December 28, 2012 18:16

Hoogeveen (Netherlands) wins World Cities Team Championship

Hoogeveen (Netherlands) wins World Cities Team Championship

Hoogeveen (Netherlands) won the World Cities Team Championship on Friday in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. The team with Anish Giri, Ivan Sokolov, Sergey Tiviakov and Jan Smeets beat Baku (Azerbaijan) 2.5-1.5 in the final thanks to a win by Tiviakov. Novi Sad (Serbia) came third, beating Tashkent (Uzbekistan) on the Berlin System with a 2-2 final score.


In the semis the Dutch outclassed the Uzbeks with an undefeated 3-1 score. Anish Giri slowly but surely outplayed Marat Dzhumaev from a Scheveningen Sicilian (that started as a Taimanov) while Ivan Sokolov gave IM Andrey Kvon no chance from the white side of a Nimzo-Indian. 2-0 on top boards is in fact already decisive with the Berlin tie-break system, and Sergey Tiviakov and Jan Smeets added to more half points.

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The difference in strength between Baku and Novi Sad was perhaps even bigger. Eltaj Safarli had no trouble refuting a piece sacrifice as early as move seven (!) by Ivan Ivanisevic and Gadir Guseinov won a kingside attack when Robert Markus started to play some strange moves in a Philidor. Board 3 was an interesting draw that included a positional queen sac by Rauf Mamedov, and on 4 20 year-old Vasif Durarbayli, Azerbaijan's 8th grandmaster, won easily as Nikola Sedlak blundered two pieces for a rook.

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The final, played on Friday, was a tough fight between two strong teams well matched. Hoogeveen had eliminated Chicago, Saratov and Tashkent, while Baku won against Ptuj, Lund Paris, Wu Xi and Novi Sad.

On board one Safarli played the Grünfeld, an opening which his opponent likes to play, always a tricky strategy! Giri decided to play the Anti-Grünfeld and a complicated, murky ending came on the board. Just when things started to get concrete, the players went for a move repetition. Sokolov then held Mamedov to a draw with Black, which was fine for the Dutch as both Tiviakov and Smeets were playing an ending with an extra pawn. Both games looked drawish though, and so Armageddon became a realistic scenario. However, after Smeets drew his game, Tiviakov again managed to grind down his opponent in an ending, just like he had done in the Quarterfinal.

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And so Tiviakov was the hero of the team Hoogeveen which can call itself World Champion now. The prize for the team was US $21,000. After the game the Dutch grandmaster answered a few questions via email for us:

ST: Many thanks for the congratulations. We are very pleased to be able to win this tournament. I am too, as I won two decisive games, against Romanov and Mamedov.

PD: How do you assess your level in the endgame? Is your endgame technique at the level of, say, Kramnik, Karpov, Capablanca?

ST: My endgame technique used to be good, but recently it has become a bit worse now that I'm older and I have less energy for long games. I guess I can not compare it with the big names in chess, but I did win many good games and exemplary endings in my life. My style is like Karpov, I have learned much from studying his games.

PD: Have the problems between you and the Dutch Chess Federation been resolved, or was this tournament something different, as you were not really playing for the national team?

ST: It was different indeed. My conflict with the [Dutch federation] is not resolved. Everything is as before. I did not play for the federation but for the city of Hoogeveen, with which I have very special relationship and good memories. I always come to Hoogeveen with pleasure!

The other final, for the third place, was played as well. Tashkent and Novi Sad played 2-2 but because Novi Sad's victory was scored on board 1, bronze went to the Serbians.

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Al Ain Classic

Alongside the knockout there was an open tournament and players from eliminated teams could step in. Before the last day, after 7 of 9 rounds, seven players shared the lead with 5.5 points each: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Edouard Romain of France, Mircea Emilian Parligras of Romania, Wang Yue of China and Jaan Ehlvest of the USA. They all had carried points over from the World Cities. Also with 5.5 points were Evgeni Miroshnichenko of Ukraine and Tigran Kotanjian of Armenia who both started only in the Al Ain Classic. Also coming from the World Cities were GMs Evgeny Sveshnikov of Latvia, Asghar Golizadeh of Iran and Emre Can of Turkey who trailed with 5 points.

On Friday both rounds 8 and 9 were played. In the penultimate round both Frenchmen Vachier-Lagrave and Edouard won, against Miroshnicheko and Kotanjian respectively. Parligras-Wang Yue and Ehlvest-Sveshnikov were drawn. It was no surprise to see a draw between Vachier-Lagrave and Edouard in the afternoon but as the other games at the top saw the same result, the two Frenchmen tied for first with 7/9. Edouard was declared the winner on tie-break. Interestingly, according to the regulations cash prizes were not shared. Edouard won US $8,000 and Vachier-Lagrave US $5,000.

