Plovdiv European Championship: Revolt of the underrated

3/23/2012 – There were plenty of upsets in the first three rounds in Bulgaria. Typically an IM or even FM rated 250 points below his opponent would take the full point, often with the black pieces. There are now eleven players with 3.0/3 and 41 with 2½ points. The hero of round two was 15-year-old Illya Nyzhnyk, who defeated Dutch Champion Anish Giri, 132 points his senior. Report with GM commentary.

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The 13th European Individual Championship is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from March 20th to 31st, 2012. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves, plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. The total prize fund is 100,000 Euros, with the top three taking 14,000, 11,000 and 9,000 Euros respectively.

Round two

The game of the round was between the two youngsters Illya Nyzhnyk from Ukraine and Anish Giri from the Netherlands. The former is just fifteen and already a GM rated 2585. Giri is seventeen and has won two national championships (in 2009 and 2011) as well as a super-GM tournament (Reggio Emilia 2011-2012). His rating is 2717, exactly 132 points above Nizhnyk's, so he was the clear favourite in this game, even though he had the black pieces. However, Giri committed an inaccuracy on move 21 and an error on move 22, and was professionally dispatched by his younger colleague. This interesting game was annotated for us by GM Alejandro Ramirez.

Note that on our JavaScript player you can use the cursor keys to play through the main line or click on moves to jump to them on the board. The ChessBase training DVDs shown below the board teach you more about the opening played in the game. The games will be more extensively analysed for the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.


The hero of round two: 15-year-old GM Illya Nyzhnyk

Second seed Shakhryar Mamedyarov (2752, AZE) drew with the black pieces against Luka Paichadze of Georgia, 261 points below him on the rating scale. Similarly Baadur Jobava (2706, GEO), the eighth seed in this event, was unable to score against Bulgarian GM Petar Drenchev, 207 points below him, and David Navara (2700, CZE), playing black, shared the point with IM Dalibor Stojanovic of Bosnia-Herzegovian, 229 rating points below him.

The winner of the European U18 championship in Albena 2011, Nils Grandelius (2545, SWE), beat the more experienced Bartosz Socko (2647, POL), while former European Champion GM Zdenko Kozul (2602, CRO) defeated the winner of the European U14 championship in Albena 2011 Ali Marandi Cemil Can (2315, TUR) in less than 2.5 hours. In an interesting game Vladimir Malakhov (2705, RUS) was defeated by Russian GM Boris Savchenko (2580, RUS). This game has been annotated for us by GM Ramirez:

Other upsets: Russian FM Kirill Alekseenko, rated 2367, won with the black pieces against his compatriot, GM Sergey Volkov, rated 2623, i.e. 256 points below him. And Sarunas Sulskis (2569, LTU) lost against Avital Boruchovsky (2333, ISR). The Bulgarian champion GM Julian Radulski, 2552, defeated Maxim Rodshtein, 2652, with the black pieces. The young Israeli GM is the second of the World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand. Top seed Fabiano Caruana beat GM Tamas Banusz and was one of exactly 40 players with 2.0/2 points.

Round three

Once again attention was focussed on the game of our round two hero Elijah Nizhnik playing with the black pieces against 26-year-old Ukraine GM Anton Korobova, 2679 and 94 points above the lad. It was a super-sharp game that is certainly worth study (it will be fully analysed in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine).

[Event "13th EICC"] [Site "Plovdiv BUL"] [Date "2012.03.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Korobov, Anton"] [Black "Nyzhnyk, Illya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E97"] [WhiteElo "2679"] [BlackElo "2585"] [Annotator "Frederic,Friedel"] [PlyCount "124"] [EventDate "2012.03.20"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 c6 10. Ba3 cxd5 11. cxd5 {0.30/0} Bg4 {0.22/0} 12. h3 {0.00/0} Bxf3 { 0.19/0} 13. Bxf3 {0.20/0} Nd7 {0.54/0} 14. Bc1 {0.36/0} f5 {0.08/0} 15. Bd2 { 0.27/0} Nf6 {0.41/0} 16. Rc1 {0.50/0} Qd7 $1 {0.16/0} 17. Qe2 {0.18/0} Rac8 { 0.50/0} 18. Qd3 {0.29/0} Rc7 {0.23/0} 19. Rc2 {0.15/0} Rfc8 {0.04/0} 20. Rfc1 { 0.25/0} Rc4 {0.09/0} 21. a3 {0.19/0} a6 $1 {0.16/0} 22. Be3 {0.00/0} b5 $1 {0. 26/0} 23. Qd1 {0.10/0} fxe4 {0.47/0} 24. Nxe4 {-0.19/0} Nxe4 {-0.11/0} 25. Rxc4 {-0.24/0} Rxc4 {-0.08/0} 26. Rxc4 {-0.12/0} Nxf2 $1 {-0.68/0} 27. Bxf2 {-0.05/0 } bxc4 {-0.18/0} 28. g4 {-0.23/0} Qb5 {0.05/0} 29. Qc2 {0.04/0} Nc8 {0.11/0} 30. h4 {0.00/0} Kh8 {0.28/0} 31. Be2 {0.34/0} Nb6 {0.43/0} 32. h5 {0.20/0 Things are getting very sharp.} Nxd5 {0.49/0} 33. Bxc4 {0.05/0} Qc6 {0.26/0} 34. Qe4 {0.20/0} Nxb4 $1 {0.11/0} 35. Qxc6 {0.00/0} Nxc6 {0.20/0} 36. Bxa6 {0. 07/0} gxh5 {0.25/0} 37. gxh5 {0.39/0} Bh6 {0.20/0} 38. a4 {0.00/0} Nd4 {0.11/0} 39. Bc4 {0.00/0} Bd2 {0.12/0} 40. h6 {0.25/0} Nf5 {1.37/0} 41. Be6 {0.14/0} Nxh6 {0.00/0 Black is two pawns up and has connected passed pawns in the centre. But White has the powerful bishop pair and objectively the position is drawn.} 42. Kf1 {0.00/0} Ba5 {0.00/0} 43. Be1 {0.01/0} Bc7 {0.00/0} 44. a5 {0. 00/0} Bxa5 {0.41/0 Pragmatic - securing the draw at least.} 45. Bxa5 {0.14/0} Kg7 {0.17/0} 46. Ke2 {0.01/0} Kf6 {0.04/0} 47. Bd5 {0.01/0} Nf7 {0.08/0} 48. Kf3 {0.00/0} Ng5+ {0.21/0} 49. Kg4 {0.25/0} Ne6 {0.00/0} 50. Ba2 {0.00/0} h5+ { 0.01/0} 51. Kxh5 {0.00/0} Kf5 {1.29/0} 52. Kh4 {0.01/0} Nf4 {0.08/0} 53. Kg3 { 0.01/0} d5 {0.09/0} 54. Kf3 {0.00/0} d4 {0.02/0} 55. Bb1+ {0.65/0} d3 {0.62/0} 56. Ke3 {1.61/0} e4 {0.00/0} 57. Ba2 {0.00/0} Ng2+ {0.71/0} 58. Kd4 {0.20/0} Kf4 {0.31/0} 59. Bd5 {0.00/0} d2 {0.00/0 Okay, the lad concedes, I cannot win this.} 60. Bxd2+ {0.00/0} e3 {0.00/0} 61. Ba5 {0.00/0} e2 62. Bxg2 Kg3 1/2-1/2

