Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Mainz 2008: Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open
05.08.2008 – It was a dramatic last round: when other title contenders were playing short draws Ian Nepomniachtchi showed his fighting spirit and beat world-class GM Evgeny Bareev. "Nepo" shared the top place with Pavel Eljanov (but beat him on tiebreak points). A splendid performance was given by Kateryna Lahno, 18, who scored half a point less and ended up in fifth place. Big illustrated report.

Chess Classic Mainz 2008

The 2008 Chess Classic took place from July 28 to August 3 in the Rheingoldhalle of the Congress Centre, Hilton Hotel in Mainz, Germany. The event included tournaments and Opens in traditional and Random Chess, with stars like the current World Champion and world's number one Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Russian GM Alexander Morozevich and the strongest female player of all time Judit Polgar.

Chess Classic, Day 6

Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open after dramatic last round

Fighting spirit rewared

Ian Nepomniachtchi is the winner of the 15th Ordix Open. After a perfect start with eight wins in a row, the 18-year-old Russian could not keep up the pace and lost in the penultimate round. But he showed his fighting spirit in the last round against Evgeny Bareev. With the courage of a lion he attacked his opponent and set up several cunning traps. In the end his opponent collapsed and lost on time.

The winner of the Ordix Open: 18-year-old GM Ian Nepomniachtchi

Pavel Eljanov and Zoltan Almasi secured 2nd and 3rd place. Best woman was European champion Kateryna Lahno with nine points.

GM Kateryna Lahno, Ukraine, 2515, 9.0 points

tied sensationally for second

Chess and triathlon meet in Mainz

Playing six tough rounds in the strongest rapid chess open tournament in the world is not everybody’s favourite pastime on a peaceful Sunday. And since many chess players don’t like to get up early to play chess at 10.00 a.m. you could see many sleepy grandmasters and amateurs playing quick draws in the first round on Sunday to get some extra rest. But if you think getting up early to play a couple of chess games is tough, what about the triathletes who were competing in the City Triathlon Mainz today? They started their competition at 10.00 a.m. as well: swimming in the Rhine, cycling and running through the city, passing the Rheingoldhalle which was packed with chess players moving pieces of wood on a chessboard.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russia, 2510, 7.5 points

WGM Viktorija Cmilyte, Lithuania, 2536, 7.5 points

Ordix Open on Sunday-an overview of the events

Ian “Nepo” Nepomniachtchi and Alexandra Kosteniuk were the only players who could add a full point to their perfect 5/5 Saturday score in the 6th round and they played against each other in the 7th round. Kosteniuk used a lot of time and “Nepo”, playing black, parked a knight on d5 and this piece controlled white's bishop. The 18-year-old Russian grandmaster outplayed his opponent and was the only one left with a perfect 7/7 score.

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Alexandra Kosteniuk in round seven (Black won in 52 moves)

Kosteniuk,A (2510) - Nepomniachtchi,I (2602) [C03]
15th Ordix Open Mainz GER (7), 03.08.2008
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Bd3 c5 5.Ngf3 Nf6 6.dxc5 Nc6 7.0-0 Nb4 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Qxd7+ Kxd7 13.Rd1+ Ke8 14.Nd4 Bxc5 15.Be3 Bxd4 16.Bxd4 Nxc2 17.Rac1 Nb4 18.Rc4 Nd5 19.b3 Kd7 20.Bb2 Rhc8 21.Rd2 Rc6 22.Rxe4 Rac8 23.Kf1 Ra6 24.a3 Rb6 25.Rd3 Ke8 26.g3 h6 27.Ke1 Kf8 28.Kd1 Rbc6 29.h4 h5 30.Rdd4 b5 31.Rd2 Kg8 32.Red4 Kh7 33.R4d3 Kg6 34.Rd4 Kf5 35.R4d3 a6 36.Rf3+ Kg6 37.Rfd3 a5 38.Rd4 Kf5 39.R4d3 b4 40.axb4 axb4 41.Rf3+ Kg6 42.Rfd3 R8c7 43.Rd4 Kf5 44.R4d3 Kg4 45.Ke2 Kf5 46.Kd1 Rc5 47.Rf3+ Kg6 48.Rd4 Ra5 49.g4 Ra2 50.gxh5+ Kxh5 51.Bc1 Nc3+ 52.Ke1 Ne2 0-1.

Pavel Eljanov and Adam Horvath closely followed the sole leader with 6.5/7, and there were still many players in the Ordix sharktank with 6/7. In the last round before the lunchbreak, that gave the players the opportunity to watch the triathletes who were running and cycling just a few steps away from the Rheingoldhalle, several exciting games were played. On the top-20 boards only two games ended in a draw! And Nepo added another full point to his spectacular score. It was not only the amount of points he scored, but he played with the greatest of ease and blew his opponents from the board. However, there were a few more candidates for the Ordix title: Pavel Eljanov from the Ukraine had 7.5/8 and there was a group of seven players with 7/8, among them Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lahno.

