Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

13th Unive Tournament (6)

Tiviakov eases to the title

The winner Sergei Tiviakov. Photo © Fred Lucas

The winner Sergei Tiviakov. Photo © Fred Lucas |

Sergei Tiviakov eased to victory in the Unive Chess Tournament. In the final round he was never worse in spite of having an early draw offer turned down. Anish Giri hung on for the draw later.

Sergei Tiviakov eased to victory in the 13th Unive tournament in Hoogeveen.

This was the first year of sponsorship by Unive and sadly for them the tournament never really caught fire. I really rather like the 4 player double round robin format, an affection that dates back to the old VSB tournaments of the 1990s which were always really rather brilliant. The format does rely on getting the right mix of players and clearly this year it really didn't work out too well, this wasn't anyone's fault, these things sometimes just happen.

The Sergei Tiviakov has the reputation of having a rather solid opening repertoire aimed at securing the draw first. That said, he played pretty well for his win here. A big part of his win was as a result of his ability to defend two pretty miserable positions against Vassily Ivanchuk.

Ivanchuk was the big star of the tournament. Here he fought pretty hard in all but the final round but the magic just wasn't quite there. The aforementioned games against Tiviakov were a disappointment for him. He made no progress in either game against Giri and was in trouble in his first game against Judit Polgar after over-reaching, but somehow survived.

Anish Giri had a pretty impressive debut at this level. His turning down of a draw offer in the final round (to be sure he could have actually won the event by winning the game) showed good fighting spirit. He never really looked in really serious trouble throughout. He's clearly ready for a few harder challenges.

I really feared for Judit Polgar before this tournament. A few years back she was in the top 10 and looking like a very solid all round leading professional player. Her appearances have been limited to exhibitions in recent times after starting a family (and this isn't a criticism at all in fact quite the reverse) but there probably hasn't been a worse time to reduce work on the game as the standards of opening preparation have been become extremely high over that same period. Polgar has looked woefully off the pace in the events she has played. I think under these circumstances she did OK and hopefully her promise to play more in the future can be looked forward to with anticipation.

Tiviakov,S (2670) - Giri,A (2552) [C24]
Unive Crown Hoogeveen NED (6), 24.10.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4

Having the merit of avoiding the dreaded Petroff. But this can't really give much to white.

2...Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bd6 6.Nc3 dxe4 7.Ng5 0-0 8.Ncxe4 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 Bf5 10.Qf3 Bxe4 11.dxe4 Nd7 12.0-0 Nc5 13.Bc4 b5 14.Be2 Qe7

[14...Qh4 15.Be3 Ne6 16.g3 Qe7 17.c3 Bc5 18.Bd2 Rad8 19.Rad1 Rd6 20.Bc1 Rfd8 21.h4 R8d7 22.Rxd6 Rxd6 23.Rd1 g6 24.Rxd6 Qxd6 25.Bd1 h5 26.Bb3 Kg7 27.Kf1 Qd7 28.Ke1 Bb6 29.Qd1 Qe7 30.Qd2 Kg8 31.Bc2 Qc5 32.b4 Qe7 33.Kf1 a5 34.a3 c5 35.Kg2 1/2-1/2 Tiviakov,S (2674)-Rozentalis,E (2588)/Kallithea GRE 2009/The Week in Chess 766]

15.c3 Rfd8 16.g3 Rab8 17.h4 h6 18.Rd1 Bc7 19.Be3 Na4 20.Bc1 Bb6 21.Rb1 b4 22.Kg2 bxc3

Apparently this was the start of the problems.

23.bxc3 Qe6 24.Rb4 Rxd1 25.Bxd1 Nc5 26.Be2 Qe7 27.Bc4 Rd8 28.Rb2 Nb7 29.Rd2 Rxd2 30.Bxd2 Na5 31.Be2 Qe6 32.Qg4 Qxg4 33.Bxg4 Nc4 34.Be1 Ba5 35.Bd7

The two bishops guarantee something of an advantage to white.

35...c5 36.Kf3 Nd6 37.Ke3 Bb6 38.f4 Kf8 39.Bc6 Ke7 40.Bd5 c4+ 41.Kf3 f6 42.h5 Ba5 43.a4 Bb6 44.Bd2 Ba5 45.fxe5 fxe5 46.g4 Kf6

Anish Giri


Sergei Tiviakov

Position after 46...Kf6


Missed by Giri, luckily for him he can actually survive.

47...hxg5 48.Kg4 g6!

Somehow this holds in all variations.


[49.h6 Nf7 50.h7 Nh6+ 51.Kf3 Kg7 52.Bxg5 Kxh7 is still holding for black.]

49...Kg7 50.Bd2 Bb6 51.Bc1 Ba5 52.Bd2 Bb6 53.Be1 Ba5 54.Kg5 Bd8+ 55.Kg4 Ba5 56.Bd2 1/2-1/2

Polgar,Ju (2687) - Ivanchuk,V (2756) [C42]
Unive Crown Hoogeveen NED (6), 24.10.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

Ivanchuk signals he just wants a draw.

3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Bf4 0-0 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.0-0-0 Nc5 10.Nd4 Re8 11.f3 Ne6 12.Be3 Bg5 13.h4

[13.Bxg5 Qxg5 14.Qxg5 Nxg5 15.Bc4 Ne6 16.Rhe1 Kf8 17.Nxe6+ Bxe6 18.Bxe6 1/2-1/2 Gallagher,J (2483)-Ekstroem,R (2469)/Samnaun SUI 2008/The Week in Chess 715]

13...Bxe3 14.Qxe3 Nxd4 15.Qxd4 Qe7 16.Bc4 Qe3+ 17.Qxe3 Rxe3

There is no interest left in the position.


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