Many of you have probably never seen any of their games. But Ulf Andersson, Zoltan Ribli, Andrei Sokolov, Henrique Costa Mecking, Lajos Portisch and Mihai Suba were part of the chess world elite in the '70s and '80s. Now they are all playing the "Kings tournament" in Bazna, Romania; five more players complete the list of participants: former world champion Alexander Khalifman, former female world champion Maia Chiburdanidze, Slovenian GM Alexander Beliavsky, Dutch GM Jan Timman and Armenian GM Rafael Vaganian (still strong players, even if they lived better times). This is a category 13 event: not bad if you consider that average age of participants is between 50 and 60. Official site: http://www.clubulregilor.ro/.
The strong (category 18) Aerosvit tournament started today in Yalta, Ukraine. After losing their matches in the WCM last week, Alexei Shirov and Sergei Rublevsky played each other in the first round: the Spanish GM won on time on move 47 in a drawish position. Cuban GM Lenier Dominguez completely outplayed Dutch GM Loek Van Wely (the latter would probably better play in Hilversum, where the Ducth championship is underway) and Indian GM Krishnan Saikiran did the same with American GM Alexander Onischuk. All other games were drawn: Karjakin-Ivanchuk, Nisipeanu-Jakovenko and Svidler-Eljanov. Official site: http://www.ukrchess.org.ua/aerosvit2007/index_e.htm.
Two Italian IMs share the lead in the European Union championship, which takes place in Arvier (Italy) until June 24. Carlo D'Amore and Giulio Borgo won against FM Denis Rombaldoni and GM Tomas Likavsky in round 4 and still have a perfect score. Four players are half a point behind: Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak, Swedish GM Evgenij Agrest and Italian GM Michele Godena and IM Sabino Brunello. Curious news from the tournament bulletin: "Have you noticed that several “families” are playing this tournament? There are the Agrest’s (no less than three generations: the well known GM, his daughter, his son and… his father!), the Brunello brothers (Sabino, Roberta and Marina), the Foisor’s (mother Cristina and her two daughters), the Rombaldoni brothers (Denis and Axel), the Dritsakos’ (brother and sister) and, last but not least… the Astengo’s (Marcello and Corrado, who are cousins!)". Round 5 top boards: Sedlak-D'Amore, Agrest-Borgo (D'Amore and Borgo have both played with White pieces three times up to now: that's why they don't play each other), Brunello-Godena, Luther-Foisor S.F., Sulava-Vezzosi, Rombaldoni D.-Baburin, Castaldo-Sulskis, Cocchi-Prie. Official site: http://www.scacchivda.com/.
Last but not least, we can't forget the "Gorenje 2007" tournament in Valjevo, Serbia. Round 6 saw three draws and two decisive results: Ivanisevic-Iordachescu 1-0 and Nikolic-Stojanovic 1-0. Four players now share the lead on 4/6: Anatolij Karpov, Suat Atalik, Michael Roiz and Ivanisevic; Damljanovic follows on 3.5. Official site: www.chessdom.com. On this site you can also read an interview with Jan Werle, the young Ducth GM who won the Lodi Festival eight days ago (and he speaks about that tournament, among other things).
Dominguez,L (2678) - Van Wely,L (2674) [B90], Yalta 18.6.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Be7 9.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 Nbd7 11.g4 b5 12.Rg1
This is not a new plan, but 12.g5 Nh5 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 is much more common.
12...b4 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 a5 15.g5 Nh5 16.Kb1 a4 17.Nc1 Qa5 18.Nd3
White has also played 18.Rg4 at this point. The game Sisniega-Sunye Neto, Linares 1992, continued 18...Rfb8 19.Rc4 Nf4 20.Bxf4 exf4 21.h4 Ne5 22.Rxf4 g6 and Black managed to get a draw.
This is probably a new move in the text position, but not a new idea, as we saw in the previous note. 19.Nf2?! is too slow; the game Altrock-Elfert, Dresden 2002, continued 19...Nb6 20.Ne4 Kh8 21.Ng3 Nf4 22.Bxf4 exf4 23.Nf5 (23.Nh5!?) 23...Bf8 24.h4 Re8 and Black has a slight edge.
19...Nf4 20.Nxf4 exf4 21.Bxf4
A counterplay is not simple to be find for Black now...
21...Ne5 was the best way to fight for a draw.
22.Bg3 Bf8 23.Rc4 Nc5 24.Bf2 Bg7
It looks that Van Wely has some chances now, but Sasikiran is not of same idea.
25.Bxc5 dxc5 26.d6 a3 27.b3 Bd4 28.d7
"Passed pawns must be pushed"!
28...Rd8 29.Bh3 Ra6?
29...Qb6 was much more precise, although White retains some good winning chances anyway.
The decisive mistake. Black had to admit his previous inaccuracy and play 30...Raa8.
31.gxf6 was even stronger, but the text move is more than enough.
31...cxd4 32.Qxd4 1–0
Again, White had a better move, 32.Qe2, but Van Wely resigned, as he had no chances of surviving anyway.