Pavel Eljanov vs Ian Nepomniachtchi in round nine (draw in 65 moves)

After the lunch break, Zoltan Almasi and Hikaru Nakamura battled it out in a tactical slugfest. It was certainly not a perfect game, but very entertaining and worth the download. Naka seemed to be winning at one stage (he was a rook up), but Almasi kept his cool and won the game in the end.

Hikaru Nakamura vs Zoltan Almasi in round nine (Almasi won in 72 moves)

Almasi,Z (2668) - Nakamura,H (2697) [B81]
15th Ordix Open Mainz GER (9), 03.08.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.Bg2 g5 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Ne5 11.h3 Ng6 12.Rhe1 Qc7 13.Nf5 Bd7 14.Qd2 exf5 15.exf5 Ne5 16.h4 Bc6 17.Bxc6+ Qxc6 18.hxg5 Nfxg4 19.f4 Nf3 20.Bd4+ Nge5 21.Qe3 0-0-0 22.fxe5 Nxe1 23.e6 Ng2 24.Qg3 Rg8 25.g6 fxe6 26.f6 e5 27.Qg4+ Kb8 28.f7 Rxg6 29.Qxg6 exd4 30.Rxd4 Qf3 31.Re4 Qf1+ 32.Nd1 Nf4 33.Qg4 h5 34.Qg5 Rc8 35.Rxf4 Qe2 36.c3 Qe6 37.Qf5 Qe2 38.Qf6 d5 39.Rf2 Qe4 40.Rf4 Qe2 41.Rf2 Qe4 42.Rf4 Qe1 43.Kc2 Qe2+ 44.Kc1 Ka7 45.Qd4+ Bc5 46.Qxc5+ Rxc5 47.f8Q Rc6 48.Qg7 Rc8 49.Qd4+ Ka8 50.Rf2 Qe7 51.Ne3 h4 52.Nxd5 Qg5+ 53.Kc2 Rd8 54.Rd2 Rg8 55.Nb6+ Kb8 56.Nd7+ Ka8 57.Nb6+ Kb8 58.Qd6+ Ka7 59.Nd7 h3 60.Qd4+ Ka8 61.Qe5 Qg6+ 62.Kb3 Rd8 63.Qd4 Qe6+ 64.c4 Rg8 65.Nb6+ Ka7 66.Nd5+ Kb8 67.Qf4+ Ka7 68.Rf2 Rg4 69.Qc7 Rg8 70.Rf7 Qc8 71.Qxc8 Rxc8 72.Rh7 1-0.

This was a very important win for the Hungarian, because most of the other top games ended in a draw. And finally, the leader of the pack did not win his game, Nepo had to be content with a draw against Eljanov.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov vs Kateryna Lahno in round 9 (draw in 65 moves)

Under pressure

“Under pressure”. This song by Queen was played before the start of the penultimate round. This is an appropriate title because now it was really getting serious in the Ordix. Which player could handle the pressure best? Nepomniachtchi had to play Kasimdzhanov with the black pieces and he had a good position. However, Kasim is a very experienced player, and has played several Ordix Open tournaments. He could slowly but steadily free himself and in the end his young opponent collapsed.

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov in round ten (Kasim beat Nepo in 70)

On the other top board Eljanov won a very good game against Almasi and turned out to be the sole leader with 9/10! We have not reported about Evgeny Bareev yet, but this Russian star plays and wins his games quietly and in this round he won an impressive game against Markowski in only 31 moves. He had 8.5 points, just like Kateryna Lahno, who played an impressive game against Potkin.

