Shirov takes Sarajevo

5/31/2004 – With a magnificent plus six score and a 2890 performance Latvian-Spanish GM Alexei Shirov took the GM tournament in Bosnia, a point and a half ahead of his nearest rival. The tournament went badly for Super-GM Nigel Short, who played 187 points below his 2712 rating. Here are the games and a pictorial report...

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This tournament was an unmitigated triumph for the firebrand player Alexei Shirov, who hails from Latvia but now lives in Spain. Alexei scored six wins with no losses in the tournament. The final score was 7.5 out of nine, a point and a half ahead of his nearest rival, Sergei Movsesian. Third and fourth were Ivan Sokolov and Viktor Bologan, both at 5.5/9.

For the other Super-GM in the field, Nigel Short, things went drastically wrong. Nigel lost two games and drew all the rest for a dismal 2525 performance. After a number of spectacular wins in recent tournaments the former world championship challenger had raised his Elo to a lofty 2712.

The official web site is well-maintained and brought us all the results and games, including live coverage. The latter was occasionally a bit shaky, which is not surprising in a country that is still being repaired after a decade of war. There are also a lot of pictures on the official site, but as in other tournaments (except Tomsk) they are given without any captions. Here is a small selection. All pictures, unless otherwise stated, are the property of the organisers. The photographer was Sead Bicevic.


A classical quartet providing a musical background to a chess tournament? It was just for the opening ceremony...


Nigel Short was pressing hard in his game against Shirov. He was on the verge of awarding the tournament winner his only defeat in the tournament.


Alexei defended tenaciously and retained his unblemished record. After the game GM Suat Atalik (right) watches the two analyse its course.


Second place went to 25-year-old Sergei Movsesian


Third was Ivan Sokolov, who hails from Bosnia but now lives in Holland. This picture was taken during the Wijk aan Zee tournament in January.


An ex-patriot vs a resident of Bosnia and Herzegovina


One of the key battles for a place behind Shirov


The trio at the top: Movsesian, Bologan and super Shirov


Alexei with a bunch of admirers


... and with an unknown friend, at the end of the tournament


As we said: no captions on the photo pages of the official web site. We haven't the faintest idea who these ladies are.

Previous winners

Year  Winner(s)
Score
1957 Stojan Puc
7.5 (11)
1958 Dr Petar Trifunovic and Borislav Ivkov
7 (11)
1960 Ludek Pachman and Stojan Puc [Table]
7.5 (11)
1961 Svetozar Gligoric and Ludek Pachman
7.5 (11)
1962 Svetozar Gligoric and Lajos Portisch
8 (11)
1963 Lajos Portisch
7 (11)
1964 Lev Polugaevsky and Wolfgang Uhlman
10.5 (15)
1965 Aleksei Suetin
10.5 (15)
1966 Mihail Tal and Dragoljub Ciric [Table]
11 (15)
1967 Leonid Stein and Borislav Ivkov
10.5 (15)
1968 Dragoljub Ciric and Anatoly Lein
10 (15)
1969 Viktor Korchnoi
12 (15)
1970 Ljubomir Ljubojevic and Bruno Parma
10 (15)
1971 David Bronstein, Milan Matulovic and Milko Bobocov 
9 (15)
1972 Laslo Sabo (ahead of Tigran Petrosian) [Table]
11 (15)
1976 William Hartston
9 (13)
1978 Vladimir Raicevic
10 (15)
1979 Bojan Kurajica, Milorad Knezevic and Ivan Farago
9.5 (14)
1980 Vlastimil Hort
10.5 (15)
1981 Lev Psakhis
11 (15)
1982 Aleksander Beliavsky (record number of points)
12.5 (15)
1983 Predrag Nikolic
10.5 (15)
1984 Viktor Korchnoi and Jan Timman
9 (13)
1985 Smbat Lputian
10.5 (15)
1986 Lajos Portisch, Lev Psakhis and Kiril Georgiev
7.5 (12)
1987 Predrag Nikolic
8.5 (11)
1988 Josif Dorfman, Bogdan Lalic and Emir Dizdarevic
10 (15)
Ten-year pause due to Balkans conflict
1998 Viktor Korchnoi
7 (9)
1999 Garry Kasparov [Table]
7 (9)
2000 Garry Kasparov
8.5 (11)
2001 Kiril Georgiev
6.5 (9)
2002 Movsesian Sergei
6 (9)
2003 Ivan Sokolov
6.5 (9)
2004 Alexei Shirov
7.5 (9)

We have added cross tables for some of the tournaments. As far as we can see the highest score (in number of points) was achieved by Alexander Beliavsky in 1982 – 12.5 point in 15 rounds. The highest rating performance was by Garry Kasparov in 1999 – with 7/9 and plus five the world champion chalked up a sizzling 2914 performance.

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