Reports | June 15, 2010 19:21

Kings R1: Gelfand and Nisipeanu win

King's TournamentLiviu-Dieter Nisipeanu made headlines in the local newspapers after beating Teimour Radjabov in the first round of the Kings Tournament in Medias, Romania. Carlsen and Ponomariov drew relatively quickly, and Boris Gelfand defeated Wang Yue in the longest game of the round. Games annotated by GM Dorian Rogozenco & videos with comments by all six players!

The fourth Kings Tournament takes place in Medias, Romania from June 14 till 25. Against it's a 6-player, double round-robin, with two rest days. This year Carlsen, Gelfand, Nisipeanu, Ponomariov, Radjabov and Wang Yue play. The rate of play is 2 hours for the first 40 moves, one hour for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move.

The rounds start each day at 15.30 which is 14.30 CET and 08.30 EDT. They can run well into the evening, as we won't see ultra-short draws in this tournament - no draw agreement by the players are allowed before move 30, except for cases of a triple-repetition, a perpetual or a theoretically drawn position.

The event is organized by Romgaz and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade”. This year the tournament is officially part of the Grand Slam, substituting the cancelled MTel Masters. Venue is the brand new Romgaz Center in Medias (near Bazna), but the organizers are considering to move back to Hotel Complex Balnear Expro in Bazna (where everyone is staying) after the rest day, because they fear the daily, half-an-hour ride to Medias (and back) might prove too uncomfortable.

ChessVibes will be at the tournament from start to finish, providing videos for the official website:


Round 1

On the first playing day the temperature was again well above 30 degrees Celcius and this could be felt at the venue. Naturally there is airco, but somehow this seemed to work better in the press room (thus far only occupied by press officer GM Dorian Rogozenco and yours truly) than in the playing hall. Ruslan Ponomariov could be found in the slightly cooler corridor often during the game, and in fact the Ukrainian was happy to be able to draw as soon as move 30 was reached. Carlsen "did notice it was a bit warmer than usual" but wasn't much affected, he said.

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu started well, with a nice victory over Teimour Radjabov, who played too much "on intuition", as he said after the game. Nisipeanu thought 21...f5 was "too ambitious" and he basically decided the game by the strong concept 23.Bxc6! and 24.f4, which left Black with a bad bishop and a bad structure.

Gelfand continued his strong form which he showed last week in Leon (though he's still playing "game by game", as he said afterwards), and played the best game of the round. It looked like Wang Yue had put up an impenetrable middlegame fortress, but in fact White's way to break through with taking on h7 and g6 could't be prevented according to Gelfand. He didn't look at 50.Nxc6, which wins quicker, because he had correctly evaluated the endgame as technically winning.

Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule & results

Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule

Round 1 games annotated by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Game viewer by ChessTempo

King's Tournament

Magnus Carlsen arriving at the venue - good to see him play again - with his father Henrik on the right and FIDE Treasurer Nigel Freeman on the left

King's Tournament

The first move executed by the mayor of Medias, Teodor Neamtu

King's Tournament

A good start for local hero Nisipeanu...

King's Tournament

...and a tough one for Wang Yue

King's Tournament

Henrik Carlsen (r.) and yours truly

Photos © Tournament website



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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.


Stephen's picture

Nice game by Gelfand ! I like Nh8. It would be nice if GM Rogozenco could elaborate with a few words on the way that Gelfand should win the final position in his commentary. I assume that he has to take his king all the way back around the kingside to shift the black knight.

Bootvis's picture

I think Gelfand just exchanges his g pawn for the black knight with Nf7, Nh6, f8Q

Tony's picture

interesting computer line in the Gelfand game but I can see why he didnt go for it. With Queens on the board swindle chances are around and bad bishop his line is definitely easier to maintain control in.

T. Goto's picture

Thank you for a yet another excellent coverage and comments on games! It is good to see Carlsen back again!

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