Granda Zuniga wins 7th Continental
Julio Granda Zuniga won the 7th Continental tournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina on Sunday. Besides winning the tournament, the Peruvian grandmaster qualified for the World Cup in 2013 in Tromsø, Norway together with Alexander Shabalov, Gregory Kaidanov and IM Eric Hansen.
Tournament winner Julio Granda Zuniga (r.) of Peru next to Franco Carlos Matamoros of Ecuador | All photos © Carlos Ilardo, the press officer in Mar del Plata
The Argentine city of Mar del Plata, located 400 km south of Buenos Aires, has a long and rich chess tradition. The first international tournament was held as early as 1928! The city also gave its name to the most important variation of the King's Indian Defence, which is characterized by the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 0–0 6. Be2 e5 7. 0–0 Nc6 8. d5 Ne7. It is named after a game played in 1953 at the 16th international tournament between Miguel Najdorf and Svetozar Gligoric.
Between October 12th and 21st, 2012 the 7th Continental Chess Tournament took place in the Complejo Hotel Provincial in Mar del Plata. Besides individual prizes, this 11-round Swiss had four qualifying spots for the next World Cup to offer, as the zonal qualifier for the Americas (North, Central, and South).
A total of 212 players participated in the tournament, including 70 titled players and 22 grandmasters. The top seeds were Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Julio Granda Zuniga, Eduardo Iturrizaga, Rafael Leitao, Diego Flores and Gregory Kaidanov.
Lazaro Bruzon (Cuba)
Early upsets included Arthur Chiari (2098) of Brazil holding Alexander Shabalov to a draw, Diego Flores drawing with Brazil's Hidemitsu Cesar (2276) and Gregory Kaidanov losing to FM Jorge Sabas (2274) of Argentina. After five rounds Peruvian GM Julio Grand Zuniga, Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga, Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista and Argentine GM Diego Valerga were sharing the lead with 4/5.
Four rounds later, Iturrizaga was the sole leader with 7.5/9, ahead of a group of six players. By then IM Robert Hungaski (USA) had scored his 2nd and 3rd GM norm... at the same time! This is possible in a tournament that's part of the world championship cycle, when norms count double.
Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela)
After the penultimate round it was clear that the tournament would be seeing a very exciting finish, because it was still unclear which four players would be qualifying for the World Cup. Iturrizaga and Mekhitarian were on 8/10 and these two were followed by a group consisting of Ortiz, Felgaer, Granda Zuniga, Shabalov, Flores, Bacallao, Roselli, Kaidanov, and Hansen.
In the final round, Shabalov was the first to reach 8.5 points by beating Bacallao. Iturrizaga, who had played a very strong event so far, got ouplayed by Granda. The other leader, Mekhitarian, also went down, against Flores in a rook ending. Kaidanov then beat Roselli to become the 4th to reach 8.5. Then Eric Hansen also joined the pack, surviving a lost position aginst Felgaer and then even beating him.
This meant that five players had to fight for four qualifying spots in a rapid playoff: Shabalov, Granda, Flores, Kaidanov and Hansen. Eventually it was Flores who didn't make it.
Selection of games
7th Continental | Final standings (top 40)
|1||GM||Granda Zuniga Julio E||PER||2647||8,5||73,5||58,75||3,8|
|5||GM||Kaidanov Gregory S||USA||2587||8,5||67||52,75||5,9|
|7||GM||Bruzon Batista Lazaro||CUB||2717||8||74||55,25||-4,3|
|8||GM||Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag||BRA||2503||8||73||53||21,2|
|12||GM||Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo||CUB||2579||7,5||74,5||52||7,4|
|13||IM||Hungaski Robert Andrew||USA||2451||7,5||73,5||50,5||18,2|
|14||GM||Bacallao Alonso Yusnel||CUB||2580||7,5||71,5||49,5||-0,3|
|15||IM||Roselli Mailhe Bernardo||URU||2430||7,5||71||51||12,7|
|17||FM||Martinez Romero Martin||COL||2368||7,5||69,5||49||0|
|19||GM||Hernandez Guerrero Gilberto||MEX||2531||7,5||69,5||47,25||-3,6|
|23||Umetsubo Cesar Hidemitsu||BRA||2276||7,5||65,5||44,25||36,8|
|24||IM||Santiago Yago De Moura||BRA||2364||7,5||63,5||44||-1,4|
|25||Caceres Recalde Fernando||ARG||2159||7,5||63||42,25||46,2|
|29||WGM||Cori T. Deysi||PER||2411||7||67||42||1,7|
|30||GM||Matamoros Franco Carlos S.||ECU||2534||7||66||42||-9,4|
|32||IM||Molina Roberto Junio Brito||BRA||2400||7||65||40,25||4,8|
|33||IM||De Dovitiis Alejo||ARG||2348||7||64,5||43||1|
|34||FM||Espinoza Palomino Willyam||PER||2265||7||63||39,75||21,1|
|37||FM||Dos Santos Haroldo Cunha||BRA||2263||7||61,5||35,5||12,4|
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