Reports | May 22, 2011 18:23

Ivanchuk wins Capablanca Memorial on tie-break

Ivanchuk wins Capablanca Memorial on tie-breakOn Saturday Vassily Ivanchuk won the Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba. The Ukrainian grandmaster defeated Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) in the final round and was just in time to catch his opponent in the standings. Both players ended on 6.5/10 but Ivanchuk had a better tie-break.

Vassily Ivanchuk beats Le Quang Liem in the final round | Photo © Miguel E. Gomez Masjuan | Columna Deportiva

The 46th Capablanca Memorial took place May 10-21, 2011 in Havana, Cuba. The main event (or “Elite group”) was a strong, 6-player, double round robin with Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Leinier Dominguez (Cuba), David Navara (Czech Republic), Lazaro Bruzon (Cuba), Dmitry Andreikin (Russia) and Le Quang Liem (Vietnam). The rate of play was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1.

In our half-time report we noted that Andreikin, Navara and Le Quang Liem were leading after 5 rounds with 3.5 points. Of these three players, it was the Vietnamese grandmaster who continued strongly. In the next round he defeated Dominguez from the white side of a King's Indian, then drew with Andreikin in a Closed Sicilian and then beat Bruzon with White in a Slav. At that point Le Quang Liem was in sole lead with 5.5/8, a point clear of Andreikin, Navara and... Ivanchuk.

The Ukrainian had started with a somewhat disappointing 50% score after seven rounds, but then did everything possible to win the tournament he had won several times before. In round 8 Ivanchuk defeated Andreikin in a Sämisch King's Indian and then he took revenge for his earlier loss against Bruzon. In a sharp and theoretical Caro-Kann, the Cuban went wrong early and was punished immediately. Le Quang Liem also won again: he defeated Navara in an Anti-Grünfeld.

And so the last-round encounter Ivanchuk-Le Quang Liem was a dream pairing for the last round, with the Ukrainian still trailing by a point. The Vietnamese used a solid line in the Tarrasch French, but still was outplayed slowly but surely by Ivanchuk, who thus caught his opponent in the standings and won the tournament on tie-break.

Below you'll find the games of the last five rounds. The first half was covered here, where you can also find the full version of the Ivanchuk-Bruzon game.

Games rounds 6-10

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Capablanca Memorial 2011 | Elite group | Results

Capablanca Memorial 2011 | Elite group | Final Standings


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


S3's picture

oops, I missed it I guess.

Stanley Peters's picture

Many many congratulations Chucky!!!

unknown's picture

Chucky should be in Kazan now,

onurengin's picture

Love Chucky! His name is always mentioned with the action!
Plus his great opening repertoire is admirable at this level, while other guys mainly stick on their beloved openings!

Bob's picture

Brilliant Ivanchuk wins again :-)

Mike's picture

Well deserved indeed..Chucky play remember Capa.

Dennis's picture

When was the last time Ivanchuk beat a 2750+ player?!

Caissa's picture

Dennis last time I remmember was Monaco a few months ago where he crushed Carlsen

ebutaljib's picture

Not just a 2750 player, but a 2800 player, a World Champion and one of the best (if not the best) rapid players of all time.

[Event "20th Amber Rapid"]
[Site "Monaco MNC"]
[Date "2011.03.18"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A04"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2011.03.12"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "MNC"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2011.03.21"]

1. Nf3 c5 2. g3 g6 3. c3 Bg7 4. d4 Qb6 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. O-O O-O 7. a4 cxd4 8. a5
Qd8 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. Qa4 d5 11. Ne5 Bd7 12. Nxd7 Qxd7 13. Nd2 Rfc8 14. Nb3 e6
15. Rd1 Nd8 16. e3 Qxa4 17. Rxa4 Ne4 18. Bxe4 dxe4 19. Bd2 f5 20. Bc3 Rc7 21.
Kf1 Kf7 22. Bb4 Nc6 23. Rc1 Rd8 24. Ba3 e5 25. a6 b5 26. Rb4 exd4 27. Rxb5 dxe3
28. Rb7 Rxb7 29. axb7 Rb8 30. Rxc6 Rxb7 31. Na5 Rd7 32. fxe3 Rd1+ 33. Ke2 Rh1
34. Nc4 Rxh2+ 35. Kf1 h5 36. Ra6 Rc2 37. Rxa7+ Kg8 38. Rc7 Bf6 39. Rc6 Kg7 40.
Ne5 Rd2 41. Bf8+ 1-0

Dennis's picture

I wasn't talking about rapid... but in classical chess... When did he last beat a 2750+ player in classical chess? (2h/40 + 1h/20)

ebutaljib's picture

Then you better read your question again. I'm not a mind reader to know what you meant, you know.

And please go search for yourself when it happened.

noyb's picture

My, my, touchy-touchy! Who pissed in your cornflakes this morning?

ebutaljib's picture

Cornflakes? LOL. We don't eat that crap over here.

Daniel's picture

Fantastic Chucky! What a great fighting spirit!

Thomas's picture

I will answer Dennis' question: it was Grischuk at the Russian Team Championship in April 2010:
(BTW a rather spectacular game I didn't know - the event gets comparatively little western media coverage)

True, this ain't much for the last 1 1/2 years - he was out of form at the Astrakhan GP and then didn't face many such super-strong opponents (he skipped Tal Memorial, and played Gibraltar rather than Tata). The list for 2009 looks a bit more impressive: Aronian (twice in Linares), Grischuk (Nalchik GP), Gelfand (Jermuk GP), Shirov (Bazna), Morozevich and Gelfand (Tal Memorial).

His next stop against the world elite is Bazna in a few weeks (Carlsen, Karjakin, Nakamura, Radjabov and local hero Nisipeanu) where he may or may not confirm his super-high rating. For what it's worth, he's currently #4 on the live rating list (exactly tied with Kramnik, both have 2780.6 but Chucky played more games, 10 vs. 8).

S3's picture

My oh my. I sure hope Morozevich, Shirov, Gelfand and Grischuk have 2750+ otherwise they are not counted as top players...

Thomas's picture

As a matter of fact, I "cheated" a tiny little bit: the complete list (with official ratings during/before the event) goes Aronian (2750), Grischuk (2748), Gelfand (2755), Shirov (2745), Morozevich (2750), Gelfand (2758), Grischuk (2756).

bhabatosh's picture

congrats chucky !
we missed you in candidates.
Candidates missed you , carlsen , karjakin and may be Nakamura.
Even though I am not critical about the candidates format but I feel the event would have been an event to remember if all these stars participated.
As chess fan we want to see all these great players get together in candidates.
I dont know whether we will continue to see such constellation of stars in future.
This is unprecedented. Where in the top level anyone can beat the other guy any day. All of them are so strong , there is hardly any difference.

Jo's picture

His loss to Bruzon still seems to be a mystery - Anyone know how the game ended - was it a loss on time?

S3's picture

it was already reported on twic and now on chessbase as well. Ivanchuk overpressed and blundered in the end.

Peter Doggers's picture

Didn't you guys even read the report here?? :-)

Jo's picture

Ack, theres a full report of this game on CBase and twic - excuse the site referral -> admin.

At least Chucky was playing fer the win.

Eiae's picture

Yes, well done Ivanchuk. But don't forget Le, I bet he will be in the top 10 very soon.

CAL|Daniel's picture


patternmaster's picture

Chucky not only caught Le in tournament but, according to caught Kramnik in the World Rating List as well!

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