Morozevich wins Vladimir Petrov Memorial in Jurmala
Alexander Morozevich won the Vladimir Petrov Memorial in Jurmala, Latvia on Sunday. The Russian grandmaster scored 5/7 and finished half a point clear of Alexei Shirov and Igor Kovalenko.
Alexander Morozevich, winner in Jurmala | Photo © Latvian Chess Federation
Vladimir Petrov was a Latvian chess master who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He shouldn't be confused with Alexander Petrov, the Russian player of the mid-19th century whose name is connected to the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6.
The 'Latvian Petrov' was quite a strong player; for example he tied for first with Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr at Kemeri in 1937, ahead of Alexander Alekhine, Paul Keres, Endre Steiner, Saviely Tartakower, Reuben Fine, Gideon Stahlberg and others. He died tragically in a Soviet camp during the Second World War.
The Vladimir Petrov Memorial was held February 15th-19th in Jurmala, Latvia. It was organized by the Latvian Chess Federation together with Alexei Shirov, who is very active in the Latvian chess community these days. He switched back federations from Spain to Latvia on January 1st, 2012 and also co-organized the Aivars Gipslis Memorial on February 12th in Riga (and won it).
With Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Morozevich, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and himself, Shirov created the strongest tournament in his native country since 1995. Even though the rate of play was "only" 15 minutes plus 6 seconds increment, the event was a great opportunity for local players to get a chance to face world class grandmasters. The festival also included a children's tournament, a team blitz event, a regular blitz tournament, simuls and even a combined chess and table tennis tournament.
The four top GMs were already seeded for the final round robin. Four more spots could be won in a preliminary 9-round Swiss on February 16th and 17th, held in the Jurmala City Museum, in which 58 players participated. Daniel Fridman, Ildar Khairullin, Michal Krasenkow and Igor Kovalenko qualified.
Let's look at a few game fragments. In the first, an incorrect bishop sacrifice was successful:
One of the qualifiers, Daniel Fridman, surprised Sergei Azarov in a well-known line:
Here's another game by quick-play specialist Fridman, who this time outplays a strong grandmaster from an almost equal position:
Nyback was also the victim in the following game - after playing the Blumenfeld Gambit, he saw his own king being chased:
The legendary Latvian GM Evgeny Sveshnikov also participated. The following game was spectacular:
Petrov Memorial 2012 | Prel. tournament | Final standings (top 20)
|16||GM||Fedorchuk Sergey A||UKR||2634||5.5||33.5||43.5||28.0|
The final, 8-player round robin was held on Saturday and Sunday and was won by Alexander Morozevich, who scored 5/7. The tournament wasn't decided until the final round, because Shirov, Morozevich and, surprisingly, Kovalenko were sharing the lead with 4/6. Three games In the final round ended in draws, and so with his win over Fridman, Morozevich won the tournament:
Morozevich lost one game, against the organizer, in round 3:
We'll finish this report with the following, very entertaining draw:
Petrov Memorial 2012 | Round robin | Final standings
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