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Novgorod Tournament

Veselin Topalov6/10(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Vasyl Ivanchuk5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Nigel Short5/10(+1 -1 =8)[games]
Judit Polgar4.5/10(+3 -4 =3)[games]
Boris Gelfand4.5/10(+1 -2 =7)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik4.5/10(+2 -3 =5)[games] Chess Event Description
Novgorod (1996)

For the previous two years an international tournament had been organized in Novgorod, Russia by a cooperation of the PCA and the Beresta Palace Hotel. In 1996, the hotel was forced to seek funding from other sponsors, and as a result had reduced the size and format to what it had been in 1994. Most of the original Novgorod participants from previous events agreed to participate. Vladimir Kramnik (2765), ranked 3rd in the world at the time, participated on behalf of Russia. He had been the number one ranked player at the end of 1995, and though his rating dipped leading up to this event he was considered the heavy favorite to win it. Veselin Topalov (2750), ranked 4th in the world at the time, participated on behalf of Bulgaria. 1996 proved to be a stellar year for Topalov and he was in fine form coming into this tournament. Vassily Ivanchuk (2730), ranked 7th in the world at the time, participated on behalf of Ukraine. He had won Novgorod in 1994 and tied for second with Topalov and Short in 1995, so it was expected he would do well again. Nigel Short (2695), ranked 8th in the world at the time, participated on behalf of England. He had tied for second with Topalov and Ivanchuk in last year's Novgorod event, but at 31 years of age he was the "old man" playing in this event. Boris Gelfand (2655), ranked 16th at the time, participated on behalf of Russia. Judit Polgar (2655), ranked 18th at the time, participated on behalf of Hungary. She started the tournament as the youngest player to compete, at 19 years old, and celebrated her 20th birthday during this event (her fourth round loss to Kramnik). Together, the combined ratings of the six grandmasters made this year's edition of Novgorod a Category XIX event, the first of its kind. Dubbed "Lord Novgorod, the Great" the tournament ran from July 19th to July 31st. True to his form, Topalov made 1996 his first big year, adding this tournament victory to his string of successes. The final standings and crosstable are as follows:

1 Topalov ** ½0 ½½ ½½ ½1 11 6 2 Ivanchuk ½1 ** ½½ ½½ 10 01 5½ 3 Short ½½ ½½ ** ½1 ½½ ½0 5 4 Gelfand ½½ ½½ ½0 ** ½1 ½0 4½ 5 Kramnik ½0 01 ½½ ½0 ** 1½ 4½ 6 Polgar 00 10 ½1 ½1 0½ ** 4½

Original collection: Game Collection: Novgorod 1996, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Topalov ½-½451996NovgorodE97 King's Indian
2. Short vs Ivanchuk  ½-½261996NovgorodC78 Ruy Lopez
3. Gelfand vs Polgar  ½-½281996NovgorodD85 Grunfeld
4. Gelfand vs Short  ½-½361996NovgorodD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Ivanchuk vs Kramnik 1-0401996NovgorodD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Polgar vs Topalov 0-1351996NovgorodB23 Sicilian, Closed
7. Kramnik vs Gelfand  ½-½511996NovgorodE97 King's Indian
8. Topalov vs Ivanchuk  ½-½331996NovgorodC42 Petrov Defense
9. Short vs Polgar  ½-½501996NovgorodB40 Sicilian
10. Topalov vs Short ½-½511996NovgorodC87 Ruy Lopez
11. Kramnik vs Polgar 1-0551996NovgorodC01 French, Exchange
12. Ivanchuk vs Gelfand  ½-½801996NovgorodE14 Queen's Indian
13. Short vs Kramnik  ½-½231996NovgorodB57 Sicilian
14. Gelfand vs Topalov  ½-½611996NovgorodE92 King's Indian
15. Polgar vs Ivanchuk 1-0431996NovgorodB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
16. Ivanchuk vs Short  ½-½131996NovgorodA14 English
17. Polgar vs Gelfand  1-0421996NovgorodB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. Topalov vs Kramnik 1-0341996NovgorodB57 Sicilian
19. Short vs Gelfand 1-0611996NovgorodB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. Topalov vs Polgar 1-0601996NovgorodB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
21. Kramnik vs Ivanchuk 1-0251996NovgorodD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. Polgar vs Short 1-0581996NovgorodB57 Sicilian
23. Ivanchuk vs Topalov 1-0341996NovgorodB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
24. Gelfand vs Kramnik 1-0621996NovgorodB30 Sicilian
25. Kramnik vs Short  ½-½591996NovgorodD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-12-17  positionalgenius: Pretty incredible a tournament of this magnitude doesn't have a single kibitz.

Some early success for Topalov, one of his better tournament wins. It's also noteworthy for how strong polgar performed.

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