Reports | May 15, 2012 12:12

Ivanchuk clinches 6th Capablanca Memorial victory

Vassily Ivanchuk against Ian Nepomniachtchi in round 4, with Leinier Dominguez w

Vassily Ivanchuk won the Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba on Monday. The Ukrainian, who finished a point clear of Ian Nepomniachtchi and Leinier Dominguez, won the tournament for the 6th time in his career.

Vassily Ivanchuk against Ian Nepomniachtchi in round 4, with Leinier Dominguez watching | Photo © Columna Deportiva

Event Capablanca MemorialPGN via TWIC
Dates May 4th-14th, 2012
Location Havana, Cuba
System 6-player double round robin

Vassily Ivanchuk, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Yuniesky Quesada Perez, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Viktor Laznicka, Vladimir Potkin

Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Prize fund 1800, 1300, 800, 600, 400, 300 CUC

These are busy times in the chess world, with a World Championship, a U.S. Championship, a round robin in Malmö and a round robin in Havana taking place simultaneously. The latter deserved more attention here than it got, but today we'll catch up with a final report describing the second half of the tournament.

Vassily Ivanchuk was leading by half a point after five rounds, and he managed to keep that lead until the very end. In the 6th round, played on Thursday, May 10th, the Ukrainian drew with Vladimir Potkin. The number two in the leaderboard, Leinier Dominguez, also split the point, with Laznicka. Ian Nepomniachtchi caught Dominguez in second place thanks to the following win which included some nice tactics.

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The next day the spectators in the Hotel Habana Riviera saw the top encounter Dominguez-Ivanchuk. It's always amazing to realize that Chuky's opening repertoire is even wider than you thought it was! In this game he used the Scandinavian Defence successfully.

PGN string

After round 8 Nepomniachtchi was trailing Ivanchuk by half a point thanks to a win against Laznicka.

PGN string

In the penultimate round Nepomniachtchi had a chance to take over the lead in a direct encounter with Ivanchuk. However, also in this game the leader was nowhere near any danger, on the contrary.

PGN string

The final round saw something very rare for Ivanchuk: he apparently had enough, and drew his white game against Laznicka in a mere 11 moves. This way Nepomniachtchi could still finish in shared first place, but the Russian lost to Dominguez.

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And so Ivanchuk won what was already his 6th title in Havana. On this page you can find an overview of the history of the Capablanca Memorial tournaments. Miguel Najdorf won the first edition in 1962; Ivanchuk won the tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Capablanca Memorial | Grupo Elite | Schedule and results

Round 1 04.05.12 21:00 CET   Round 6 10.05.12 21:00 CET
Ivanchuk ½-½ Potkin   Potkin  ½-½ Ivanchuk
Dominguez 1-0 Laznicka   Laznicka  ½-½ Dominguez
Quesada ½-½ Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi 1-0 Quesada
Round 2 05.05.12 21:00 CET   Round 7 11.05.12 21:00 CET
Potkin ½-½ Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi  ½-½ Potkin
Laznicka 1-0 Quesada   Quesada 1-0 Laznicka
Ivanchuk 1-0 Dominguez   Dominguez 0-1 Ivanchuk
Round 3 06.05.12 21:00 CET   Round 8 12.05.12 21:00 CET
Dominguez 1-0 Potkin   Potkin  ½-½ Dominguez
Quesada  ½-½ Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk  ½-½ Quesada
Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Laznicka   Laznicka 0-1 Nepomniachtchi
Round 4 07.05.12 21:00 CET   Round 9 13.05.12 21:00 CET
Dominguez ½-½ Quesada   Laznicka  ½-½ Potkin
Ivanchuk ½-½ Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi  ½-½ Ivanchuk
Potkin 0-1 Laznicka   Quesada  ½-½ Dominguez
Round 5 08.05.12 21:00 CET   Round 10 14.05.12 21:00 CET
Quesada 0-1 Potkin   Potkin  ½-½ Quesada
Nepomniachtchi ½-½ Dominguez   Dominguez 1-0 Nepomniachtchi
Laznicka 0-1 Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk  ½-½ Laznicka

Capablanca Memorial 2012 | Grupo Elite | 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.


Thomas's picture

"These are busy times in the chess world ..."

Indeed - there was also the Asian Championship which could hardly any attention anywhere (not a criticism just an observation)

Daniel's picture

Congrats Chucky! Nice to see him play again

christos's picture

Six victories are a lot for a tournament played in the other end of the world.

Niima's picture

Dominguez Perez's win over Nepomniachtchi is excellent. Wonderfully thematic play in the center against Black's king supported by beautiful tactics, all the way to the endgame using black's exposed king to convert.

Anonymous's picture

I agree....a very enjoyable game, with a giving up of a bishop that was not regained until many moves later. Can't tell if if was a true sacrifice or he saw how to regain the piece.

Smarac's picture

Go Chucky! :)

Szoker's picture

GZ !!!

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