News

2017 Prizegiving

John Saunders reports: The prizegiving for the 2017 Chess.com Isle of Man tournament was held in the Villa Marina on Sunday 1 October at 9pm. Guest of honour was the tournament sponsor Isai Scheinberg who made the presentation of the Masters trophy and cheque for £50,000 to the winner of the open section, Magnus Carlsen.

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Magnus Carlsen receives the Isle of Man Masters trophy and cheque for £50,000 from the sponsor Isai Scheinberg

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"Hi old friend, fancy meeting you here!" Joint second Hikaru Nakamura and Vishy Anand greeted each other like they hadn't seen each other for years.
Tournament director Alan Ormsby looks on

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As formidable an array of chess talent as you could wish to see, yet none of them managed a podium place. 4th= still pretty good, of course.
Dhopade Swapnil of India, second from left, was the stand-out achievement as the only sub-2600 player amongst the super-GMs

The prizegiving was preceded by a buffet dinner laid on for all the competitors and their guests. Knowing the players' favourite activity for when they are not playing tournament chess – namely, playing blitz chess – boards, sets and tables were provided, and a good time had by all. Those not playing could tease those who were – an activity known to the chess world as 'kibitzing' – while we photographers and press people could mill around getting a final few snaps of the star players before they departed.

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US youngster Christopher Yoo gets to play some blitz with English GM David Howell and both are clearing enjoying themselves

A few significant points arose during the prizegiving. One was the matter of the round one random pairings. Tournament director Alan Ormsby decided to conduct a very unscientific (his words) survey of opinion of the first-round random pairing experiment (or 'Brandom' as I have nicknamed it, a la 'Brexit') on a simple show of hands. The result? A substantial majority in favour of random pairings. This elicited a cheer from those in favour, particularly from me. In my case it was a matter of relief as I feared that, if it had gone the other way, I might have suffered a public lynching. Amongst those who voted in favour I noted were David Howell, Emil Sutovsky and (heaven be praised) Magnus Carlsen.

Here are photos to prove it.

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"All those in favour of the round one random pairings, hands up" ... now look closer...

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... and you can see the world champion favours random pairings. His girlfriend abstained.

Of course, cynics may say that Carlsen only voted pro-Brandom because it gave him such an easy pairing in round one while two of his main rivals received a stinker (against each other). You may say that – I couldn't possibly comment. I will say that Magnus had a broad smile on his face as he voted. But anyway. I don't propose to say any more about it, having already aired my views at colossal length.

The prizegiving was also notable for the presence of Magnus Carlsen's girlfriend Synne Christin Larsen. I think she had also been present at the pairing ceremony at the beginning of the tournament but, largely unrecognised, she evaded most of the chess paparazzi.

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"When are you going to stop looking at your trophies and give me some attention!" Synne Christin Larsen turns aside as Magnus admires the silverware. Trouble in paradise?

Not this time, because of a selfie of the couple published by them on Instagram which went viral in Norway. I vaguely wondered whether she might be related to the great Bent Larsen, but given that about half of Scandinavia also has that surname it seems a fruitless line of enquiry. Joking aside, it was good to see the champ in a relaxed, smiling mood after his endeavours in the event. As his only classical chess victory of the year, it would have settled his own doubts about his form in longplay chess, not that he admitted to any. He did confess to being a bit nervous when it came down to the sharp end of the tournament, though that was just normal for a tournament. By that stage he said he had lost the sense of it being an open tournament as opposed to a conventional super-GM elite all-play-all, since he was playing against the usual suspects and was not focused on what was going on around him. In one of his interviews on the final day he also thought having his girlfriend present helped to stop him concentrating on chess all day long and actually contributed to relaxing him for the next game. He had no travelling chess expert with him but he consulted with Peter Heine Nielsen online.

