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Aerosvit-Foros Concludes

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The 11th and final round is today in Ukraine after six draws in the 10th round left the standings unchanged. Sergey Rublevsky leads with an impressive seven points. He has black against Grischuk in the final round and Ivanchuk is a half-point back with white against Shirov, so nothing is certain. Bologan is still in the mix with six.

As the veterans push on the podium, it's been a disastrous event for most of the top young players. Volokitin, Karjakin, and Harikrishna haven't shown endurance after a full Olympiad schedule. Or, somebody has to finish last and it's a very strong event. Play has been combative but spotty, likely due to Olympiad tiredness and the funky single time control (120'+30").

I'm not sure Shirov had great endgame winning chances against Areschenko in round ten, but 52.c5 hanging two pawns is as unlikely a super-GM blunder as you'll likely to see, although he saved the draw when Black apparently missed a forced win:

66..Rc3+ 67.Kd4 Qd2 68.Bd3 (diagram) Rc4+!! 69.Kxc4 Qb4+ 70.Kd5 Qc5# Ouch. Single time control games are not classical chess. Areschenko's attempt to win a drawn pawn endgame were foiled by precise play. Would you have known that 76.Kd4 is the only move to hold the draw? If not, practice your opposition play.

In other tourney news, Sergei Tiviakov is closing in on the Dutch championship title after beating defending and six-time champ Loek van Wely with black.


That is a sweet MATE! It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw, "Chess players mate better." Obviously not true during time pressure.

I wonder if Shirov saw it after playing Bd3. If so, I wonder if there was a tell-tale bead of sweat forming on his forehead that Are-stink-o failed to see. Always double check your opponent right before you make your move to make sure they are on their toes with their poker face. Of course, as Mig pointed out, it was probably zeitnot on move 52 and 68.
Posted by: Todd C. Reynolds at June 28, 2006 09:45

Mig, I was in Amsterdam last weekend, and I heard some gossip from the tournament. The winner of the Dutch Championships will receive free car rental for 6 months. Fair enough says you, but not Tiviakov. He doesn't drive, so getting a car for 6 months won't do him any good. He's threatening to sue for financial compensation. I guess, he could pass it on to Van Wely who apparently likes driving fast cars into walls and probably could do with a new car.

In Ireland we have an over 65's event. But in Hilversum, the Over 90's Senior championship is taking place. Is this a record? Can any country do better?
Posted by: Jonathan O'Connor at June 28, 2006 10:23

I'm sure the Armenians can do better.
Posted by: greg koster at June 28, 2006 13:56

The top 3 each draw, and Rublevsky wins it!

On the Dutch side, Tiviakov wins his final game to take the championship with an impressive 8/10. Sokolov must have been wondering, 'What do I need to do to win this darn thing?' His 7.5 is good enough to win most years...
Posted by: cynical at June 28, 2006 14:23

There is one more round for the Dutch championship
Posted by: allan at June 28, 2006 15:11

After watching hundreds of FIDE control games (90'+30") it's clear that just adding minutes isn't the issue. The players inevitably end up on increment before move 40. The importance of multiple controls was demonstrated eons ago.
Posted by: Mig at June 28, 2006 19:56

Chess players mate better, but not when they're rushed in time pressure.
Posted by: Julian Maltese at June 28, 2006 21:53

Another mediocre tournament for Shirov. I can't remember the last time he had a really good performance.
Posted by: macuga at June 29, 2006 05:40

Hi folks anyone knows when Dordmund is starting? Is it already decided who will play?
Posted by: Ando at June 29, 2006 06:33

Hi, Ando

July 29th:

Kramnik, Leko, Svidler, Aronian, Naiditsch, Adams, Gelfand and Jobava.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at June 29, 2006 10:52

Baadur Jobava
--about 23 yrs old
--from Georgia
--rated 2646
--world's #62
Posted by: greg koster at June 29, 2006 12:28

I assume Dortmund participation is by special invitation only. I wonder how a #62 gets in ahead of our own Naka who is higher on the list.
Posted by: Bradford at June 29, 2006 13:19

Jobava won the Aeroflot tournament, which is traditionally a qualifier for Dortmund.
Posted by: Alex Shternshain at June 29, 2006 13:22

Most tournaments, championships excluding, are by special invitation only.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at June 29, 2006 14:56

I like the idea that the winner of Aeroflot gets an invitation to Dortmund. Quite a motivator for the Aeroflotniki, I am sure. And anyone who wins Aeroflot will probably not disgrace himself in Dortmund.
Posted by: Charles Milton Ling at June 29, 2006 20:14

I like the idea that the winner of Aeroflot gets an invitation to Dortmund. Quite a motivator for the Aeroflotniki, I am sure. And anyone who wins Aeroflot will probably not disgrace himself in Dortmund.

(Sorry if I am posting this twice, but I got an error message that seemed honest.)
Posted by: Charles Milton Ling at June 29, 2006 20:15

Just for Charles' information Bologan once qualified for Dortmund by winning Aeroflot. He went on to win Dortmund.

Many of these so-called elite players maintain their ratings by playing in these invitationals. I am pretty sure that if Anand or Kramnik were to play in the World Open , they wouldn't be able to get clear first.
Posted by: peach at June 30, 2006 01:29

Yep, peach, and his rating was only 20 points higher than Jobava's is right now. Rather than inviting a usual top-level also-rans like Bacrots and Ponomariovs of this world, I would rather have a 2600 player who is at the top of his game right now.
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyenr at June 30, 2006 09:17

Well maybe if they sandbagged and played in the under 1600 section they would win. :)

I am really not sure what to think about that idea of playign in the opens. I woudl think top players just avoid them becasue playing lower rated players can hurt your own play.
Posted by: Niceforkinmove at June 30, 2006 11:12

I don't know if they get appearance fees for playing in Opens, either (maybe not even expenses). That could matter a lot for the world elite; and I suppose everyone would rather have a guaranteed payday than a situation where they only get paid if they place 1st or maybe 2nd.

World Open gets several dozen GMs, but few if any from world top-20. Even HB Global last year didn't get the elite (van Wely, Moiseenko, Motylev were the best they got).

On the other hand, Aeroflot is an Open, isn't it? And Lone Pine used to pull in the world's elite on a regular basis (granted that was a long time ago).
Posted by: Jon Jacobs at June 30, 2006 12:24

Just a short note on my game vs. Areschenko. Ofd course, I was totally lost after my terrible blunder c5?? allowing Rxd5. Instead of c5, Qa3+ Qd6 Qd3! was probably winning by force (computer check still needed!) and even though I saw the idea beforehand I totally messed up when he played Rf5. The fact that I had only a minute left (with 30 secods increment per move) might be an explanation but definitely no excuse.

Alexei Shirov
Posted by: Alexei Shirov at July 1, 2006 10:55


I will be honest that you are not my favorite player. But I continuously appreciate your effort to communicate with the fans and justify/explain your behavior to them, especially in format such as this one where you are exposed to direct response and criticism. Cheers for you and people like you making chess more popular.

Yura Kleyner
Posted by: Yuriy Kleyner at July 1, 2006 14:03

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 28, 2006 7:54 AM.

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