Rijeka: No change in the lead

3/13/2010 – Round seven saw no changes in the rankings prior to the rest day on Saturday, with draws on no fewer than the eight top boards. Though the tendency would be to write they “ended with a peaceful result”, that would be a very inadequate description for all the games except for Almasi-Nepomniachtchi, which did indeed end shortly after it started. Report with pictures of the Zemat Sport Center.

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This event is taking place from March 6th to 18th 2010 in Rijeka, Croatia. Top players include Almasi, Bacrot, Movsesian, Navara, Vallejo, Motylev, Adams, Tomashevsky, Alekseev, Baadur, Naiditsch, Akopian, Volokitin, Bologan and Caruana.

Round seven report

The two leaders, Jobava and Efimenko, struggled long and hard, and despite a very balanced middlegame for the longest times, managed to create a number of problems for their opponents just when the worst seemed over. On board one Jobava played a Queen’s Gambit Declined against Riazantsev, and after 22 moves, spectators were no doubt wondering whether a handshake was on its way.

Jobava,Baadur - Riazantsev,Alexander [D37]
11th European Individual Men Chess Cham Rijeka/Croatia (7), 12.03.2010

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0-0 6.a3 dxc4 7.e3 a6 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.Rd1 h6 12.0-0 c5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.Bh7+ Kh8 17.Be4 Bxe4 18.Qxe4 Qe7 19.Qf3 Nf6 20.Be5 Rfd8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Qc6 Qa7

Until now, there had been little to say about the game. Material was equal, pawn structures symmetrical... what's a grandmaster to do? With the last move, as uneventful as it may seem, White is provided a chance to make things murkier, and beset his opponent with a number of tough decisions. 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Ne4 Be7 25.g4 Qb8 26.Rc1 Qe5 27.Qb7 Qxb2 28.Rc7 Qe2 29.Ng3 Qd1+ 30.Kg2 Bxa3 31.Qxa6. Also possible is 31.Rxf7 Qd5+ 32.Ne4 Qxb7 33.Rxb7 Bb2 34.Rb6 f5 35.gxf5 exf5 36.Nd6 Ra8 with an unclear position. No doubt Jobava didn't think it gave him his best practical chances. 31...Bd6 32.Rxf7

This was exactly the kind of position Jobava had been hoping for, one where it is his opponent alone who must find the saving moves. 32...Bxg3 33.Qa7. In hindsight, better might have been 33.hxg3 Qd5+ 34.Kh2 Qf3 35.Qb7 Qxb7 (35...Qxf2+ 36.Kh3 Qf1+ 37.Kh4 Qb1 forced since 37...Qh1 is impossible due to 37...Qxh1 Oops! 38.Rxf6) 36.Rxb7 Rd5 where despite the exchange of queens, White's rook is positioned ideally behind the b-pawn and at the same time is preventing Black's king from participating in the struggle. 37.Kg2. 33...Bc7 34.Qxc7 Qxg4+ 35.Qg3 Qe4+ 36.f3 Qc2+ 37.Kh3 Qf5+ 38.Kh4 Rg8 39.Qf4 Qxf4+ 40.exf4 Rb8 1/2-1/2 [Click to replay]

On board two Efimenko faced Vuckovic with black and chose the Berlin Defense against White’s Ruy Lopez. Again, for 25 moves, play proceeded quietly, until White’s oversight of bringing in the king to play, began to cause serious troubles, and at move 29, it was clear Efimenko had genuine winning chances.

Vuckovic,Bojan - Efimenko,Zahar [C67]
11th European Individual Men Chess Cham Rijeka/Croatia (7), 12.03.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 Be6 11.b3 Bb4 12.Bb2 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Bd5 14.Ne1 h5 15.Nd3 h4 16.Rfe1 Be6 17.Nc5 b6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Rad1 c5 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Rxd8+ Kxd8 22.Bd2 Kd7 23.Bg5 b5 24.Re4 a5 25.a4 c4 26.axb5 cxb3 27.cxb3 Rb8 28.Bxh4 Rxb5 29.Bg5

29...Rxb3? Whether due to an adrenaline rush, or a simple oversight, Black missed his best chance by rushing for the pawn. Better opportunities would arise from 29...c5 30.Bd2 Rxb3 31.Bxa5 Kc6 32.Re1 c4 33.Rc1 Kc5 and the onus is on White to save the game. 30.Ra4 Rb5 31.Bd2 Rb1+ 32.Kh2 Rb2 33.Bxa5 Rxf2 34.Rc4 Rxg2+ 35.Kh1 c6 36.Rxc6 Re2 37.Rc7+ Ke8 38.Bc3 Rc2 39.Ba5 Rxc7 40.Bxc7 Kd7 41.Ba5 Kc6 42.Kg2 Kd5 43.Kf3 Kxe5 44.Bc3+ Kd5 45.Kf4 Nd4 46.Kg5 Kc4 47.Bb2 e5 48.Kg6 e4 49.Bc1 Ne2 50.Bg5 Ng1 51.Kxg7 Nxh3 52.Bh6 Kd3 53.Kf6 Ke2 54.Kf5 Kf3 55.Bc1 Nf2 56.Bd2 Nd3 57.Bh6 e3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Although not decisive for prize contention (yet in any case), Ivan Sokolov won a very nice game against Fabiano Caruana with great zest, and should not be missed.

