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Friday, December 22, 2006

Ukraine's Ivanchuk Grabs the Cup at Mexican Chess Tournament


Ukranian Grand Master Vasily Ivanchuck regained the title of the international chess tournament Carlos Torre Repetto which was held in the Mexican city of Merida, in the state of Yucatan, from December 14 through the 22.

Ivanchuk, who ranks 6th on the FIDE's list with an ELO rating of 2741 points, had been the champion of the 2004 edition. This time, he won the title after defeating Cuba's Bruzon in rapid games 1.5 to 0.5, while the Cuban player had grabbed last year's cup.

Tthe match concluded with a couple of draws in the morning and afternoon rounds, so it was necessary to play the 15-minute games. The first also ended tied after 41 moves. But in the second the Ukrainian, who was playing with whites, was able to beat Bruzon in 36 moves.

Speaking with the press, the new champion said that he had done his best to win the competition, especially in the last match. He also said he hoped to have given satisfaction to the spectators at the Olimpo culture center, which was the venue of the event.

More info on Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk, also transliterated as Vasyl (born March 18, 1969), is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster. Ivanchuk has an ELO rating of 2741 on the FIDE October 2006 ratings list, making him number six in the world and Ukraine's number one.

Ivanchuk was born in Berezhany, Ukraine, and reached chess world fame at the age of 21 when he won the Linares tournament in 1991. Fourteen players participated, eight of them rated top-ten of the world, including World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, while the rest were all among the world's top 50 players. It was a close call between Ivanchuk and Kasparov, but Ivanchuk won by half a point, and he also managed to defeat the world champion in their encounter in the following game (moves given in Algebraic chess notation):

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 Nf6 5.O-O cxd4 6.Qxd4 a6 7.Bxd7+ Bxd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.c4 e6 11.Nc3 Rc8 12.Kh1 h5 13.a4 h4 14.h3 Be7 15.b4 a5 16.b5 Qc7 17.Nd2 Qc5 18.Qd3 Rg8 19.Rae1 Qg5 20.Rg1 Qf4 21.Ref1 b6 22.Ne2 Qh6 23.c5 Rxc5 24.Nc4 Kf8 25.Nxb6 Be8 26.f4 f5 27.exf5 Rxf5 28.Rc1 Kg7 29.g4 Rc5 30.Rxc5 dxc5 31.Nc8 Bf8 32.Qd8 Qg6 33.f5 Qh6 34.g5 Qh5 35.Rg4 exf5 36.Nf4 Qh8 37.Qf6+ Kh7 38.Rxh4+ 1-0

It was believed that Ivanchuk would become World Champion, but this has still not happened, although he came close in 2002 when he reached the finals of the FIDE World Championship Knockout. Even though he has been consistently among the top 10 since 1990, ranked as high as number 2 on a few occasions, he has played poorly in matches which require a different approach than tournament play. Most chess fans blame this on his weak nerves and his tendency to blunder in critical positions.

"Big Chucky", as Ivanchuk is called, has been described by Viswanathan Anand as the most eccentric player in the chess world. Anand, tongue-in-cheek, gave his view on Ivanchuk like this:

He's someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.
The players have a word for him. They say he lives on 'Planet Ivanchuk'. (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.
For a while he was trying to learn Turkish. Don't ask me why ... Everyday is a surprise with him.
When he plays, Ivanchuk rarely looks at the board. Instead he stares at the ceiling and at the walls with a blank stare. His playing style is unpredictable and highly original, making him a threat to any chess player, although sometimes also leads to quick losses.

Major tournament wins include Corus 1996, and Linares 1989, 1991 and 1995. Ivanchuk lost to Ruslan Ponomariov in the final match of the 2002 FIDE World Chess Championship. In 2004 he won the European Championship, in 2006 he came in second.

Source Wikipedia

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