4 March 2017

Reacting Without Fail

Big picture report by Eteri Kublashvili from a blitz tournament for the Region Group of Companies Cup.

On March 2, immediately after the end of Aeroflot open, there took place in the hotel "Cosmos" yet another interesting contest - a blitz tournament for the Cup of Region Group of Companies.

Prior to the blitz (which started at 10:00 - an absolute deadly time for players) Alexander Bach, Mark Glukhovsky and Andrzej Filipowicz awarded winners of three Aeroflot Opens. And then, just a few minutes later, pieces would start moving on 100 boards, intermittent with clock buttons pressing.

200 participants played 9 tandem rounds Although the rating list was topped by Blitz World Champion Sergey Karjakin,  the favorite failed to replicate his lightning Doha's success to the chagrin of his many fans and the show was run by others. However, Sergey was heavily recruited by mass media nonetheless and it were his games that would gather the largest crowd of spectators anyway.

There is no disagreeing that the tournament shaped well for Anton Korobov, who eventually became its winner with a brilliant result of 15.5 out of 18 points.

With one round to go the Ukrainian grandmaster was retaining lead of one and a half points over Rauf Mamedov, but even when the latter made two pretty quick draws with Alejandro Ramirez, Anton continued fighting Yu Yangyi and eventually defeated the Chinese 1.5: 0.5.

Immediately after the game Anton modestly commented on his success:

- This is a smile of Fortune - that's all it is. The main thing is that my reaction did not fail me at the right moment. I managed to keep good control of the time as well as to demonstrate more or less stable performance level, even if not a high one, throughout the entire tournament. I lost my match to Rauf Mamedov with a 0.5-1.5 score. Match game two, in which I managed to hold out, proved decisive and I was on a roll afterwards.

Rauf Mamedov, who was in the lead for a long time, got slightly "stuck" in rounds six and seven by making draws in matches with Emilio Cordova and Yu Yangyi, upon which the first table was occupied by Anton Korobov. The Azeri grandmaster ended up with 13.5 points to take clear second.

Places three to five were shared by the Russians Daniil Dubov, Nikita Vitiugov and the American Alejandro Ramirez with 13 points each. As a result, best additional tiebreakers enabled Dubov taking the "bronze". 

Men's rapid and blitz events nemesis Valentina Gunina has once again shown an excellent result by finishing 11th with 12.5 points under her belt. A very decent performance against top level players was demonstrated  by young Andrey Esipenko, who scored 11.5 points. A firm foothold was secured by the Iranian player Parham Maghsoodloo.

Final standings 

Tournament broadcasting was organized by the company "Chesskast", while the course of the struggle was explained by our country’s foremost commentator Sergey Shipov.

The closing ceremony saw the winner and prize-takers awarded by the tournament director Alexander Bakh and Deputy General Director for market investments of the REGION Group of companies Konstantin Komissarov.

The tournament director Alexander Bach thanked the REGION Group of Companies for assistance in organizing the competition and declared  the tournament closed, bidding farewell to the participants until next year.