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Gentleman Jim Tarjan's stellar performance was the heart-warming story of the tournament and he received the longest, warmest applause of all the prizewinners

Other awards were more routine, the sense of which is best conveyed via photography. The highlight in terms of length and warmth of applause was definitely the ovation for Jim Tarjan, whose remarkable performance in returning to chess after decades away and seemingly regaining his former strength and then some. His TPR of 2671 is way ahead of anything that he might have achieved in the 1970s, when it was would have been the preserve of those Soviet and ex-Soviet guys whose names began with 'K' plus Bobby Fischer. The warmth of feeling for the elderly prodigal son and his return proves that there is still a lot of sentiment to be found in chess.

Titles maybe mean less than ratings in the chess world these days, but they still symbolise status and it is a big moment in a player's career when they get a norm. So congratulations to all those who achieved their norms. There were GM norms for Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia), Bharathakoti Harsha (India) and Michael William Brown (USA). The first two named had already wrapped up their norms with brilliant performances in previous rounds but Michael William Brown looked particularly delighted, having achieved his first norm at the last gasp after a really gutsy pressure win in round nine against the formidable 2700+ rated Zoltan Almasi.

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Nino Batsiashvili of Georgia receives her GM norm certificate from chief arbiter Peter Purland

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Lovely smile from Bharathakoti Harsha of India as he gets his GM norm certificate from chief arbiter Peter Purland

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Mr Brown, you've got a beautiful GM certificate... Michael William Brown achieved his objective not long before the prizegiving

Well done to all three of them, and additional congratulations to Nino as I understand she already has two other norms and the rating qualification, so that should be the title. IM norm certificates were presented to Jan Woellerman (Germany) and Kalyan Arjun (India), congratulations to them. Finally, International Arbiter norms were recorded by David Clayton and Alan Atkinson, both of England. Well done to them. Dave now only needs to win two more pie-eating contests to get his final IA norm. Sorry, that was just my usual, unoriginal, unfunny arbiter joke wrapped up in second-hand clothing. Do other countries tease their chess arbiters about their alleged gargantuan appetites for food, or is it just us in the UK? I would be interested to know. Seriously, well done to Dave and Alan and all the other arbiters at the tournament who did a marvellous job - I take my hat off to all of them.

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David Clayton (left) and Alan Atkinson get their International Arbiter norm certificates from chief arbiter Peter Purland

A reminder of the Masters' leading places...

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.   Name sex FED Rtg Rp n w we w-we K rtg+/-
1 GM Carlsen Magnus   NOR 2827 2903 9 7,5 6,36 1,14 10 11,4
2-3 GM Anand Viswanathan   IND 2794 2806 9 7 6,84 0,16 10 1,6
2-3 GM Nakamura Hikaru   USA 2781 2831 9 7 6,43 0,57 10 5,7
4-12 GM Kramnik Vladimir   RUS 2803 2660 9 6,5 7,34 -0,84 10 -8,4
4-12 GM Caruana Fabiano   USA 2799 2831 9 6,5 6,04 0,46 10 4,6
4-12 GM Adams Michael   ENG 2738 2719 9 6,5 6,27 0,23 10 2,3
4-12 GM Eljanov Pavel   UKR 2734 2749 9 6,5 6,17 0,33 10 3,3
4-12 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi   IND 2702 2764 9 6,5 5,68 0,82 10 8,2
4-12 GM Sutovsky Emil   ISR 2683 2712 9 6,5 5,92 0,58 10 5,8
4-12 GM Rapport Richard   HUN 2675 2732 8 6 5,40 0,60 10 6,0
4-12 GM Shirov Alexei   LAT 2630 2703 9 6,5 5,18 1,32 10 13,2
4-12 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade   IND 2532 2768 9 6,5 3,65 2,85 10 28,5

 

Just one surprise there, namely Sunil Dhopade Swapnil, the only sub-2600 player in the top positions, who gains 28 rating points. In terms of gaining points, Alexei Shirov and the winner Magnus Carlsen were the next in order, while Vladimir Kramnik never quite recovered from those two early losses but still minimised his loss of rating points by going on a long run of wins.

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As with the open, the top women's prize went to the rating favourite - Hou Yifan of China

Here are the leading women players in the Masters...

