Icelandic IM Hedinn Steingrimsson finally won the 2007 Capo d'Orso Festival, which took place in Palau, Sardinia, in May 19 to 26. He scored 7.5 points out of 9, winning on tie break over 14 y.o. Italian IM Fabiano Caruana, who beat GM Michele Godena and IM Luca Shytaj in the final two rounds; Rumanian GM Mihail Marin and Scottish IM Jacob Aagaard were third on 7. Usually you don't promote over sites or blogs on your own site or blog, but I think we (chess players, chess journalists, chess lovers and so on) are a big family, so I tell you there is a really enthusiastic report about Capo d'Orso Festival on www.chessvibes.com: editor-in-chief Peter Doggers is on tour over Europe (lucky him!) and took part in this Italian event. "I recommend this tournament to everyone", Doggers writes. "The tournament was held in beautiful surroundings in the northern part of Sardinia and players were using digital clocks on every board in a air-conditioned tournament hall. One could book a double room full board for one week for a reasonable price and this is what most participants did. You got a decent accommodation and three excellent meals a day and the use of the beach benches were included. Right at the start of the first round I got a certain degree of sympathy for the tournament. At 15.00 CET, after the opening speech, as usual the chief arbiter had his say. He explained the rate of play and instead of telling the Black players to start the clock, or something similar, he said: «Now I’d like to have two minutes of silence and concentration, before we start the round». A kind of ritual that most chess trainers will encourage!". Well, that's enough. You can find more on Chessvibes.com. Official site of the tournament is http://asd.caissa.it/portomannu/. Congratulations to Yuri Garrett and his team for organizing such a great tournament!
World candidates matches finally have their own official site: http://globalchess.eu/main.php. You can find on it curious (luckily not tragic) news about the arrival of participants in Elista, venue of the event: "During the transportation of the players and journalists of the Candidates Matches from the airport, a local child unexpectedly runs to the road. In order to avoid a serious accident the drivers of the buses had to apply a forced breaking which however pushed some of the passengers forward and they got some injuries. After careful medical examinations they were released from the medical control as their injuries were not serious and did not require further treatment". Good luck to all the players! I remember the first round is: Aronian-Carlsen, Leko-M. Gurevich, Ponomariov-Rublevsky, Gelfand-Kasimdzhanov, Bacrot-Kamsky, Grischuk-Malakhov, J. Polgar-Bareev and Shirov-Adams. You can also find a WCM section of my Italian site, www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/candidati07.html).
Our game of the day was played in Palau a couple of days ago and won the brilliancy prize.
Aagaard,Jacob (2477) - Djuric,Stefan (2460) [C41], Palau 24.5.2007
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e5 5.g4!?
Not a novelty, but a really brave move indeed!
This move looks good for White only! 5...Nxg4 was played in Shirov-Azmpaiparashvili, Euro team champ 2003; after 6.Rg1 Ngf6 7.Bc4 h6 8.Be3 c6 9.Qd3 Qc7 10.0–0–0 b5 11.Bxb5 cxb5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Nxb5 Qa5 14.Qc4 Rb8 15.a4 Qb4 16.Nxe5 Qxc4 17.Nxc4 White got a very good compensation in return for the piece and the game finally ended in a draw on move 52.
A very dubious counter-gambit.
7.exd5 Bb4 8.Qe2+ Kf8 9.Bg2 Nb6 10.g5 Nfxd5 11.0–0!
White almost forces Black to take a material advantage (one pawn), but he gets a very strong attack in return.
11...Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nxc3 13.Qd3 Nba4 14.Ba3+ Kg8
If 14...c5 then 15.Rfe1 is still strong.
Black's position was very bad anyway, but this move loses immediately. 15...Be6 or; 15...h5 were slightly better.
White takes the pawn back with a decisive positional advantage.
16...Rb8 17.Nc6 Qxd3 18.cxd3 Ne2+ 19.Rxe2 Bxe2 20.Nxb8 would have lost anyway.
17.Nc6 Qxg5 18.h4! Qxh4
18...Qf6 19.Ne7+ Kf8 20.Bxa8 Ne2+ 21.Rxe2 Qxa1+ 22.Kg2 was not better for Black.
19.Ne7+ Kf8 20.Qd6
Also 20.Bxa8 would have won on the spot.
20...Qf6 21.Qxf6 gxf6 22.Bxa8 Ne2+ 23.Rxe2 Bxe2 24.Nf5 was without hope anyway for Djuric.
21.Ng6+ Kg8 22.Nxh4 Nxd6 23.Bxa8 g5 24.Bc6 gxh4 25.Bxa4 1–0
Black is a rook down and has a terrible position, too. What a crushing win by Aagaard!