Strong Baku Open is won by Inarkiev

by Albert Silver
10/3/2014 – With the FIDE Grand Prix currently underway in Baku, you would be forgiven for thinking the Baku Open was somehow related to it, but in fact it did not. The Baku Open was held just before, and brought a powerful contingent of grandmasters and masters as is typical of the region. Despite many known names, what stood out was the number of significant results by teenagers.

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In spite of the presence of the top seeds Sergei Zhigalko (2677), Ernesto Inarkiev (2672) and more, one name that stood out was 16-year-old Vladislav Artemiev (2650) who qualified for the World Cup in the European Championship earlier this year. Still, with 28 grandmasters out of 58 titled players, of whom fifteen were rated 2600 or more, it was clear there would be no cruise control here.

16-year-old Vladislav Artemiev was going strong until two losses in
rounds seven and eight derailed his tournament. A last round win
showed his resilkience, but the damage was done and he ended 14th.

At the midway point, the leader was actually Andrey Baryshpolets (2540) with 4.5/5, while the biggest surprise was sixteen year-old German IM Alexander Donchenko (2501) who led the pack with 4.0/5 with the best tiebreak. He was followed by Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko, Vladislav Artemiev, Ernesto Inarkiev, and Romanian Constantin Lupulescu.

IM Alexander Donchenko (left) faces the top-seed Sergey Zhigalko (2677). Zhigalko won.

21-year-old WIM Khayala Abdulla (2269) finished with 50% and a very nice 2399 performance

This balance changed the very next round as Inarkiev beat Baryshpolets, but the former leader was unfazed and won the very next round to rejoin the leaders. Young Donchenko himself then faced four players rated 2650 or better and was unable to maintain his heavy scoring, however he still finished with 5.5/9 and a lofty 2677 performance.

The cordoned area

In the last round, four players shared first with 6.0/8, and they were all paired against one another. It was a classic case of do-or-die, and Inarkiev beat Areshchenko with black, while Lupulescu beat Baryshpolets with white. Haviong the superior tiebreak, Ernesto Inarkiev took first over Constantin Lupulescu, while Hungarian GM Ferenc Berkes snuck in and took third.

Ernesto Inarkiev took first with 7.0/9 and a 2748 performance

Still, this was not the end of it, since a number of young players who remained out of view from the top tables all managed to pull off important results. One of the most surprising was from the untitled Iranian, Parham Maghsoodloo, aged thirteen and rated 2321, who despite failing to appear for his first round, finished with 5.5/9 and a 2560 performance.

Fellow thirteen year-old Saveliy Golubov (2347) scored an IM norm and 4.5/9...

...while 13-year-old WIM Gunay Mammadzada (2316) also scored a full IM norm, which
included facing no fewer than six grandmasters, and earned her 30 Elo

Final standings

Rk SNo Ti. Name Fed Rtg Pts  TB  rtg+/-
1 2 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2672 7.0 2528 9.0
2 12 GM Lupulescu Constantin ROU 2630 7.0 2512 11.8
3 8 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2649 6.5 2502 3.0
4 19 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2593 6.5 2475 7.5
5 23 GM Baryshpolets Andrey UKR 2540 6.0 2566 18.9
6 3 GM Areshchenko Alexander UKR 2664 6.0 2545 -0.7
7 10 GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2641 6.0 2485 -2.7
8 11 GM Krasenkow Michal POL 2636 6.0 2465 -3.7
9 15 GM Smirnov Pavel RUS 2611 6.0 2461 -1.7
10 1 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2677 6.0 2452 -9.3
11 4 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2663 6.0 2425 -10.6
12 7 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2650 6.0 2331 -15.5
13 27 IM Donchenko Alexander GER 2501 5.5 2597 22.1
14 6 GM Artemiev Vladislav RUS 2650 5.5 2512 -6.0
15 16 GM Iordachescu Viorel MDA 2603 5.5 2497 -1.7
16 18 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2594 5.5 2466 -0.6
17 13 GM Mamedov Nidjat AZE 2624 5.5 2435 -12.9
18 9 GM Volokitin Andrei UKR 2642 5.5 2387 -15.5
19 14 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2624 5.5 2372 -17.5
20 30 GM Darini Pouria IRI 2442 5.0 2544 17.2
21 28 IM Mammadov Zaur AZE 2482 5.0 2498 7.7
22 48   Maghsoodloo Parham IRI 2321 5.0 2482 46.6
23 24 GM Rasulov Vugar AZE 2514 5.0 2451 -1.6
24 17 GM Wen Yang CHN 2598 5.0 2451 -11.2
25 5 GM Safarli Eltaj AZE 2655 5.0 2421 -19.9

Click for complete standings


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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