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Dmitry Jakovenko wins European Chess Championship

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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Image
A good old picture featuring Vladimir Potkin (European Chess Champion-2011), Dmitry Jakovenko (his successor) and Natalia Pogonina

After 11 rounds of intense chess fights 176 GMs and many other strong players from all over Europe have determined who this year's champion will be. For the 4th year straight the title goes to a Russian player. This time the winner was Dmitry Jakovenko (2729), born in 1983, who was rated #5 in the world and #1 in Russia in 2009, but then suffered somewhat of a setback and lost his place in the Russian national team. In the final round he was in a must-win situation against French GM Laurent Fressinet, who had half a point more than Dmitry. GM Jakovenko emerged as a solo winner with 8.5/11 and a performance of 2832.

Top-20 players were awarded with prizes (total prize fund: 100, 000 euros - the same as the women's event, but distributed between 20 players instead of 14). Also, the same people have qualified for the next World Chess Cup. Naturally, if some of them have secured their qualifications spots earlier, then the right is passed on to the players who have finished right out of the top-20.

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The Russian players have proved their dominance once again: 50% of the top-20 places were occupied by members of the RCF

The tournament was dimmed by a few scandals: first a few players failed to show up on time for the round because of summer time switch confusion. Then Mamedyarov got forfeited for arriving just a few seconds late at the board. Moreover, Shakhriyar agreed to a draw against IM Alonso Rosell before move 40 in the next game (which violates the ECU tournament rules), and the arbiter decided to adjudicate the game 0-0, i.e., forfeit both the players. A similar situation has occured in GM Baron Tal vs GM Safarli Eltaj game. Even in the final round some of the players didn't show up at the board, or came too late (like Antoaneta Stefanova).

Some of the underdogs have shown some very impressive performances. For example, 14-year old FM Kiril Alekseenko (2367) from Russia managed to win a GM norm and over 60 rating points. Georgian IM Azaladze Shota (2419) - 34 points and a GM norm. FM Boruchovsky Avital (2333), Israel, - 66 points and a GM norm. IM Paichadze Luka (2491), Georgia, - 15 points and a GM norm.

Arguably, the greatest upsets of the event were: Caruana Fabiano (2767), seeded 1st, finished 38th and lost 7 rating points. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2752), 2nd seed, withdrew from the tournament and lost 26 rating points. Anish Giri (2717), seeded 4th, placed 91st and lost a virtual seat in the 2700+ club by decreasing his rating by 22 points. Boris Grachev (2705), seeded 9th, ended up being 81st with 15 ratings points scattered away. And so on.

The best women's result was demonstrated by WGM Irina Bulmaga (2307). She performed at 2500-level and earned 38 rating points. Interestingly enough, she has also played at the Women's EC, but less sucessfully - a performance of 2409, ranked #34.

Full standings at Chess Results
Official website

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 31 March 2012 )
 
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