Friday, August 3, 2012

No chance for a breather

Following chess tournaments is now an ongoing experience. There is no shortage of events and as soon as one finishes another starts. The super GM event in Biel finished with Wang Hao taking first prize thanks to the 3 points for a win, soccer style scoring system. Under the more traditional 1 point for a win the winner would have been World number 1 Magnus Carlsen. But Magnus can be content with his performance, and the fact that his rating has moved closer to Kasparov's peak of 2851, and further from his rivals.

Rather than taking a breath and working out when the next big event will take place, there is no break as the Russian Championship starts today. Both the men's and women's sections boast excellent fields and National Championships often bring interesting results as the players know each other well. It seems to be a time for national championships with the British about to conclude and the Ukrainian entering the second half. These Championships are run on different levels, with the British being a medium sized swiss and the Ukrainian being an elite round robin.

The British has one round to go and is being led by GM Stephen Gordon who is half a point ahead of ratings favourite GM Gawain Jones, who is himself half a point clear of GM David Howell. But for me the swiss system event is all about players getting a chance to move up and in the British Marcus Osborne has taken his chance. I can't say I know him, but the 2245 rated player has scored 6.5 against a field that includes 3 GM's (and he has to face another in the final round!) and 2 IM's. His performance rating after the first 10 rounds is a whopping 2433 so a big congratulations to him.

Another interesting event that has just started is the World Junior Championship in Turkey. The tournament has a rich history dating back to 1951 when Yugoslav Boris Ivkov took the title. Ivkov went on to become a World Championship Candidate and other famous winners of the World Junior include Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Anand, Miles and Aronian. The current event has over 10 GM's, 4 of which are over 2600. again, you'll have to excuse my national pride as I cheer on the Australians (Andrew Brown and Fedja Zulfic, but sadly no players in the girls event) and English (Zhou Yang-Fan, Callum KilPatrick, William Jones, Ravi Haria, Henryk Stepanyan are all in the boys section while the girls section has Lateefah Messam-Sparks and Anna York-Andersen). The tournament started yesterday and hopefully we'll get some first hand experiences. Already in the first round, one of the Australians performed well above his rating. Fedja Zulfic (2135) scored a draw with IM Bajarani (2446) of Azerbaijan. Fedja found a nice resource in his endgame.

Loading embedded chess game...

No comments:

Post a Comment