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    Entries in Aeroflot 2011 (5)

    Wednesday
    Feb162011

    Aeroflot Ends: Le Quang Wins Again on Tiebreak

    Aeroflot 2011 has come to an end, and in the final results we have a three-way tie for first with Le Quang Liem, Nikita Vitiugov (who beat Ivan Cheparinov with Black in the last round) and Evgeny Tomashevsky all finishing with 6.5/9. Le's name is listed first, though, so I assume until I see otherwise (or until one of my eager readers informs me to the contrary) that he has repeated as champion and will be making a second straight trip to Dortmund. Very impressive!

    Seven players finished half a point back, including one Gata Kamsky. Despite not being in great form, he still finished in the money and with a TPR higher than his current rating, thanks to a strong finish with three straight wins. It wasn't a fantastic performance by any means, but hopefully it's a good tune-up before the Candidates - or rather, before the U.S. Championship and then the Candidates.

    Tuesday
    Feb152011

    Aeroflot Open, Round 8: Le Quang Liem, Cheparinov Lead

    Bad news for Kramnik today, as a member of Team Topalov (or some other word starting with "To") caught up in the Dortmund sweepstakes. Le Quang Liem had the bad luck to face about the only player near the top who seemed to have any ambition (most of the other top games were drawn quickly and without a fight), and lost to Ivan Cheparinov with the white pieces. They are tied heading into the last round of the Aeroflot Open; here are the final round pairings relevant to the race for first.

    Cheparinov (6) - Vitiugov (5.5)
    Mamedov (5.5) - Le Quang Liem (6)
    Tomashevsky (5.5) - Sjugirov (5.5)
    Kasimdzhanov (5.5) - Yu Yangyi (5.5)
    Rodhstein (5.5) - Khismatullin (5.5)

    Monday
    Feb142011

    Aeroflot, Round 7: Le Quang Liem Leads by a Point

    In updating round 6 of Aeroflot, I expressed some doubt about Le Quang Liem's decision to take a short, bloodless draw with White. What did I know? Today, of course, he promptly won with Black against Mikhail Kobalia while all his main rivals drew their games. He leads with 6 out of 7, a full point ahead of seven other players.

    Here are the leading pairings for round 8 (of 9):

    Le Quang Liem (6) - Ivan Cheparinov (5)
    Nikita Vitiugov (5) - Evgeny Tomashevsky (5)
    Denis Khismatullin (5) - Rustam Kasimdzhanov (5)
    Yu Yangyi (5) - Rauf Mamedov (5)

    Sunday
    Feb132011

    Aeroflot Update, Round 6: Le Quang Liem Still Leads

    ...but the pack is getting bigger. No one who started the day within half a point of Le Quang Liem gained any ground, but others did. Le himself was pretty disappointing, drawing with White against Kasimdzhanov in just 13 moves. Throwing away white games is not the way to Dortmund! Kobalia and Tomashevsky drew as well, but there was action on the next boards. Vitiugov beat Jiangchuan Zhou to swap places with his victim and close to within half a point, and Khismatullin beat Kurnosov brought him within half a point as well. So with three rounds to go in the Aeroflot Open, the top pairings for round 7 look like this:

    Kobalia (4.5) - Le Quang Liem (5)

    Kasimdzhanov (4.5) - Vitiugov (4.5)

    Tomashevsky (4.5) - Khismatullin (4.5)

    14 players are a further half a point behind, but Gata Kamsky is not one of them: he lost his second game of the tournament in round 6, and with the white pieces. Not an auspicious performance heading into the Candidates in early May!

    Sunday
    Feb132011

    Aeroflot Update

    A quick look in after five rounds of the Aeroflot Open: Le Quang Liem continues to enjoy solo first place and is in good shape to repeat and make a second trip to Dortmund this July. He defeated Gata Kamsky pretty quickly in round 4, and then enjoyed the better half of the draw in round 5 with the black pieces against Evgeny Tomashevsky. That gave him 4.5/5, and in round 6 he'll have White against Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Kasimdzhanov, along with Tomashevsky, Mikhail Kobalia, and Jianchao Zhou, trails with four points in this nine-round tournament.