Alvar Alonso Rosell wins Sunway Open in Sitges

by Macauley Peterson
12/24/2018 – In Sitges, the Catalan seaside resort near Barcelona, ​the fifth edition of the ten-day "Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival" ended yesterday with the victory of local hero GM Alvar Alonso Rosell. The 26-year-old Spanish grandmaster, like his three toughest rivals, started the final round with 7.0 / 9, but was the only one to win his game to reach 8.0 / 10. A larger chasing group composed of well-known players ended with 7½ the top three of which contested a tiebreak for 2nd-4th place. Photos: sunwaychessfestival.com

Power Play 24: A repertoire for black against the Catalan Power Play 24: A repertoire for black against the Catalan

On this DVD Grandmaster Daniel King offers you a repertoire for Black against the Catalan, based around maintaining the rock of a pawn on d5. Keeping central control ultimately gives Black good chances to launch an attack against the enemy king.

More...

V Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival

Vassily Ivanchuk and Dmitry Andreikin were the only super grandmasters in the field and thus the Elo favourites — by chance, they had to compete in the last round of the tournament against each other. Both had scored 7.0/9 and among those sharing first place. A win would ensure at least joint victory, a draw risked a large tie, which would not be enough for Ivanchuk to reach a playoff on account of his shock first round loss which negatively impacted his Buchholz score.

Ivanchuk had earlier missed a chance to take the lead in the penultimate round when he offered a draw in severe time-pressure with a winning (but tricky) position:

 

Ivanchuk repeated with Nc3+ but Qe7 (threatening d5) was a path to victory

In the last round the players were fighting, but both are also extremely experienced professionals who prefer to avoid excessive risks, especially against a peer. A draw gave Andreikin a shot at a first-place playoff depending on the result of the other head-to-head between leaders.

 

On the adjacent board, the young Spaniard Alvar Alonso Rosell faced the Frenchman Romain Edouard. Alonso is not well-known abroad and fans may be surprised to learn that he is not a chess professional, unlike his co-leader opponent Edouard who is the Editor-in-Chief of Thinkers Publishing and a member of the French national team. Edouard opted for a relatively passive game, which gave the ambitious Alonso a chance to gradually gain the upper hand:

 

A brave performance of the Spanish grandmaster, which earned him the tournament victory. Before the round, the organisers had ventured a little speculation whether Alonso would have been quite happy with a draw in the last game: 

His performance earned him the EUR €5,000 first prize, and was particularly notable considering he entered the tournament seeded just 27th.

Seven players finished the ten-round tournament with 7½ points, but the tournament rules, rather unusually, called for a playoff for any of the top four spots, so the day was not yet over for Grandmasters Dmitry Andreikin, Krishnan Sasikiran and Ernesto Inarkiev. The latter had the best Buchholz score and so was seeded into a final match to face the winner of Andreikin vs Sasikiran. The format was two blitz games followed (if tied) by a single sudden death ('Armageddon') game. The players traded wins before Sasikiran advanced by winning the sudden death game.

Against Inarkiev, Sasikiran won the first game, but Inarkiev battled back in the second to force a final sudden-death game. This game ended tragically for the Indian who flagged in a completely winning position up a piece and two pawns.

All playoff games

 

The tournament has increasingly gained international attention as both a strong Open for GMs and norm seekers and a holiday destination for amateurs replete with interesting side events like the tapas workshop held outdoors on a beautiful afternoon.

tapas workshop

The non-chess programme is as strong as the open tournament itself | Photo: sunwaychessfestival.com

Part of the intrigue this year was thanks to the presence of a cadre of extremely strong junior players, including the Indian IM Gukesh who narrowly missed out on a chance to become the youngest GM ever. He, along with young GMs Praggnanandhaa and Sarin finished with 6½ points.

Live commentary webcasts

Commentary by IM Anna Rudolf and FM Leontxo Garcia on Round 10 begins at 4:35 in the video player below. Click or tap a video in the playlist to view prior rounds.

