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Capablanca Memorial Tournament

Vassily Ivanchuk6.5/10(+3 -0 =7)[games]
Leinier Dominguez Perez5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi5.5/10(+2 -1 =7)[games]
Vladimir Potkin4.5/10(+1 -2 =7)[games]
Viktor Laznicka4/10(+2 -4 =4)[games]
Yuniesky Quesada Perez4/10(+1 -3 =6)[games] Chess Event Description
Capablanca Memorial (2012)

The event was held from May 4th until the 14th at Cuba's capital, Havana. Vassily Ivanchuk won the double-round-robin with a score of 6.5/10 points. Both Ian Nepomniachtchi and Leinier Dominguez Perez trailed by a point in the final standings, but finished with positive scores.

The 46th Capablanca Memorial (2011) was the most previous edition of the tournament. The 2013 Capablanca memorial has not yet been added to the Tournament Index section, but each of the 49th Capablanca Memorial (2014) (49th edition), Capablanca Memorial (2015) (50th edition) and the Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2016) (as well as the next lower Capablanca Memorial (2016) section) have been added to the database.

Tournament website: (updated annually with subsequent Congress reports), , , Wikipedia article: Capablanca Memorial .

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Y Quesada Perez vs I Nepomniachtchi  ½-½432012Capablanca MemorialB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
2. L Dominguez vs V Laznicka 1-0402012Capablanca MemorialB12 Caro-Kann Defense
3. Ivanchuk vs Potkin ½-½422012Capablanca MemorialD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
4. Ivanchuk vs L Dominguez 1-0522012Capablanca MemorialB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
5. Potkin vs I Nepomniachtchi  ½-½282012Capablanca MemorialA30 English, Symmetrical
6. V Laznicka vs Y Quesada Perez 1-0422012Capablanca MemorialE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
7. I Nepomniachtchi vs V Laznicka ½-½692012Capablanca MemorialB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
8. L Dominguez vs Potkin 1-0412012Capablanca MemorialB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
9. Y Quesada Perez vs Ivanchuk  ½-½332012Capablanca MemorialB01 Scandinavian
10. L Dominguez vs Y Quesada Perez  ½-½342012Capablanca MemorialC67 Ruy Lopez
11. Ivanchuk vs I Nepomniachtchi  ½-½472012Capablanca MemorialB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Potkin vs V Laznicka 0-1332012Capablanca MemorialB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
13. V Laznicka vs Ivanchuk 0-1322012Capablanca MemorialE41 Nimzo-Indian
14. Y Quesada Perez vs Potkin  0-1522012Capablanca MemorialB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
15. I Nepomniachtchi vs L Dominguez  ½-½242012Capablanca MemorialB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
16. V Laznicka vs L Dominguez  ½-½252012Capablanca MemorialA04 Reti Opening
17. Potkin vs Ivanchuk  ½-½222012Capablanca MemorialD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. I Nepomniachtchi vs Y Quesada Perez 1-0352012Capablanca MemorialA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
19. I Nepomniachtchi vs Potkin  ½-½212012Capablanca MemorialD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. L Dominguez vs Ivanchuk 0-1382012Capablanca MemorialB01 Scandinavian
21. Y Quesada Perez vs V Laznicka 1-0372012Capablanca MemorialB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. Ivanchuk vs Y Quesada Perez  ½-½602012Capablanca MemorialE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
23. Potkin vs L Dominguez  ½-½702012Capablanca MemorialD97 Grunfeld, Russian
24. V Laznicka vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1392012Capablanca MemorialA81 Dutch
25. Y Quesada Perez vs L Dominguez  ½-½212012Capablanca MemorialB96 Sicilian, Najdorf
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-05-12  MindCtrol9: This Capablanca in Memoriam has been dominated by Ivanchuck showing his strenth.I would like to wash this tournament live.I personally,like Dominguez style.I really can't say too much about him,but I like his games.Perhaps he is the best in Cuba after the inmortal Jose Raul Capablanca.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: How immaculate is that, creating an unstoppable mate with such sparse material near the centre of the board?


May-06-12  Billy Vaughan: A very pretty mate by Ivanchuk indeed!
May-06-12  siggemannen: I think 52... Bf8 saves black from immediate mate, but of course it's losing :)
May-06-12  Benjamin1981: Ivanchuks combination all the way from 45. Rh8+ to 52. f4 is very beautiful and puzzle worthy. I guess it is not as impressive as a 8 move combination would seem at first because material is so sparse but still very beautiful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <52...Bf8> does prevent the mate of course, but as you say, <siggemannen>, it loses.
May-06-12  Eti fan: The real reazon for Bruzon leving the competition is cited back Apr 30 here stating not only personal reasons, but some agreement it seems.

