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Casino de Barcelona Tournament

Hikaru Nakamura7/9(+6 -1 =2)[games]
Leinier Dominguez Perez6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Vugar Gashimov5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Alexander Beliavsky5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Rafael Vaganian4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Michal Vladimirovich Krasenkow4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Josep Oms Pallisse4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games]
Miguel Illescas Cordoba3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Marc Narciso Dublan3/9(+2 -5 =2)[games]
Jordi Fluvia Poyatos1.5/9(+0 -6 =3)[games]

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nakamura vs J Fluvia Poyatos 1-0432007Casino de BarcelonaD80 Grunfeld
2. L Dominguez vs M Narciso Dublan 1-0782007Casino de BarcelonaC11 French
3. Vaganian vs Krasenkow ½-½362007Casino de BarcelonaD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. V Gashimov vs Beliavsky  ½-½412007Casino de BarcelonaC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
5. J Oms Pallisse vs Illescas Cordoba  ½-½412007Casino de BarcelonaD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. M Narciso Dublan vs J Oms Pallisse  1-0542007Casino de BarcelonaB42 Sicilian, Kan
7. V Gashimov vs Vaganian 1-0482007Casino de BarcelonaC18 French, Winawer
8. Krasenkow vs Nakamura 0-1282007Casino de BarcelonaA14 English
9. Beliavsky vs Illescas Cordoba 1-0492007Casino de BarcelonaE97 King's Indian
10. J Fluvia Poyatos vs L Dominguez 0-1372007Casino de BarcelonaB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. Illescas Cordoba vs M Narciso Dublan 1-0512007Casino de BarcelonaD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. J Oms Pallisse vs J Fluvia Poyatos  ½-½442007Casino de BarcelonaE97 King's Indian
13. L Dominguez vs Krasenkow ½-½612007Casino de BarcelonaC67 Ruy Lopez
14. Vaganian vs Beliavsky  ½-½432007Casino de BarcelonaE15 Queen's Indian
15. Nakamura vs V Gashimov ½-½802007Casino de BarcelonaA61 Benoni
16. V Gashimov vs L Dominguez  ½-½352007Casino de BarcelonaC42 Petrov Defense
17. Krasenkow vs J Oms Pallisse 0-1222007Casino de BarcelonaD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. Vaganian vs Nakamura 0-1452007Casino de BarcelonaE97 King's Indian
19. Beliavsky vs M Narciso Dublan  ½-½442007Casino de BarcelonaD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. J Fluvia Poyatos vs Illescas Cordoba  ½-½402007Casino de BarcelonaB12 Caro-Kann Defense
21. L Dominguez vs Vaganian  ½-½372007Casino de BarcelonaC18 French, Winawer
22. Illescas Cordoba vs Krasenkow  0-1652007Casino de BarcelonaD46 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
23. J Oms Pallisse vs V Gashimov 0-1712007Casino de BarcelonaA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
24. M Narciso Dublan vs J Fluvia Poyatos  1-0472007Casino de BarcelonaC59 Two Knights
25. Nakamura vs Beliavsky ½-½412007Casino de BarcelonaD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-27-07  dx9293: <I3illieJoe> Over time, yes, he could win it because he would adjust. But if you just plopped him down in Philadelphia and had him play, I don't believe he would win in his first shot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Very well argued <Strongest Force> and <dx 9293 >. Thanks.
Oct-27-07  chessmoron: Kramnik would win 6 out of 8 games easily.
Oct-27-07  dx9293: <chessmoron> It's nine rounds, but he would need 7.5/9 to win it clear. This year 7/9 would have been enough, but that is an anomaly because of them having the Under 2400 section.

Of course I'm not saying Kramnik would get bombed or something, but winning Foxwoods, the World Open, and the North American Open is harder than people who only follow European chess would believe.

Oct-27-07  chessmoron: World Open (2007)/Varuzhan Akobian Disregard the Robson and Yudasin duplicates. It's 8 games.
Oct-27-07  dx9293: <chessmoron> Um, no. It's 9 games. Every year. Maybe they are missing one, but it's nine.
Oct-27-07  I3illieJoe: yeah the WO has 9 rounds
Oct-27-07  Mameluk: You people forget, that tournaments in USA with 5 rounds per weekend is not chess. And that some people play it, stay alive and still play decent chess is admirable, but also says lot about their ambitions.
Oct-27-07  dx9293: <Mameluk> Or their situation. Not everyone can move to Europe to play in 4NCL or the Bundesliga and such. But I agree with the point: this is not real chess.

