The 6th International open will end tomorrow in Bergamo. Makedonian GM and Elo favourite Vladimir Georgiev is on 3.5/4, with a half a point lead over ten players: Ukrainian GM Sergei Krivoshey and wGM Inna Gaponenko, Serbian IM Slavisa Peric, Bulgarian GMs Todor Todorov and Milko Popchev, Gianluca Calvi from Milan, Latvian GM Viesturs Meijers, Philipino IM Roland Salvador, Serbian GM Miroljub Lazic and Croatian FM Miroslav Pukovski. A lot of players follow on 2.5: Serbian GM Sinisa Drazic, Philipino IM Rolly Martinez, Italian IM Daniel Contin, Moldavian wGM Karolina Smokina and Italian "wunderkind" Marco Codenotti from Pisa (10 years old) are among them. Anything can still happen and the last two games will be decisive. Top boards of the 5th round: Georgiev-Krivoshey, Todorov-Popchev, Pukovski-Meijers, Peric-Lazic, Gaponenko-Salvador, Drazic-Calvi. Alberto Buzio from Verbania leads the "B" group with a perfect score (4/4); in this group a chess lover from Borneo, Malaysia, is playing: his name is Richard Kimbin, he is 32 years old (he was born in 1975, like me :-) ) and he hasn't played chess for ten years. He told me he will be living in Bergamo until September 2008 (he works in Terno d'Isola, not far from the town) and we have played some friendly blitz games (we got in touch after he read this blog): he still has a very good chess vision, if you consider that he hasn't been playing for a long time, and I'm sure he will become a really strong player if he studies a bit of theory. So, be careful when you play with him! And... good luck, Richard! Remember I'm waiting for an article about chess in Malaysia (or whatever you want)!
The 4th Americas Continental Championship was held in Cali, Colombia, in July 10 to 20. Peruvian GM Julio Granda Zuniga scored 8/11 and won on tie break over GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Alexander Ivanov from United States, Brazilian GM Darcy Lima and Venezuelan IM Eduardo Iturrizaga; they all immediately qualified into the World Cup. Players who scored 7.5 points played tiebreaks for the two remaining spots: Argentinian GM Fernando Peralta and Brazilian IM Everaldo Matsuura won. Elo favourite GM Jaan Ehlvest from Usa was placed only 18th on 7 points, but there were many other strong GMs who didn't succeed in qualifying: Giovanni Vescovi from Brazil, Boris Gulko from Usa, Ruben Felgaer from Argetnina, Kevin Spraggett from Canada, etc. Official site: http://www.colombiadeportiva.com/continental.htm.
And now here is a short and brilliant win by Mexican IM Manuel Leon Hoyos in Cali.
Leon Hoyos,M. (2484) - Spraggett,K. (2585) [B42], Cali 20.7.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0–0 d6
6...Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 etc. is the main alternative.
7...Be7, 7...g6 and 7...Bd7 are more common.
8.Nc3 Bb7 9.f4
9.Qe2 is also popular.
9...Be7 and 9...Nbd7 are the main continuations.
10.f5 gxf5 11.exf5 Rg8
Nothing new under the sun, but White has now a strong novelty to show...
A real shock for Spraggett, who soon loses his nerves. Before now 12. Nf3 and 12.g3 have been played.
Forced! If 12...Bxe4 then 13.Bxe4 d5 (13...Nxe4 14.fxe6 Ra7 15.exf7+ Rxf7 16.Rxf7 Kxf7 17.Qh5+ Rg6 18.Qd5++-) 14.cxd5 e5 15.Nf3 Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Qd6 (16...Nxe4 17.Qa4+ Nd7 18.Qxe4) 17.Bg5 Nbd7 18.Qd3 and White is much better.; After 12...Nxe4 13.fxe6 Rg7 14.exf7+ Rxf7 15.Rxf7 Kxf7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Qg4+ Bg7 18.Bxe4 White wins easily.
13.Re1 is playable as well, but White wants to complicate the position.
13...fxe6 14.fxe6 Bxe4 15.Bxe4 Ra7 16.Qf3 Bg7?
A terrible mistake. 16...Rg4! 17.Bc2 Rag7 18.g3 Be7 19.Bh6 Qc8 (19...Rg8 20.Bxh7) 20.Bxg7 Rxg7 is unclear, but would probably lead to a draw. Now White wins easily.
17.Bg5 Rf8 18.Bxf6 Rxf6 19.Qh5+ Kf8 20.Rxf6+ Bxf6 21.Qh6+ Kg8 22.Rf1 1–0
After 22.Rf1 Qf8 (22...Bg5 23.e7!+-) 23.Rxf6 Qxh6 24.Rxh6 Black is completely hopeless, so he resigned.
And finally here is a little present for Richard... His round 4 victory in Bergamo (I can't say if I report the correct move order: I just saw the position after what I think are moves 13 and 17 and, then, the final combination).
Kimbin,R. - Fiorelli,P. [B77], Bergamo 21.7.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0–0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 a6 11.g4 Rc8 12.Bb3 h5 13.gxh5 Nxh5 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.0–0–0 b5 16.Bh6 e6 17.Bxg7 Nxg7? 18.h5! Nxh5? 19.Rxh5! gxh5 20.Qh6 f6 21.Bxe6+ Rf7 22.Rg1# 1–0