Four chess legends meet in Platja d'Aro

by Antonio Pereira
6/28/2018 – A small town in Catalonia's beautiful Costa Brava has welcomed four renowned chess players from the past. Anatoly Karpov, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Anatoly Vaisser and Eugenio Torre are playing a unique rapid and blitz tournament in Platja d'Aro. David Llada sent some very nice pictures from the singular Legends Tournament. | Photos: David Llada

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Some things remain the same

Although the stamina and motivation might have lowered with the years, these four veterans keep showing their legend status is not unfounded. The favourite, Anatoly Karpov, still has a rapid rating over 2600, and he is defending it like a true champion in Catalonia. He leads on 3/4 after having defeated Ljubojevic and Torre.

Against 'Ljubo', the twelfth World Champion squeezed a small advantage in what seemed to be an equal endgame. It is no surprise that the Serbian grandmaster went a little overboard with his attempts to find daring tactical continuations, as he showed he has kept his aggressive style throughout the years when he worked as a commentator in Shamkir earlier this year.

 

Anatoly Karpov, a living legend | Photo: David Llada

In the third round, Karpov defeated Eugenio Torre. The Filipino already lost twice in Spain, but we shall mention the fact that he is the last one of the participants to have shown a great performance in a strong official tournament — at the 2016 Olympiad in Baku, Torre finished on 10/11 with a 2836 rating performance and took home the individual bronze medal for Board 3. Against Karpov, he fell victim of his opponent's boa-constrictor technique in a queen endgame.

 

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The oldest participant, Anatoly Vaisser from France, is 69 years old, but that did not prevent him from advancing his g and h-pawns early in the game to defeat Torre in their second round encounter. The Soviet-born grandmaster won the Russian Chess Championship thirty-six years ago. 

 

Anatoly Vaisser won an attacking game | Photo: David Llada

The legends will play two more rounds of rapid (25+10) and will rest on Thursday, before going back to the fray for twelve rounds of blitz (5+3) on Friday and Saturday.

The first ever Asian GM, Eugenio Torre | Photo: David Llada

All games from rounds 1-4

 

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Vila de Platja d'Aro Open

Simultaneously, a strong 9-round Open tournament is taking place in the coastal resort. After five rounds, the three rating favourites are sharing the lead on 4.5/5. Yasser Quesada Perez from Cuba (do not confuse him with his older brother Yuniesky), Levan Aroshidze from Georgia and Pavel Potapov from Russia will try to stay on top until Sunday's final round.

Standings after 5 rounds (first 20)

Rk. Name Pts.
1 Aroshidze Levan 4,5
2 Potapov Pavel 4,5
3 Quesada Perez Yasser 4,5
4 Gutenev Alexander 4,0
5 Kozlov Gennady 4,0
6 Vidal Zamora Alex 4,0
7 Carbonell Bofill Carlos Eloy 4,0
8 Castrillon Otero Javier 4,0
9 Marzo Pie Xavier 3,5
10 Ayllon Rodriguez Joan Pedro 3,5
11 Ordinola Capcha Juan 3,5
12 Casanellas Ruano Lluis 3,5
13 Chan Naruna 3,5
14 Riu Lopez Sergi 3,5
15 Viñals Rioja Jaume 3,5
16 Sabria Batlle Pol 3,0
17 Parals Marce Lluis 3,0
18 Villar Reymundo Juan Antonio 3,0
19 Xifra Tome Bernat 3,0
20 Garcia Molina Jose 3,0

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Antonio is a freelance writer and a philologist. He is mainly interested in the links between chess and culture, primarily literature. In chess games, he skews towards endgames and positional play.
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IvarChester IvarChester 7/1/2018 11:17
What happened in the blitz part of the tournament?
Mike Magnan Mike Magnan 6/29/2018 11:52
Really nice to see the old boys play. Still produce fun games...
Heavygeardiver Heavygeardiver 6/28/2018 08:25
Great pics and tough well played games. They are all still great champions!
chipstaylor chipstaylor 6/28/2018 03:50
Go El Eugenio AFGM ( Asia's First GM! ) also AFCC ( chess candidate! 2nd, Vishy; 3rd Ding Liren; 4th, WEslEy! He is truly legend, go Go Eugene!!
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