After his round two loss the other youngster, Dutch GM Anish Giri, was unable to score with the white pieces against IM Dalibor Stojanovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranked almost 250 points below him. Czech GM David Navarre had a bad start as well, losing in round three with white against IM Zoran Arsovich from Serbia, 265 point below him in the Elo rankings. Navara's compatriot Victor Laznicka, rated 2702, lost with the black pieces against 20-year-old Russian GM Alexander Shimanov, who is 111 points below him. Other upsets: French GM Romaine Edward, 2607, lost with black to IM Popilski Gill, 2389, from Israel, and another French GM, Matthew Cornette, 2545, lost to the young Slovak FM Tamas Petenyi, rated 2359.

Top rankings after round three

Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtng Pts.
1 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2709 3.0
2 GM Savchenko Boris RUS 2580 3.0
3 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2702 3.0
4 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  FRA 2682 3.0
5 GM Lenic Luka SLO 2637 3.0
6 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2635 3.0
7 GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2628 3.0
8 GM Radulski Julian BUL 2552 3.0
9 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2615 3.0
10 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2610 3.0
11 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2585 3.0
12 IM Azaladze Shota GEO 2419 2.5
13 GM Nyzhnyk Illya UKR 2585 2.5
14 GM Caruana Fabiano ITA 2767 2.5
15 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2729 2.5
16 GM Bacrot Etienne FRA 2706 2.5
17 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2702 2.5
18 GM Dreev Aleksey RUS 2698 2.5
19 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2693 2.5
20 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2689 2.5
21 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2679 2.5
22 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2710 2.5
23 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2666 2.5
24 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2664 2.5
25 GM Ragger Markus AUT 2654 2.5
26 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2695 2.5
Rk. Ti. Name FED Rtng Pts.
27 GM Timofeev Artyom RUS 2650 2.5
28 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2653 2.5
29 GM Esen Baris TUR 2555 2.5
30 GM Popov Ivan RUS 2605 2.5
31 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2649 2.5
32 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2687 2.5
33 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2682 2.5
34 GM Beliavsky Alexander SLO 2630 2.5
35 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2626 2.5
36 GM Durarbeyli Vasif AZE 2543 2.5
37 GM Hracek Zbynek CZE 2627 2.5
38 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr  RUS 2602 2.5
39 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2624 2.5
40 GM Guseinov Gadir AZE 2616 2.5
41 GM Lysyj Igor RUS 2656 2.5
42 GM Parligras Mircea ROU 2614 2.5
43 GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2600 2.5
44 GM Pap Gyula HUN 2538 2.5
45 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2591 2.5
46 GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 2531 2.5
47 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2632 2.5
48 GM Delchev Aleksander BUL 2622 2.5
49 GM Lupulescu Constantin ROU 2616 2.5
50 GM Brkic Ante CRO 2587 2.5
51 GM Kempinski Robert POL 2610 2.5
52 IM Dvirnyy Daniyyl ITA 2507 2.5

Remaining schedule + Playchess commentary

After every round there will be special wrap-up commentary on Playchess. This starts at 20:00h Server time (= CET, = , 23:00h Moscow, 19:00h London, 3 p.m. New York, 12:00 noon California, 03:00h Beijing, 00:30h New Delhi – you can find the time in your location here). Commentary is in English.

Day Date Time Program Playchess commentary
Friday March 23 15:00 Round 4 Valeri Lilov
Saturday March 24 15:00 Round 5 Lawrence Trent
Sunday March 25 15:00 Round 6 Lawrence Trent
Monday March 26      Free Day  
Tuesday March 27 15:00 Round 7 Sam Collins
Wednesday March 28 15:00 Round 8 Sam Collins
Thursday March 29 15:00 Round 9 Robert Ris
Friday March 30 15:00 Round 10 Robert Ris
Saturday March 31 13:00 Round 11 Valeri Lilov
Saturday March 31 20:00 Closing  
Sunday April 01     Departure  

Links

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