Mamedyarov defaults again, leaves European Championship
In round 9 of the European Championship in Plovdiv Shakhriyar Mamedyarov again lost by default, and then decided to leave the tournament. He agreed to a draw with his opponent Alvar Alonso Rosell before move 40 without asking the arbiter, whereupon the game was declared lost for both players. Mamedyarov then informed the organizers in written form that he would not continue the tournament. Seven grandmasters are sharing the lead with 7/9 and two rounds to go.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov calls it quits in Plovdiv
The 13th edition of the Individual European Championship will go down in history as one with many incidents. Apparently the chess players in Plovdiv have a hard time adjusting to some of the new rules that were implemented by the European Chess Union (ECU) on January 1st, 2012. In the 9th round this led to a climax, with second seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan leaving the tournament after having lost by default for the second time.
In round 8 the Azeri grandmaster arrived a little too late at his board, and lost because the Championship is using a zero-tolerance policy: everyone has to be at his board at the start of the round, not a second later. A day later he arrived in time, and started playing his game, with black against IM Alvar Alonso Rosell of Spain.
After the moves 1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 c5 7. d5 b5 8. cxb5 a6 9. a4 Nbd7 10. Rb1 axb5 11. axb5 Nb6 12. Be2 e6 13. dxe6 Bxe6 14. O-O d5 15. exd5 Nbxd5 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. Bg5 Qb6 18. Qd2 Nc7 19. Bh6 Nxb5 the players agreed to a draw. Then, an arbiter declared the game as lost for both players because of the anti-draw rule that is in effect in Plovdiv: draws before move 40 are not allowed without consulting the arbiter, who has to decide whether the position is really drawn.
To Chess-News, Mamedyarov said:
I didn't like the position. I thought it'd be a draw but it ended up as zero. In general, I knew I'd probably get zero anyway, but it didn't matter any more, as everything was going terribly for me. So I didn't pay any particular intention.
(Translation by Colin McGourty.)
There was not a problem with for example the following game, played on board one:
This game, which ended in a perfectly legal repetition of moves, was the absolute top encounter in round 9. Of course it was a big disappointment for chess fans, sponsors and anyone who loves fighting chess. (For the professionals it's understandable that they like to play one or two of such games in a grueling 11-round Swiss where qualification for the World Cup is at stake, but that's another story.) It also points out once more that no anti-draw rule will prevent a short draw when both players want to draw quickly.
After his loss by default, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov decided to call it quits. As we were told, he acted professionally and didn't make any remarks towards the organizers. Very disappointed about his poor results in Plovdiv, he decided not to play the last two rounds, and informed the organizers in a written letter.
In fact in the same round another game was also declared lost for both players, Tal Baron and Eltaj Safarli, who agreed to a draw after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Be4 11.Qc1 Bb7 12.Qc2 Be4 13.Qc1 Bb7 14.Qc2. This was a well-known move repetition, but apparently the players didn't bother to consult an arbiter and were punished for this...
As mentioned above, co-leaders Akopian and Malakhov drew quickly, and the third leader, Maxim Matlakov, also split the point, with Nikita Vitiugov. Four players just behind them won their games and joined the three in the lead: Laurent Fressinet, Ernesto Inarkiev, Mikhail Kobalia and Dmitry Andreikin. Kobalia beat Jobava with white in a Panov Caro-Kann:
Against Ivan Sokolov, Inarkiev played a game that we'd like to dub Fischeresque: all moves seemed simple and crystal clear, but were the result of a tactically sharp vision.
Gawain Jones and Andrei Volokitin played an extremely interesting draw:
Laurent Fressinet was awarded for continuing to play for a win several times:
Andreikin demonstrated the power of the bishop pair on his game against Istratescu.
The following game seemed a bit à la Fischer as well, but maybe that's just us. Caruana, now a top 10 player, likes to grind down his slightly lower rated opponents and really has a special knack for it:
Alexander Khalifman, who played an excellent Aeroflot Open this year, is doing well again. The former FIDE World Champion won a splendid game against a 2700 GM:
For the players of the following game, we hope they have enough energy left for two more rounds.
European Championship 2012 | Round 9 standings (top 40)
|8||GM||Jones Gawain C B||ENG||2635||6.5||2791||47.5||51.5|
|21||GM||Vallejo Pons Francisco||ESP||2693||6.5||2739||44.0||47.0|
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