Reggio R7: Two quick draws and a blunder by Ivanchuk (UPDATE)
Nikita Vitiugov scored his first win in Reggio Emilia as Vassily Ivanchuk committed a big blunder in round 7. Hikaru Nakamura drew quickly with Fabiano Caruana and maintained his 4-point lead, as Alexander Morozevich and Anish Giri split the point even quicker.
The tournament in Reggio Emilia has become stronger and stronger in recent years, and with the current field of participants it looks a lot like a super tournament such as Bazna or Dortmund. Therefore, we decided that this 54th edition 'deserved' daily round reports here at ChessVibes. However, we also feel that in certain areas the tournament still lacks the professionalism (experience?) that can be found at other events.
For example, this year the organizers decided to copy the most popular format at elite events these days: the 6-player, double round robin. However, they forgot to carefully check how the pairings are usually done. Instead of switching rounds 4 and 5, the schedule of the first half was kept as simply mirroring the second half. If you do this, there will always be one player having the same colour three rounds in a row.
In this tournament, Vassily Ivanchuk was the unlucky one, who had to play three games with Black consecutively. We won't go as far as saying this was the main reason, but it certainly didn't help either - the Ukrainian lost all three games.
UPDATE: We were informed by the organizers that they didn't 'forget' to change rounds 4 and 5, as they believe with a rest day this is not necessary, and that Ivanchuk has stated that his results have nothing to do with the 3 blacks but only to his form. We therefore regret to have written this part of the report without contacting the organizers first.
Especially the third, in round 7, was a dramatic affair. In an equal position, Ivanchuk bundered a piece and immediately resigned.
Unfortunately the round report on the official website doesn't provide an explanation either. This website is another aspect that should be improved. It lacks an English version, and almost all basic info, including the games and even videos, are hidden under the 'live games' link. The round reports are only available in PDF (why?) and the English versions are not written or checked by a native English speaker, which leads to sentences like:
Vitiugov – Ivanchuk seems to go towards a draw, but suddenly he unusefully looses a pawn.
That's all, no further comment. And it wasn't a pawn...
In other areas the organizers are doing a fine job; e.g. they're sending press releases, they connect with the fans via Facebook and they seem to be taking care of the players very well.
The New Year's Eve dinner in Reggio Emilia
Back to the chess, which involved two quick draws in the other games. After so many decisive results, it had to happen at some point! Alexander Morozevich was much more cautious than in the previous round, and allowed a move repetition as soon as he felt White had no advantage anymore. For Anish Giri a draw with Black was fine, of course. The young Dutchman even climbed to third place.
Giri and Morozevich just before the start of their game
What is almost becoming a tradition here is to mention Hikaru Nakamura's post-game tweet:
As the saying goes...if you can't beat Svidler, you might as well play like him!
The American referred to Svidler's pet line, the Kan Sicilian, but also the recent, spectacular draw between Karjakin and Svidler at the Tal Memorial last month. Of course Caruana had seen it too, and by deviating at move 11 he kept a tiny edge, but a few moves later they players agreed to a draw.
Caruana and Nakamura's post-mortem, with Giri kibitzing
In Wednesday's 8th round Nakamura faces Morozevich with White. A win would virtually secure tournament victory with two rounds to spare.
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings (classical)
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||27.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 6||02.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 2||28.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 7||03.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 3||29.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 8||04.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 4||30.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 9||05.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 5||31.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 10||06.01.12||13:00 CET|
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