Go to <> and click on the calendars at the top of the page (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader). Notice the weekend events with 4 or 5 games in one day. These aren't FIDE rated, true, but just as an example.

For representative FIDE-rated events in the USA, go to <>. Notice that there are no sponsors anywhere on this site. I encourage all who are not familiar with these events to go to "Upcoming Tournaments" (in huge letters) and click on "Foxwoods Open," etc. THIS is the unglamorous reality for American GMs.

Oct-27-07  VinnyRoo2002: I think a strong argument could be made that not knowing your opponent ahead of time is a truer chess game than a match where the two competitors know who they will face 6 months to a year before. When you know who your opponent is going to be, you can prepare for certain opening variations, and while the quality of the openings might be better, in a Swiss System, where a larger variety of openings may be played, a chess player must be more prepared for various openings rather than extremely prepared in limited openings. Of course, I've played in Swiss tournaments where 5 out of my 6 games were Sicilian, but I still think my point is valid that your opponent could really play any opening against you and you must be prepared.

Oct-27-07  pacelli: I can't believe how much ratings have changed. Beliavsky is an old horse rated here at 2646, yet at his prime in the 80s he was never above 2650. In 1986 there were only 2 2700s (kasparov at 2720 & karpov at 2705) and the no.3-4 (yusupov & sokolov) were only 2640! Beliavsky was about 2620. Only abt 12 players were 2600 and above. How times have changed.
Oct-27-07  ongyj: <dx9293:>, <Mameluk> What's up with the notion that "this is not real chess"- The chess boards are real, the players are real, why are packed schedules "unreal chess"

The general assumption(logic) is that players tend to play weaker quality chess with less time to rest. Fair enough. But every participant is subjected to the same conditions and thus should endure similar levels of fatigue; the 'fairness' of games played under harsher conditions is still the same. It's not say a human-computer match, where the computer doesn't suffer from human fatique. It's the player's responsibility to adapt to the tournament style, not the other way round.

In fact, if Kramnik ever had to play under such conditions, I would almost certainly put my $ on him than anyone else, even if Anand, Ivanchuk or Topalov were involved. This is because Kramnik can usually make a short/easy draw when he wants/needs to, so I assume that he knows how to manage his play in order to get sufficient rest...

Oct-27-07  dx9293: <ongyj> Well of course it is still chess, but the quality does suffer.

I do agree that American swisses are better for pure competition because of the harsher conditions. There is no question of ridiculous preparation and having an army of seconds—I like this aspect as a fan, because the 2750s, in a very real sense, don't "play" a lot of chess. They display tremendous preparation, much of it done by assistants.

Give me the choice of Kramnik, Anand, Ivanchuk, and Topalov, and my favorites to win (for example) the World Open among these guys would be: 1)Ivanchuk 2)Topalov 3)Anand 4)Kramnik. Kramnik would not do so well (relatively speaking) because his style isn't built for mega-swisses. You need to be something of a gambler, be willing to take strange decisions when necessary, or even resort to total bluffs (as Yudasin has admitted to doing, in his lectures at the Marshall Chess Club).

Who would perform the best? Morozevich!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Kramnik would not do so well (relatively speaking) because his style isn't built for mega-swisses.> In general, Kramnik would do splendidly, I think; just look what he does at the Olympiads. When facing opponents outside of top 20, he would routinely win with Black as well as with White.
Oct-28-07  Mameluk: Many chessplayers in recent years completely ruined their playing strength by playing in North American opens. From our country it is Blatny, from Poland it was Wojtkiewicz. Now the likes of Izoria or Najer seem to be going nowhere as well.

Of course few tournaments are fine, but you shouldn´t forget how to make these horrible things like preparation. Also it may be slightly surprising, how strongly the rested players in Europe play and how one mistake may be enough to lose. 3-min blitz on internet is fair, but it does not teach you chess.

