Ivan "the Ice Breaker" Cheparinov Wins in Gibraltar

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 07/02/14, 05:16.

On Thursday Ivan Cheparinov defeated Nikita "The Iceman" Vitiugov in the playoff final to clinch his first victory at the 12th Gibraltar Chess Festival. The two grandmasters had finished shared first with Vassily Ivanchuk, who lost to Vitiugov in the semi-final. 

Photos © Sophie Triay & John Saunders

This report starts after seven rounds, when Vassily Ivanchuk and Surya Ganguly tied for first place. Obviously they were paired against each other, and it was a really nice game by Chuky! 

Ivanchuk moved to 7.0/8 and behind him were Gata Kamsky and Richard Rapport, who both won their games to reach 6.5 points. Kamsky outclassed the Spanish IM who had played surprisingly well up to that point.

Behind Rapport and Kamsky sharing fourth place were no fewer than 18 players on 6, including top seeds Michael Adams and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The latter gave a wonderful Masterclass that evening about his exciting game with Ding Liren played last year at the Alekhine Memorial in Paris:

The big clash in the penultimate round was Kamsky versus Ivanchuk, but this game was over in no time. Whereas the American went for his favorite non-theoretical 2.Bf4 system, the Ukrainian played one of the most principled replies, which was theoretical, and led to an early move repetition:

After buying two chess clocks for his school in Lviv, Ivanchuk joined the commentary of the round, spoke a bit about this game and looked at some other games.

On board two French number one Maxime Vachier-Lagrave beat Hungary's Richard Rapport in an ending, while top seed Mickey Adams fell back in the standings after a draw with Baskaran Adhiban of India. 2013 winner Nikita Vitiugov won a B vs. N ending against Ganguly:

Last year Zhao Xue won the top ladies prize, and in this round she improved her chances of claiming it for a second time significantly. Her vicitim was Pentala Harikrishna:

For the last few rounds, Simon Williams and Irina Krush were joined by a guest commentator

Going into the final round, Ivanchuk was still the sole lead with 7.5 points. On 7.0 were Vachier-Lagrave, Vitiugov, Kamsky, Dreev, Cheparinov, Al-Sayed and Zhao Xue. Playing Ivanchuk as Black, Vachier-Lagrave had to try and win his game and just like in the final round last year (when he played 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 e6!? against Vitiugov), the French GM put the board on fire at an early stage:

Two of the players on 7 points won their game and caught Ivanchuk in first place: Ivan Cheparinov and Nikita Vitiugov. Cheparinov didn't have an outstanding tournament, but he won in the last three rounds against Bela Khotenashvili, David Anton Guijarro and then Gata Kamsky:

Vitiugov had less trouble beating Zhao Xue:

This meant that Cheparinov, Ivanchuk and Vitiugov would play a tiebreak to decide on the winner. The drawing of lots was "won" by Cheparinov, who could sit and watch while the other two played the "semi-final". There was some debate about whether this was fair (it would have made sense to have Ivanchuk, with the best tiebreak, qualifying for the final directly) but at least Cheparinov was the one who had the longest round 10 game, so he kind of deserved the longest break too!

Ivanchuk and Vitiugov drew their two rapid games (10 minutes + 5 seconds per move) and then it was "the Iceman", as commentator Simon Williams nicknamed the Russian last year, who won both blitz games (3 minutes + 2 seconds):

In the first game of the final, Cheparinov became "the Icebreaker" as he defeated (the pun "crush" would be too much) Vitiugov at his own territory: in quiet, positional style.


The second game was drawn and so Ivan Cheparinov became the overall winner and took the cheque of 20,000 pounds! Both Muzychuk sisters played in Gibraltar this year and whereas Anna wasn't feeling well and scored badly, her younger sister Mariya scored a GM norm, won the top women's prize of 15,000 pounds and another 2,000 pound rating prize!

Three GM norms were scored and all by women! Besides Muzychuk, Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia and Tan Zhongyi of China also made a norm. Guo Qi of China scored an IM norm.

Below you can replay the live commentary of the playoff produced by yours truly together with Lennart Ootes. Good news: we'll be doing the same for the Reykjavik Open: daily live shows with commentary. This will also be available on Chess.com/TV - don't miss it!

Gibraltar Masters 2014 | Round 10 Standings (top 50)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 Rp rtg+/-
1 3 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2739 8 2846 2837 13,9
2 4 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2737 8 2832 2825 10,2
3 17 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2672 8 2742 2737 8,8
4 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2745 7,5 2807 2798 8,8
5 13 GM Rodshtein Maxim ISR 2682 7,5 2780 2776 13,7
6 14 GM Li Chao B CHN 2680 7,5 2735 2731 8,3
7 29 GM Adhiban B. IND 2590 7,5 2720 2720 18
8 16 GM Dreev Aleksey RUS 2673 7,5 2712 2709 6,1
9 68 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed QAT 2476 7,5 2672 2669 26,2
10 1 GM Adams Michael ENG 2754 7 2717 2710 -3,1
11 11 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2691 7 2709 2705 3,9
12 9 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2706 7 2705 2702 1,2
13 7 GM Kamsky Gata USA 2709 7 2693 2691 -0,3
14 39 GM Hansen Eric CAN 2559 7 2679 2679 18,2
15 20 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2658 7 2676 2672 4,1
16 10 GM Navara David CZE 2702 7 2672 2667 -2,3
17 6 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2715 7 2668 2666 -4,4
18 15 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2677 7 2668 2665 0,7
19 55 IM Muzychuk Mariya UKR 2503 7 2654 2654 21,4
20 26 GM Wei Yi CHN 2607 7 2650 2650 7,2
21 28 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2597 7 2642 2642 7,5
22 22 GM Agdestein Simen NOR 2627 7 2616 2615 -0,2
23 37 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2564 7 2596 2596 5,7
24 67 IM Henrichs Thomas GER 2477 7 2569 2566 14,1
25 34 GM Zhao Xue CHN 2567 7 2566 2561 2,5
26 77 GM Zhukova Natalia UKR 2449 7 2558 2553 15,9
27 30 GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2582 6,5 2633 2633 8,2
28 43 GM Spraggett Kevin CAN 2544 6,5 2629 2629 12,9
29 23 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2619 6,5 2613 2608 2
30 54 GM Xu Jun CHN 2510 6,5 2612 2612 13
31 33 GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2572 6,5 2605 2605 5,8
32 5 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2733 6,5 2598 2591 -13,2
33 41 GM Gopal G.N. IND 2550 6,5 2596 2596 7,7
34 84 IM Javakhishvili Lela GEO 2430 6,5 2591 2584 22,5
35 12 GM Short Nigel D ENG 2683 6,5 2572 2569 -12
36 32 IM Dvirnyy Danyyil ITA 2574 6,5 2569 2569 1
37 49 GM Oparin Grigoriy RUS 2517 6,5 2567 2567 8
38 66 IM Raznikov Danny ISR 2479 6,5 2558 2535 13,1
39 45 GM Libiszewski Fabien FRA 2533 6,5 2548 2548 3,6
40 31 GM Vocaturo Daniele ITA 2582 6,5 2545 2545 -3,2
41 24 GM Dubov Daniil RUS 2614 6,5 2538 2528 -7,6
42 19 GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2661 6,5 2531 2508 -14
43 51 GM Cmilyte Viktorija LTU 2515 6,5 2489 2489 -2,1

Photos © Sophie Triay & John Saunders | Thanks to Alice Mascarenhas & John Saunders for providing much information.

Letto 8828 volte 15 commenti
5 voti


  • 3 anni fa


    the Iceman was melted down 

  • 3 anni fa


    Great tourney.....thanks to all for a great event.

  • 3 anni fa


    Great tourney. Congats to all for a great event.

  • 3 anni fa


    @_valentin_ - it's not that the tiebreak games are bad in general, it's the ridicolous fashion in which the organizers decided to play them out. I mean tossing a coin for who has the better chances to win ? in one of the biggest and best open tournaments out there with tons of gm's and money to win ? really ? They really couldn't come up with anything better ? Come on.. If they really want chess to start to be taken professionally and not as a just some old guys, moving pieces around type of activity, they need to step up their game and stop this nonsensical rules right now..

  • 3 anni fa


    In the Cheparinov-Vitiugov game shown, in the endgame phase, I wondered for a moment why not 45...Kf5 (instead of 45...f6, which lost relatively simply) 46.Kg3 Ke4, and black wins back a pawn...  The answer is: 45...Kf5 46.d5! -- and white wins even quicker.

  • 3 anni fa


    The Berger system is quite adequate to determine actual merit and strength of achievement (by which Ivanchuk had the highest score), but many tournaments tend to prefer actual tie-break clashes possibly as a way to add "spice" to the show (having the top players battle it out).  Otherwise, they wouldn't resort to funny and fairness-questionable policies like these...

    At least the top-3 included, rightfully, two of the most recent winners of this same tournament - Ivanchuk (in 2012, if I recall), Vitiugov (in 2013), and now a new winner's face.

  • 3 anni fa


    On move 12 of Ivanchuk, Vassily (2739) vs. Ganguly, Surya Shekhar (2619) Why didn't white play d5?

  • 3 anni fa


    There should not be a tiebraker on this type of open tournament.

    This open tournament had a triple tied for first place and it is "normal" to add the prize of the first, second and third place and divided by three. 

  • 3 anni fa


    Great games! Truly excellent and detailed coverage by Peter Doggers.

  • 3 anni fa


    I don't won't why claims on fairness are based only in time to rest...

    Chepa didn't have to play the semifinal, so even without the rest factor he had 50% chances of winning the tie-breaks with Chucky and Vitiugov having 25%

    If we sum up Vitiugov arrived the final after having had to play 4 games against Ivanchuck... basically his chances were less that 25%

    And Chepa haven't had to played longer to reach the tie-breaks is nothing he needed to be compesated for... he actually missed the way to won faster

    He pretty much won the tourney in the lottery...

    It would have being better apply the Berger system that throw a coin and Ivanchuck should have won

  • 3 anni fa


  • 3 anni fa


    That tournament was pretty good, buuut.. It had a pretty lacking live game coverage, commentators were shown too much. And the tie-break rules made no sense at all.. If there's 3 players with the same score, you should have made it - who wins 2 mini matches in a row, wins the tour. The way they did things doesnt make sense, because Cheparinov had to win only one match to win the whole tournament, while either Ivanchuk or Vitiugov (in this case Vitiugov) would have to win 2 matches to be 1st..

    That's pretty ridicolous if you ask me.. 

    And also there is that thing with "the best woman performance" prize.. (19th place won 17k and 1st place only 3k more, because 20k..)  Yeah.. Overall a good tour, but I hoped it would be better.. 

  • 3 anni fa


    still, noo rich's games. What hapenned?

  • 3 anni fa


    That's cool, that one can score the 6th highest TPR and still finish joint first like Cheparinov did.

    But when you start poorly in swiss system and play your best game in the last rounds, you will have had less strong opponents than the others at the top, am i right?

  • 3 anni fa


    a very exciting tournament which also features the world's best...

Torna a inizio pagina

Pubblica la tua risposta: