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Aeroflot 2007

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One of the world's strongest open tournaments kicked off today in Moscow. The final ninth round is Feb 22. Schedule and other info here. The top seeds are Akopian, fresh from clear first at Gibraltar, Sasikiran, Jakovenko, Vallejo Pons, and Harikrishna. Apart from the obvious legion of mighty Russian and Ukrainian players, India and China are very well represented. Corus C attention-getter 12-year-old Hou Yifan is in the A Group and started out with an upset win over Vitiugov today. Join her fan club now. First prize is an amazing $30,000, but you can see that the super-elite still considers it too rough a crowd to risk their Elo. No rest days, boo-hoo. The winner again qualifies for the Dortmund supertournament this June. I wish every elite tournament used qualifiers like this. It was Jobava last year.



Do any of the names of these Russian, Ukranian, Armenian GMs "mean" anything?

E.g. A Fischer is a guy who fishes, a Marshall is a law enforcement officer, etc.

A guy who fishes is Fisher. Fischer is a guy who fisches.

It is like Thomson.

Nyzhnyk drew with the white in Category B. Let's see if he can repeat some Moscow magic.

The most striking name: Nepomnyaschii... Means, "not remembering"

Nyzhnyk can be interpreted as "lower".


I think Kosintseva is Murmanskian for "cute"

I think Kosintseva is Murmanskian for "cute"

what does 'greg' mean?
and does 'koster' mean anything at all?

The "-ev" ending is familial, so "Alekseev" would be "Alexei's", and I suppose "Shomoev" would be "Shomo's". Now, the big question: Is Alexey Dreev from a family of rappers?!

Well, in Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance", we hear a cop sing about "when the koster's finished jumping on his mother"...

Oh, wait...

Glad you mentioned it, Mig, these events are too hard for the really big names.

They won't show up unless it is for another incestuous Corus or Linares. Same 10 guys over and over. Lets see them swim in shark tank like Areoflot once in a while.

I agree with chessteve. Neither Kramnik nor Leko nor Anand would be able to win Aeroflot. Witness e.g. Radjabov was not able to win Aeroflot but he got shared first at Wijk Aan Zee.

Jakovenko is Ukrainian for Jacobson (note though that the more Ukrainian sounding Jakovenko than the Russian Yakovlev does not necessarily mean Jakovenko is Ukrainian).

Karpov does not come from the fish, but from the rather outdated first name Karp, which I don't think anybody even has (partially because it is the same as the fish).

Kasparov comes from the name Caspar or Casper after it passed through a few languages (French and Turkish and Azer, would be my guess).

Kamsky is from Kama, the river that flows throuh Kazan.

Any others you guys want to know?

On stuff, which is more interesting (to me anyway):

I don't think that Kramnik, Leko, Anand would be UNABLE to win Aeroflot, it's that there would be a very high probability they wouldn't. That's just what happens in a big enough Swiss. Good argument against any sort of tournament as final stage of championship cycle: the best may not win even though his chess level does not go down.

I like the idea of a reward for Aeroflot winner, my problem is Dortmund only has 6-8 players usually. In a bigger tournament, like Corus, the idea is great. In Dortmund, you put in a low rank, and the strategy of "let me draw the higher ranks and see how many 1-0s I can score against the lower invites" becomes more appealing and dominant.

Akopian is from Hakob in Armenian which is the Armenified version of the Jewish Yaakov, its english equivalent being Jacob. Aronian respectively comes from Aaron or Aharon, which is a popular name in Armenia as well.

It is interesting that both Jakovenko and Akopian (correctly rendered Hakobyan on his passport)both mean Jacobson.
Aronian's surname has undergone some changes. His sister was called Aronova, and I believe he was Aronov until his name was Armenified.

I know nothing about any of the relevant languages, but how close am I with the following guesses?


And do any of these names translate into an English equivalent? Bukhuti, Dieter, Efim, Ilya, Lembit, Lev, Ratmir, Salo, Svetozar, Ulf Viacheslav, Yuri?

