Donostia Chess Festival Print
Friday, 30 December 2011 04:04
chess newsDonostia Chess Festival has started on 28th of December in San Sebastian and will be held till 6th of January 2012. It is devoted to the centenary of the famous chess tournament in San Sebastian won by José Raúl Capablanca in 1911.

The list of participants includes 10 players rated over 2700.  Organizers of the event decided to use “Basque system” which allows participants to play two simultaneous games with different colors against the same opponents (time control - 2 hours for all moves + 30 seconds per move).

The second round (which followed the first preliminary round) appeared to be not an easy one as most of the players faced the new "Basque system", which allows participants to play two simultaneous games with different colors against the same opponents, for the first time in their lives. After the second round only 32 players, who won their matches, continue their participation in A-group while the others keep on playing in B-group.

Most of the rating favorites won their matches but some of them had to play the tie-breaks (two simultaneous games with 15 min+10 sec per move and in case of draw, two simultaneous blitz games with 5 min+3 sec and an Armageddon game in case of drawish result of previous matches) in order to pass.

3 matches were decided during blitz games: Felix Izeta defeated Eric Prie, Christian Bauer won against Sarhan Gashimov and Fabien Libiszewski was stronger in the match against Daniel Almeida Toledano. On the second board Shakhriyar Mamedyarov took an upper hand on the local player IM Inigo Argandona Riveiro (2381 Elo). Even so the match went difficult for the player from Azerbaijan as the first game, where he had white pieces, was drawn in 16 moves and the result of the second one was unclear till the end.

The third round will start at 3 p.m. local time. 32 players will fight for 16 places in A-group.  All players who lose will be redirected to Tournament B.

After the matches some players shared their impressions about their games and expressed their attitude to “Basque system”.

Former World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova:
“Actually it was quite funny to play two games against the same opponent. I can say that I enjoyed it. It went well from the beginning. I was playing fast and put some problems to my opponent. After the match my opponent Stefan Loeffler said that in both games he mixed moves in the variations. Still it’s difficult to make conclusions – only one round passed. I’ve never played the tournament like that before, so I expected to be more confused with all those actions – playing, writing moves in different score sheets, pushing buttons on clocks. Loek Van Wely told me he had played the tournament on the six boards against the same opponent. So since we have only two here it can not be so difficult. After playing blindfold games in China nothing can scare me! As long as I can see the board I can play 10 games at the same time.”

Live games with computer analysis

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