Reports | January 03, 2012 17:54

Reggio R7: Two quick draws and a blunder by Ivanchuk (UPDATE)

Reggio R7: Two quick draws and a blunder by Ivanchuk

Nikita Vitiugov scored his first win in Reggio Emilia as Vassily Ivanchuk committed a big blunder in round 7. Hikaru Nakamura drew quickly with Fabiano Caruana and maintained his 4-point lead, as Alexander Morozevich and Anish Giri split the point even quicker.

Event 54th Torneo di Capodannno |  PGN via TWIC
Dates December 27th-January 6th, 2011
Location Reggio Emilia, Italy
System 6-player double round robin
Players Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Morozevich, Vitiugov, Caruana, Giri
Rate of play 100 minutes for the first moves followed by 50 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1

The tournament in Reggio Emilia has become stronger and stronger in recent years, and with the current field of participants it looks a lot like a super tournament such as Bazna or Dortmund. Therefore, we decided that this 54th edition 'deserved' daily round reports here at ChessVibes. However, we also feel that in certain areas the tournament still lacks the professionalism (experience?) that can be found at other events.

For example, this year the organizers decided to copy the most popular format at elite events these days: the 6-player, double round robin. However, they forgot to carefully check how the pairings are usually done. Instead of switching rounds 4 and 5, the schedule of the first half was kept as simply mirroring the second half. If you do this, there will always be one player having the same colour three rounds in a row.

In this tournament, Vassily Ivanchuk was the unlucky one, who had to play three games with Black consecutively. We won't go as far as saying this was the main reason, but it certainly didn't help either - the Ukrainian lost all three games.

UPDATE: We were informed by the organizers that they didn't 'forget' to change rounds 4 and 5, as they believe with a rest day this is not necessary, and that Ivanchuk has stated that his results have nothing to do with the 3 blacks but only to his form. We therefore regret to have written this part of the report without contacting the organizers first. 

Especially the third, in round 7, was a dramatic affair. In an equal position, Ivanchuk bundered a piece and immediately resigned.

PGN string

Unfortunately the round report on the official website doesn't provide an explanation either. This website is another aspect that should be improved. It lacks an English version, and almost all basic info, including the games and even videos, are hidden under the 'live games' link. The round reports are only available in PDF (why?) and the English versions are not written or checked by a native English speaker, which leads to sentences like:

Vitiugov – Ivanchuk seems to go towards a draw, but suddenly he unusefully looses a pawn.

That's all, no further comment. And it wasn't a pawn...

In other areas the organizers are doing a fine job; e.g. they're sending press releases, they connect with the fans via Facebook and they seem to be taking care of the players very well.

The New Year's Eve dinner in Reggio Emilia

Back to the chess, which involved two quick draws in the other games. After so many decisive results, it had to happen at some point! Alexander Morozevich was much more cautious than in the previous round, and allowed a move repetition as soon as he felt White had no advantage anymore. For Anish Giri a draw with Black was fine, of course. The young Dutchman even climbed to third place.

PGN string

Giri and Morozevich just before the start of their game 

What is almost becoming a tradition here is to mention Hikaru Nakamura's post-game tweet:

As the saying goes...if you can't beat Svidler, you might as well play like him!

The American referred to Svidler's pet line, the Kan Sicilian, but also the recent, spectacular draw between Karjakin and Svidler at the Tal Memorial last month. Of course Caruana had seen it too, and by deviating at move 11 he kept a tiny edge, but a few moves later they players agreed to a draw.

PGN string

Caruana and Nakamura's post-mortem, with Giri kibitzing

In Wednesday's 8th round Nakamura faces Morozevich with White. A win would virtually secure tournament victory with two rounds to spare.

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings

No. Name Rtg Score/game Tiebreak Perf
1 Nakamura,H 2758 15.0/7   2963
2 Morozevich,A 2762 11.0/7   2785
3 Giri,A 2714 9.0/7   2755
4 Ivanchuk,V 2775 8.0/7   2683
5 Caruana,F 2727 8.0/7   2701
6 Vitiugov,N 2729 5.0/7   2594

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings (classical)


Reggio Emilia 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 27.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 6 02.01.12 15:00 CET
Ivanchuk ½-½ Giri   Giri 1-0 Ivanchuk
Vitiugov 0-1 Nakamura   Nakamura 1-0 Vitiugov
Caruana 0-1 Morozevich   Morozevich 0-1 Caruana
Round 2 28.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 7 03.01.12 15:00 CET
Giri 0-1 Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Giri
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk ½-½ Vitiugov   Vitiugov 1-0 Ivanchuk
Round 3 29.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 8 04.01.12 15:00 CET
Vitiugov ½-½ Giri   Giri - Vitiugov
Caruana 0-1 Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Caruana
Morozevich ½-½ Nakamura   Nakamura - Morozevich
Round 4 30.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 9 05.01.12 15:00 CET
Giri 0-1 Nakamura   Nakamura - Giri
Ivanchuk 1-0 Morozevich   Morozevich - Ivanchuk
Vitiugov 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Vitiugov
Round 5 31.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 10 06.01.12 13:00 CET
Caruana 0-1 Giri   Giri - Caruana
Morozevich 1-0 Vitiugov   Vitiugov - Morozevich
Nakamura 1-0 Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Nakamura


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.


Clifford's picture

Switching rounds 4 and 5 in a 6 player double round robin is by no means the only way of avoiding triple Blacks for one player. In South America, switching rounds 6 and 10 is preferred. That provides better colour distribution than switching 4 and 5 and the only downside (which may also be an upside) is that players meet the same opponent in consecutive rounds in rounds 5 and 6.


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