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Ivanchuk Winning Capablanca

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Vassily Ivanchuk takes a full-point lead into today's final round of the Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba. He's on 6/9 and faces Miton, the only player to inflict a loss on the Ukrainian top-tenner in the event. Evgeny Bareev has recovered from a poor start to move into second place on five points while Miton is a half-point back. The Cuban stars Dominguez and Bruzon both have the same weird line, one loss and eight draws! Round nine was all short draws. The official site has picked up the pace and has results and games if you're patient.

Osvaldo Zambrana is near the top of the open that runs alongside of the Elite event. He's trying to get his rating over 2500, at which point he will become Bolivia's first Grandmaster. His third norm last December was something of a news story in Bolivia, but they forgot about the rating requirement.


Odd that nobody has commented on this event, apart from the flame war on the Cuban political situation.

Ivanchuk drew to finish on 6.5/10 1/2 pt ahead of Bareev who finished with a Topalov-esque 4.5/5. Cream rises to the top again.

Some good play- the finish of the ultimately decisive game between Ivanchuk and Bareev was very pretty.

I haven't heard of Miton before, but he's obviously not too shabby. Noguieras did well in the end considering he was outrated by almost 100 points and must have gained rating points. The two top Cubans must be disappointed with their efforts.

What a bizarre tournament!!

1) Bareev started with -2 and in the second half of the tournament scored four victories (defeating everyone but Ivanchuk), to finish with +2 and second place. His last victory followed after two consecutive blunders from Bruzon in moves 34 and 35, when the Cuban was trying to force a repetition.

2) Given the rise of the two young Cubans, Bruzon and Dominguez, the Cuban organizers have invited stronger foreign players (which is not easy in a country like Cuba), so that both Cubans could avoid losing a lot of Elo points without being forced to have an spectacular score facing weaker opposition.

From that point of view, the outcome of this tournament was terrible:

(a) The foreign players got the top three positions.

(b) The Cuban players finished in the last three positions. Moreover, the only players who did not score a single victory in the tournament were precisely Bruzon (-2) and Dominguez (-1), obviously losing rating points. Even Nogueiras, the only player in the 2500's was able to win a game.

Indeed, the Capablanca Memorial has of late been organized with the idea of giving their best prospects (Bruzon and Dominguez) real chances to win more rating points. Of course, both Bruzon and Dominguez are now rated around 2650, so winning ratings points is not that easy. While Bruzon and Dominguez will lose points, their ratings won't take a big hit. According to ELO, they ought to have finished at 50% Dominguez was probably tired from his active schedule. Who knows, maybe Bareev was rusty from inactivity...

The Cubans drew all their games against each other.

Bruzon and Dominguez are now rated around 2650, so winning ratings points is not that easy.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 30, 2006 5:29 AM.

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