Due to technical difficulties with the on-site video, the tiebreak is not replayable

All available games

 

Final standings (top 35)

Rk. Snr   Name FED EloI Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3  Rp
1 27 GM Alonso Rosell Alvar ESP 2524 8,0 61,0 64,5 50,50 2789
2 3 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2693 7,5 61,5 66,5 47,25 2669
3 1 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2719 7,5 59,5 63,5 46,50 2721
4 4 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2673 7,5 59,5 63,0 45,00 2701
5 34 GM Dragnev Valentin AUT 2483 7,5 56,5 60,5 43,50 2684
6 28 GM Santos Ruiz Miguel ESP 2523 7,5 56,0 60,5 45,00 2654
7 8 GM Indjic Aleksandar SRB 2620 7,5 56,0 60,5 44,75 2683
8 2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2717 7,5 53,0 57,0 42,50 2610
9 5 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2644 7,0 59,5 63,5 41,75 2625
10 6 GM Vocaturo Daniele ITA 2629 7,0 55,5 60,0 41,00 2591
11 14 GM Santos Latasa Jaime ESP 2584 7,0 52,5 56,5 38,00 2552
  32 IM Sosa Tomas ARG 2488 7,0 52,5 56,5 38,00 2563
13 18 GM Xu Xiangyu CHN 2565 7,0 50,5 55,0 37,75 2485
14 20 GM Kadric Denis BIH 2554 7,0 49,5 53,0 35,50 2489
15 17 GM Petrosyan Manuel ARM 2565 6,5 62,5 66,5 40,00 2624
16 9 GM Lagarde Maxime FRA 2616 6,5 59,0 64,0 39,00 2519
17 11 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2614 6,5 59,0 63,5 39,50 2557
18 26 IM Harutyunian Tigran K. ARM 2528 6,5 59,0 63,0 36,50 2592
19 13 GM Peralta Fernando ARG 2584 6,5 58,5 63,5 39,50 2538
20 12 GM Liang Awonder USA 2589 6,5 57,0 61,5 37,75 2577
21 16 GM Nihal Sarin IND 2576 6,5 56,5 61,5 37,50 2578
22 68 IM Krishna Teja N IND 2340 6,5 56,5 60,5 37,75 2574
23 41 IM Sadhwani Raunak IND 2434 6,5 55,5 59,0 34,75 2550
24 35 IM Gukesh D IND 2466 6,5 55,0 59,0 35,75 2530
25 25 GM Praggnanandhaa R IND 2530 6,5 54,5 57,5 35,50 2559
26 10 GM Gordievsky Dmitry RUS 2614 6,5 53,0 57,0 36,75 2517
27 33 IM Henderson De La Fuente Lance ESP 2484 6,5 53,0 56,5 34,25 2508
28 21 GM Halkias Stelios GRE 2552 6,5 52,5 57,0 35,00 2504
29 15 GM Lopez Martinez Josep Manuel ESP 2580 6,0 60,0 64,0 35,25 2551
30 7 GM Adly Ahmed EGY 2626 6,0 58,0 64,0 37,00 2540
31 19 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2555 6,0 57,0 60,5 31,50 2525
32 31 GM Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo CHI 2495 6,0 56,0 60,5 33,50 2497
33 24 GM Kelires Andreas GRE 2535 6,0 55,5 60,0 33,75 2481
34 30 GM Stella Andrea ITA 2503 6,0 54,5 59,0 33,75 2499
35 29 IM Keymer Vincent GER 2508 6,0 53,5 58,0 31,50 2435

... 183 Players

Klaus Besenthal contributed reporting.

Links




Macauley is Editor in Chief of ChessBase News in Hamburg, Germany, and producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast. He was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

KevinC KevinC 12/25/2018 03:13
"Ivanchuk repeated with Nc3+ but Qe7 (threatening d5) was a path to victory." Forest for the trees: Qd7 is an even bigger threat...at least for the immediate next move.
1