Iweta Rajlich and Kamil Dragun win the Polish Championship

by André Schulz
5/24/2019 – At the Polish national championships in Warsaw, the two Elo favourites only came in second place. The Open Championship was won by Kamil Dragun, who spent several years in the USA as a student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Iweta Rajlich took the Women's Champion title, finishing a full point clear of Polish women's number one Monika Socko. | Photos: Marek Skrzypczak / mp2019.pzszach.pl

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Kamil Dragun is the new champion of Poland

This year's Polish Individual Championships were held in the Trading Hall of the Warsaw Stock Exchange from May 11th to 19th. The open championship (men) and the women's championship took place in parallel, both as round-robin tournaments. The main sponsors of the championships were the Polish Lotto for the men and the tea and coffee producer Mokate for the women's championship.

In the absence of Radoslaw Wojtaszek the problem-solving World Champion Kacper Piorun was the Elo favourite in the open. With two wins and seven draws he performed reasonably well and finished in second place. But Kamil Dragun was better. The 2010 U-16 World Champion was able to win one more game, while also remaining undefeated to take the title and the first prize of 20,000 Polish zloty (about USD $5,200) with 6.0 points.

The winners: Kamil Dragun, Kacper Piorun, Bartosz Socko | Photo: Marek Skrzypczak

Dragun was the co-leader after five rounds, together with Bartosz Socko, but he took the lead in the sixth round by scoring his third win of the event over IM Igor Janik with a nice tactical sequence:

 

Dragun ignored the attack on his rook and played 33.fxg5! Now ...♝xc5 would leave Black's kingside too weak, so Janik played 33...xg5 but found himself worse after 34.xc6! when ...♜xc6 is met by ♖xb5, but after 34...d6 the passed b-pawn eventually decided the game in Dragun's favour.

All Dragun's games

 

Final standings

 

All games

 

Women's Championship

In the Polish Women's Championships, Monika Socko is always the favourite, and this year was no exception. Socko actually came away with five wins during the tournament, beating the entire bottom half of the table.

Monika Socko conducts herself well | Photo: Marek Skrzypczak

But the Polish women's number one also suffered two defeats, against Jolanta Zawadzka and Joanna Majdan, and her six total points were only enough for second place.

The convincing winner of the championship was instead Iweta Rajlich, who also won five games, but remained undefeated, and finished a full point ahead.

Unlike many national championships, the winner of the women's tournament also received 20,000 zloty in prize money, just like her male counterpart.

Iweta Rajlich was invincible | Photo: Marek Skrzypczak

Karina Szczepkowska finished fifth | Photo: Marek Skrzypczak

The winners: Iwete Rajlich, with child, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka | Photo: Marek Skrzypczak

Final standings

 

All games

 

Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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