Reports | August 19, 2010 23:19

Naiditsch beats Efimenko 3.5-2.5

Naiditsch beats Efimenko 3.5-2.5 in MukachevoIn the 4th in a series of matches held in Mukachevo, Ukraine Arkadij Naiditsch beat Zahar Efimenko 3.5-2.5. Naiditsch won the second game of the match, while five other games were drawn.

The 4th rapid match in Mukachevo, Ukraine was organised by the local Chess Club 32x64 and Universal Event Promotion, known from organizing the 2008 Anand-Kramnik match. The company was also responsible for the two rapid matches between Ivanchuk and Leko in 2007 and 2009, and the Short-Efimenko match from last year.


The Anand-Kramnik wine is still for sale - it's said to be a good year

This year's match took place August 12-18 and consisted of six classical games. The match was part of the festival Transcarpathian Cup, which also ended on 18 August and included many other events, such as two classical opens, rapid, blitz and children's events.

On 15 August the 2002-2004 FIDE World Champion, Grandmaster Ruslan Ponomariov gave a simultaneous exhibition against kids - guests of the Transkarpathian Cup - and won all 27 games.


Ruslan Ponomariov in action against visiting kids

The only decisive game was a Berlin Wall, where White got everything he wanted: the classical majority on the kingside and no counterplay for Black on the queenside.

Mukachevo (02) 2010
Here 24...b6 was safer. Now White wins a few tempi and makes progress quickly. 25. Nc3! Rb8 26. Ne4! c4 27. Kg3 a5 28. f4 g6 29. Kh4 b4 30. axb4 axb4 31. Kg5 Rb5
32. Nf6! c3 33. bxc3 bxc3 34. Rh2 Bd5 35. Rh3 Bc6 36. Rxc3 and White won.


A close call: Zahar Efimenko (l.) vs Arkadij Naiditsch

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Efimenko and his girlfriend Angelina Frolova


The cup for the winner...


...Germany's number one Arkadij Naiditsch

Photos © Petro Parovinchak



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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.


pete's picture

somehow this is a match with no meaning for me ... besides having fun playing chess

Peter Doggers's picture

No doubt the main motive is to give Efimenko the opportunity to gain some more experience, and the second one to have fun indeed. Seems reasonable to me. :-)

ebutaljib's picture

Well, how many non-championship matches in last 10 or 15 years with standard time controls can you name?

So you see - the match WAS something special afterall ;)

test's picture

One of the most interesting matchs of the last week, no doubt.


Pingorenko beat Minevian 4-2 in a match in Tulavika

Thomas's picture

As mentioned in the report, the match also added something special to a bigger chess festival.
BTW, Ponomariov wasn't only playing a simul against kids, he was also Efimenko's second - returning the favor from Dortmund when Efimenko was helping him (source: post-Dortmund interview with Ponomariov)

ChessGirl's picture

@Thomas. Actually, Efimenko´s second was Ukrainian player Brodsky. Ponomariov only gave Efimenko some advice during his stay.

Thomas's picture

The part of the interview I referred to was ( ):

Q "How important is a coach at such a supertournament?"
Pono: "He has enormous importance. Zahar is a strong GM, we already work together for quite a while. He maximally supported me in Dortmund. When in August he plays a match against Naiditsch in Ukraine, I will pay him back and be his coach." [translated from Russian(?) to German to English]

Of course I don't know what Ponomariov exactly did in Mukachevo ... . And if he made that decision or promise spontaneously after Dortmund, Efimenko couldn't 'fire' his regular second Brodsky whom he contracted beforehand?

@test and pete: I do not understand the disdain towards players who are just a bit below 2700. For one thing, Efimenko's points at the Olympiad on board 4 will count as much as those by his teammates Ivanchuk, Ponomariov and Eljanov. (We all know that Naiditsch won't play the Olympiad, but he didn't know [for sure] when he agreed to play his match against Efimenko ...).

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