Al Ain Classic 2012 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2686 7.0 0.5 6 2549
2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2711 7.0 0.5 5 2602
3 GM Kotanjian Tigran ARM 2518 6.5 0.0 6 2581
4 GM Golizadeh Asghar IRI 2476 6.5 0.0 6 2465
5 GM Wang Yue CHN 2696 6.5 0.0 4 2645
6 GM Ehlvest Jaan USA 2603 6.5 0.0 4 2568
7 GM Parligras Mircea-Emilian ROU 2628 6.5 0.0 4 2537
8 IM Grigoryan Karen H. ARM 2513 6.0 0.0 6 2431
9 GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij UKR 2628 6.0 0.0 5 2529
10 IM Ezat Mohamed EGY 2450 6.0 0.0 5 2511
11 GM Sveshnikov Evgeny LAT 2514 6.0 0.0 4 2577
12 GM Paragua Mark PHI 2533 6.0 0.0 4 2504
13-14 GM Jumabayev Rinat KAZ 2567 6.0 0.0 4 2501
13-14 IM Bajarani Ulvi AZE 2425 6.0 0.0 4 2501
15 GM Can Emre TUR 2448 6.0 0.0 4 2495
16 IM Senador Emmanuel PHI 2352 5.5 0.0 5 2475
17 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2593 5.5 0.0 5 2467
18 WGM Manakova Maria SRB 2338 5.5 0.0 5 2385
19 IM Darini Pouria IRI 2522 5.5 0.0 4 2450
20 IM Dimakiling Oliver PHI 2453 5.5 0.0 4 2433
21 WIM Tarasova Viktoriya RUS 2254 5.5 0.0 4 2398
22 GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas KAZ 2596 5.5 0.0 3 2542
23   Karthikeyan Murali IND 2315 5.5 0.0 3 2508
24 IM Abdel Razik Khaled EGY 2448 5.0 0.0 5 2409
25 IM El Ghazali Youssef M. EGY 2244 5.0 0.0 5 2357
26 FM Sanal Vahap TUR 2382 5.0 0.0 4 2514
27 IM Hungaski Robert Andrew USA 2469 5.0 0.0 4 2499
28 FM Ali Marandi Cemil Can TUR 2354 5.0 0.0 4 2475
29 GM Esen Baris TUR 2576 5.0 0.0 4 2474
30 IM Shyam Nikil P. IND 2431 5.0 0.0 4 2473

Romain Edouard, here playing for Paris during the group phase

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


TM's picture

What is the "Berlin System"? Some form of tie-break given a 2-2 team match result...?

Frans Peeters's picture

e. if a tie again results, it shall be decided by board count (Berlin System) as follows:
win on Board 1 is 4 points
win on Board 2 is 3 points
win on Board 3 is 2 points
win on Board 4 is 1 point

Frits Fritschy's picture

I just found that the first team of the Hoogeveen chess club has an average rating of 1843. Giri, Sokolov, Smeets and Tiviakov all once played in the Hoogeveen (by the way for English speakers, pronounced Hau-khe-vain) tournament, so there is a clear reason that they represent this wonderful city that even many Dutch will have problems with pointing to on a map.
I see many other posibilities for hungry professionals: tournaments for BMW drivers (will Van Wely be invited?), for Weight Watchers, for Seventh-Day Adventists, for Ritalin users (expect some terrific chess there).
Well, never mind, Christmas is over but I still wish them all the best.

Thomas's picture

I was joking that they "chose" Hoogeveen because Giri and Smeets currently play for Bunschoten, Sokolov plays for a club from Groningen, Tiviakov at least did play for a club from Groningen (not yet this season?) and Hoogeveen is about halfway in between both places.
But the real reason is probably that the city of Hoogeveen (along with NOC*NSF) sponsored the participation of a Dutch all-star team:

Goendi's picture

Hau-khe-vain? Haukeveejn? REALLY? :)

Frits Fritschy's picture

Well, when you have a Rotterdam accent, like me.

Johan's picture

The game of Smeets in the final seems to be drawn in a totally lost position for white. B2 is immediately decisive

TMM's picture

The last move was not 58. Ke5; the king was just put there to inform the DGT board about the result. In this case Ke5 happens to be a legal move, so the DGT board thinks Ke5 was played first. (If not 58. Ke5? but 58. g5 it's a dead draw.)

Drawnik's picture

You might consider putting some comments with the games, because this artikel is something that can be written in 10 minutes.

Septimus's picture

You might want to rephrase your request, because an idiotic and rude comment like yours can be written in 10 seconds.

Peter is doing a fantastic job covering chess events FOR FREE without making your eyes bleed with advertisements. So perhaps you should STFU and appreciate what you can get?

Drawnik's picture

for free?

Anonymous's picture

Just your name - DRAWNIK - is an insult to chess

Thomas's picture

Baku eliminated (top seed) Paris, the unpredictable Chinese team representing Wu Xi and Novi Sad - not Ptuj and Lund, it seems that Peter looked at the wrong end of the pairing table?

But two French players, Edouard and Vachier-Lagrave, got as much or more prize money than what was available for the team victory divided by four players. Most wins seems to be the tiebreaker - pretty silly in a Swiss system under all circumstances (a loss against a strong player plus a win against a weaker one counts for more than two draws against strong players). Even more silly in the given case because Vachier-Lagrave (board 1) had stronger opponents than Edouard (board 3) in the first rounds. Maybe they did share the prize money equally between themselves after all?

Peter Doggers's picture


Ians's picture

Interesting to see Evgeny Sveshnikov still playing ! :)

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