12"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 e5 $5 {An interesting new concept. Usually 5...d6 or 5...d5 is played.} 6. O-O Be7 7. c3 (7. d3 O-O { , and Black will prepare ...d5 while it's not clear what White is doing.}) 7... O-O 8. d4 {Ruslan instinctively went for the most critical line.} (8. Rd1 d5 9. exd5 Qxd5 {is very fine for Black.}) 8... cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 $5 {Enterprising, but not required.} (9... exd4 10. e5 Ne8 {seems fine for Black, but it seemed a bit awkward to me.}) 10. exd5 (10. dxe5 dxe4 11. exf6 exf3 {liquidates everything with complete equality.}) 10... Nxd4 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. Qe5 d3 { This pawn looks like it's ready to fall off the board, but it's surprisingly difficult to get rid of!} 13. Nc3 ({During the game I was more concerned by} 13. Bf4 Re8 14. Qd4 Bf5 15. d6 {, but as I mentioned during the press conference, Black is doing well after} Qd7 {, and next ...Rad8.}) 13... Re8 14. Bf4 $2 {A terrible blunder.} ({After} 14. Qd4 Bf5 15. Bf4 Qd7 {the position is balanced.}) 14... Ba3 {I imagine Ruslan completely overlooked this move. Suddenly White is on the verge of losing.} 15. Qd4 Bxb2 16. Qxd3 {Correctly sacrificing the exchange, and keeping some practical chances to hold on.} (16. Rab1 Bxc3 17. Qxc3 Nxd5 {is simply hopeless for White, two pawns down.}) 16... Bxa1 17. Rxa1 Bd7 18. h3 Rc8 19. Be3 Bf5 {A difficult decision. I chose well, but there were other attractive options.} 20. Qxf5 Rxc3 21. Bd4 Rc4 $6 { A ridiculous move. Now White gets an extra tempo to play Bf1.} (21... Rc7 $1 22. Rd1 (22. Bxa7 Rd7 {wins the d-pawn because} 23. Rd1 $2 b6 {traps the bishop }) 22... b6 {, and Black has an advantage which I feel will be sufficient to win.}) 22. Rd1 Qd6 $2 {Another strange mistake. I had begun to drift and almost lost all my advantage.} ({Prophylaxis was required:} 22... a6 $1 23. Bf1 Rc7 {, and now White doesn't have Bb5.} 24. Bb6 {is met by} Qd7) 23. Bf1 Rb4 ( 23... Rcc8 24. Bd3 {is starting to look very unclear.}) (23... Rc7 24. Bb5 $1 { is what I had missed, although Black still keeps a significant advantage after} Nd7) 24. Bc3 ({I was most concerned by} 24. Qc2 $5 {, which nearly traps my rook! I can fight on with} Qd7 {, but White has very good chances to defend by now.}) 24... Rbe4 $1 {This took a fair amount of calculation. I saw I could more or less take a draw with 24...Rb6, or play this risky but principled move. In the end I realized it would be such a shame to spoil an advantage like I had from the opening, so I pulled myself together and finally calculated a line or two.} (24... Rb6 25. Bd4 {just repeats.} Qxd5 26. Qxd5 Nxd5 27. Bxb6 Nxb6 28. Bg2 {is absolutely equal.}) 25. Bb5 (25. Bd3 $2 Qxd5 26. Qxd5 Nxd5 27. Bxe4 Nxc3 {wins.}) 25... Qc5 {Forced or I'm worse.} 26. Bxf6 $2 {This loses. The alternative wasn't great but White would have chances to survive.} (26. Bxe8 Qxc3 27. Bb5 g6 28. Qg5 Re1+ 29. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 30. Kg2 (30. Bf1 Ne4 31. Qe3 Qxe3 32. fxe3 Nxg3 {seems winning.}) 30... Qe4+ 31. Kg1 Nxd5 {, with an extra pawn and chances to win, but the outcome is far from certain.}) 26... Re1+ ( 26... Qxb5 $4 27. Qg5 Re1+ 28. Kh2 g6 29. Qh6 {mates.}) 27. Kh2 (27. Kg2 Qxb5 { , and now after Qg5 I have a crucial check on f1.}) (27. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 28. Kh2 gxf6 {is also winning.}) 27... Rxd1 28. Bxe8 Rxd5 $1 {I imagine Ruslan missed this move when he took on f6.} 29. Be5 (29. Bxf7+ Kxf7 30. Be5+ Ke7 31. Qg5+ Ke6 $19) 29... Rxe5 (29... f6 $1 {is even more clinical, but this was too much to ask from me.}) 30. Qxf7+ Kh8 {White is simply an exchange down with no compensation. I could have been more accurate finishing the game, but it was enough.} 31. Bd7 Qe7 32. Qf4 Qf6 33. Qd2 b5 34. Bg4 h5 35. Bd1 h4 36. Bg4 Re8 37. gxh4 Qxh4 38. Kg2 Qe7 39. Bf3 Rd8 40. Qf4 Qf6 41. Qg4 g6 42. Qe4 Qg5+ 43. Kf1 a5 44. h4 Qf5 45. Qc6 Rf8 46. Qc3+ Kh7 0-1

As for the editions played in 2014 and this year, the tournament went through another make-over, changing from closed events into matches, played against China and Germany, respectively, in a format called the Scheveningen system (each player of one team plays each player of the other team). Then according to the standings, the best players of each team (those who scored the most points in their team) will play a match consisting of two rapid games. The winner of this match will be announced the winner of the Kings Tournament.

