The World Senior Chess Championships 2012 was officially opened in Kamena Vourla, Greece. 109 players in the open section and 21 players in the women section, coming from 39 countries, started competing for the highest title for seniors over 60 years of age and ladies over 50 years.
Many legends of Chess participate in this year’s World Seniors Chess Championship, including 12 GMs, 14 IMs, 4 WGMs, and 51 titled players. See the full participants lists open section / women section.
No major surprises were seen at the top boards of the Open section. Rating favorites GM Vaisser, GM Sveshnikov, GM Timoscenko, GM Balashov, IM Sharif, IM Zhelnin, GM Jansa, and GM Okhotnik were successful in round 1.
Mihail Davydov, Alexander Schneider, Lachlan Benson, Werner Baumgarten, Boris Belokopyt, Emanuel Maman, and Ian Finlay have a reson to celebrate as they held to a draw their titled opponents IM Jens Kristiansen, GM Nikolai Pushkov, IM Herman Van Riemsdijk, FM Boris Gruzmann, IM Leon Piasetski, FM Philip Giulian, and IM Arnold Zakharchenko.
In the women section the rating favorite GM Nona Gaprindashvili started with a victory against a titled opponent – WFM Olga Lopatin. Her closest competitor, second seeded WGM Strutinskaya, was also successful as she defeated WFM Khropova. However, all other contenders above 2150 ELO were stunned in this round. WGM Ludmila Saunina lost to WFM Mira Kierzek, WGM Elena Fatalibekova was held to a draw by WFM Natalia Beliaeva, and WIM Swietlana Miednikova drew with the untitled Irina Kabanova.
The pairings of tomorrow give a national derby on board 1 with GM Gaprindashvili against WIM Melashvili. Another same country encounter is WIM Titorenko – WFM Bogumil, while other top matches include WGM Khmiadashvili – WGM Strutinskaya, WIM Beltz – WFM Ankudinova, and WIM Miednikova – WFM Kierzek.