Reports | February 20, 2012 8:12

Morozevich wins Vladimir Petrov Memorial in Jurmala

Morozevich wins Vladimir Petrov Memorial

Alexander Morozevich won the Vladimir Petrov Memorial in Jurmala, Latvia on Sunday. The Russian grandmaster scored 5/7 and finished half a point clear of Alexei Shirov and Igor Kovalenko.

Alexander Morozevich, winner in Jurmala | Photo © Latvian Chess Federation

Event Vladimir Petrov Memorial | Games in PGN: Preliminary games | Final games via TWIC
Dates February 15th-19th, 2012
Location Jurmala, Latvia
System Preliminary Swiss + Final round robin
Players In the Swiss event the strongest players were Boris Grachev, Sergei Azarov, Daniel Fridman, Igor Kurnosov, Konstantin Landa and Ildar Khairullin while Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Alexei Shirov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov entered the final directly 
Rate of play 15 minutes plus 6 seconds increment
Prize fund Total € 4050, €1250 first prize

Vladimir Petrov  was a Latvian chess master who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He shouldn't be confused with Alexander Petrov, the Russian player of the mid-19th century whose name is connected to the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6.

The 'Latvian Petrov' was quite a strong player; for example he tied for first with Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr at Kemeri in 1937, ahead of Alexander Alekhine, Paul Keres, Endre Steiner, Saviely Tartakower, Reuben Fine, Gideon Stahlberg and others. He died tragically in a Soviet camp during the Second World War.

The Vladimir Petrov Memorial was held February 15th-19th in Jurmala, Latvia. It was organized by the Latvian Chess Federation together with Alexei Shirov, who is very active in the Latvian chess community these days. He switched back federations from Spain to Latvia on January 1st, 2012 and also co-organized the Aivars Gipslis Memorial on February 12th in Riga (and won it).

With Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and himself, Shirov created the strongest tournament in his native country since 1995. Even though the rate of play was "only" 15 minutes plus 6 seconds increment, the event was a great opportunity for local players to get a chance to face world class grandmasters. The festival also included a children's tournament, a team blitz event, a regular blitz tournament, simuls and even a combined chess and table tennis tournament.

The four top GMs were already seeded for the final round robin. Four more spots could be won in a preliminary 9-round Swiss on February 16th and 17th, held in the Jurmala City Museum, in which 58 players participated. Daniel Fridman, Ildar Khairullin, Michal Krasenkow and Igor Kovalenko qualified.

Let's look at a few game fragments. In the first, an incorrect bishop sacrifice was successful:

PGN string

One of the qualifiers, Daniel Fridman, surprised Sergei Azarov in a well-known line:

PGN string

Here's another game by quick-play specialist Fridman, who this time outplays a strong grandmaster from an almost equal position:

PGN string

Nyback was also the victim in the following game - after playing the Blumenfeld Gambit, he saw his own king being chased:

PGN string

The legendary Latvian GM Evgeny Sveshnikov also participated. The following game was spectacular:

PGN string

Petrov Memorial 2012 | Prel. tournament | Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2660 7.0 42.0 53.0 39.5
2 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2638 7.0 37.0 47.5 34.5
3 GM Krasenkow Michal POL 2607 6.5 39.0 50.0 35.5
4 GM Kovalenko Igor UKR 2587 6.5 37.0 47.0 35.5
5 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2525 6.5 36.0 45.5 32.0
6 GM Novikov Stanislav RUS 2552 6.5 35.5 44.5 31.0
7 GM Sulskis Sarunas LTU 2595 6.5 35.0 44.5 27.5
8 GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2566 6.5 34.0 43.0 30.5
9 GM Khalifman Alexander RUS 2632 6.0 35.0 44.0 30.5
10 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2693 5.5 40.0 51.5 31.5
11 GM Azarov Sergei BLR 2667 5.5 40.0 51.0 33.0
12 GM Kurnosov Igor RUS 2648 5.5 38.5 49.0 30.0
13 GM Khenkin Igor GER 2631 5.5 38.0 47.5 33.0
14 FM Meskovs Nikita LAT 2293 5.5 37.5 48.5 28.5
15 GM Nyback Tomi FIN 2634 5.5 36.0 45.5 32.0
16 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A UKR 2634 5.5 33.5 43.5 28.0
17 IM Carlstedt Jonathan GER 2331 5.5 33.0 43.0 24.0
18 GM Sveshnikov Evgeny LAT 2513 5.5 32.5 42.0 28.0
19 GM Miezis Normunds LAT 2544 5.5 32.5 42.0 24.0
20 GM Sokolov Andrei FRA 2581 5.0 38.0 48.0 28.0

The final, 8-player round robin was held on Saturday and Sunday and was won by Alexander Morozevich, who scored 5/7. The tournament wasn't decided until the final round, because Shirov, Morozevich and, surprisingly, Kovalenko were sharing the lead with 4/6. Three games In the final round ended in draws, and so with his win over Fridman, Morozevich won the tournament:

PGN string

Morozevich lost one game, against the organizer, in round 3:

PGN string

We'll finish this report with the following, very entertaining draw:

PGN string

Petrov Memorial 2012 | Round robin | Final standings



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


PP (nl)'s picture

The map doesn't point to the location of this tournament...

Peter Doggers's picture

Aha, right! Now it does, thx for mentioning.

Latest articles