Really not a good start. European Individual Chess championships opened yesterday in Dresden, Germany, but many people have to complain.
First, the chess fans from all over the world: the Internet coverage has been really poor and the complete first round results haven’t been published yet (they probably will only this morning). We hope the organizers will do much better for the next rounds: this is a test for 2008 Chess Olympiads, do not fail! About Internet, the Fide official site has been totally inaccessible the whole day and we hope neither viruses or hackers are involved in this matter.
Second, some top GMs, who drew or even lost playing with less rated opponent. Obviously, in this case, they have to complain to themselves. Kiril Georgiev (White) made one of the biggest bluders of the round, losing his Queen and resigning a few moves later; Arkadij Naiditsch put his Rook on the wrong square in a difficult endgame (but a draw was possible for him) and his opponent was happy to take it. Other renowned victims were Vugar Gashimov, Bartosz Socko, Karen Asrian and Zurab Azmaiparashvili. Some other top GMs who lost only half a point are: Sergey Karjakin, Francisco Vallejo Pons (both with White pieces), Zoltan Almasi, Baadur Jobava and Vladislav Tkachiev.
Third, me. I’d like some organisers took into consideration the possibilty of inviting an inactive 2254 player to top tournaments in Europe and, why not, America, Africa, Oceania and Asia… :-)
And now let’s come back to the championship. Vassily Ivanchuk and Italian prodigy Fabiano Caruana are not playing, even if they were included in the list of registered players, but the tourney is worth a visit anyhow if you have time: there are more than 50 players with a 2600+ rating and over 600 participants.
A curiosity: as European championship started in Dresden, Vladimir Kramnik joined the ranks of sport ambassadors in support of Sochi 2014. “As a native of the Krasnodar region, I feel personally involved in Sochi's bid to host the Games”, said the World champion. “The Olympic Games have the power to transform the region, both in terms of sport infrastructure and the cultural legacy that they leave behind. I am confident that the Games in Sochi would be a fantastic opportunity for Russia to shine in front of the world and promote the country's great achievements in all domains”. You can read the full press release about this news by clicking here.
And now let’s see one game from Dresden. You can download 30 games from the first round on my italian site (http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/europeo07.html).
Maiwald,J.U. (2489)-Jakovenko,D (2708) [E12], Dresden 03.04.2007
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bg5 Be7 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Rc1 O-O 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Be2 h6 11. Bf4 c5 12. O-O a6 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Qb3 Qc8 15. Rfd1 Rd8 16. Qa2 a5 17. Nb5 Nf8 18. Ne5 Ne6 19. Bg3 Ne4 20. Bh5 g6 21. Bg4 Nxg3 22. hxg3 h5 23. Bh3 g5 24. e4 g4 25. exd5 Ng5 26. d6 Bf8 27. Bxg4 hxg4 28. d7 Qb8 29. Nxg4 Ra6 30. Qc4 Rg6 31. f4 Ne6 32. Ne5 Rxg3 33. Rc2 Bg7 34. Nxf7 Kxf7 35. Rd6 Bd4+ 36. Kf1 Re3 37. Re2 Bd5 38. Qxd5 Qxb5 39. Qf5+ Kg8 0-1