Four winners in Bad Wiessee
The Bad Wiessee Open was probably the strongest Swiss Open of this fall season. Among the 460 participants were 32 GMs, with an interesting mix of young rising stars and experienced players. In the end, first place was shared between two "old" players Alexander Graf and Robert Kempinski, and two young ones, Parimarjan Negi and Sergei Zhigalko. Graf had the best Buchholz tiebreak.
Photo © OIBM Bad Wiessee
The first round already saw a big surprise when the 56-year old German amateur Georg Kwossek beat experienced GM Eduardas Rozentalis. Black had an advantage from an unconventional opening, but then Rozentalis probably underestimated the white kingside attack. Within two moves (18...d5?, 19...dc4?) his position was lost.
Everyone surely enjoys a move like 25.Rg8+, particularly against an opponent who is more than 500 points higher-rated. After the game, Kwossek commented: "He made my day!" Like Dutch GM Sipke Ernst in Hoogeveen, Rozentalis subsequently scored 7/8, but this wasn't enough to join the fight for first place.
Later GM Hertneck lost in similar style against 17-year-old local talent Maximilian Berchtenbreiter. Berchtenbreiter also beat GM Kunin and obtained his third IM norm, but still needs to reach Elo 2400.
This time, Sipke Ernst had a better start. After 5 rounds, he, Alexander Graf and young Indian Baskaran Adhiban were the only remaining players with a clean 5/5 score. Draws in the next two rounds allowed 10 other players to catch up with them, and then the tournament entered its decisive phase.
In round 8, Graf regained the lead beating Polish talent Dariusz Swiercz with the black pieces in a Ruy Lopez. All other games aon the top boards were drawn, even though Adhiban tried to win a queen ending until move 110.
Swiercz's kingside attack never got going; Graf eventually gained a pawn due to the awkward placement of the white pieces and converted his advantage.
In the final round, Graf secured at least shared first place with a quick draw against Nisipeanu. Three other players could join him:
Top seed Sergei Zhigalko beat young Ukrainian Illya Nyzhnyk in a poisoned pawn Sicilian. White obtained two pawns for the exchange; in the endgame the kingside passed pawns turned out to be decisive.
The Indian players Negi and Adhiban didn't spare each other at all; the younger and nominally stronger one was chasing the black king all the way to b4. This meant that Adhiban, who was leading for most of the tournament, fell back to 21st place.
Polish GM Robert Kempinski had the supposedly easiest task as he was paired against 14-year old German talent Dennis Wagner. From the opening, he reached a favorable endgame (or maybe rather queenless middlegame) which he converted convincingly.
Maybe the funniest game – but not for the GM who lost it – was played in round 8 between Michael Stockmann and Gerald Hertneck. Black had a slight advantage throughout the game and then the following position was reached on move 38.
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