Snowflakes are fallin' on the Aeroflot Open 2007

by ChessBase
2/19/2007 – After months of temperate climate the traditional Russian winter has returned to Moscow, where the Sixth Aeroflot Festival is taking place in Moscow from February 13th to 23rd. The prize fund for all tournament groups is $200,000. After six of nine rounds GM Stanislav Novikov leads. Games, results and impressions from Moscow by Misha Savinov.

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The Sixth Aeroflot Festival is taking place in Moscow from February 13th to 23rd. 2007 in the "Gamma-Delta" Hotel, which belongs to the Tourist Complex "Ismailovo". The Organizers of the Festival are the "Aeroflot-Russian Airlines", the Association of Chess Federations and the Russian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Committee on Tourism of the Municipality of Moscow.

The festival consists of four tournaments, each a a nine rounds Swiss. The total tournament prize fund is US $200,000.

  • Tournament A1 is for players with a FIDE rating higher than 2549. The prize fund is US $100,000.
  • Tournament A2 is for players rated between 2400 and 2549, and has a prize fund of US $50,000.
  • Tournament B is for players rated between 2200 and 2399 and has a prize fund of US $27,000
  • Tournament C is for players rated lower than 2200 and has a prize fund of US $18,000

Schedule of tournaments A1 and A2

Feb. 13

Arrival and Registration of the Players

Feb. 13: 21.00

Opening Ceremony

Feb. 14: 15.00

Round 1

Feb. 15: 15.00

Round 2

Feb. 16: 15.00

Round 3

Feb. 17: 15.00

Round 4

Feb. 18: 15.00

Round 5

Feb. 19: 15.00

Round 6

Feb. 20: 15.00

Round 7

Feb. 21: 15.00

Round 8

Feb. 22: 11.00

Round 9

Feb. 22: 19.30


Feb. 22: 18.00

Closing Ceremony

Feb. 23


Top standings in Tournament A1 after six rounds

1 GM Novikov, Stanislav 2535 RUS 4.5 2979
2 GM Jakovenko, Dmitry 2691 RUS 4.0 2820
3 GM Alekseev, Evgeny 2661 RUS 4.0 2832
4 GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2624 RUS 4.0 2793
5 GM Akopian, Vladimir 2700 ARM 3.5 2721
6 GM Almasi, Zoltan 2669 HUN 3.5 2747
7 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2658 ARM 3.5 2713
8 GM Ni, Hua 2632 CHN 3.5 2700
9 GM Khalifman, Alexander 2619 RUS 3.5 2716
10 GM Wang, Hao 2619 CHN 3.5 2667
11 GM Balogh, Csaba 2616 HUN 3.5 2707
12 GM Efimenko, Zahar 2616 UKR 3.5 2647
13 GM Korotylev, Alexey 2615 RUS 3.5 2676
14 GM Sadvakasov, Darmen 2615 KAZ 3.5 2727
15 GM Aleksandrov, Aleksej 2601 BLR 3.5 2772
16 GM Minasian, Artashes 2595 ARM 3.5 2751
17 GM Laznicka, Viktor 2593 CZE 3.5 2758
18 GM Predojevic, Borki 2587 BIH 3.5 2786
19 GM Iordachescu, Viorel 2563 MDA 3.5 2796

Impressions from the Aeroflot Open in Moscow

By Misha Savinov

The course of this winter has made many Russians realize that the climate change issue is a very real one. In particular, Moscow enjoyed European weather, with +6° to +10° C, accompanies by occasional rain. However, it all changed in late January and especially February. Back to winter, Russian style! Downhill skiers (and this sport has become surprisingly popular recently) were especially pleased.

Snowflakes keep fallin' on my head... Moscow suddenly gets its traditional winter

The morning of February 17th and a view out of our window

The weather is wonderful, Moscow is covered in snow

Heavy snowfall on February 13 did not pose any major problems for the Aeroflot festival. All planes arrived on time. There were a couple of small accidents, though. Baadur Jobava was held up at the border for about 40 minutes, and then asked to write a paper describing his future activities on the territory of Russian Federation. The Georgian grandmaster passed the test and was allowed in. A couple of late buses with chess players got stuck in a traffic jam near Moscow City around midnight (caused by the snowfall). But fortunately there was nothing like in 2004, when many participants only arrived in time for the second or third rounds.

Berik Balgabaev, assistant to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Ilyumzhinov and Karpov

The opening ceremony was rather routine, which was appreciated by nearly everybody. Short speeches transposed into long dinner. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Anatoly Karpov were the main guests, and they talked mostly to each other. Alexander Roshal, invariable the press chief of the festival, experienced some health problems which prevented him from attending the festival. Hope he comes back to the post next year – who else can rule the process so well?

Sergey Movsesian browsing the Aeroflot commemorative book

Before the first round, a book dedicated to five year of the Aeroflot Open was distributed among the participants – more than 640 out of 1000 printed books.

The upset of the start was Paco Vallejo’s result, who began with 0 out of 2!

Ukrainian wonderboy Illya Nyzhnyk, eleven years old

Ilya Nyzhnyk won the Moscow Open B section, and is doing well in the Aerolfot B. After six rounds he has 4.5 points and is playing at a a 2455 performance level. This 11-year-old kid is surely a future star of chess.

Chinese star Hou Yifan, 13

Chinese Hou Yifan is only one year older than Illya and started with two wins in the A1 group, beating Sutovsky in the process. ! That was followed by three losses, Dmitry Jakovenko being the GM to stop her progress in round three (in a very tough and long game). Her rating is 2509 and her performance so far is 2562. It looks like Hou’s going to be 2600 in no time – she is so intense!

For this tournament, special vests were ordered by the organizers for arbiters, tournament crew and directors. Arbiters wear green, organizing committee members have blue, and directors wear red (of course!).

Ending a streak: Alexander Khalifman vs Yuri Kuzubov

One of the longest streaks at the Aeroflot Open came to an end in round two. Alexander Khalifman’s ultra-solid style had brought him 13 draws in a row! "What was the result in your last game?" one of his colleagues asked. "There is only one result for me here!" replied El Khalif. But finally his technique brought the ex FIDE world champion a full point against Kuzubov, who failed to survive in an opposite-colored bishops ending. Khalifman scored another win in round four and seems to have overcome his Aeroflot drawing streak.

Top German GMs Jussupow and Naiditschsat next to each other during the 3rd and 4th rounds

Vladimir Tukmakov and Yury Razuvaev aren’t playing at the tournament, but are keen to come to the press center and watch the games

GM Bachar Kouatly appeared during the third round. He didn’t spend much time looking the games, but was eager to discuss other topics with Artur Jussupow.

Evgeny Tomashevsky was the unexpected sole leader after three rounds, winning three games in a row, playing in his own manner – smart and strategic chess. Very instructive!

This is what the playing hall looks: two tournaments, A1 and A2, many visitors, many people with cameras, watchful arbiters and a lot of light.

A banner hanging on the main entrance to the Gamma-Delta hotel inviting everybody to the tournament

Inside the venue: the crossroads to a casino, café and the hotel rooms

The Internet café, with water passages in the front

Shockers: Rauf Mamedov reading ChessBase news about Teimour Radjabov

Night life in Izmailovo Hotel: this casino is quite popular among certain players


Official Aeroflot Open web site

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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