Great battle on the web. For the eighth year running, the ICC playing zone is hosting the Internet Chess Tournament "Ciudad de Dos Hermanas". This event has become one of the most important Internet chess tournaments in the world, featuring the largest number of participants. In the present edition more than 1850 players from all over the world took part in the twelve qualifiers (free entry, even for non-ICC members). Lots of GMs and IMs battled their way through to the final, which will take place 23rd-24th March (the games will start at 3pm server time – 8pm Central European time): amongst the contenders for the first place there will be top-class players such as Shahriyar Mamedyarov, Gata Kamsky, Kiril Georgiev, Hikaru Nakamura, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Daniel Fridman and Zhang Zhong. The prize fund is 7.700 euros, with a first prize of 1.800 euros.
Italian players tried their best, but didn’t succeed in qualifying for the 32 ko final stage. GM Michele Godena placed eleventh with 9/12 in the 12th and last qualifier (while MF Maurizio Brancaleoni and MF Dario Mione :-) scored 8 points each, placing 26th and 27th), IM Luca Shytaj was 12th with 9/12 in the tenth. Nice “virtual atmosphere” and good organisation in almost every tournament. You can find all results (and even games!) at http://www.chessclub.com/resources/event/doshermanas2007.
Here is a nice win by dutch GM Ian Smeets against azeri GM Namig Guliyev in the 11th qualifier. Unfortunately White combination is uncorrect: after 29.Qg7+?? (29.h7! Rxg3 30.h8=Q+ Rg8 31.Qh6+ Rg7 32.Rg4 would have won on the spot) 29... Rxg7 30.hxg7+ Kg8! (and not 30...Kxg7??) Black has a decisive advantage. Smeets is the only player who made a perfect score in the first stage.
Smeets, Ian (2538) -Guliyev, Namig (2545) [B90], ICC 21.03.2007
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. g4 h6 8. h4 Nc6 9. Rg1 h5 10. gxh5 Nxh5 11. Qd2 Nf6 12. O-O-O Bd7 13. Bg5 Rc8 14. Be2 b5 15. Nxc6 Bxc6 16. Qe3 Qa5 17. Kb1 b4 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Nd5 Be7 20. h5 exd5 21. exd5 Bb5 22. Rge1 Qc7 23. Bg4 Rb8 24. Rd4 Kf8 25. Re4 Re8 26. h6 Qd8 27. Bf5 Bd7 28. Qg3 Rg8 29. Qg7+ Rxg7 30. hxg7+ Kxg7 31. Rg4+ Kf8 32. Rh1 Bxf5 33. Rh8# 1-0