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The JR Chess Report (August 23): Chuckie Takes Jermuk

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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:11 PM
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The JR Chess Report (August 23): Chuckie Takes Jermuk
Chuckie wins Jermuk Grand Prix

Ukraininan grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk, known to his many, many fans as "Chuckie", scored 8 points in 13 rounds to take first place in the fifth leg of the FIDE Grand Prix completed just hours ago in the health resort Mecca of Jermuk, Armenia.

Vassily Mikhailovich spent most of the tournament tied for the lead with Hungarian grandmaster Peter Leko and Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan. For Kasidzhanov, it was his most impressive finish in an elite grandmaster tournament since being prematurely raised to that level of competition by winning the 2003 FIDE Knock Out Tournament in Tripoli, Libya, the last Knock Out tournament on which FIDE foolishly insisted calling the winner world champion.

When the final round started today, six out fourteen players still had a shot at winning or sharing first prize with Leko and Ivanchuk sharing the lead with 7 points each. Chuckie, playing Black, defeated Armenian GM Vladimir Akipian in 62 moves to assure himself at least a share of the tournament title, while Leko lost to Israeli GM Boris Gelfand in 78 moves. Gelfand, with 8 points, finshed tied with Armenia's Levon Aronian, who beat Russian GM Ernesto Inarkiev today. Leko, with 7 points, finished tied for fourth with Kasimdzhanov and former Russian national champion Evgeny Alekseev, both of whom played draws today.

Old Timers Short, Timman and Korchnoi Shine in Staunton Memorial

Former world championship challenger Nigel Short, 44, rejoined the 2700 club after an absence of many years by scoring 8 points in ten rounds in the Scheveningen team match while Jan Timman, 57, also a former world title competitor, won the round robin competition in which Viktor Korchnoi, 78, who nearly won the world championship from Anatoly Karpov 31 years ago, finshed a strong third at the seventh annual Howard Stauton Tournament with finished in London at the historic chess haunt Simpson's Divan Monday.

In the round robin event, Mh. Timman scored 7 points in nine rounds while Viktor Lvovich scored 6. Russian grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev was second with 6 points. Timman won 6 games and lost one, that to Viktor Lvovich.

In the ten-round-by-five-board Scheveningen team match, the British players, led by Short, defeated a Dutch team led by national champion Jan Smeets, 26-23. Mr. Short's dominance in this event is demonstrated by the fact that the British team won with Mr. Short being its only player to score better than 50%.

Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi was born in Leningrad, the once and future St. Petersburg, on March 23, 1931. He was in the world championship cycle by the late fifties and was four times Soviet Champion. In 1974, he narrowly lost the final candidates' match to Karpov, who went on to take the title when then-champion Bobby Fischer defaulted in a dispute with FIDE over conditions for the title match. Viktor Lvovich defected to the West in 1976, finally settling in Switzerland. Although still stateless in 1978, he won the right to challenge Karpov for the world title. The match was held in Baguio City in the Philippines and was won by Karpov, 6 wins to 5 with draws not counting, in 32 games. Korchnoi also played Karpov for the world title in 1981, but was soundly beaten by Karpov in a match held in Merano, Italy. Viktor Lvovich is considered one of the greatest players never to win the world championship. Since 1996, he has earned the reputation of being the greatest senior citizen player of all time.

Keti Arakhamia-Grant Takes Baltic Queen Crown

Grandmaster Ketevan Arakahmia-Grant of Scotland by way of Georgia won the Baltic Queen Women's Tournament in St. Petersburg Thursday with 6 points in nine rounds.

International master Ekaterina Atalik of Turkey by way of Russia, who led much of the way until faletering in the final rounds, finished second with 5 points. Grandmaster Pia Cramling of Sweeden, German IM ELisabeth Phtz and IM Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania tied for third with 5 points each.

Ms. Arakhamia-Grant started the tournament badly, scoring only 1 points in the first four rounds. She then won her next four game, culminating with an eighth round win over Mrs. Atalik to secure the tournament title.

Ms. Arakhamia-Grant became a full grandmaster earlier this year and switched her federation from her native Georgia to Scotland. She has lived in Edinburgh since her marriage to grandmaster Jonathan Grant in 1996. The couple have one child. Ms. Arakahmia-Grant was the overall Scottish national champion in 2003 and runner up in the British national championship in 2006.

Four Share First Prize in Acropolis Open

Four players shared the top honors in the Acropolis Open completed Tuesday in Chalkida, about 30 miles from Athens.

Borki Predojevic (Bosnia), Hristos Banikas (Greece), Ioannis Papaioannou (Greece) and Atanas Kolev (Bulgaria) scored 6 points each in nine rounds. Predojevich is first among equals with the superior tiebreak score.

The tournament got off to a tragic start when Greek master Nikolaos Karapanos suffered a heart attack while planning his final moves against Dan Zoler of Israel in the first round. Zoler, a doctor, immediately jumped into action in an attempt to revive Karapanos, but to no avail. Karapanos was taken to a hospital where he was pronouced dead.

Dr. Zoler, who was in a completely lost position, resigned the game and, understandably shaken, withdrew from the tournament.

One hundred players started the event.


Russia-China Team Match, SOchi 14-24 August.

NH Experience-Rising Stars Team Match, Amsterdam 20-31 August. Greybeards: Beliavsky, Ljubojovic, Nielsen, Svidler, van Wely. Brats: Caruana, Hou Yifan, Nakamura, Smeets, Stellwagen.

International Festival d'checs, Montreal 27 August-7 September. Grandmaster Tournament will include Bacrot, Onischuk, Shulman, Naiditsch and Maze; more to be added.

Grand Slam Final, Bilbao 2-15 September. Topalov, Karjakin, Grischuk and Shirov qualify. Topalov dropped and will be replaced by Aronian.

Second Pearl Spring Tournament, Nanjing 27 September-9 October. Topalov, Anand, Carlsen, Radjabov, Jakovenko and Wang Yue.

World Junior Championship, Mar del Plata (Argentina) 16-29 October.

European Club Cup (Team Championship), Novi Sad (Serbia) 21-31 October.

World Cup, Khanty Mansiysk 28 November-15 December.

London Chess Classic 7-16 December.

Corus Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 15-31 January 2010. Nakamura has been invited to play in group A.

Anand-Topalov Match for the World Title, Site TBA c. April 2010.

Games will be posted later.

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