SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Finally the tournament organizer’s website has been updated with the final classification, of which I show the top 40-positions. Note the obvious success of the Cuban representatives! Of the first 10 positions, not less than 5 were Cuban (or of the first 8 positions, 5 were Cuban!)
No matter how you look at it, it is clear that Cuba is the dominating chess power in the America’s. True–not many of the best US players participated–but Cuba was also missing its best player Lenier Dominguez! I for one would like to see a 10 board match between Cuba and the US: is it so inconceivable that the small island nation be on equal footing with the Americans over the board
Canada’s Mark Bluvshtein finished with an excellent 7.5pts and 2nd classification (though I am not immediately certain what tie-break system was used: Mark’s BH, SB and TPR (above chart) are lower than those immediately below him on the chart.). This gives Mark another 8.2 rating points (FIDE) as he approaches the 2600 barrier!
Anton Kovalyov (still a junior, is the highest FIDE-rated player living in Canada) finished with only 5.5 points (and 40th classification.) No doubt Anton must be disappointed , and to boot he lost 16 rating points. He started to tournament well, but in the final last rounds he failed to win a game (3-draws and one loss). However, this is just a temporary setback for the future-superstar! He will bounce back very soon…
Lazaro Bruzon (born 1982) is back! The Cuban was already qualified for the World Cup (readers will remember this blog reporting on the Dominican Zonal Tournament last month where he and Lenier Dominquez dominated the field), but wanted to win another Continental Cup to his list of triumphs: in Buenos Aires 2005 he won the Continental ahead of an even stronger field than in Mexico.
Bruzon’s career took a dive afterwards and by 2007 he had lost more than 100 rating points. No doubt a personal crisis of some sort…after being eclipsed by Lenier Dominguez many wrote him off as a ‘has been’
(the chess world is filled with nasty critics who glow in the misfortune of others), but Bruzon did not give up and has fought his way back to the top of the heap.
Last summer he spent quite a bit of tme in Spain, winning virtually every tournament he played in (in Andorra I played him and was defeated in a hard fought game.) Now it rests to see if he has any energy left for the World Cup! I wish him the best of luck!
The style of Bruzon is closely modelled on that of the Cuban legend Capablanca. He likes small advantages and can press them for a long period of time; however, he is also a very good tactician and can calculate long and complex variations.
The game below is a nice squeaze from the Mexican tournament. At first, it does not look that impressive, but after you play it over several times you begin to feel the touch the Capa in Bruzon’s brush strokes…