Tiviakov victorious at Keres Memorial

by Albert Silver
1/14/2015 – While Estonia has had several significant chess players, there can be no doubt that its greatest son is none other than Paul Keres, a player whose career spanned generations of champions, and the author of numerous classics. Celebrating its 24th edition, the Paul Keres Memorial was held in Tallinn, Estonia, and was won by Sergey Tiviakov. Here is the final report.

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The great Paul Keres is also the answer to one of the most famous and prestigious chess trivia questions: which player has defeated the greatest number of world champions? The answer is of course the Estonian, though recently the record became a shared one.

The memorial of Paul Keres in Tallinn

The tournament participants all came to pay tribute

In honor of the great player and chess author, for the past 24 years, since 1991, the Paul Keres Memorial has been held without break. It has not always been a rapid event, but it has never failed to be held or attract top players. The rosters over the years have included names such as Kortchnoi, Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Smyslov, Shirov, Kasimdzhanov, and Karpov. Though it may have lacked elite players of that caliber, this year still drew known names such as Tiviakov, Khalifman, and Sveshnikov.

The entrance to the playing hall displaying the event and sponsors

Second seed Igor Kovalenko (2653) from Latvia checks out the games of his rivals as he
waits for his opponent to move

Famed chess theoretician Evgeny Sveshnikov drew against Estonian grandmaster Kaido Kulaots

A key game was played between Sergey Tiviakov and Alexander Khalifman. Both players
followed a well-known game between Kasparov-Van Wely for 23 moves.

[Event "24th Keres Mem Rapid"] [Site "Tallinn EST"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Tiviakov, Sergei"] [Black "Khalifman, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2669"] [BlackElo "2613"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] [EventType "tourn (rapid)"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "EST"] [EventCategory "12"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nge2 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 9. Na3 b5 10. Nd5 Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. c3 O-O 13. Nc2 Bg5 14. a4 bxa4 15. Rxa4 a5 16. Bb5 Ne7 17. Nce3 Bxe3 18. Nxe3 Rb8 19. Qd3 Bb7 20. O-O Qb6 21. Bc4 Bc6 22. Ra2 Rfd8 23. b3 Qb7 (23... Qc5 24. Rfa1 Ra8 25. h4 h6 26. h5 Bb7 27. Rd1 Bc6 28. Rda1 Bb7 29. Bd5 Bxd5 30. exd5 Rdc8 31. b4 Qxc3 32. Qxc3 Rxc3 33. Rxa5 Rb8 34. Ra7 Kf8 35. Rd7 Nc8 36. Rd8+ Ke7 37. Rg8 Rxb4 38. Ra8 Kd7 39. Rxg7 Rc1+ 40. Kh2 Rf4 41. Ng4 Ne7 42. Ra7+ Ke8 43. g3 Rf5 44. Rh7 {1-0 (43) Kasparov,G (2812)-Van Wely,L (2636) Wijk aan Zee 1999}) 24. Nd5 Bxd5 25. exd5 Ra8 26. Rfa1 Qc7 27. Bb5 Ra7 28. Ra4 Rda8 29. g3 g6 30. Qd2 Kg7 31. Kg2 Qb6 32. c4 h5 33. R1a2 Nf5 34. Bc6 Rb8 35. b4 {Diagram [#]} e4 $2 {A bad mistake that loses. Black wants to turn the tables with an ...e3 shove, with the rook on the e-file, but he has no time for this.} ({The engines suggest the spectacular } 35... axb4 $1 36. Rxa7 b3 $1 37. R2a6 Qxa6 38. Rxa6 b2 39. Qd3 b1=Q 40. Qxb1 Rxb1 {with equality, but expecting the grandamster to see this in the last portion of a rapid game is a bit unjust.}) ({Black needn't see axb4 and could perfectly well play the natural} 35... Nd4 $1 36. b5 (36. bxa5 $2 {is refuted by} Qb1 {and White doesn't have a good reply to Qe4+} 37. R4a3 (37. Qe3 Rb3 38. Qd2 Qe4+) 37... h4 {and Black has a winning attack.}) 36... h4 37. Qc1 (37. Rxa5 $4 Nb3) 37... Rh8 {with counterplay.}) 36. Qc3+ Kg8 37. c5 Qd8 38. Rxa5 Rxa5 39. bxa5 e3 40. a6 1-0

There was also a preliminary event qualifying players for the key round-robin

The prize winners gather for a photo

Photos from official Facebook page

Final standings


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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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