  1 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2670 6,0 2687 8 5,5 5,30 0,20 10 2,0
  2 IM Cornette Deimante LTU 2404 5,5 2467 9 5,5 4,57 0,93 10 9,3
  2-4 GM Ju Wenjun CHN 2574 5,0 2470 9 5 6,21 -1,21 10 -12,1
  2-4 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2528 5,0 2481 9 5 5,43 -0,43 10 -4,3
  2-4 IM Zatonskih Anna USA 2424 5,0 2582 9 5 3,18 1,82 10 18,2
  5-13 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS 2552 4,5 2496 8 4 4,55 -0,55 10 -5,5
  5-13 IM Batsiashvili Nino GEO 2472 4,5 2643 9 4,5 2,54 1,96 10 19,6
  5-13 IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2453 4,5 2428 9 4,5 4,80 -0,30 10 -3,0
  5-13 WGM Shvayger Yuliya ISR 2442 4,5 2391 9 4,5 5,04 -0,54 10 -5,4
  5-13 IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2437 4,5 2358 9 4,5 5,20 -0,70 10 -7,0
  5-13 GM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2369 4,5 2194 9 4,5 6,23 -1,73 10 -17,3
  5-13 WIM Vaishali R IND 2329 4,5 2296 9 4,5 4,77 -0,27 20 -5,4
  5-13 WGM Enkhtuul Altan-Ulzii MGL 2327 4,5 2441 9 4,5 3,38 1,12 20 22,4
  5-13 IM Rudolf Anna HUN 2286 4,5 2466 9 4,5 2,56 1,94 20 38,8

 

Amongst the women the biggest gains were made by Anna Rudolf, Altan-Ulzii Enkhtuul and Nino Batsiashvili, with the latter gaining her final GM norm.

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Anna Rudolf played way above her rating in the Isle of Man

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Altan-Ulzii Enkhtuul of Mongolia had the bonus of a one-to-one with Vladimir Kramnik in the tournament

MAJOR AND MINOR SECTIONS

Maria Emelianova of Chess.com has done a good job of getting photos of these sections and you can find them in the photo gallery on this website.

Here is the Major final table:

Final Ranking after 7 Rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Club/City  TB1 
1 1   Allor Chukwuka NGR 2091   6,0
2 18   Mai Alexander Oliver ISL 1875   5,5
  36   Mircov Nicola-Alexandar ROU 1767   5,5
4 13   Nwachukwu Chino NGR 1893   5,0
5 6   Sedgwick David ENG 1972   4,5
  8   Nelson Omowale JAM 1955   4,5
  10   Buckley Colm IRL 1928   4,5
  20   Stuhlmann Alexander GER 1857   4,5
9 4   Salewski Bernd GER 1993   4,0
  7   Gostelow David W ENG 1961   4,0
  9   Fabri Henrik ENG 1939 IOM 4,0
  15   Kane Robert ENG 1890   4,0
  16   Burrows Nick ENG 1888   4,0
  21   Foster Timothy ENG 1842   4,0
  24   Nandi Robin J ENG 1818   4,0
  30   Gumireddy Sanjay ENG 1790 IOM 4,0
17 5   Ireland David J ENG 1972   3,5
  14   Mehmet Zia ENG 1892   3,5
  17   Murray Jim G. IRL 1876   3,5
  26   Siddharth Gopakumar IND 1810   3,5
  27   Towers Brian ISR 1805   3,5
  32   Daly Patrick IRL 1786   3,5
23 22   Carr Jay A USA 1839   3,0
  25   Sutton Daniel ENG 1811   3,0
  40   Heidarsson Arnar ISL 1480   3,0
26 23   Clavero Alarcon Jose Miguel ESP 1824   2,5
  29   Blackburn Jon ENG 1792   2,5
  31   Livesey R Nigel ENG 1789   2,5
  33   Miah Zahed ENG 1784 IOM 2,5
  35   Price Andrew ENG 1768   2,5
  37   Hall Alan ENG 1746   2,5
32 12   Cross Glenn ENG 1893 IOM 2,0
  28   Ford Clifton P USA 1794   2,0
34 38   Flanagan Samuel IRL 1740   1,0
  39   Haddock Paul ENG 1538   1,0
36 2   Gill Neville B K ENG 2075 IOM 0,5
37 3   Hollander Hans NED 2018   0,0
  11   Moller Agnar T ISL 1920   0,0
  19   Mumukshu Mittal IND 1858   0,0
  34   Jeel Shah IND 1778   0,0

