Fue una a semana de grandes éxitos para los ajedrecistas latinoamericanos. Primero, el cubano Leinier Domínguez, quien está al toque de entrar en la lista de los 20 mejores del mundo, le ganó al Campeonato Mundial de Ajedrez Relámpago en Almaty, Kazajstán. Domínguez terminó con un puntaje impresionante de 11.5 de 15 e invicto (¡!) contra varios de los mejores jugadores del mundo. Basta ver los nombres ilustres que terminaban debajo del cubano: Ivanchuk, Svidler, Grischuk, Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Morozevich, Kamsky...
Sorry, got carried away there. What an upset by Cuba's Leinier Dominguez! Okay, it's just blitz, but to take clear first undefeated ahead of such a strong field is very impressive to say the least. The 25-year-old Cuban played in a blitz training event in Cuba while working with the Olympiad team and clearly it helped. He finished a half point ahead of defending world blitz champ Vassily Ivanchuk. It's a pity that many of the games in the PGN files at TWIC and the official site are garbage. Haven't they learned not to rely on the automated boards for blitz? Put a decent player next to each board with a scoresheet. One for each player if you must.
Dominguez has been moving up the rating list steadily and is poised to cross 2700 and enter the top-20. This is the biggest win for Cuban chess in a long time and the first big FIDE title since the world junior wins of Walter Arencibia (1986) and Lázaro Bruzón (2000). ChessBase has a photo report up.
In the virtual world, young Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga won the ICC online qualifier to play in the prestigious Corus C group next January. He defeated Brazil's GM Fier 3-1 in the final. The games took place with proctors observing the players. It started as a KO with 16 players. I'm not sure if Iturrizaga was a GM in time to make our list of countries with exactly one Grandmaster a while back. There are quite a few of those in Latin America.