Spanish Championship: Shirov catches up

by André Schulz
9/7/2020 – In the top match of the Spanish championship, tournament leader Ivan Salgado drew with David Anton. In the match of the pursuers Alexei Shirov defeated Salvador del Rio de Angelis and caught up to Salgado. They now share the lead with 6.0/7 each.

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The 85th Spanish Individual Championship is currently taking place in Linares. The Swiss system tournament attracted about 140 players. David Anton and Alexei Shirov are the Elo-favorites. After six rounds Ivan Salgado led the tournament and in the 7th round he drew against David Anton, so that Alexei Shirov, who defeated Salvador del Rio de Angelis, was able to tie for first with Salgado. Salgado and Shirov now lead with 6 out of 7.

The top boards



White had lost a pawn, however, regained it here, with 33.Nxh7 Kxh7 34.Qh4+ Kg8 35.Bf4 with a pin that Black cannot escape. After 35...Qd8 36.Qxd8 Rxd8 37.Bxe5 it is a likely draw, considering the opposite-coloured bishops.

White instead played 33.Bf4? but here Black has 33...Nc6 After the text Shirov outplayed his opponent. 34.Qd2 Qd8 35.Bd6 h6 35...Qf6!? 36.Nh3 More tenacious was 36.Sf3 e.g.: 36...Bxf3 37.gxf3 Qg5+ 38.Qxg5 hxg5 39.Ra1 36...g5 The knight is out of the game.

37.Qb2 b4 38.f4 Kf7 39.Nf2 gxf4 40.Nd3 40.Bxf4 e5 40...f3 41.g3 Qg5 42.Bf4 Qg7 43.Be5 After 43.Qxg7+ Kxg7 Black is winning as well. 43...Qg4 44.Nf2 Qg5 45.Ra1 Qe3 Or 45...Nxe5!? 46.Qxe5 Ra8 with the idea 47.Rxa8 Qc1+ and checkmate.

46.Bf4 Qe2 47.Bd2 e5 48.Re1 Qc4 49.Bxh6 Nd4 50.Qd2 f4 51.Bxf4 Ne2+ 52.Rxe2 fxe2 53.Bh6 Ra8 0–1






At the beginning of the tournament, which is held under special medical supervision and with strict hygiene regulations, two players were found to be infected with COVID-19. The players were not allowed to participate in the championship and were quarantined. Tests were carried out on twelve players who had been in close contact with the two affected players. Of these twelve tests, eleven were negative and one was positive. The twelve players had been quarantined as a precaution and have since left for home. In the meantime, further tests have been carried out.

The Spanish association FEDA informs the participants on its website about the current status.

Translation from German: Arthur Paul


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


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