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Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 (2)

Korchnoi defeats Caruana in Gibraltar Masters second round

Fabiano Caruana was defeated by Viktor Korchnoi. Photo ©

Fabiano Caruana was defeated by Viktor Korchnoi. Photo © |

Viktor Korchnoi produced the surprise of the second round when he defeated Fabiano Caruana. This was his first win against the youngster after four losses. Korchnoi is the only player still active from the legendary post-war generation of Soviet Grandmasters.

Stewart Reuben reports: Yesterday unquestionably the game of the round in a competitive sense had to be that between the young Italian/American Fabiano Caruana and the veteran superstar Viktor Korchnoi. Viktor was puzzled as to why he was on board three against the 18-year-old, but surely he has played in many Accelerated Pairing Swisses that I have run, dating back as far as 1980. John Saunders suggested it was actually 1880, but I pointed out I wasn’t actually involved in international chess organisation then. By the time we spoke over dinner, Viktor was in good humour as you would expect. He told me his previous score was 0-4 with no draws against the boy. In what other sport is an encounter at all likely between two players 60 years apart in age? Well, perhaps bridge, but in that game it is difficult to find a player under 30.

Pia Cramling against Nigel Short. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

The other game I found time to kibitz was that between Pia Cramling and Nigel Short. The advantage of looking at Nigel’s games is that he is perfectly prepared to come and analyse his games in the commentary room afterwards. He explained that he got totally confused at the point where he played 10…Bxg3 followed by 11…Bxf3. This enabled Pia to respond 12 gxf3 giving her the better game. Had he first played 10…Bxf3, then no doubt she would have played 11 Bxf3. Why did he get confused? Because he needed a caffeine injection at that point. You don’t usually get this type of insight into the reasons for people’s moves. 23 b5 would have been far more active for White and she would probably have then stood somewhat better.

Meanwhile yesterday the electronic board system had something of a nervous breakdown, presumably because there were so many interesting encounters. Thus we were not able to access the top five boards directly. But no problem, Thomas Rendle in England enabled us to access the games for the commentary room using the Monroi website where players had keyed in the moves by hand.

The event this year has a slightly different format from the previous editions. It started with a tandem simul on Sunday by the Russian Kosintseva sisters. Then the Challengers A and Amateur A started Monday morning. Monday evening saw the traditional opening ceremony including the drawing of lots for the top pairings and the equally traditional Caleta Hotel hospitality. On


Stuart Conquest talks to Vassily Ivanchuk. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Tuesday afternoon the Masters got underway. This evening Vassily Ivanchuk gave a master class to a packed house, probably spread over all the continents. He went through his win today and also another from 1984, purely from memory (including several of the most attractive sub-variations). This was greeted by rapturous applause – with good reason. Again, in what other sport would this happen after quite a gruelling game?

People often ask how many people are playing and so on. This is currently impossible to answer correctly as more people are playing in Challengers B and Amateur B. Also it is not unknown for people to turn up late. Currently we have 231 players in the Masters, the biggest ever turn-out; 55 in Challengers A; and 30 in Amateur A. There are 53 grandmasters competing, three of whom are rated over the elite level of 2700; 15 are rated between 2600-2699; 31 between 2500-2599. There are 50 different federations in the congress, counting players from Gibraltar separately. There is no doubt this is the biggest and strongest of the series. To think, in 2003 there were just 66 entries.

Fabiano Caruana against Viktor Korchnoi. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Here is Viktor the Terrible’s revenge on Fabiano the Young.

Round 2

Caruana,Fabiano (2721) - Korchnoi,Viktor (2544)

Ruy Lopez

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.Re1 Nd7

Viktor Korchnoi


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 8...Nd7

First played exactly 100 years ago at a tournament in San Sebastián by Maroczy but the famous Hungarian's plan was more cautious. Viktor has something quite aggressive in mind. Jack Rudd reminds me (JS) that Korchnoi and Maroczy are alleged to have played chess with each other in the 1980s via a psychic medium (Maroczy died in 1951). Viktor won that game too. Maroczy never had a ghost of a chance.

9.Be3 Nb6 10.Bb3 Kh8 11.Nbd2 f5 12.Bxb6 cxb6 13.Bd5 g5

"This clearly took the youngster by surprise and his failure to respond actively took me equally by surprise," said Viktor after the game.