Sokolov,Ivan - Caruana,Fabiano [E01]
11th European Individual Men Chess Cham Rijeka/Croatia (7), 12.03.2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.g3 Nbd7 6.Bg2 dxc4 7.a4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qc2 Qe7 10.Bf4 a5 11.e4 b6 12.Rfe1 h6 13.d5 cxd5 14.exd5 Bxc3 15.d6 Qd8 16.Qxc3 Bb7 17.Qxc4 Rc8 18.Qe2 Nd5 19.Rad1 Nxf4 20.gxf4 Nf6 21.f5 Re8 22.Ne5 Bxg2 23.Nxf7 Kxf7 24.fxe6+ Kg8 25.Kxg2 Rc5 26.Qf3 Kh8

27.d7 Re7 28.Rd6 Nxd7 29.Red1 Rg5+ 30.Kf1 Qf8 31.exd7 Qxf3 32.d8Q+ Kh7 33.Qxe7 Rf5 34.Qh4 Re5 35.Rxh6+ gxh6 36.Rd7+ Kg6 37.Rd6+ Kf7 38.Qc4+ Ke8 39.Re6+ Rxe6 40.Qxe6+ Kd8 41.Qxb6+ Kc8

42.Qc5+ Kb7 43.Qb5+ Kc8 44.Qc4+ Kb7 45.h4 h5 46.Qd4 Kb8 47.Kg1 Kb7 48.Kh2 Ka8 49.Qh8+ Kb7 50.Qg7+ Kb6 51.Qh6+ Kb7 52.Qe3 Qg4 53.Qe7+ Kb6 54.Qf6+ Kb7 55.b3 Qd1 56.Qf7+ Kc6 57.Qc4+ Kd7 58.Kg2 Kd8 59.Qg8+ Ke7 60.Qg5+ Kf7 61.Qf5+ Kg8 62.Qf3 Qc2 63.Qxh5 Qxb3 64.Qxa5 Qb7+ 65.f3 Qb2+ 66.Kh3 1-0. [Click to replay]

As to the untitled Padolchenko, he continues his excellent run with a hard fought draw against Hungarian GM Balogh (2622). Saturday is a rest day, and the action will resume Sunday.

Albert Silver

The Zamet Sport Center in Rijeka

The event is being held in the new Zamet Centre sports hall located near the market place at Zamet, Rijeka. It is a modern public complex designed by the architect studio 3LHD and has gained fame due to the 50,000 ceramic tiles used in the buildings. The name "Centar Zamet" is traced out on the square in front of the hall, and should be visible in satellite images. We asked if anyone could locate it in Google Earth or Maps. Turns out that this is the best we can achieve:

Note that you can pan and zoom in the above map, or click to view a larger version

Mladena Zarkovic, office administrator of 3LHD, informs us that the little forest in the map is the exact location of Zamet Centre, but the Google satellite photo was taken before the Center was built. Mladena sent us two two photos of the site before and after the construction, taken from approximately the same angle.

The little "forest" just before the start of construction

The finished Zamet Centre sports hall in the same location

"We have to wait for Google to take new satellite pictures," writes Mladena, "and then the hall will be visible on Google Earth and Maps, as well as the sign made with tiles on the square." We ask our readers to keep a watch and inform us when the Google satellite images are updated. Here are some more pictures of the remarkable center:

Photos by Domagoj Blazevic, Damir Fabijanic and 3LHD archive

Top scorers in the men's section (seven rounds)

# Ti. Name FED RtgI Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   Rp
1 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2695 6.0 22.5 32.0
GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2640 6.0 22.5 32.0
3 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2656 5.5 22.0 31.0
4 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2660 5.5 21.5 31.0
5 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2667 5.5 21.5 30.0
6 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2639 5.5 21.0 29.0
7 GM Sokolov Ivan BIH 2638 5.5 21.0 29.0
8 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2688 5.5 21.0 29.0
9 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2657 5.5 21.0 28.5
10 GM Vuckovic Bojan SRB 2630 5.5 19.5 29.0
11 GM Almasi Zoltan HUN 2720 5.5 19.5 27.0

Top scorers in the women's section (seven rounds)

# Ti. Name FED RtgI Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   Rp
1 GM Socko Monika POL 2465 6.0 22.0 30.5
2 GM Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 2555 5.5 24.0 33.5
3 GM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2447 5.5 24.0 32.5
4 IM Cmilyte Viktorija LTU 2485 5.5 21.5 30.0
5 WGM Galojan Lilit ARM 2380 5.5 21.0 29.0
6 GM Cramling Pia SWE 2523 5.5 21.0 28.5
7 IM Dembo Yelena GRE 2457 5.5 17.5 25.0
8 GM Kosintseva Tatiana RUS 2524 5.0 23.5 32.5
9 IM Muzychuk Anna SLO 2533 5.0 22.0 31.5
10 GM Sebag Marie FRA 2506 5.0 22.0 30.0
11 IM Muzychuk Mariya UKR 2444 5.0 21.5 30.5
12 WGM Zhukova Natalia UKR 2492 5.0 21.5 29.5
13 IM Khurtsidze Nino GEO 2434 5.0 21.5 29.0
14 IM Rajlich Iweta POL 2459 5.0 21.0 29.5


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