Dominguez beats Laznicka in first round Capablanca Memorial
Leinier Dominguez defeated Viktor Laznicka in the first round of the Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba. Like last year, the tournament has a top group of 6 players who play a double round robin: Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Leinier Dominguez Perez (Cuba), Yuniesky Quesada Perez (Cuba), Ian Nepomniachtchi, Vladimir Potkin (both Russia) and Viktor Laznicka (Czech Republic).
Dominguez takes an early lead in Havana | All photos © Miguel Ernesto Gómez & María del Carmen Ramón for Mi Columna Deportiva
This year the Capablanca Memorial is being held for the 47th time. Venue is the Hotel Habana Riviera, located on the Malecón waterfront boulevard in Havana, Cuba. The tournament, which was established in 1962 on the initiative of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, is held annually in honor of the renowned Cuban and 3rd World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca.
The Grupo Elite (elite group) sees Vassily Ivanchuk defending his title after he hasn't played chess for a while - for ages, in Ivanchuk's case! His last classical game was his draw with Sergey Karjakin in the last round of the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee. His opponents in this 6-player double round robin are Leinier Dominguez Perez, Yuniesky Quesada Perez, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Viktor Laznicka and Vladimir Potkin.
Russians Potkin & Nepomniachtchi next to Ivanchuk (Ukraine), at the opening ceremony
The drawing of lots, with the numbers written on coasters below what seem to be Cuba Libres - here Leinier Dominguez picks his lot number
Viktor Laznicka's turn
Ivanchuk, the top seed in this tournament and many times winner in Havana, started with a draw against former European Champion Vladimir Potkin. Lots of manoeuvring, but little action:
Vassily Ivanchuk behind the chessboard again, here vs Vladimir Potkin
For most readers Yuniesky Quesada Perez will be the least familiar name. The 27-year-old grandmaster was the fourth Cuban chess player (after Lazaro Bruzon, Leinier Dominguez and Fidel Corrales Jimenez) that surpassed the 2600 Elo rating mark, on the July 2010 FIDE list. He won the Cuban championship two times: in 2008 and in 2011.
In the first round, Quesada copied his opponent's opening play with the White pieces in a Najdorf, kept a small advantage but had to allow just too much counterplay.
Leinier Dominguez grabbed an early lead thanks to a blunder by Viktor Laznicka, although the Cuban would also have kept winning chances if the Czech had played differently.
The Capablanca Memorial runs until May 14th. There is also a Grupo Premier (with GM Alexander Rakhmanov, GM Ivan Morovic, GM Holden Hernández, GM Isan Ortiz, GM Emilio Córdova, GM Yuri González, GM Aramis Alvarez, GM Vasily Papin, IM Yusnel Bacallao and GM Omar Almeida) and a Grupo Abierto, an open group where, among many others, our co-editor IM Robert Ris is playing.
Capablanca Memorial | Grupo Elite | Schedule and results
|Round 1||04.05.12||Round 6||10.05.12|
|Round 2||05.05.12||Round 7||11.05.12|
|Round 3||06.05.12||Round 8||12.05.12|
|Round 4||07.05.12||Round 9||13.05.12|
|Round 5||08.05.12||Round 10||14.05.12|
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