Reports | March 23, 2012 22:01

Gawain Jones leads European Championship after four rounds

Gawain Jones leads European Championship after four rounds

Gawain Jones is the only player with a 100% score after four rounds at the European Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The English grandmaster, who runs a blog that can be read here at ChessVibes, is half a point ahead of a group of twenty grandmasters.

Gawain Jones leads in Plovdiv | Photo © John Saunders; all other photos by Svoboda Chankova, courtesy of the official website, more here

Event Europen Championship | Details at Chess-Results | PGN via TWIC
Dates March 20th-31st, 2012
Location Plovdiv, Bulgaria
System 11-round Swiss
Players

The are fifteen 2700 players: Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Anish Giri, Alexander Riazantsev, Nikita Vitiugov, Etienne Bacrot, Baadur Jobava, Boris Grachev, Vladimir Malakhov, Viktor Laznicka, Sergei Movsesian, Arkadij Naiditsch, David Navara and Emil Sutovsky

Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Prize fund € 100,000 in total, with a € 14,000 first prize 

We mentioned all general info about the 13th European Individual Chess Championship, including the much debated dress code, in our previous report. This time, we'll focus some more on the games, because already quite a few good games have been played in Plovidv!

In the second round, the top two boards did what they had to do: win against their lower rated opponent. Fabiano Caruana beat Tamas Banusz in a deep ending while Dmitry Jakovenko defeated Davorin Kuljasevic. 

On board three there was the biggest upset, well, rating wise, in the game between two of the most talented players on the planet. 15-year-old Ilya Nyzhnyk beat, or should we say crushed, our co-editor, 17-year-old Anish Giri (ouch!). [Update: crushed might have been too strong a word; if Black plays 22...Nxf6 then it's still unclear.]

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Ilya Nyzhnyk beats Anish Giri

In this round, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Baadur Jobava had to be satisfied with a draw against the lower rated Luka Paichadze and Petar Drenchev respectively.

Russian GM Boris Savchenko (2580) refuted an aggressive attack by Vladimir Malakhov (2705).

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The following game caught our attention because of that funnny white knight that was 'trapped' on g7 for so long, but eventually became the real hero!

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In the third round, both Caruana and Jakovenko dropped half points but in a tournament that lasts 11 rounds, a draw with the black pieces here and there is not that bad and Jakovenko was in fact under pressure for most of the game.

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Nyzhnyk continued well with a draw against Korobov, using an original way to combat the Bayonet Attack.

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The playing hall in Plovdiv

Perhaps he hadn't fully recovered from the day before, but in any case Giri only managed to draw his game against IM Dalibor Stojanovic of Bosnia & Hercegovina. Perhaps Giri could find consolance in the fact that one board next to him, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also drew his White game, against IM Lucian Filip of Romania and David Navara did even worse, losing with White against IM Zoran Arsovic of Serbia.

Former super GM Alexey Dreev won a crazy game against Dutch GM Sipke Ernst.

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Vitiugov, Savchenko, Naiditsch, Vachier-Lagrave, Lenic, Jones, Melkumyan, Radulski, Kuzubov, Sjugirov and Kulaots were the ones who started with three wins. Of this big group, only one player managed to win in round 4: Gawain Jones defeated Boris Savchenko with Black, while the other top 11 boards saw (hard-fought) draws. 

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Three pre-tournament favorites, Mamedyarov, Giri and Navara, really have to get their acts together as they again drew their games against (much) lower rated opponents. Let's see what they, and the players at the top, and especially Jones, are up to in the next couple of rounds!

