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ZP Leads in Mérida

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Asian Champion Zhang Pengxiang is leading the Magistral Ruy López in Spain with 2/2. The locals have nicknamed him ZP -- no word on how he feels about this or if he's even aware of it. This is the second edition of this event honoring the best-known name in Spanish chess. (Speaking of nicknames, what dolt started calling the Ruy Lopez opening "the Spanish torture" instead of "the Spanish inquisition," which was begging to be played?) The all-play-all Magistral again has an interesting field with something for just about every affirmative action fan. We've got kids, girls, Asians, Latinos, and Mickey Adams as the token high-Elo white guy. I don't know whether to look at the games or wait for Hillary and Obama to show up for a photo-op.

Brooklyn's 15-year-old Fabiano Caruana is still playing for Italy and living in Hungary. He won the Corus C group in January, had a rough time at the Aeroflot, and recouped some rating points with a strong performance at the Reykjavik Open last month. He's up to 2620 on the April FIDE list, though that's no longer enough to crack the top 100. Dirt favorite Hou Yifan, now 14, is there again, as is India's Humpy Koneru. They are #4 and #2, respectively, on the women's rating list. I expect Hou Yifan will be in the #2 spot a year from now. The big question is will she be in the number one spot two years from now? Well, at the moment in Mérida she's on .5/2 after a loss to Caruana, so let's not put the rickshaw before the horse. Last year's runaway winner, Gabriel Sargissian, is already sure of not repeating his amazing 6.5/7 score of a year ago.

After the main event, beginning April 13, they will repeat the Ruy Lopez opening thematic rapid tournament. All games begin with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. Or, if you prefer it the way the locals would have it, 1.e4 e5 2.Cf3 Cc6 3.Ab5. I remember writing a Word macro to change English notation into Spanish back in the day of primitive chess tools in Argentina. (Running on my 486 laptop, natch.) Just remember to change the rooks to torres before changing the kings to reyes... I was one of the few people at the club with internet access and I'd bring in stacks of printouts of recent games from this new "website" called The Week In Chess.


luckily, mig is in no danger of this:



The big question re Hou Yifan is why she stopped wearing that cute little barette.

Hah, the first back-to-back posts since 27-28 February.

ZP makes more sense to Spaniards: our president, José Luis Zapatero, is also nicknamed ZP.

You'll not see Hillary unless there is a good chance of Sniper Fire.

You'll not see Obama either. Too busy putting out the racial fires here in the USA.

Hillary will be at a Yankees game and Obama will be at a celebrity bowling tournament.

Mig, eres siempre bienvenido en el Club Argentino!!

Looks like the token high-ELO white guy won handily.


Humpy did pretty well, too. +2 in this field losing only to Adams is great.

Yes, a good result for Humpy. She must be pleased that she did so well. This result demonstrated that she is still stronger than Hou Yifan. Mig's prediction that Hou will have surpasseed Humpy's rating by the 2009 Magistral Ruy Lopex might still come to pass, but it is hardly inevitable, and it won't likely be as a result of a collapse by Humpy. Mickey did what he needed to do--he had a workmanlike result. Hopefully, this presages a run of good form, and a climb back into the Top 10. Sargissian had a respectable result, but nothing compared to last year's sensation.

Poor Julio Granda never seemed able to get any traction at all. Horrible positions out of the opening cost him dearly.

1. Adams, Michael g ENG 2729 5½
2. Zhang Pengxiang g CHN 2640 5
3. Sargissian, Gabriel g ARM 2643 4½
4. Koneru, Humpy g IND 2603 4½
5. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2620 2½
6. Granda Zuniga,Julio E g PER 2609 2
7. Hou Yifan wg CHN 2548 2
8. Perez Candelario,Manuel m ESP 2537 2

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 7, 2008 12:49 AM.

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