Unfortunately for the Romanians, the Olympic Champions in 2014 – the Chinese team – crushed ours without any sign of mercy. All four rounds were lost and in the end, the overall winner was Wang Yue.

A valuable collectable

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
A lesson learned the hard way for our team but a good experience, nonetheless!

And now I reach the core of the saying: “better an egg today than a hen tomorrow”. It is indeed spectacular to see Carlsen at work but it doesn't mean that less “strong” GMs will not be able to make your chess day. Besides, if before usually only one Romanian player was invited to take part, in the past two years the entire Romanian Olympic team was able to participate, making it very useful in the long run for our players.

Energy with the power of human brain (playing in the Gas Museum)

To illustrate the fact one will not regret following our games (the Romanians are known for their fighting and intrepid spirits), I bring you two beautiful examples from this year's match against Germany (some of you know the solutions already from my FB or TW posts but if you haven't seen them yet, do give it a try!):

1. Parligras – Bluebaum, Medias 2015

White to play and win!

Solution: 16. Rxg7 Nxg7 17. Bxh6 Rg8 18. Bg5 Nxh5 19. Bf6+ Rg7 20. Qh6+ Kg8 21. Qxh5 1-0

2. Donchenko – Marin, Medias 2015

Black to play and win!

Solution: 20... Nxg3! 21. Kxg3 Bc4! With the obvious idea of delivering mate soon 22. Qd2 Be5+ 23. Kh4 Qe7+ 24. Qg5 (If you cannot see through, take your chess set and find here the forced mate which Marin missed!) 24... Bg3+ 25. Kxg3 Qxg5 26. Bc1 Qc5 27. Nh6+ Kg7 28. bxc4 Qe5+ 29. Kh4 Qh5+ 30. Kg3 Qe5+ 31. Kh4 Rf4+ 32. Ng4 h5 0-1

Unfortunately, one swallow (or two or three) does not make a summer and in the end the German team won the match but the overall winner was our player, the 14 y.o. talented Deac Bogdan-Daniel!

The winner of Kings Tournament 2015 (photo Alina l'Ami)

[Event "Kings Tournament ROU-GER"] [Site "Medias ROU"] [Date "2015.10.31"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Fridman, D."] [Black "Deac, Bogdan-Daniel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2649"] [BlackElo "2455"] [PlyCount "170"] [EventDate "2015.10.30"] [EventType "schev"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "ROU"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2015.11.02"] [WhiteTeam "GER"] [BlackTeam "ROU"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Nf3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Qc2 Nc6 11. Qxc4 e5 12. d5 Nb8 13. Nc3 Na6 14. a3 Bd6 15. Nd2 Bd7 16. Nce4 Qe7 17. Qc3 a4 18. f4 exf4 19. gxf4 f5 20. Nxd6 cxd6 21. e4 Rac8 22. Qd4 fxe4 23. Nxe4 Nc5 24. Rae1 Nxe4 25. Rxe4 Qf6 26. Qxf6 Rxf6 27. Rb4 b5 28. Be4 Rc5 29. f5 Rf8 30. Rd4 Kf7 31. Kf2 Re8 32. h4 Re5 33. Kg3 Kf6 34. h5 Bxf5 35. Rb4 g6 36. hxg6 Kxg6 37. Bf3 Bd3 38. Rg4+ Rg5 39. Re1 Bf5 40. Rxg5+ hxg5 41. Re3 Kf6 42. b3 axb3 43. Rxb3 Ke5 44. Kf2 Kd4 45. Rb4+ Kc3 46. Ke3 Bd7 47. Be4 Rc8 48. Rb1 Ra8 49. Rc1+ Kb2 50. Rc7 Be8 51. Re7 Kxa3 52. Rg7 b4 53. Rxg5 b3 54. Rg7 Ba4 55. Kd2 b2 56. Rb7 Re8 57. Bd3 Re5 58. Bc4 Re4 59. Kc3 Re1 60. Bd3 Rc1+ 61. Kd2 Rc5 62. Be4 Rb5 63. Ra7 Rxd5+ 64. Kc3 Rc5+ 65. Kd4 Rc1 66. Ra6 Kb4 67. Bd3 Rc6 68. Ra8 Rb6 69. Bb1 Bb3 70. Rh8 d5 71. Rg8 Bc4 72. Bc2 Ba2 73. Ra8 Bc4 74. Rg8 Ra6 75. Rb8+ Ka3 76. Rg8 Ka2 77. Rg1 Rh6 78. Kc3 Rf6 79. Rh1 Rf1 80. Rh8 Rf3+ 81. Kd4 b1=Q 82. Bxb1+ Kxb1 83. Rh2 Kc1 84. Rg2 Rd3+ 85. Kc5 Rd2 0-1


Elisabeta Polihroniade, the driving force behind the Kings Tournament(s)

Romanians are hard workers, no doubt about it; to enter the chess zone for the European Team Championship, the men team had their workout against Germany, whereas our women team had a training session in this beautiful mountains...we shall see how the final results will look like in Reykjavik :)

To finish on a good note: each edition of the Kings Tournament had its special moments but in the end, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. After various changes and nine years of history, I can only speculate how the jubilee will look like next year. I just know I will be watching and I trust you will be too!

Photos: Facebook page of the Kings Tournament and Alina l'Ami

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.


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