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Aeroflot: Impressions & Puzzles

User Rating: / 1
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Aeroflot is the strongest open chess tournament in the world. This years edition is the 10th. The four  main features of the festival are:

  • A group (players over 2550 with a few exceptions female stars, prodigies, etc.)
  • B group strong players rated between 2300 and 2550
  • C group amateurs below 2300
  • World Blitz Championship Qualification a nine double-round event featuring some of the worlds finest blitz players wishing to qualify for the Final and win prizes (10,000 for 1st)

The winner of the main event gets 20,000 and the coveted invitation to the Dortmund super-tournament. As it is quite hard to obtain the lucky ticket to such an elite event, many top pros are willing to take a chance. Among the 86 players of the A group, there are two ex-FIDE World Champions (Kasimzhanov and Khalifman), an ex-Womens FIDE World Champion (Kosteniuk), five 2700+ grandmasters (Kamsky, Movsesian, Jakovenko, Vachier-Lagrave, Vitiugov) and over 40 (!) 2600+ players. The defending champion, Le Quang Liem (2664), is also taking part and leading the tournament so far.


Playing hall (photo by Anna Burtasova) 


GM Ivan Salgado (Spain) preparing hard to play against Alexandra Kosteniuk (photo by Anna Burtasova)

A focused Ivan Cheparinov (2665), both a strong GM and Topalov's second (photo by Sergey Sorokhtin)

Alexander Khalifman believes chess is a draw, and is the only player who drew all his six games so far (photo by Sergey Sorokhtin)

The fragile Nazi Paikidze (2455) may not be a rating favorite, but male spectators still approach her board quite often (photo by Sergey Sorokhtin)

For a number of reasons, so far I havent been doing well at the tournament. However, even playing at the low, relatively unprestigious boards, I had good company around me: GM Daniele Vocaturo (who has just won Tata Steel C, and is in clear last at Aeroflot so far); ex-Womens World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk, Norwegian prodigy and Chess.coms member GM Jon Ludvig Hammer (2647) and other well-known and strong grandmasters.

Mikhail Kobalia (2666) analyzing his game vs Evgeny Tomashevsky (2695). Yan Nepomniatchi (2733) and IM Mikhail Nedochetov as kibitzers (photo by Sergey Sorokhtin)


Rating favorite Gata Kamsky (2730) got himself a special "Soviet army" haircut (photo by Anna Burtasova)


Daniel Vocaturo (2570) with 0.5/6 is hiding his sorrows under the cap (photo by Anna Burtasova)

The atmosphere at the event is warm and friendly. Most participants stay at the hotel in the same building as the playing venue and get to socialize with each other. Unfortunately, there is no commentary or press room, and relatively few spectators. Just the playing hall, analysis room, and a few stands with chess goods. Nonetheless, one can often meet interesting visitors whose names should be recognized by all chess fans Mark Dvoretsky, Artur Jussupow, Igor Glek, Ruslan Ponomariov, Sergei Karjakin, Yan Nepomniatchi, etc. Even at one of the local supermarkets you can still see familiar faces. When trying to buy a few special lime drinks there today, I met a cheerful Wesley So, who decided to quit the tournament after drawing five games and losing one against lower-rated opponents.

Now lets take a funny and extremely instructive challenge. Imagine yourself in the crowded hall of Aeroflot, while all the exciting matches are happening before your eyes. You have the chance to come up with the correct solutions faster than the grandmasters themselves. Here are a few interesting picks:

There are also more important things than chess. Enjoy the St.Valentine's Day & spend it with your loved ones! Wink

P.S. Other puzzles can be found at the original article at

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Comments (4)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 17:36 15 2011 .
Hello Natalya! 
You look great in the pic! Thanks for bringing us these chess gold nuggets. It is discovering those winning combinations that make the game so addictive and makes one come back for more. Also I can pick them up right here on the website. Impossible at home to filter out games like the above while hundreds are played during the tournament.  
Thanks for keeping us posted.
2. Written by on 02:20 16 2011 .
! -))) -- ))) .
3. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 09:36 15 2011 .
no title just my rate 1818
I am happy to know you , actual too much happy
4. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 05:31 13 2012 .
I take strong ojeictbon to this question. 1.We live in a democratic world. We have had enough labels already. Now to create a new bias/apartheid/discrimination by saying who is nicely dressed or not is not correct do we define nicely dressed the concept varies for everyone 3.some people look stylish while others don't in the same clothes i am not saying attention should not be paid to dressing properly but then attention should not be paid to not dressing properly. each to his own. 4. Dress sense varies from country to country and continent to continent. We cannot define what is good dressing. thank you. I would also like to make another topic as I am first here on this very impressive chess site by ms madonna the very intelligent and very charming Ms Chess Queen. I like much all your chess ideas, material and topics. I appreciate you give free platform for views to fans and chess public. We play new chess here since only some months. Thank You.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 February 2011 )
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