But still he will play the national championship starting in just few days.

May-06-12  Bibliophage: Capablanca's tournament; players from non-communist countries need not apply.
May-06-12  King Death: <Bibliophage> What, do you really think most players would want to play in Cuba if they could? Awhile back I read a report from Baburin where he said that the conditions in an event he played in Havana were miserable. Of course it might be a little bit better for these ~2700 players than for the 2500-2600s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <Bibliophage>

Ivanchuk, Potkin, Nepomniachtchi and Laznicka come from communist countries?


May-06-12  Billy Vaughan: Ivanchuk keeps coming back to this tournament and he's a player who can pick and choose. Cuba's doing something right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Maybe Ivanchuk has a Cuban sweetie, and I do mean cigars!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: I've talked to several people (Westeners!) who were very happy with Cuban chess tournaments. The main problem is that the average Cuban chessplayer is heavily underrated, as he/she will only play in Cuba. So if you go there to play sub-2500 local players, expect to drop some rating points.

Generally, standards are not like in the West of course, frequent blackouts etc, but then life is lived somewhat slower than in the West.

Often they also have an interesting field in the top group here; we see the top-12 playing each other often enough in Bazna, Wijk, Tal Memorial, London etc.

May-07-12  Caissanist: Bruzón's withdrawal came less than a week before the start of the tournament, the official press release cited "personal reasons that would impede him from engaging in the tournament with aspirations for a good result". He seems to suffer badly from nervousness in general and in this tournament in particular, where he has done terribly three of the last four times he participated; so, this is not too surprising.
May-07-12  Bibliophage: My intent was to point out that the embargo on Cuba affects the organizers player selection somewhat. I would go so far to say that the embargo also causes the economic conditions mentioned in posts above and prevents the Cuban players from chess opportunities outside Cuba.

I stand by my statement; the 6 players in the elite group were all born in communist countries. Soviet Union dissolved in '91 and Nepo was born in '90. Czech republic and the Ukraine were part of Warsaw pact.

Only Communist bloc countries have the good relations with Cuba necessary for their players to accept an invitation to Capablanca's tournament.

I'd like to see someone up there besides Ivanchuk win. He's won 5 times in the last 7 years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Only Communist bloc countries have the good relations with Cuba necessary for their players to accept an invitation to Capablanca's tournament.> Huh? Short played there in 2010, Meier in 2009, Nielsen in 2007 to mention a few. I think Tony Miles won it a number of times as well.
May-07-12  Bibliophage: The EU only lifted its sanctions against Cuba in 2008 and was embroiled in controversy as recent as 2003 when Cuba broke off diplomatic relations with the EU. That's not even a decade of normal relations. Without good relations a country has no guarantee its citizens will be safe when traveling, hence the sporadic participation of non-communist bloc players.

Look at the list of past winners, one readily sees historically the tournament is dominated by communist bloc players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Look at the list of past winners, one readily sees historically the tournament is dominated by communist bloc players.>

From 1978 to 2010 Linares had "communist bloc winners" in 19 events. This is the same number as in Capablanca Memorial. Does this mean Spain is a Communist country?

I get your point, and you are right that the embargo has probably had some bearing on the participants (at least US citizens), but "communist bloc" dominance has not been limited to this particular tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Bruzon won this event in 2002 and used to place well in other years. I wonder why he has been bottoming out here recently, especially now that he's finally cracked the 2700 and should be feeling more confident?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: In more than one year, Bruzon did not show up for the last round(s) in this tournament. He seems to have some kind of problem with this event, I think it is well documented on his player's page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: How many rounds is this Capablanca Memorial?
May-11-12  Benjamin1981: 10 rounds. Double round robin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: In final round, Chucky has White against Laznicka, while Nepom has Black against Dominguez. Looks like another Capa Memorial on the Chuckster's resume.

Regarding the lineup: Probably the budget is not the same here as in the real supertournaments. And if you are looking for 2700-ish participants, it must be cheaper to get an Eastern European than a Western player.

May-14-12  waustad: Chuky's been going there for years if I recall. Familarity adds comfort.
May-14-12  Blunderdome: Ivanchuk took a quick draw, so Nepomniachtchi can share first if he wins.
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