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Capablanca Memorial (Elite) Tournament

Krishnan Sasikiran6.5/10(+3 -0 =7)[games]
Vassily Ivanchuk5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Samuel Shankland5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Kacper Piorun5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez4/10(+1 -3 =6)[games]
Emilio Cordova3.5/10(+0 -3 =7)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2017)

The 52nd Capablanca Memorial was played in Hotel Arenas Blancas in Varadero, Metanzas, Cuba, 27 May - 6 June 2017. Rest day: June 1. Time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 30 more minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from the start. The Indian Krishnan Sasikiran won with 6.5/10.

Official site: ChessBase report: TWIC: Chess-Results:

01 02 03 05 05 06 1 Sasikiran ** 1 1 1 6 2 Ivanchuk ** 10 0 11 5 3 Shankland 0 01 ** 1 1 5 4 Piorun 0 1 ** 0 1 5 5 Ortiz 00 0 1 ** 4 6 Cordova 0 0 0 ** 3

Category: XVII (2656). Chief arbiter: Jose Luis Ramirez Diaz

The Open tournament was won by Yusnel Bacallao Alonso ahead of Andres Felipe Gallego Alcaraz, both with 7.5/10.

Previous: Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2016). Next: Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2018)

Other websites: 1) 2) 3)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Cordova vs Ivanchuk ½-½222017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A04 Reti Opening
2. Sasikiran vs K Piorun 1-0282017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)C96 Ruy Lopez, Closed
3. S Shankland vs I R Ortiz Suarez 1-0462017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
4. I R Ortiz Suarez vs K Piorun 1-0272017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B12 Caro-Kann Defense
5. Ivanchuk vs Sasikiran  ½-½152017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. S Shankland vs E Cordova  ½-½182017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)C10 French
7. K Piorun vs Ivanchuk ½-½412017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A11 English, Caro-Kann Defensive System
8. Sasikiran vs S Shankland ½-½182017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)E06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
9. E Cordova vs I R Ortiz Suarez  ½-½212017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)D10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
10. I R Ortiz Suarez vs Ivanchuk 0-1382017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B66 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6
11. E Cordova vs Sasikiran ½-½352017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)D78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
12. S Shankland vs K Piorun  ½-½822017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A20 English
13. Sasikiran vs I R Ortiz Suarez  ½-½252017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
14. K Piorun vs E Cordova  ½-½422017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B32 Sicilian
15. Ivanchuk vs S Shankland 1-0502017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)E15 Queen's Indian
16. I R Ortiz Suarez vs S Shankland ½-½102017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. K Piorun vs Sasikiran  ½-½152017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)C53 Giuoco Piano
18. Ivanchuk vs E Cordova ½-½312017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)C11 French
19. K Piorun vs I R Ortiz Suarez  ½-½292017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A15 English
20. E Cordova vs S Shankland  0-1322017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A33 English, Symmetrical
21. Sasikiran vs Ivanchuk  ½-½382017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)C42 Petrov Defense
22. I R Ortiz Suarez vs E Cordova  ½-½252017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A46 Queen's Pawn Game
23. S Shankland vs Sasikiran  0-1592017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A20 English
24. Ivanchuk vs K Piorun 0-1332017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)B33 Sicilian
25. K Piorun vs S Shankland  ½-½102017Capablanca Memorial (Elite)A07 King's Indian Attack
 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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: At the halfway mark (and before the rest day) , after the second win in a row, Ivanchuk leads with 3.5/5.

Today (June 1st) is a rest day. It seems that the Newton's law applies to this tournament (with a lot of 'resting' chess): A body in rest will continue to be in rest!

Sun, sea, chess … and rumba.

How to spend a rest day in Varadero, a resort town in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, the main Cuban tourist resort of sun and sea?

Matanzas is the birthplace of Rumba. Leaving the quality of chess aside, it would be nice to be with Chucky, Shanky, Sasi and company in Varadero these days when Marimba Rhythms start to play …

Jun-01-17  Sally Simpson: The location may have something to do with the toothless chess on display.

On many an occasions whilst playing my Saturday afternoon game in a weekender at a sunny seaside resort I've often thought:

"Why am I here in this stuffy room putting myself through this when I could be in the sea or lolling about on the beach eating chocolate ice cream, chatting up scantily clad females or riding on a helter-skelter."

The best chess gets played at dull bleak boring dreary cold places, that is why I am looking forward to the Norway event about to be played at Stavanger.

Jun-01-17  number 23 NBer: I don't know, Chucky's win over Shankland was certainly quite impressive!
Jun-01-17  Sally Simpson: It was a good but the draws under 30 moves including the one move draw are tainting the tournament.

Roll on Norway.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally> I don't know how to comment on your blog, but your readers might more easily recognize <The Chess Struggle <in> Practice> as Bronstein's (and Vainstein's) great Zurich 1953 tournament book. Also, when not writing delightful chess books, David's friend Boris was a secret policeman -- an officer in Stalin's N.K.V.D. You've probably noticed how I feel about Botvinnik being portrayed as an evil apparatchik and Bronstein as a choirboy....
Jun-01-17  stst: <Chucky's win over Shankland was certainly quite impressive!>

Echoing my previous comment: Chucky getting a warm-up, then ... accelerates...but too soon to his finish yet. Shanky is better than Shaky...