Potkin,V (2629) - Lahno,Kateryna (2507) [D76]
15th Ordix Open Mainz GER (10), 03.08.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Nb6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.e3 Re8 10.Re1 Bd7 11.d5 Na5 12.e4 c6 13.Nd4 cxd5 14.exd5 Rc8 15.Rb1 h6 16.Bf4 Nac4 17.b3 Nd6 18.Qd2 Nf5 19.Nxf5 Bxf5 20.Rbc1 Rxc3 21.Rxc3 Bxc3 22.Qxc3 Nxd5 23.Qd2 Nxf4 24.Qxf4 Qa5 25.Re2 Qa6 26.Rd2 h5 27.Qb4 b6 28.Bc6 Bh3 29.Rd1 Rf8 30.Qxe7 Qxa2 31.Bd5 Qc2 32.Re1 Qf5 33.Be4 Qe6 34.Qxe6 Bxe6 35.b4 Kg7 36.Ra1 Rd8 37.Bc6 Rd4 38.b5 Bd5 39.Bxd5 Rxd5 40.Rxa7 Rxb5 41.Rb7 Rb1+ 42.Kg2 b5 43.Kf3 b4 44.h4 Kf6 45.Ke3 Rb2 46.f3 Ke6 47.Kf4 b3 48.Rb6+ Kd5 49.Rb7 Ke6 50.Rb6+ Ke7 51.Rb7+ Kf6 52.Rb6+ Kg7 53.Rb7 Rb1 54.Ke3 b2 55.Kf4 Kf8 56.Kg5 Kg7 57.Kf4 Kf6 58.Rb6+ Ke7 59.Rb7+ Ke6 60.Rb6+ Kd5 61.Kg5 Rg1 62.Rxb2 Rxg3+ 63.Kf4 Rh3 64.Rb6 Rxh4+ 65.Kg5 Ra4 66.Rf6 Ra7 67.Kf4 Re7 68.Kg5 Ke5 69.Ra6 Rd7 70.f4+ Ke4 71.Ra4+ Rd4 72.Ra7 Rd5+ 73.Kh4 Rf5 74.Kg3 h4+ 75.Kxh4 Kxf4 76.Ra4+ Ke5 77.Ra6 Rf1 78.Kg3 g5 79.Ra5+ Kf6 80.Kg4 Rf4+ 81.Kg3 Rb4 82.Ra6+ Kf5 83.Ra5+ Kg6 84.Ra6+ f6 85.Rc6 Rb5 86.Kg4 Rb4+ 87.Kg3 Re4 88.Ra6 Kf5 89.Ra5+ Re5 90.Ra6 Re3+ 91.Kf2 Rb3 92.Rc6 g4 93.Rc5+ Kf4 94.Rc4+ Kg5 95.Kg2 f5 96.Ra4 g3 97.Ra8 Kg4 98.Rg8+ Kf4 99.Kh3 Rb1 100.Ra8 Rh1+ 101.Kg2 Rh2+ 102.Kg1 Rb2 103.Kf1 Kf3 104.Ra3+ Kg4 105.Ra8 f4 106.Rc8 Rb1+ 0-1.

The short draw plague

In the final round Eljanov had to play Lahno with the black pieces. It was a difficult decision: shall I play for a win with the black pieces against Lahno, an opponent who seemed to be in great form, to secure first place alone? Or shall I play a quick draw to secure at least a big piece of the prize fund? Lahno offered a draw after only eight moves and Eljanov, a player who is more than 200 Elo points above his opponent, accepted. After the game, Eljanov timidly said: “I knew that only Nepo could outrun me in the last round, but I thought that he would not win his game against Bareev and therefore I accepted the draw offer.” A wrong decision!

Kateryna Lahno vs Pavel Eljanov in round 11 (draw in eight moves)

Lahno,Kateri (2507) - Eljanov,P (2716) [C65]
15th Ordix Open Mainz GER (11), 03.08.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 0-0 7.Ba4 h6 8.Nbd2 ½-½

The other top board (Fressinet-Najer) also ended in a quick draw after ten moves. Although one should not forget that the players had to play ten tough and nerve-breaking rounds, these quick draws are horrible – for the chess fans, for the organizers and for the sponsors. During the Olympiad in Dresden and in other tournaments no draw offers before the 30th move will be accepted anymore, why not introducing this rule in Mainz next year?

Dramatic final round

The people in the Rheingoldhalle wanted to see fighting chess until the very last round and this is what Ian Nepomniachtchi and Evgeny Bareev gave them. Nepo attacked his fellow countryman like a madman, but he seemed to be too optimistic and soon Bareev had a winning position. But the 18-year-old kept pushing and he set up some cunning traps. The experienced Bareev could not handle the pressure and collapsed. In a totally winning position with a piece up, he lost on time...

Nepomniachtchi,I (2602) - Bareev,E (2655) [B12]
15th Ordix Open Mainz GER (11), 03.08.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 h5 5.Bd3 Qc8 6.Nf3 g6 7.Nh4 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Nh6 9.Bxh6 Bxh6 10.0-0 e6 11.Nxg6 fxg6 12.Qxg6+ Kd8 13.f4 Kc7 14.Qf6 Qe8 15.f5 Be3+ 16.Kh1 Bxd4 17.fxe6 Bxc3 18.Qg7+ Kc8 19.bxc3 Rg8 20.Qh7 Qxe6 21.Rf7 Re8 22.Rxb7 Nd7 23.Rab1 Rd8 24.Qxh5 Qxe5 25.Qg4 Qd6 26.c4 d4 27.h3 Re8 28.c5 Qd5 29.Qg3 Qe5 30.Qg4 Qd5 31.Qg3 Qe5 32.Qg4 Qd5 33.R7b4 Rg8 34.Qe2 Nxc5 35.Qf1 a5 36.Rb6 Ne4 37.Qf4 Nd6 38.Qf2 Kc7 39.c4 dxc3 40.R6b3 Nb5 41.a4 Raf8 42.Qe2 Re8 43.Qf2 Ref8 44.Qe2 c2 45.Qxc2 Nd4 1-0.

This final was as dramatic as the last round in the FiNet Open, in which Arkadij Naiditsch lost his final game in a completely winning position. Just like Eljanov, Nepomniachtchi scored 9.5 points, but he had a better Buchholz score and won the Ordix Open plus an invitation to the Rapid Chess World Championship next year! His fighting spirit was rewarded.

The three winners: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Pavel Eljanov and Zoltan Almasi

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