Volokitin wins double-game tournament in Donostia

1/6/2012 – Ukrainian GM Andrei Volokitin beat his Viktor Laznicka 2-0 in the final of the Donostia Chess Festival. The pressure became so high that the Czech player, who had suffered from a case of nerves in the semi-finals, simply forgot about time in one of the games, and after rejecting a draw offer, went on to lose. Final report with great pictures by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich and David Llada.

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Report by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich

The event, which took place from December 28th 2011 to January 5th 2012 in northern Spain, was unusual in that, following an idea by David Bronstein, the participants played two classical chess games against each other – simultaneously. It was a knock-out, with the eliminated players continuing in a parallel group. Donostia (Basque for San Sebastián) is a city located in the north of Spain, in the coast of the Bay of Biscay, close to the French border. It is one of the most famous tourism destinations in Spain.

Round five: 3rd January 2012

1 Gashimov, Vugar
½
0
0.5
9 Laznicka, Viktor
½
1
1.5
18 Granda Zuniga, Julio E
½
½
0
0
1.0
7 Dominguez, Leinier
½
½
1
1
3.0
3 Ponomariov, Ruslan
½
0
0.5
11 Volokitin, Andrei
½
1
1.5
4 Moiseenko, Alexander   
½
½
1
0
½
½
1
½
4.5
5 Bacrot, Etienne
½
½
0
1
½
½
0
½
3.5

The fifth round was welcomed by sunny weather, but all the matches of the A and B tournaments were quite tense. Rating favorites Vugar Gashimov and Ruslan Ponomariov were defeated by Viktor Laznichka and Andrei Volokitin in the classical games and had to leave the tournament.

Leinier Dominguez Perez and Julio Granda Zuniga (picture above) made two draws but Cuban player proved to be stronger in rapid and defeated his opponent with 2:0 score.

Alexander Moiseenko and Etienne Bacrot (above) played a very tough match, making two draws in the classical games, exchanging punches in rapid games, followed by two more draws in blitz games. They had to proceed to the Armageddon.

The Armageddon match consists of two blitz games, played simultaneously. During the drawing of lots Alexander Moiseenko chose the black pieces and five minutes in both games. Etienne Bacrot had six minutes and the white pieces in both game, but had to score 1.5 points in the match in order to win. The first game was drawn quite fast and Moiseenko, who needed to make another half point, managed to mate his opponent in the second game. As a result two Ukrainian participants Alexander Moiseenko and Andrey Volokitin played against Viktor Laznicka and Leinier Dominguez Perez in semi-final.

Andrei Volokitin (above) about his match with Ruslan Ponomariov: "It was very tough and both games were complicated. In the first game I sacrificed a pawn, my opponent didn't defend very well and I got a very big advantage. In the second game suddenly I managed to make a draw . I think Ruslan could have played stronger, and I think he played too fast at one moment. The Basque system is very interesting and not typical. It has a right to exist. I like to play chess in general, so I feel comfortable to play so many games. The more the better!"

Round six: 4th January 2012

9 Laznicka, Viktor
0
1
1
½
2.5
4 Moiseenko, Alexander   
1
0
0
½
1.5
7 Dominguez, Leinier
½
0
0.5
11 Volokitin, Andrei
½
1
1.5

The first game of the match Dominguez-Volokitin (above) was drawn. The Cuban GM got quite a comfortable position with black in the second one, but after few mistakes Dominguez had to defend a worse rook endgame. Andrei Volokitin played precisely and won the second game and the match.

In the first classical game Alexander Moiseenko (above left), who had white, sacrificed a piece but made a mistake in a complicated position. As a result he had to give up the second piece for some conterplay. But the compensation was not enough. Even so Moiseenko managed to equalize a score by winning the second classical game. The match was decided in the rapid games.

Viktor Laznichka (above) won comfortably with white and managed to fix the general victory by giving perpetual check in the second game. He described his feelings after the match with Alexander Moiseenko:

I think the first classical game, where my opponent sacrificed a piece, was completely winning for me. He might have some compensation, but I think it's not enough. I didn't see how he could even equalize the position. I think I'm at least better. My opponent could have played Bf4, Bg3, but still my position seemed to me slightly better. The second game was just incredible! I saw I was winning with black, but I got a little bit nervous and started to play for a draw, exchanging some pieces. But thats nonsense, of course – I should have continued to play normal chess.

Q. What did you feel before the rapid? How did you manage to calm down after those tough games?

I just knew that I had been a completely idiot and I had to play again! (Laughing) I knew I had to perform well. Of course I was angry, but in such a mood you can resign immediately. I needed to recover fast. In rapid I got a comfortable edge with white, and initiative, so it was quite easy to win after f5. In the game with the black pieces I had a better position all the time. Even so I got a bit nervous again, because the situation reminded me the classical games. Fortunately I managed to make a draw in this game.

Q. What do you think about new Basque system?

It's fun to play here and I like the idea. I don't need to count Elo points, so I can just simply play chess. I think preparation doesn't play the crucial role here it plays in normal chess. So I think this format fits my style.

Players who were eliminated from the B-group continued playing in normal open tournament (C-group). With one round to go Former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova, who defeated IM Mikel Huerga Leache, shared the first place together with Vera Gonzalez-Quevedo Reynaldo. Ten players shared the third place half a point behind.


Basque journalist Leonxto Garcia commenting on the games in Donostia

Round seven (final): 5th January 2012

9 Laznicka, Viktor
0
0
0.0
11 Volokitin, Andrei   
1
1
2.0

Andrei Volokitin became the winner of the Donostia Chess Festival. In the final match he defeated Viktor Laznichka with a 2:0 score. The match was very tough, and the pressure became so high that the Czech player simply forgot about time in one of the games where he was playing with the black pieces. The rook ending was equal and few moves earlier Andrei Volokitin proposed a draw, which was declined by Viktor Laznichka. After the accident with time the Czech GM was not able to concentrate on the other game any more and blundered an exchange few moves later.


Andrei Voliktin grabbed the 20,000 Euro prize and a nice motor scooter.

In the B-group two leaders Antoaneta Stefanova (above) and Vera Gonzalez-Quevedo Reynaldo made a quick draw which suited their tournament position. A few more players, who were half a point behind, managed to win in the last round and joined the group of the prize-winners. As a result Sergey Fedorchuk became a winner of the C-group.

Addendum: One of our readers, Mike Adams of Guildford, UK, asked us a startling question: in these two-board matches is there a rule to prevent a player achieving a level score simply by mirroring their opponents moves on the second board? If so, how is it implemented? We passed this on to the organisers who told us that the arbiters took care of it and "if someone does this he'll lose a match."

Our photographers:


WGM Anastasiya Karlovich


...and journalist David Llada


Links

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