Sorry to put up so many names, but I've been curious for a while and wouldn't know where else to look online. I figured fellow chess fans might know.

My guess is Predrag=Fredrick, but I don't know for sure.

You're spot-on with Evgeny and Vassily. Lev=Leo, but that name is virtually extinct in English nowadays.

Check my site

More on the names

" don't think that Kramnik, Leko, Anand would be UNABLE to win Aeroflot, it's that there would be a very high probability they wouldn't. That's just what happens in a big enough Swiss. Good argument against any sort of tournament as final stage of championship cycle: the best may not win even though his chess level does not go down"

If they are not able to win this event , they don't deserve to be called the best.

"If they are not able to win this event , they don't deserve to be called the best."

I think Kramnik still deserves to be called the best, even if he finished last at Aeroflot. This is why we organize a Wch. And in general, Anand still deserves to be called a better player than Akopian, even if he would finish second at Aeroflot behind Vlad. That is why we have ratings.

Would the Aeroflot winner be able to win Linares?

He might, of course (Bologan, Naiditsch), but the odds would be against him.

Would he able to beat Topalov or Kramnik in a match?

He might, of course, but the odds would be against him in the same way as a snowball would be an outsider in Hell.

Anthony is Anton--you are correct on Yevgeny, Vassily, Fedor and Ossip.

Lev is Leo.
The names that have Slav or Vlad in them usually don't have an English equivalent--they predate the point that Greek names went into Slavic. Slav is a root meaning glory, Vlad is master/owner/ruler. So Vladimir is the Ruler of the World, Svyatoslav is Holy Glory, Vyacheslav is probably best translated as Holy Faith, but I am not sure if I am thinking of the right origin.


They are able to win the event, they just might not win it. Luck, schedule and having few rounds play a big role in a Swiss.

There is a very simple reason why they may not win the tournament irrespective of luck.

For a player say 2600, there is a small (but finite) probability of any of those performing at 2850.

If you have (sufficiently) many 2600 players, the probability of (at least) one of them performing 2850 is high.

Anand on average performs around 2800 (bit less),
so on average he is not expected to win a swiss tournament with many 2600 players, even if his rating is truly representative of his strength.

To say the same thing differently. In 100 players swiss tournament all of them above 2600, all of them have some small chances to win the event, so Anand may be more likely to win the event from any other individual player (Akopian included:)) BUT he has less than 50% chances of winning overall, so one of the 2600 players will eventually win.

Thanks, derida, now it is clearer to me.

"Marshall" did not really mean law enforcement officer in the modern US sense of the sheriff running the bad guys out of town (marshal).

The origin of the name Marshall
English and Scots: occupational name from Middle English, Old French maresc(h)al marshal. The term is of Germanic origin (cf. Old High German marah + scalc horse, mare + servant), and was originally applied to a man who looked after horses. By the heyday of surname formation it referred on the one hand to one of the most important servants in every great household (in the royal household an high official of state), and on the other to an humble shoeing smith or farrier. A similar wide range of meanings is found in other languages: for example, in Polish a marszalek can be anything from a field marshal or the chairman of the Polish parliament to the senior servant in an household. The surname is also borne by Jews, presumably as an anglicization of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.


Is there anyway to follow Nyzhnyk's games -- I can't find any scores from the B category.

the phonetic equivalent of Nyzhnik – Nuznik means toilet, from nuzda – need

Hou Yifan just beat Sutovsky to move to 2/2. Eeek.

Carlsen and Karjakin need not pee into their diapers in fear. Little Hou Yifan, like other girls, will peak early and low. Mentally, female IQ permanently plateaus around 17, while boys improve until 25.

However, her games here and at Corus are indeed somewhat impressive because unlike many prodigies, she not only has tactical bite but also a nascent Karpovian positional game.

watch out for Nepomniachtchi, he had a great Cours Tournament also.

watch out for Nepomniachtchi, he had a great Cours Tournament also.