Instead 14.Nc4 would allow the f3 knight to retreat to d2 when Black plays g4. As played, the knight gets driven out of play. 14...g4 15.hxg4 fxg4 16.Nh2 Bg5 17.Nc4 - 17.a4 restrains Black's next move.

17...b5 18.Ne3 Bxe3 19.Rxe3 Qf6 20.Qe1

Viktor Korchnoi


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 20.Qe1

The position is equal according to silicon but Korchnoi is having all the fun.

20...Ne7 21.f3 Nxd5 22.exd5 Rg8 23.Qg3?!

Perhaps this is a little too provocative.

23...gxf3 24.Qxf3 Bf5

Self-pin but Black has it all worked out.

25.Rf1 Rg5 26.Kh1 Qh6 27.Rf2 Rag8

An unpleasant position to defend and it has a negative effect on Black's subsequent play.


28.Kg1 looks more resilient.

28...Qg6 29.Re3?!

The position is already very difficult and the d3 pawn beyond salvation, but 29.Nf1 Bxd3 30.Ne3 Be4 31.Qf6+ Qxf6 32.Rxf6 gives White an outside chance.


Viktor Korchnoi


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 29.Bxd3

There is no way back for the young Italian after this. He is firmly in the clutches of Viktor the Terrible.


30.Rxd3 e4 also wins.

30...e4 31.Qh3 Rxd5 32.Qd7 Rg5 33.g4 Qh6 34.Rf7 R5g7 35.Rxg7 Rxg7 36.Qd8+ Rg8 37.Qb6 Qf6 38.Qxb7 Rf8 39.Qa7 b4 40.Rh3 Qg7 41.Qe3 bxc3 42.bxc3 Qxc3 43.Rh5 d5 44.g5 Qa1+ 45.Kg2 Bf1+ 46.Kg3 Qe5+ 0–1

Viktor Korchnoi


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 46...Qe5+

47.Kg4 d4 and something has to give.

Round 3 (of 10) starts at 3pm (GMT+1) on Thursday 27 January.

Gibraltar Masters Caleta ENG Mon 24th Jan 2011 - Thu 3rd Feb 2011
Leading Round 2 (of 10) Standings:
1Ivanchuk VassilyGMUKR27642.00
Vallejo Pons FranciscoGMESP26982.00
Short Nigel DGMENG26582.00
Fridman DanielGMGER26552.00
Roiz MichaelGMISR26492.00
Sandipan ChandaGMIND26412.00
Berg EmanuelGMSWE26272.00
Akobian VaruzhanGMUSA26182.00
Kotronias VasiliosGMGRE25992.00
Gopal Geetha NarayananGMIND25972.00
Erdos ViktorGMHUN25932.00
Felgaer RubenGMARG25852.00
Kulaots KaidoGMEST25772.00
Buhmann RainerGMGER25722.00
Kosintseva TatianaGMRUS25702.00
Kosintseva NadezhdaIMRUS25522.00
Korchnoi ViktorGMSUI25442.00
Rapport RichardGMHUN25312.00
Sengupta DeepGMIND25302.00
Cmilyte ViktorijaGMLTU25262.00
Zhu ChenGMQAT24952.00
Weber TomFMLUX23102.00
23Adams MichaelGMENG27231.50
Sasikiran KrishnanGMIND26901.50
Nisipeanu Liviu-DieterGMROU26781.50
Harikrishna PentalaGMIND26671.50
Ikonnikov VyacheslavGMRUS25801.50
Dzagnidze NanaGMGEO25501.50
Kanep MeelisGMEST25311.50
Speelman Jon SGMENG25241.50
Harika DronavalliIMIND25201.50
Hoffmann MichaelGMGER25061.50
Krush IrinaIMUSA24831.50
Pogonina NatalijaWGMRUS24721.50
Sarkar JustinIMUSA24181.50
Bellon Lopez Juan ManuelGMESP24041.50
Dougherty MichaelFMCAN21831.50
Tscharotschkin MichaelGER21811.50
Arnott Jonathan WENG21761.50
Seyfried ClausGER21731.50
Vaarala EricSWE21521.50
Lipecki AlexanderSUI21261.50
Carlsten PeterSWE21101.50
Dasaolu AdeoyeENG21071.50
Tari AryanNOR20971.50
Navarrete Espi SamuelESP20951.50
Sreeves ClementSCO20931.50
Bous FlorianGER20881.50
Itkis HanaWFMUSA20841.50
Schweizer ManfredGER20751.50
Fairbairn StephenCAN20581.50
Hamer MartynENG20411.50
Obiamiwe PaulNGR20151.50
54Caruana FabianoGMITA27211.00
Bologan ViktorGMMDA26931.00
Onischuk AlexanderGMUSA26891.00
Georgiev KirilGMBUL26691.00
Edouard RomainGMFRA26341.00
Kacheishvili GiorgiGMGEO25851.00
Andersson UlfGMSWE25791.00
Mikhalevski VictorGMISR25791.00
Lemos DamianGMARG25531.00
Lafuente PabloGMARG25511.00
Le Roux Jean-PierreGMFRA25511.00
Stefanova AntoanetaGMBUL25461.00
Robson RayGMUSA25321.00
Cramling PiaGMSWE25161.00
Gallagher Joseph GGMSUI25011.00
El Debs Felipe De CresceGMBRA24991.00
Zatonskih AnnaIMUSA24931.00
Al-Sayed MohammedGMQAT24901.00
Soffer RamGMISR24891.00
Das ArghyadipIMIND24791.00
Bellaiche AnthonyIMFRA24581.00
Fernandez Romero ErnestoIMESP24531.00
Melia SalomeIMGEO24491.00
Zhukova NataliaGMUKR24411.00
Battaglini GabrielIMFRA24371.00
Mullon Jean-BaptisteIMFRA24201.00
Nezad Husein AzizIMQAT24201.00
Slavin AlexeiIMRUS24171.00
Stokke KjetilFMNOR24131.00
Boskovic DraskoIMSRB24121.00
Andersen MadsFMDEN24101.00
Wohl Aleksandar HIMAUS24091.00
Thomassen JoachimIMNOR24041.00
Karim IsmaelIMMAR23751.00
Bellin RobertIMENG23671.00
Cummings David HIMCAN23661.00
Jones Richard SFMWLS23611.00
Karavade EeshaIMIND23531.00
Illner Achim DrFMGER23451.00
Kantans TomsFMLAT23421.00
Tabatt HendrikGER23421.00
Zaremba AndrieFMUSA23391.00
Estrada Nieto JulianIMMEX23091.00
Bergstrom RolfFMSWE23071.00
Forsaa EspenFMNOR23061.00
Wahlbom MagnusSWE23051.00
Piasetski LeonIMCAN23031.00
Nuri KambezSUI23001.00
Stebbings Anthony JENG22851.00
Calzetta Ruiz MonicaWGMESP22841.00
Garcia Jimenez Francisco JavieFMESP22741.00
Malmdin Nils-AkeSWE22721.00
Oberhofer AndreGER22701.00
Sipila VilkaFIN22691.00
Avalos Parra JoaoFMCHI22521.00
Daurelle HerveFRA22431.00
Henriksson JohanSWE22431.00
Meskovs NikitaLAT22431.00
Andreasen PerFMDEN22391.00
Spence David JENG22311.00
Zygouris HristosGRE22151.00
Urbina Perez Juan AntonioCMESP21891.00
Aerni AndiSUI21821.00
Lacrosse MarcFMBEL21811.00
Szuper PaulUSA21741.00
Lochte ThomasGER21731.00
Groffen HansNED21691.00
Lasinskas PovilasFMLTU21641.00
Becker ThomasGER21571.00
Daoudi KamalMAR21551.00
Kandic MilanSRB21431.00
Osuna Vega EnriqueCMESP21401.00
Tozer Philip A AENG21401.00
Daumen MichaelGER21301.00
Hvenekilde JorgenFMDEN21211.00
Vinas Guerrero Carlos AESP21211.00
Steil-Antoni FionaWIMLUX21181.00
Collier David OENG21081.00
Havik VictorNOR21071.00
Wheldon PhilipENG21061.00
Suez-Panama GillesFRA20961.00
Freuler RomanSUI20921.00
Montabord ManuelFRA20631.00
Mckenna Jason PENG20621.00
Henderikse BertNED20581.00
Scholzen WolfgangGER20571.00
Jameson DavidWLS20541.00
Compton AlistairNZL20461.00
Wilson AlexandraWFMSUI20371.00
Becking Franz JosefGER20291.00
Memarian MiladIRI20281.00
Haga HalvorNOR20241.00
Zanetti BrunoSUI20171.00
Lochte SzilviaHUN20151.00
Fomani MehdiESP20131.00
Spanton Tim RENG20071.00
Bauder HerbertGER20051.00
Knudsen Jes WestDEN20001.00
Sommerhalder EricSUI20001.00
Shepherd MichaelSCO19991.00
Cebada Benitez FernandoESP19971.00
Khachatourian YerazikNOR19961.00
Marder SimonSWE19901.00
Costello Colin AENG19751.00
De Lillo MicheleITA19641.00
Valhondo Morales RubenESP19481.00
Hauge Lars OskarNOR19421.00
Henrichsen JensDEN19251.00
Leimeister WinfriedGER19061.00
Kuehnast VolkerGER18991.00
Perez Reisler JosePUR18931.00
Zaky TamirFRA18611.00
Hegvik Leif TrygveNOR18141.00
Gholami ArminNOR17791.00
Neumanova MonikaCZE17121.00
Berggren KlasSWE14631.00
Kelly PaulWLS19461.00
Grainger BenjaminENG18021.00
Eman LennartSWE01.00
173Iordachescu ViorelGMMDA26340.50
Jones Gawain C BGMENG25930.50
Fier AlexandrGMBRA25710.50
Cabrera AlexisGMESP25180.50
Gaponenko InnaIMUKR24660.50
Vernay ClovisIMFRA24460.50
Monroy CharlesIMFRA24210.50
Vaibhav SuriIMIND24210.50
Peek MarcelIMNED23420.50
Getz NicolaiFMNOR23340.50
Kolbus DietmarIMGER23320.50
Dittmar PeterFMGER23280.50
Tate AlanSCO22920.50
Nikolaidis KonstantinosFMGRE22840.50
Montero Melendez RafaelESP22650.50
Sanchez LouisFMFRA22620.50
Chapman Terry P DENG22500.50
Vea Odin BlikraNOR22140.50
Vogel JaapFMNED22070.50
Jaunooby Ali RENG22070.50
Valgmae ToomasEST21900.50
Flores Chico JorgeESP19990.50
Phillips Owen SENG19920.50
Sigamoney Cyril SUSA19780.50
Bihi MehdiFRA19360.50
Brown DavidENG19230.50
Helin MikaelSWE19140.50
Messam-Sparks LateefahENG19040.50
Moreno Cervera Jose LuisESP19030.50
Birkestrand OddNOR18940.50
Martinez Gonzalez Francisco IiESP18700.50
Winkler StefanGER18670.50
Gillespie GarySCO18480.50
Salomon JohanNOR18360.50
Siddiqui NidaPAK17390.50
Kuenitz KlausGER16950.50
Stene VegardNOR16080.50
Connor Stephen JENG20420.50
Fogg MartinENG18900.50
Ungureanu SanduROU00.50
213Byron Alan MENG21920.00
Jaime Montalvan Luis FelipeFMESP21860.00
Lundback KarlSWE19690.00
Christiansen Johan-SebastianNOR19550.00
Garcia de Lomas Guerrero CarloESP19400.00
Georgieva EmiliaBUL19070.00
Boesch HeinzGER18990.00
Wright JonathanENG18950.00
Jorgensen Line JinNOR18920.00
Reid VanessWFMAUS18410.00
Matto ManuelGIB18380.00
Lee Kai Jie EdwardSIN18330.00
Gonzalez Amaya MillanESP18170.00
Bishop PeterLUX17840.00
Rough Robert ESCO17420.00
Forsa EliseNOR17260.00
Kympergr VojtechCZE16310.00
Veiga Rodriguez PabloESP15280.00
Whatley StephenGIB15700.00
Rudd JackIMENG22970.00
232 players

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