The 54th edition of Reggio Emilia’s tournament has began and this year the tournament has a double prestige – great protagonists and a parallel woman tournament, in which three Italian stars will compete against three strong WGM from Eastern Europe.
Ippogrifo Chess Club from Reggio Emilia, the omnipresent Ezio Montalbini and Accademia Internazionale di Scacchi are organizing the whole event.
In the main tournament we have three players from the past edition:
– our Fabiano Caruana, who has recently won the Italian championship in Perugia by finishing with 10 points out of 11 and who is ready to reach the top 10 in the world
– Vassily Ivanchuk, number 6 in the world who is always ready to delight the audience with his creativity
– Alexander Morozevich, who this year came back among the giants of chess
– the American hard-fighting Hikaru Nakamura, who is living a golden period as just few weeks ago he got a second place behind Kramnik at the London Chess Classic
– last but not least we find two rising stars GM Nikita Vitiugov and the Dutch GM Anish Giri
In the parallel tournament there are Marina Brunello who is leading the Italian forces composed by Maria De Rosa and the local player Marianna Chierici.
Draw of lots gave Ivanchuk number one (Vassily spoke to the audience in Italian).
First round presented a great battle between Ivanchuk and Giri which turned to be quite interesting right from the opening. It looked like Ivanchuk can win against the young opponent, but that’s not how the game went, and after a series of exchanges (not all of them forced) the Dutch player succeeded in maintaining the position to finally draw.
Analysis will tell us if and how white could have won.
The first result coming in was that Nakamura won against Vitiugov. Probably white has played a doubtful Bb5, but the black crucial move is certainly Qf6.
In defiance of the classical rules on the structure, black doubled his pawns on the f-file. Old players’ memories go to the famous Smyslov- Reshevsky, Moscow 1948, where the great Russian champion played similar moves.
The most important game of the round is certainly Caruana – Morozevich, which has attracted IM Giulio Borgo’s attention in the analysis room.
The sharp Zaitsev variation of the Spanish opening. After the theoretical sacrifice of a pawn the Russian gets positional compensation but not enough to reach more than equality. In the crucial moment Caruana has given back the pawn to achieve an advantage, but the tough rule of zeitnot has taken a heavy toll, and on the last moves, before the fortieth, white was loosing control and lost the game too.
The woman tournament: in the derby between De Rosa – Chierici the black sacrifice didn’t produce desired outcome and with a good play De Rosa gets the victory. Marina Brunello had a bad day and lost in an interesting game against Guramishvili. A mistake in calculation has betrayed Iva Videnova, who lost with white against Anna Sharevich.
It’s just the first round but the matches are already extremely exciting. Two of the favorites have already won with black pieces. We will see what happens, we’ re just at the beginning…