SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
GM Lázaro Bruzón
Cuban Chess Champ for the Fifth Time
By Maryla Garcia Santos
Las Tunas, Cuba, Jan 26, (P26).- Cuban Grand Master Lázaro Bruzón
won for the fifth time the Cuban Chess Championship that finished on Monday in the city of Ciego de Ávila.
The outstanding chess player is the first Cuban Grand Master who reach the record set by late International Master Eleazar Jiménez.
Bruzón, moving the white pieces, defeated GM Jesús Nogueiras in 41 moves of a Alekhine defence, during the second round of the final, playing by the Wimbledon system.
Nogueiras (right) and Bruzon at the prize giving ceremony
With this victory Las Tunas´ Grand Master reach 2,640 points ELO rating, which places him as the second in Latin America, preceded by his Cuban partner Leinier Dominguez (2,712).
Bruzón declared that it was an honour for him. “It was a difficult tournament due to the quality of his competitors, though some of the favourites could not get to the final round as Grandmaster Fidel Corrales,” he added.
Grand Master Omar Almeida, from the capital,beat his counterpart Yuniesky Quesada to win the bronce medal.
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro – Arencibia Rodriguez, Walter
Cuban Championship 2010
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Nxe5 Bxf2 6. Kxf2 Nxe5 7. e4 c5 8. d3 d6 9. h3 O-O 10. Bg2 Ne8 11. Rf1 Nc7 12. Kg1 Bd7 13. Be3 b5 14. b3 Ne6 15. Kh2 b4 16. Ne2 a5 17. d4 cd 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. Qxd4 Ra6 20. c5 Bb5 21. Rf5 f6 22. Rd1 Nf7 23. cd Rxd6 24. Rd5 Rxd5 25. ed Re8 26. Qc5 Qd7 27. Rd2 Nd6 28. Qa7 Ne4 29. Qxd7 Bxd7 30. Rc2 Nc3 31. Bb6 a4 32. ba Bxa4 33. Rb2 Bd7 34. Ba5 Nd1 35. Rxb4 Ra8 36. Bb6 Rxa2 37. Bd4 Nf2 38. Rb7 Bf5
39. d6! Nxh3
Did White overlook this move?
40. Bb2! No!
Black resigns. A nice finish!
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro – Nogueiras Santiago, Jesus
Cuban Championship 2010
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 de 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6 Nxf6 7. Be3 a6 8. Bd3 b6 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. O-O-O Bd6 11. Ne5 Nd5 12. Qg4 g6 13. Bg5 Be7 14. Bh6 f5 15. Qh3 Bg5 16. Kb1 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 Qf6 18. Be2 O-O-O 19. Bf3 c5 20. c4 Ne7 21. Qe3 Bxf3 22. Qxf3 Kc7 23. Rhe1 Rxd4 24. Rxd4 cd 25. Qa3 f4
26. c5! Kb7 27. cb Rc8
28. Qd6! Black resigns. The house falls…
The legendary Capablanca, World Champion 1921-1927
Usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Cuban chess is Capablanca, the genius who took the chess world by storm at the beginning of the 20th century. He became one of the most famous sportsmen of his times, dashing and romantic–a terrible womanizer, and a legend in his own lifetime.
But, apart from his fame, he did very little for the promotion of chess in Cuba. Chess was unimportant. All that changed soon after the revolution in 1959. Che was a passionate player and he pushed chess as both an instrument of propaganda and education.
Cuba started to organize big international tournaments as well as the 1966 Olympiad. Chess took roots and became an important part of Cuban culture.
The first really world class Cuban grandmaster to appear since Capablanca was undoubtedly Jesus Nogueiras (born, 1959). His successes in the middle 1980’s help to stimulate even further the promotion of the game in his country. When he returned home after just qualifiying for the Candidates Tournament in 1985, Castro went to the airport to greet him!
But things really took off at the turn of the 21st century, with the appearance of Lazaron Bruzon (born 1982) and Leinier Dominguez (born 1983), and these two exceptional talents really put Cuba on the chess map. I remember playing in the Capablanca Memorial in 1997 and seeing both youngsters playing in the lower tournaments, getting their first exposure to international competition. Even then I was impressed!
Both players have since achieved world class results time and time again.
Rivals. Dominguez (l) and Bruzon (r)
A study of the progress of these two talents is revealing. Bruzon achieved real international successes before his compatriot, and as a result he was soon invited to super tournaments. Dominguez had to stay home. But then Bruzon entered into a period of crisis, and his rating dropped below 2600 and his results became relatively mediocre. (Sort of reminds me of the crisis that Boris Spassky faced in the early 1960’s, when he almost disappeared from the world stage.)
In the meantime, however Dominguez was making steady progress, with the result that his rating soon became number 1 in Cuba and today he has even passed the 2700 barrier. Today Dominguez has all of the super tournament invitations, while ,ironically, Bruzon has had to stay home!
Dominguez is currently playing in the Corus tournament. He has drawn all of his games so far!
You can see a comparison of the two Cuban’s elo below. Dominguez’ chart is on top. Bruzon is below it:
As we can see, Dominguez has made steady progress, experiencing no period(s) of crisis. Bruzon clearly experienced problems , starting in 2006, and has only recently come out of this crisis. His next rating should be in the 2650 range.
I like the way both players play chess. Dominguez is more professional in his approach to studying and training; his games contain few errors and excellent preparation and technique. Bruzon is more of a romantic, willing to take risks if the circumstances seem fair. I get the impression that Bruzon’s preparation is less rigorous, though I may be wrong.
My personal opinion is that both stars are about the same strength, and now that Bruzon is out of his period of crisis, I expect both players to be frequent visitors to the super tournaments.
Today Cuba is ranked 2nd in the America’s (after the USA) with 19 gms and 37 ims. World wide, Cuba is ranked 19th (Canada is ranked 45th).
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS