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    Entries in Mateusz Bartel (2)

    Monday
    Feb272012

    Weekend Events: Bartel Wins the Polish Championship, Plus Karpov Plays in the Bundesliga

    Mateusz Bartel is having himself quite the month! First he wins Aeroflot, thereby gaining entry into the Dortmund super-tournament this summer, and now he has won the Polish Championship. Bartel tied for first with Bartlomiej Macieja with 7/9, and then won the first rapid playoff game to win the title. (The second was unnecessary, according to Chess Today, as Bartel would have won based on a superior tiebreak score even if Macieja had won the rematch.) His rating has also been going up, and according to a tweet from 2700chess his rating is up to 2691.8, almost (but not quite) good enough to get to the tweeter's website.

    This past weekend saw rounds 10 and 11 of the Bundesliga, and featured a surprise appearance - a participatory appearance! - by former world champion Anatoly Karpov. (He pushed against IM Martin Kraemer, but couldn't quite overcome the latter's resistance and the game was drawn.) For those who care about such things, OSG Baden-Baden leads with 20 match points after 11 of 15 rounds; Werder Bremen has 19 and SC Eppingen has 17. Most of us have no investment whatsoever in the team aspect of the event, but with many excellent players participating in the league (e.g. Giri, Naiditsch, Volokitin, Vitiugov and Vallejo, to name some of the more prominent figures playing this past weekend) it's worth having a look at the games all the same.

    You might suspect based on my last comment that I will now present a game. Your suspicion is right - but the game is from Bartel's performance in the Polish Championship. Have a look at his last round win over Tomasz Markowski.

    Thursday
    Feb162012

    Aeroflot 2012: Bartel, Korobov and Eljanov Tie For First; Bartel Wins on Tiebreak

    As all of you probably know by now, Polish grandmaster Mateusz Bartel took first on tiebreaks at the 2012 Aeroflot Open and won an automatic place in this summer's Dortmund super-GM event. He played five games with Black, while Ukranians Anton Korobov and Pavel Eljanov (second and third, respectively) had five white games in the nine rounds. Korobov led much of the way, but had a big setback in round 7 when he lost to Eljanov. In round 9 he had his chances with White against Bartel. His pawn sac on move 21 was good, but 23.d6 seems to have been inaccurate, and after that Bartel managed to hold on.

    Those three had 6.5 points, half a point ahead of five players. In tie-break order, 4th-8th places were taken by Alexander Khalifman, Maxim Rodshtein, Fabiano Caruana, Hrant Melkumyan and Dmitry Andreikin.

    For Khalifman, this was probably his best tournament in quite some years. In his youth he was considered a tremendous talent, and despite some years of underperformance and having already semi-retired he managed to win the FIDE K.O. World Championship in 1999, defeating Dibyendu Barua (by far his lowest-rated opponent and toughest match!), Gata Kamsky, Karen Asrian, Boris Gelfand, Judit Polgar, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Vladimir Akopian. Since then his main claim to fame has been his work as an openings book author (the repertoire books "according to Anand" (and Kramnik, and - a long time ago - Karpov), but every once in a while he shows a little ambition and reminds the chess world of what he can do.

    I'll also single out Caruana, who was the second seed here. With White he was devastating, but with Black he lost to Korobov in round four and - horribly - to Bartel in round seven, and couldn't quite catch up.

    The top seed, Evgeny Tomashevsky, finished in 17th (tied for 9th-25th with 5.5 points). He went undefeated, but was unable to convert several clearly better positions into victories. Still, by comparison with some other elite players, that result was a success. Two-time defending champion Le Quang Liem never managed to get on track, and finished with a disappointing 4-5 score. It's a brutally tough open, as Le finished one spot ahead (on tiebreaks) of another 2700, Francisco Vallejo Pons.

    It has been a while since I've presented any games here, so I'll rectify that a bit with two offerings. First, the Bartel-Caruana blowout from round 7, and second a peculiar Schliemann from the final round. Black tried a line I've never seen before, and I don't expect to see it ever again. Still, as someone has played the variation off and on for a very long time I'm intrigued. How often do you see a new try on move five, especially in a line you know - or thought you knew - very well??