Europe Celebrates Winter Holidays with Multiple Opens; Hard Games for Favorites

Время публикации: 30.12.2014 10:05 | Последнее обновление: 31.12.2014 02:56

While the autumn of 2014 abounded in significant chess events culminating in the world championship match in November, the very end of the year is a period of relative calm: the chess world is celebrating winter holidays and waiting for the festival in Wijk aan Zee to begin. Still, there are many 'middle-class' open events traditionally taking place this time around the globe (especially in Europe). Our website has already reported on the Groningen festival, now we're presenting you a digest of a few more ongoing European opens.

38th Zurich Christmas Open, Switzerland: 7 rounds, 117 players, 14 GMs including two 2700+ and four 2600+ GMs. The Elo favorite Arkadij Naiditsch is topping the crosstable before the final round with 5.5/6, while the second seed Richard Rapport is half-a-point behind the leader, having recovered from the disastrous start.


Something went wrong for Richard in the opening: Black is already unable to protect his multiple weaknesses. Rapport went for a desperate piece sacrifice which didn't help: 25...Ng3+ 26.hxg3 hxg3 27.Bxg3 Qh5+ 28.Bh2 Rf6 29.g4! Qh4 30.gxf5+ Kf7 31.Nxd6+!, and it's Black who is going to be mated: 31...Rxd6 32.Qg7 mate. 1-0

Round 7 top pairings:

Naiditsch (5.5) - Georgiev Kiril (5)
Hansen T.R. (5) - Rapport (5)
Gonda (5) - Bauer (5)

Eduardo Iturrizaga (2654) has went a long way from Venezuela to Zurich. He is now on 4.5/6 (photo:

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44th Rilton Cup, Sweden: 9 rounds, 85 players including 18 GMs. The top seed is Ilya Smirin (Israel, 2644) who has only 1.5 points after 3 rounds.

JERE - SMIRIN (round 3)

40.Rg8! a5 (40...Rxg8 41.Nh6+) 41.Nh6+ Ke7 42.Rxf6 Bxf6 43.Nf5+ Kf7 44.Ke2 a4 45.Kf3 Be5 46.Ke2 (there is no 46.Kg4?? Rxg8+ but the king is free to go back towards the a4-pawn as Black is completely bound) 46...Bf6 47.Kd1 Be5 48.Kc2. 1-0

There are 6 rounds to go; the last round will be on January 5th.

Round 4 top pairings:

Grandelius (3) - Turov M. (3)
Hammer J. L. (2.5) - Urkedal (2.5)
Krasenkow (2.5) - Turova (2.5)
Bellia (2.5) - Roiz (2.5)
Ivanov S (2.5) - Tari (2.5)
Hillarp Persson (2.5) - Jere (2.5)

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Hastings International Chess Congress. This British tournament of a very long tradition had seen better times, as there are currently only 6 main prizes in the Masters tournament which is probably not very much for 110 participants. Nevertheless, six GMs 2600+ are taking part this year, the Elo favorite being GM Maxim Rodshtein (2676). The festival has just started; round 1 saw no sensations (see complete pairings and results).

LAGARDE - LEDGER D. (round 1)

33...Rxf4?? (after 33...Qe7 White is better but there's plenty of play ahead) 34.Qxe6 Rf2+ 35.Kh1! There is neither checkmate nor a perpetual, so Black resigned. 1-0


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