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: "With five rounds to go everyone still has something to play for."

Jun-01-17  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

I know Vainstein was KGB and fell out of favour when Stalin died.

A friend of mine actually asked Bronstein at a bookstall how much of The Chess Struggle he actually wrote and he admitted Vainstein did it all...

...then he picked up one of Vainstein's other books (if I recall it was something on the Opening) saying "a lot of my ideas are in here, I contributed, but my name is not on the cover!"

True Botvinnik is often the baddie and Bronstein the goodie. I can get that, how can anyone dislike Bronstein. Never seen anyone who knew him say a bad word about him.

My friend also relates Bronstein picked up another book (not one of Vainstein's) and called it a crime against chess and the author a butcher.

As this is 2nd party hearsay I won't go into detail.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: It would be very naive to give Botvinnik the black hat and Bronstein the white hat. All humans have multiple aspects of their characters, and multiple conditions determine which of them come to our knowledge.

It is evident that the sometimes arrogant party-communist and dry scientist Botvinnik had lesser appeal both in the West and among the Soviets who were in hidden opposition to the rather oppressing system. And that Bronstein, the spontaneous artist with a gentle character would appeal to many more.

By reading "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" it stood clear to me that Bronstein created the role of a victim with Botvinnik being the symbol of everything that worked against the enfolding of his artistic talents. In this autobiography Bronstein appears quite egocentric and partly paranoic. I write this while being a huge admirer of him as a chessplayer.

Of course, Botvinnik was also egocentric, but he was primarily a scientist and reading countless annotations by him, he, like Alekhine btw, muster a clear objectivity in their valuation of chess-related issues.

None of them, Bronstein, Botvinnik, Alekhine, had much insight in their own personalities. They seem never to have been in doubt that they were right. I would rather give that capability of insight to players like Keres and Anand.

But while making assessments on players from the Soviet era, one must never ignore that the system itself had a huge impact on what character you were able to unfold.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Hi K.P.
I know Vainstein was KGB and fell out of favour when Stalin died.>

OK, if you're talking about him being a nonperson, then you might want to mention that little fact. Upping the ante slightly, if you were writing about Hans Frank getting hanged, I'd expect you'd have something more to say than that he was a lawyer and a big chess fan.

<I can get that, how can anyone dislike Bronstein. Never seen anyone who knew him say a bad word about him.> Keep reading.

<sokrates> Nice post.

Jun-02-17  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

I mentioned enough for what I wanted to do. I wanted to show the Bronstein game so added the Vainstein - Bronstein link, 'upping the ante' even slightly is not what I'm about.

I leave it to others if they are interested to look into these things.

If I ever stumble across a Hans Frank game where he sets or falls into a cute instructive trick/trap my RHP lads have fallen into I might use it.

You might want to add all the other background details etcetera and etcetera but to me for that purpose he would be just a name in a game.

Hi Sokrates,

"Bronstein appears quite egocentric and partly paranoic..."

With very very few exceptions all the great players were and still are.

Jun-02-17  Nf8: E Cordova vs Sasikiran, 2017

<cro777: Using chess to explain science: The law of preserving energy.

In round 4, Emilio Cordova and Krishnan Sasikiran agreed to a draw after White played his first move (1.d4 and draw agreed). There has been some debate over the ethics of the practice, but the players usually do this to preserve energy in a tournament.>

<et1: This is no good for any tournament Both players should get zero because they did not play or white would won by forfeit>

<alexmagnus: Actually to me this game is more honest than making ritual 15-20 moves and agreeing to a draw. At least they don't pretend to pla when they do not play.>

As might have been expected, it was a transmission error. According to the tournament bulletin (, the actual game went:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 c6 7.a4 a5 8.Na3 Na6 9.b3 Bf5 10.Bb2 Nb4 11.Nh4 Be6 12.e3 Ne4 13.Qe2 Qd7 14.Nc2 Na6 15.Rab1 f6 16.Rbc1 Rfc8 17.Nf3 Nc7 18.Nfe1 b6 19.f3 Nd6 20.Na3 Bh6 21.Rd1 b5 22.Nd3 bxc4 23.Nc5 Qe8 24.bxc4 Bf7 25.cxd5 cxd5 26.e4 e6 27.Bh3 Rcb8 28.Bc3 Nb7 29.Nxb7 Rxb7 30.Nc2 Qxa4 31.Rb1 Rb3 32.Bd2 Bxd2 33.Qxd2 Rab8 34.Ra1 Qc4 35.Ra5 Qc3 1/2-1/2

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Geoff, you're not normally this obtuse. If you're going to respond, please answer the argument I actually made, and not that little strawman you put up.
Jun-02-17  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

What argument have you made?

You are telling me what you would expect me to write if I were to mention Hans Frank. I replied I don't think so.

