Monday Chess News and Coffee
Monday Chess News and Coffee
Good morning, Monday! The last Monday of August…this weekend saw some really great championships wind up that I had been following attentively. Congrats to gm E. Bacrot for winning his 8th French title (!). Also congrats to gm R. Jumabayev for winning the Sants Open. And closer to my North American readers, congrats to gm V.Belous for winning the US Masters. (Canadian masters Raja Panjwani and Shiyam Thavandiran also placed well!)
Bacrot edges out Fressinet in Tie Breaks in France
Friday evening Christian Bauer was leading the French Championship by half a point, and going into the weekend it seemed that he was untouchable. But then disaster stuck: over the next two days he went down consecutively, first to Gharamian and then to Bacrot.
Christian had to settle for a tie between 5th and 7th place, while Fressinet and Bacrot tied for first place, having to then play a series of blitz games to decide which would win the 2017 French title!
Talk about pressure! Both players were completely even as they first drew two 10-minute games, then drew two 3-minute games. Then everything was to be decided in the final ‘armageddon’ game!
Fressinet bravely chose the White pieces – meaning that he MUST win – and all Bacrot needed was to draw in order to be declared the winner! But Fressinet knew what he was doing as kept Bacrot under constant pressure right from the opening.
As the game progressed it became apparent that Fressinet was a big favourite to win. A tricky Knight and Pawn ending arose, both sides incredibly short of time, but after a few mutual errors on both sides, Fressinet found himself in a completely won position. Bacrot could have resigned with a clear conscience, and would have in a slow game, but at just the last moment before Fressinet was about to capture Bacrot’s last piece, his flag fell!!! Bacrot was declared winner and 2017 Champion of France.
The commentators could hardly contain themselves
Do you know why French girls are the best? Take a guess…
Jumabayev wins Sants Open in Barcelona
Beginning just a day after the bloody terrorist attack in La Rambla, the traditional Sants Open began with a record 796 participants. Typical of the Catalan spirit not to be frightened into submission.
The 28 year old Kazakhstan grandmaster Rinat Jumabayev won the tournament with a magnificent 8.5 points from 10 games. Congrats!
2017 US Masters
One of America’s most prestigious Open tournaments, the US Masters usually attracts players of all levels from all over. This year was no different. In the end, after 9 gruelling rounds, the 24 year old Russian gm Vladimir Belous walked away with a cool $5,000, first prize.
Canadians Raja Panjwani and Shiyam Thavandiran both finished excellently with 5.5 points, finishing respectively 18th and 20th.