News

Round 9 - Final report

After 9 days of hard-fought and thrilling chess, the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament 2014 came to a close with a brilliant triumph by Nigel Short, who had entered the tournament as 9th seed and finished on 7.5/9, a full point ahead of the rest of the field!

71

Facing his young compatriot David Howell in a winner-takes-all decider, Short followed an old Korchnoi-Karpov game in the Nimzo-Indian. Although admitting afterwards he was aware the line was almost certainly dubious for White, his gamble paid off by taking David onto unfamiliar ground at a very early stage of the game and thus forcing him to spend a lot of time. Let’s have a look at the key moments of the game which Nigel later dubbed as the only one in which he was in trouble.

74        75     

                           Position after 22.Nh5                                                              Position after 26...c4

In the above position, Nigel failed to play his original intention 22.Ba4 and instead went for the dubious 22.Nh5, which spoils all of White’s advantage. He had indeed overlooked David’s strong reply 22...b3, burying the bishop on b1. However, as Nigel also pointed out, from a practical point of view the game is still not easy- especially when short of time.

In another twist of events, just as the initiative seemed to be passing over to Black, David played the decisive blunder 26...c4, which loses to 27.Rxa5 Qxa5 28.Nxf6. The newly crowned champion pointed out afterwards that on 26...Bb4 he had planned to play 27.Ra7, which, although not directly threatening anything, is quite annoying. He thought that David had actually wanted to play 26...Bb6 (the strongest move in the position), but was probably afraid of 27.Qxb3 (which the computer points out to lose to the strong 27...c4).

58

This meant Nigel finished the tournament with an incredible streak of four wins in a row, to add another tournament victory to his long and impressive career. Many congratulations! Congratulations are also in order for David Howell, who, despite doubtlessly being disappointed by this last-round loss, posted one of his best tournament performances ever.

On board 2, Tiviakov and Fressinet quickly gave up the fight for a chance of coming equal first (in case of a draw on board 1) as they drew their game by repetition after just 14 moves.

Once this draw was agreed, Gil Popilski was the only other player who could still theoretically catch up with the leaders, but in order to achieve that he needed a win against none other than second seed Vachier-Lagrave. Indeed, it was the Frenchman who was pressing for all of the game, but Gil defended resourcefully and the game ended in a draw.

59

On board four there was some more fantastic news for English chess as Jonathan Hawkins, who had already secured his GM norm before the last round, easily drew his game against Gabriel Sargissian. His title should be confirmed at the next FIDE Congress. I was especially pleased for Jonathan, as being his captain for Cheddleton in the 4NCL, I know how hard he has worked for this achievement.

Last but not least, down on board 11, Alan Merry played an epic 90-move battle to finally overpower Avital Boruchovsky and thus secure his third and final IM norm and first GM norm! It is surely only a matter of time before Alan reaches the 2400 rating required to gain his IM title.

 

In the Major, no less than 4 players shared the first place with a result of 4.5/7: Arjan Plug, Neville Gill, John Cooper and Samuel Flanagan, with the latter taking the trophy on tie-break.

61

The Minor was dominated by Israel’s Vladimir Lanin, who finished on 5.5/7. Second place was shared by Jason Madden, Zahed Miah and Gary White, all on 5/7.

60

                                                                   

                                           Masters Closing Ceremony

65 64

                                            GM Norms were achieved by Jonathan Hawkins and Alan Merry

62 63

                                                   IM Norms were achieved by Kobo Ori and Alon Mindlin

66

                                              Harika Dronavalli receiving her prize for best woman player

67 68

                               Sergey Tiviakov                                                                               Gil Popilski

69 70

                               Laurent Fressinet                                                                     David Howell

72 76

In his winner's speech, Nigel mentioned that while not being his first tournament victory, this was nevertheless a very emotional one, as he felt it marked some sort of renaissance in his career. He also thanked Tournament Director Alan Ormsby for his last-minute invitation and for putting up this great event. Alan in return raised a cheer from the crowd when he announced the tournament was now guaranteed to return in 2015!

73

 David Welch, Zahed Miah, Alan Ormsby, Fiona Steil-Antoni, David Clayton, Arno Eliens, Peter Purland, Keith Allen, David Sedgwick

You can find all the pictures from the closing ceremony here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.850009895031093.1073741843.840126609352755&type=1

To conclude this 2014 edition of the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess tournament, I would like to thank Alan Ormsby, Brian Woodard, Keith Allen and Zahed Miah for all their hard work and congratulate them on organising this remarkable tournament!

See you all next year!

Fiona Steil-Antoni (Press Officer)

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

Latest News

Round 9 Report
Published: 29 Oct 2018

Round 9 Report

John Saunders reports: the 2018 Chess.com Isle of Man International was won by Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland after a play-off match with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan. The two players led going into the last round and drew their ninth round game to finish on 7/9 while none of the four players on 6/8 managed to win in order to tie with them. They each take home a cheque for £37,500 with Wojtaszek also receiving a further £500 for winning the blitz play-off. The initial two-game blitz was tied on 1-1 but Wojtaszek chose White in the Armageddon game and duly won. Seven players finished on 6½: Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk (both Russia), Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong (both USA), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Baskaran Adhiban (India).


Read more ...
Round 8 Report
Published: 28 Oct 2018

Round 8 Report

John Saunders reports: another pulsating day’s chess saw four 2700+ rated players bite the dust, all bar one beaten by players less highly rated than themselves, and in one case more than 200 points adrift. Two leaders emerge from the smoke of battle, Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), who now both have 6½/8, while four more players are half a point behind them and are still in with a chance of a share in the top prize – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA).


Read more ...
Round 7 Report
Published: 27 Oct 2018

Round 7 Report

John Saunders reports: another remarkable round at the Villa Marina saw the number of leaders increase by one – the same names as per the round six leader board, plus England’s perennial numero uno, Mickey Adams. There was some fantastic chess played, which it gives me great pleasure to report upon. Before we move on, let’s just record the seven leaders’ names for the record: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Wang Hao (China), Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan), Mickey Adams (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA) all have 5½ out of 7.


Read more ...
SEE MORE NEWS ARTICLES

Sponsored By

Chess.com The Scheinberg Family
With assistance from
Department of Economic Development Manx Technology Group
Organised by the Isle of Man International Chess Committee