Here's the Minor final table:

Final Ranking after 7 Rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Club/City  TB1 
1 20   Gaspar Ioan-Dan ROU 1538   6,0
2 8   Dobson Howard ENG 1654 IOM 5,0
3 2   Smith Paul ENG 1708   4,5
  3   Walshaw David ENG 1690   4,5
  6   Macgilchrist Siegrun SCO 1677   4,5
  22   Ratnoo Vigyan ENG 1525   4,5
  28   Birkisdottir Freyja ISL 1332   4,5
8 1 WCM Norman Dinah M ENG 1724   4,0
  5   Bo Martin NOR 1685   4,0
  10 WCM Kojima Natsumi JPN 1636   4,0
  19   Bynnersley Ag (tony) ENG 1544   4,0
12 4   White Gary ENG 1689   3,5
  11   Kent Paul ENG 1633   3,5
  15   Egan William J ENG 1571   3,5
  16   Harris John ENG 1571   3,5
  21   Barry Steve ENG 1535   3,5
  23   Jackson Paul R ENG 1492   3,5
18 9   Kirkwood Robin WLS 1642   3,0
  12   Armstrong Chris IRL 1619   3,0
  24   De Santos Andrew ENG 1450   3,0
21 7   Woodard Brian ENG 1660 IOM 2,5
  14   Blackburn Sandra G WLS 1585   2,5
  18   Beadle John R ENG 1558   2,5
  25   Jackson Antony ENG 1435 IOM 2,5
25 13   Walker Gordon J SCO 1611   2,0
  17   Minor Harry ENG 1568 IOM 2,0
  26   Quayle Graham ENG 1421 IOM 2,0
28 29   Apps Ian ENG 1300   1,5
29 27   Robertson Alan ENG 1357 IOM 1,0
30 30   Tournier Patrice ENG 1188   0,0

 

NEXT YEAR'S TOURNAMENT

Good news - there will be a Chess.com Isle of Man tournament next year. The provisional dates are 20-28 October 2018. Put those dates in your diary now.

 

THE FUTURE...?

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"Hey, kid, reckon you're gonna beat me one day?" Magnus Carlsen and Nihal Sarin at the prizegiving

Bye for now,

John Saunders (@johnchess)

"I play and prepare on Chess.com"
GM Hikaru Nakamura
Book your tournament trip today
www.visitiom.co.uk

Latest News

2017 Prizegiving
Published: 03 Oct 2017

John Saunders reports: The prizegiving for the 2017 Chess.com Isle of Man tournament was held in the Villa Marina on Sunday 1 October at 9pm. Guest of honour was the tournament sponsor Isai Scheinberg who made the presentation of the Masters trophy and cheque for £50,000 to the winner of the open section, Magnus Carlsen.


Read more ...
Round 9 Report
Published: 02 Oct 2017

John Saunders reports: world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the 2017 Chess.com Isle of Man Masters tournament after holding Hikaru Nakamura of the USA in the ninth and last round at the Villa Marina, Douglas, on 1 October 2017. Magnus Carlsen scored 7½ out of 9 to take the £50,000 first prize, ahead of Hikaru Nakamura and former world champion Viswanathan Anand (India) on 7 points. Tied in fourth place on 6½ were nine players: Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Dhopade Swapnil (India), Richard Rapport (Hungary), Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Mickey Adams (England), Alexei Shirov (Latvia), Emil Sutovsky (Israel).


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Masters - Final Ranking List
Published: 01 Oct 2017

The final ranking list of the Masters was as follows:


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