Basically you are telling me what you would expect me to do and then condemning me for doing what ever it is I have not done....and making an argument out of it.


Brilliant! I too was caught by CG's slip. I think we all were. (unless of course you created a false website and made up that game, which would be equally brilliant.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hi Geoff,

LOL to the egocetricity. You're right, of course, but it's an aspect sometimes forgotten, when you speak about the giants from the past.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <....Tony Miles and Stewart Reuben did the same thing in the last round of the Luton 1975 tournament. The game is recorded as a draw (Miles needing a draw for first place, and his opponent wanting a draw for a high placing), but later, after the score-sheets have been scrutinised, the organiser writes to both players requesting the return of the appropriate prize monies, as their actions are deemed an infraction of the rules (a player may only offer a draw at the moment he has made a move and must then start the other player's clock).>

Reuben won those few quid back--with interest--at his next sesh of pot limit Omaha in London.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Sally Simpson: Hi K.P. What argument have you made?

You are telling me what you would expect me to write if I were to mention Hans Frank. I replied I don't think so.

Basically you are telling me what you would expect me to do and then condemning me for doing what ever it is I have not done....and making an argument out of it.>

No, that's not what I'm doing. Anytime you want to talk about Boris Vainstein's chess writing, you're obviously under no obligation to say anything about him. But if you say that he was a "nonperson" that no one was allowed to say anything about in Soviet Russia, and say nothing more....that creates an image of Vainstein in the reader's mind that is quite at odds with the reality that he was a high-ranking officer in one of the most brutal internal security forces that the world has ever seen. That's all.

Jun-03-17  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

I see now where you are coming from.

"....that creates an image of Vainstein in the reader's mind that is quite at odds with the reality...."

I've always been at odds with reality.

The idea is you jump into my 'Never Never' land for a moment or two. Hopefully raise a smile and possibly pick up an idea or two.

And jump back out again.

Did you think one was serious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Ivanchuk leads after 6 rounds.

"Ivanchuk still has youth desire to learn everything around and seek answers for most challenging question. Perhaps, that is the main lesson we can take from him!" (Vladimir Grabinsky)

The following position arose in the sixth round in Ivanchuk vs E Cordova, 2017 in the Classical System of the French Defense :

click for larger view

Here, Ivanchuk played 9.h4 followed by h5 (more common continuation is 9.Nd1 followed by c3).

The same position had arisen in the last year's edition of the Capablanca Memorial in Y Kryvoruchko vs Ivanchuk, 2016

As you may guess, Kryvoruchko against Ivanchuk continued with 9.h4 followed by h5.

Vasily Ivanchuk – a drawing by renowned Bulgarian cartoonists Alla and Chavdar Georgievi:

Jun-03-17  BUNA: <Sally Simpson><keypusher>I'd like to add a couple of words, first about Boris Vainstein. Vainstein was a mathematician and economist, who between 1938 and 1953 rose to high ranks in the soviet ministry of interior (NKVD). He wasn't just some lieutenant colonel of the NKVD, but the deputy chief of the economic planning division of the ministry where he worked directly with Beria.

After the death of Stalin in march of 1953 the whole politburo was afraid of Beria becoming his successor. The NKVD/MGB was so powerful - literally a state within the state, that they had to employ the army to arrest Beria and other high ranking officers. Beria and a few others were sentenced to death; Vainstein simply lost his position and became a 'non-person' for a couple of years.

Between 1942 and 1945 Vainstein was also the head of the soviet chess federation! So it is really hard to think of a more powerful ally than Bronstein had in Vainstein when he challenged Botvinnik.

I recently read an interview with Viktor Savelievich Zheliandinov, a lesser known soviet master who in the 1980ies trained the team of soviet ukraine. Here is what he had to say about the world championship in 1951:

"In the winter of 1951 the assembly of the russian team [not the soviet team!] took place in some holiday house of the oil industry. There Bronstein's team had already gathered to prepare for the match against Botvinnik. I remember how much Isaac Boleslavsky, Alexander Konstantinopolsky, Semyon Abramovich Furman and Lev Aronin worked. There was even a fifth trainer but I don't remember whom it was. What a difference to Botvinnik's team which consisted only of Viacheslav Ragozin!"


Jun-03-17  JimNorCal: I see the resemblance
Jun-03-17  Sally Simpson: Hi Buna,

Thank you. But this background info on Vainstein will probably be of more interest to K.P. than me.

(was not Salo Flohr part of Botvinnik's team in 1951 as well. He has been listed as Botvinnik's second for the 1951 match in various places.)

Jun-05-17  Dirkster: Re 1300patzer - You are absolutely correct! Draws under 50 moves should be awarded ZERO points, 50 moves and over the standard 0.5 point. Also: wins should be 2 points and losses -1 point. That should shake things up a bit! (I confess I have no idea if it's in the right direction - I haven't analyzed it - but it sounds like a good start! Or... a bad end.)
Jun-10-17  JimNorCal: GM Piorun had a rocky start but climbed back to 50% and 4th place.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BUNA> Thanks as always. I understand some believed that Beria would liberalize the regime had he succeeded Stalin.
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