European Championship 2012 | Round 4 standings (top 40)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2635 4.0 3317.0 7.5 9.5
2 IM Azaladze Shota GEO 2419 3.5 2970.0 7.5 9.5
3 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2709 3.5 2910.0 8.5 10.5
4 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2702 3.5 2900.0 8.0 9.0
5 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2693 3.5 2896.0 7.0 9.0
6 GM Radulski Julian BUL 2552 3.5 2890.0 8.5 9.0
7 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2689 3.5 2889.0 7.5 9.0
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2682 3.5 2881.0 8.5 10.5
9 GM Esen Baris TUR 2555 3.5 2880.0 8.5 9.5
10 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2679 3.5 2880.0 7.5 9.5
11 GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2628 3.5 2879.0 8.5 10.5
12 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2664 3.5 2869.0 7.5 9.5
13 GM Lenic Luka SLO 2637 3.5 2864.0 7.5 9.0
14 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2615 3.5 2863.0 8.5 10.0
15 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2687 3.5 2854.0 6.5 8.0
16 GM Timofeev Artyom RUS 2650 3.5 2852.0 8.0 10.0
17 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2682 3.5 2852.0 5.5 7.0
18 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2653 3.5 2851.0 7.0 9.0
19 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2610 3.5 2826.0 8.0 9.0
20 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2632 3.5 2788.0 5.5 6.5
21 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2585 3.5 2771.0 7.5 8.5
22 FM Alekseenko Kirill RUS 2367 3.0 2806.0 8.0 10.0
23 GM Nyzhnyk Illya UKR 2585 3.0 2780.0 8.5 9.5
24 GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2729 3.0 2769.0 8.0 10.0
25 GM Savchenko Boris RUS 2580 3.0 2766.0 9.5 11.0
26 GM Bacrot Etienne FRA 2706 3.0 2766.0 8.5 10.5
27 WIM Bulmaga Irina ROU 2307 3.0 2765.0 6.5 8.5
28 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2702 3.0 2764.0 7.0 8.5
29 GM Dreev Aleksey RUS 2698 3.0 2755.0 8.0 10.0
30 GM Caruana Fabiano ITA 2767 3.0 2754.0 9.0 11.0
31 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2710 3.0 2744.0 7.5 9.5
32 GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2700 3.0 2741.0 7.0 8.5
33 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2626 3.0 2736.0 8.0 10.0
34 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2666 3.0 2729.0 8.0 9.5
35 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2695 3.0 2729.0 7.5 9.5
36 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2624 3.0 2726.0 8.0 9.5
37 GM Hracek Zbynek CZE 2627 3.0 2726.0 7.5 9.5
38 GM Ragger Markus AUT 2654 3.0 2723.0 7.5 9.0
39 GM Guseinov Gadir AZE 2616 3.0 2716.0 7.5 9.5
40 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2656 3.0 2714.0 7.0 8.0

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

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Comments

nathan's picture

Anyone know much about this kid, Luka Paichadze, he's got draws with Giri, Shak and Jobava already!

Thomas's picture

What I could find out checking his Elo record: He is 20 years old, his rating hasn't improved since September 2010 and he has been inactive since September 2011. In between his draws against 2700ers, he drew against an unrated player from Kosovo.

In general, often the same players spoil the tournament of several favorites: Weak GM Drenchev (Elo 2499) also drew against Mamedyarov in round 1 (Shak and Jobava swapped opponents in the next round for yet another disappointment). IM Stojanovic (Elo 2473) now has four consecutive draws against pretty strong GMs (Inarkiev, Navara, Giri and Macieja). I guess the players currently on top of the standings are rather happy that they won't have to face these three underdogs any more!?

sulutas's picture

An IM from Georgia tops the second place at the moment - Interesting! G

Anonymous's picture

I love the picture of Anish Giri shaking hands with Ilya Nyzhnyk.
It appears that the young lad was able to wipe that smirk off his face!

choufleur's picture

"Former super GM Alexey Dreev" : very strange evaluation.

Bardamu's picture

I don't think Nyzhnyk crushed Giri, as the computer evaluates blacks position to be better for a long time. Eventually Giri blunders and Nyzhnyk finishes it off in style. Great result for Nyzhnyk anyway.

k's picture

giri out of the 2700 club on the live ratings, guess he follows MVL in the 2600 wilderness, while caruana marches towards 2800.

Lobster's picture

Caruana is beginning to look like the Leko of Plovdiv, but only by score. His games have been hard fought.

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