Oct-28-07  dx9293: <Mameluk: Many chessplayers in recent years completely ruined their playing strength by playing in North American opens. From our country it is Blatny, from Poland it was Wojtkiewicz. Now the likes of Izoria or Najer seem to be going nowhere as well.>

Great post! And so very true!

Wojtkiewicz paid the ultimate price for the difficult lifestyle of a USA chess pro.

Izoria has gone so far that not only does he play in the big opens (where at least he plays very strong players most of the time), but also the small opens too! Check out some of the events he plays in: <;. He has to play club players in "4 Rated Games Tonight" or "10 Grand Prix Points Tonight." But he needs the money I guess. He is a nice (if quiet) guy though, and will analyze with weak players after the game.

Oct-28-07  Strongest Force: <Mameluk> I am sure you have heard the old saying: "one's man meat is another man's poison". The US system is not for everyone but thoughout the history of modern chess there have been a small but famous group of GMs who could match-up well against anybody. It is not necessarily the kind of chess played in the US that keep greater numbers of top players from going forward but it is the economic/materialistic way of life that keep elite players at a low level. Nakamura is the rare individual who can thrive in almost any system.
Oct-28-07  Prugno: My congratulations to the deserving winner, of course, in particular for the wonderful game against Krasenkov. But we old-timers enjoy seeing our boyhood idols doing well.

So it is with great pleasure that I note Vaganian's 3/3 in the last rounds (admittedly against the local players), which helped him save what was starting to look like a disastrous tournament, and even more so Beliavsky's excellent +2 score, in his case as well with two wins in the final two games (two high-class squeezes, by the way). Apparently, if play is limited to 1 round per day and the time control is reasonable, age is not a handicap for these legends!

Oct-29-07  zaxcvd: <Strongest Force:>Kramnik (in good health) will win these 'tough' american swiss tournaments quite easily, and so will Anand. They do a lot of preparation playing each other but playing non-elite players less preparation wont hurt their game.
Nov-01-07  Strongest Force: <zaxcvd> American GMs are not pushovers. Kramnik may win a couple of tournaments but it wouldn't be easy. Just look at the last Olympic-team event the US played in and the few individual performances of americans in Europe. I believe Kramnik would be surprised by the strength of the average US master.
Nov-15-07  Riverbeast: Lately, though, there has not been an American GM who could compete well internationally (with the obvious exception of Nakamura) in a long time.

It's not that they have less talent than the European GMs: I think Mameluk is absolutley correct that playing in swisses, and playing a lot of fish in the earlier rounds, stunts their development.

Yasser Seirawan and Larry Christiansen used to win strong European round robins: but that was a different generation.

Hopefully now Nakamura will get more invitations to top flight round-robins. He has proven that he has the ability to be an elite GM.

Nov-15-07  Strongest Force: River, you know i agree with you for the most part; however remember back to the 2006 Olympic-team event when the US only decided to send a team at the last moment. That team took the bronze medals home and with some preparation could easily have taken the gold. The problem is that chess is not popular enough.
Nov-16-07  Riverbeast: The 2006 Olympic team was composed almost entirely (again, with the exception of Nakamura!) of transplanted Russians or Armenians.

By 'American', I'm talking about a player whose chess development took place here in the US. Nakamura was born in Japan but was raised in the US since he was 2 years old, so he's American as far as I'm concerned. Most of the other guys came here when they were already IMs or GMs.

Nov-16-07  Riverbeast: But Strongest Force, you're right in the sense that most promising American players can't make a living at chess, so they all end up giving up the game by the time they reach college age in order to choose a more conventional profession - even Kamsky gave up for a while to go to medical school and law school...
Nov-17-07  Strongest Force: I understand what you are talking about: learning chess in america = american chess. It's hard to disagree with that point of view even though this is a nation of emigrants. Of course, the way i was looking at it was that once one becomes an american and plays almost exclusively in swiss-tournaments, (especially for a number of years): the emigrant has become an american player. I dont expect everyone to agree with this but it does seem that many are pre-occupied with attacking THE US system of chess: calling it weak and not competitive with all European models; this is simply not true. If they just confine their remarks to native americans they are closer to the truth; however, in every generation there have been the few NATIVE US players that could compete with anyone; just look back to the 30's when (mostly native) americans dominated the Olympic-team events.
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