Rising Stars beat Experienced team by 33½-16½

by ChessBase
8/31/2008 – It was pretty much a rout. The lowest scorer in the Rising Stars team ended up a full point ahead of highest scorers of the Experienced Grandmasters. One must remember that the oldest player in the tournament had completed his third world championship final match eleven years before the youngest player was born. We bring you a big pictorial report with stunning photos by Fred Lucas.

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The NH tournament, a confrontation between a team of five young ‘Rising Stars’ and a team of five ‘Experienced’ grandmasters, took place in the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the centre of the Dutch city of Amsterdam, from August 20th to 30th, 2008. The event was a ‘Scheveningen’ tournament, which means that each player of one team played against each of the players of the other team. They did so twice, once with the white pieces and once with the black pieces.

Round eight: Wang Yue triumphs again and remains point ahead of Cheparinov
The Rising Stars dealt another blow to the Experience team. With two wins and three draws they secured match victory as they increased their lead to 28-12 with only two rounds (and ten games) to go. In the race for the ticket to the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, Wang Yue raised his score to a baffling 7½ out of 8 with an impressive win over Artur Jussupow. Still, nothing has been decided yet, as Ivan Cheparinov, who also won his game, keeps following at a one point’s distance.

Round nine: Experience posts first victory!
The Experience team finally pulled off what many fans had been hoping for for so long. Thanks to a victory by Ljubomir Ljubojevic they scored their first win. All other games were drawn, but all of them saw great fights. In the overall standings the Rising Stars lead 30-15. With one round to go Wang Yue is still leading in the race for the ticket to the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, one point ahead of Ivan Cheparinov. Today was certainly the Chinese player’s lucky day. Whereas Cheparinov failed to convert a winning position against Bareev, Wang Yue escaped from a lost position against Kortchnoi.

Erwin l'Ami kibitzes Ljubojevic-Caruana and Agdestein-Stellwagen in round nine

In round nine Ivan Cheparinov had a winning position against Evegny Bareev

Meanwhile tournament leader Wang Yue wasn't doing so well against Viktor Korchnoi

Interested party: Cheparinov watches keenly as Korchnoi applies pressure on Wang

As the game proceeds more GMs (Artur Jussupow, Simen Agdestein) collect

Thank heavens for rook endings: Wang Yue after his narrow escape against Korchnoi

Korchnoi's scoresheet

Round ten: Rising Stars beat Experience 33½-16½
In the tenth and last round of the NH Chess Tournament the Rising Stars defeated the Experienced team 3½-1½. The final standings after ten rounds are 33½-16½. With a short draw in his last game Wang Yue avoided any risk and secured the coveted ticket to the 2009 Amber Rapid and Blindfold Tournament in Nice. His score, 8½ points from 10 games was easily the highest individual score in the short history of the NH Chess Tournament. In 2006 Magnus Carlsen qualified for Amber with 6½ from 10, one year later Sergey Karjakin gathered 7 from 10. Ivan Cheparinov and a companion of his choice will be invited to Nice to attend the Amber tournament as spectators. Fabiano Caruana won the third extra prize, a Sony VAIO laptop computer.

The final score after ten rounds of the tournament was:

Experience Country Rtng
Simen Agdestein Norway 2583
Evgeny Bareev Russia 2655
Ljubomir Ljubojevic Serbia 2555
Artur Jussupow Germany 2587
Viktor Kortchnoi Switzerland 2602
Total score: 
Rising Stars Country Rtng
Wang Yue China 2704
Ivan Cheparinov Bulgaria 2687
Fabiano Caruana Italy 2630
Erwin l’Ami Netherlands 2610
Daniel Stellwagen Netherlands 2616
Total score: 

The winner and 2009 Amber participant: Chinese GM Wang Yue

Missed overall victory by a point: Topalov second Ivan Cheparinov

In third place: fabulous Fabiano Caruana of Italy, who has just turned sixteen

It is noteworthy that the weakest Rising Star scored more than the strongest Experienced player, and that Wang Yue alone scored over 80% of the total of all five Experienced grandmasters. [This reminds us of a Skype taunt we received from Vishy Anand in the middle of the Olympic Games in Beijing: "Congratulations," he wrote, "Germany has just overtaken Phelps!"]

Looking at the above cross table we can see that Experienced managed a total of four wins, compared to 14 by the Rising Stars. 25 games were drawn. The top performer was, of course, Wang Yue. The Chinese GM scored a result one could reasonably expect from a player rated 2897. Ivan Cheparinov's performance was 2787; Fabiano Caruana, who has just turned 16, played like someone rated 2703. At the bottom end 77-year-old Viktor Korchnoi and former world-class GM Artur Jussupow both performed at a disappointing 2459 level.

The arbiter starts the clock in a Cheparinov game – a Fred Lucas experiment with flash

Dutch Rising Star Daniel Stellwagen scored more than the best Experienced player

Erwin l’Ami with 6.0/10 and a 2666 performance was only fourth in the event

The highest-scoring Experienced player: Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein

Serbian GM Ljubomir Ljubojević after an extreme zeitnot-game against Wang Hue

Wang explains the game against Ljubojevic to the specators in Amsterdam

The polyglot: Ljubojević, 58, is renowned for speaking a large number of languages. For several decades ‘Ljubo’ was the most successful player of Yugoslavia, one of the strongest and most popular chess countries. In 1983 was number three in the world and in his long career he has has defeated almost every top grandmaster, including world champions Garry Kasparov (in blitz) and Anatoly Karpov.

For once out of his usual dazzling form: 77-year-old Viktor Korchnoi

Kramnik second Evgeny Bareev, two-time world championship candidate, who was ranked fourth in the world in 1991 and 2003. Today he is best known as a member of the team of Vladimir Kramnik when the latter defeated Kasparov in London to become world champion. Bareev was responsible for finding playable lines in the Berlin Defence, and his success in this was a factor in Kramnik's victory over a profoundly frustrated Garry Kasparov.

German GM a chess trainer Artur Jussupov. In 1977 he became Junior World Champion and in 1979 finished second in the Soviet championship. In the Candidates’ matches for the world championship he often played a prominent role and three times he reached the semi-finals.

Everyone's favourite: Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi, who won the USSR Championship 51 years ago, lost the Candidates' Final match – de facto the world championship – to Karpov 33 years ago, and played the same player in two full world championship matches 30 and 27 years ago. Four years later the oldest of his opponents (Erwin l'Ami) was born, the youngest (Fabiano Caruana) saw the light of the world eleven years after the final Karpov-Korchnoi match.

For a long time Wang Yue, 21, stood in the shadow of Bu Xiangzhi, two years older than him, and once was the youngest grandmaster in the world. But it was Wang who last year was the first Chinese grandmaster to break the magical 2700 barrier. Today China can boast three over-2700 players (Bu, Wang and Ni Hua), but the first to reach this milestone was Wang Yue.

All photos © Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is specialised in business photography. He also runs a small portrait studio in the center part of Utrecht. In addition he occasionally photographs the mind sport chess. He is a member of BFN, the Dutch Association of Professional photographers. His photos have been published in industrial books and magazines, Dutch newspapers, magazines like Nieuwe Revu, international magazines and newspapers like Aftenposten, Le Monde and the New York Times.



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