Can anybody here calculate the performance rating of past Aeroflot winners?

The Aeroflot seemed ununsually exciting this year. Suspecting the youth delegation, I checked and found 11 of the world's top 20 juniors playing here, along with the three kids (negi, hou, Nyzhnyk), and recent juniors like Jakovenko, Harikrishna, etc.

Hou Yifan just beat Sutovsky to move to 2/2. Eeek.

-- Posted by: Mig at February 15, 2007 12:48

Hou Yifan is going to be the World Champion some day. Not the women's World Champion, -THE- World Champion.

Would someone please post the PGN for Hou Yifan's victory over Sutovsky? Thanks.

[Event "6th Aeroflot Festival"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2007.02.15"]
[EventDate "2007.02.14"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Hou Yifan"]
[Black "E Sutovsky"]
[ECO "B93"]
[WhiteElo "2509"]
[BlackElo "2629"]
[PlyCount "80"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 Nc6 7. Nf3 Bg4 8.
Be3 g6 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Bg7 11. Bc4 O-O 12. O-O Nd7 13. Rad1 Na5 14. Bb3
Rc8 15. e5 Nxb3 16. axb3 Rc6 17. exd6 exd6 18. Bd4 Bxd4+ 19. Rxd4 Nf6 20.
Kh1 d5 21. Rfd1 Qe7 22. Qf2 Rfc8 23. f5 Ne4 24. Qe3 Rxc3 25. bxc3 Rxc3 26.
R1d3 Rxc2 27. Rxd5 Re2 28. Qd4 Nf6 29. Rd8+ Kg7 30. fxg6 hxg6 31. Qd6 Qxd6
32. R3xd6 Ne4 33. Rb6 Ng3+ 34. Kh2 Nf1+ 35. Kh1 Ne3 36. Rxb7 g5 37. Rdd7
Nxg2 38. Rxf7+ Kg6 39. Rg7+ Kh6 40. Rge7 1-0

@Chuckles - TY

What I want is a web "toy" like one sees on the dictionary sites, where you push a button and the chess player's name is pronounced.

Even with "chess experts" now speaking on radio and tv, I still hear different pronunciations of some of these names. We will have to record the names from the mouths of the chessplayers themselves!

I want to HEAR the pronunciation of Teimour Radjabov, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Yifan Hou, Zviad Izoria, Viktorija Cmilyte, or even Yasser Seirawan! (I've heard Yasser say his own name, then the commentator sittng next to him says something different!)

Although I'm sure it is a matter of taste, the name I love to try to pronounce is 'Branko Damljanovic' (-unsuccessfully I'm sure!)


Just a quick nod to Michael Langer (Texas via Russia) who is playing at Aeroflot this year. He is a regular on the message boards (kalten) and has already provided a detailed update on the tournament.


Heh. Guess html tags don't work the same way here. If you're interested in Michael's description of the event, check out the CN message board in the "International Events" forum.

Predrag has no equivalent. Drag=dear, beloved, lovely...also darling. Pre is prefix for too- or over-

Svetozar I think is for shining light. Svetlo=light, svet=world, globe, crowd and also =holy, sacred

Ljubomir is from ljubav=love, sympathy, passion and mir=peace. -mir is common extension (mir=world in Russian?)

"Hou Yifan will be THE world champion"
Unfortunately, she will be a tournament world champion

Didn't Sutovsky play a bad opening followed by a stupid exchange sacrifice? He should better respect the objectivity of the chess board.

Anyone know what happened in the Jakovenko-Hou game today?

Jakovenko won.


Damn it!

Thanks for the update.

Koster is dutch for a guy who works in the church, cleaning up and stuff

Koster is dutch for a guy who works in the church, cleaning up and stuff

Bedankt Klaas!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 14, 2007 2:08 PM.

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