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Welcome on the home page of the 11th Winterthur Chess Week!
(8-15 October 2011)

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Record Victory and Excellent Youngsters
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

GM Igor Rausis (2.), GM Mikhail Ulybin (1.) and GM Evgeny Gleizerov (3.)

Eleventh Winterthur Chess Week officially has been played in two main categories. But this year, the starting list in fact has made it a three category event: Three Grandmasters on top within a 100 Elo range, then a gap of 200 Elo, followed by the rest of all other master players in a range of 400 Elo, and finally the General Open ranging about 600 Elo.

In the uppermost category, the three Grandmasters have played out the victory among themselves, as had to be expected from beginning. Clear winner, for the second time after 2009, is GM Mikhail Ulybin, Ekaterinburg, with the record performance of 8,5 points from nine rounds. Only GM Florian Jenni (2005) and GM Normunds Miezis (2003) each one with 8 points, had a similar performance in the past. In the years before, only 7 points have been sufficient for winning the tournament. On second final rank and one point back we find GM Igor Rausis, on rank three GM Evgeni Gleizerov who is the only one to draw the tournament winner.

Junior Gabriel Gähwiler from Neftenbach on excellent fourth rank may be seen as factual winner of the second master category. With 6 points, he made a very good result, and with his victory against GM Gleizerov he has set the highlight of this tournament.

Final Standings of Master Open

1. GM Mikhail Ulybin (8,5) , 2. GM Igor Rausis (7,5) , 3. Evgeny Gleizerov (7), 4. Gabriel Gähwiler (6), 5. Parvis Nabavi (5,5), 6. Peter Bischoff (5,5), 7. Daniel Borner (5), 8. FM Gabriele Botta (5), 9. FM Bruno Kamber (4,5), 10. Carmi Haas (4,5). Best Junior 14. Jan-Christian Schröder (4,5), best Senior 17. Jean De Lagontrie (4), best under 2200 Elo 12. Christian Salerno (4,5).

Final Table Master Open

Photo Finish in the General Open

In the General Open, after the drawn top game, a gathering of final leaders had to be expected. A quartet of players have ended the tournament with an excellent result of 7 points. Winner is Alfred Dönni (Uznach) by half a Buchholz point, followed by junior Alan Berset (Zurich) and Thomas Schoch (St. Gall) on joint second rank. Fourth is Jon Florin (Zurich), “youngster” of a very special kind for he has begun to play tournament chess only as an adult. Among the top ten, we also find junior Gilda Thode from Grafstal. Denis Perman, youngest of the tournament, lost the last two games and fell back into the middle range. But those who defeated him this year will have to be very cautious for not losing against him next year. And yes, we all hope to see him again in the next Winterthur Chess Week.

Final Standings of General Open

1. Alfred Dönni (7), 2. Alan Berset (7) and Thomas Schoch (7), 4. Jon Florin (7), 5. WFM Claude Baumann (6,5), 6. Gilda Thode (6,5), 7. Stephan Bachofner (6,5), 8. Walter Brandenberger (6,5), 9. Ciril Trcek (6), 10. Alfred Pfleger (6). Best Lady 43. Erika Reust (4,5), best Junior 11. Leonhard Züst (6), best Senior 12. Robert Hofstetter (6), best under 1600 Elo 48. Gallus Tuor (4,5), best under 1800 Elo 23. Hans-Peter Reutimann (5,5).

Final Table General Open

Eigth Round: Master Decided, General Not Yet
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

In the Master Open, GM Ulybin is beyond reach for the rest of the players. All Grandmasters have won their games, also they might do so in the last round because they have played each other already. Gattenlöhner, Borner and Kamber will try not to be GM victims in the last round.

But in the General Open, we shall see a decisive game between the Junior Alain Berset, now leading the table, and former leader Claude Baumann. Both have to win the game if they want to win the tournament for sure. With a draw, there might be a third one laughing at the end, depending on meticulous Buchholz calculation.

Team Blitz: Grosse Klappe Defeats All
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

They have had a big mouth like old Muhammad Ali, and they have proven to be right, just like the Greatest Boxer of All Times: The team “Grosse Klappe” (“Big Mouth” – GM Igor Rausis, Sebastian Gattenlöhner, Carmi Haas, and Benedict Hasenohr) has won all ten rounds. Having an Ali (Habibi) in the team did hot help Gligoric Zurich, this was only good enough for the second rank. Team Bonanza is on the third podium rank. Wurzelturm, OK WiSchaWo Oldies and Pizzapazzer make the tail of the table. Best single player is GM Rausis with eight wins and two draws, worst with ten losses is the writer of these lines. Results

Seventh Round: Double Bishop Sac in the Shadow of Grandmasters
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

Two rounds remaining, the peak of the table with three leading Grandmasters looks quite similar to the starting list. In the shadow of the three, junior Gabriel Gähwiler once more has shown a spectacular game: With the two classical bishop sacrifices on h7 and g7, he defeated De Lagontrie. Gähwiler is now leading a trio, two points behind Ulybin, but still with the hope for a podium finish. One of these candidates is Sebastian Gattenlöhner, the only undefeated master player after GM Ulybin.

In the General Open, besides leader Claude Baumann, four other players have managed not to lose a game in seven rounds. Among these, we find youngster Denis Perman, Dominik Bosshard and Marc-Henry Lavanchy, all half a point back, and last but not least Beat Abegg with five draws.

The Winterthur Chess Stress Test
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

In the Master Open, GM Ulybin is collecting victory after victory in a convincing manner. Three rounds are remaining, but already he looks like the tournament winner. Meanwhile, in the back ranks of the General Open, there has been a lot of drama Wednesday morning and above all in the afternoon or evening. Because Wednesday has been the Winterthur Chess Stress Test.

Stress tests for banks are better known for sure. But in a Winterthur Wednesday, too, capital is the crucial thing to have. Whoever wants to win a game – not dropping a piece before his opponent does so – above all must have a capital of hours slept, in order of not sleeping at the board. Woe to those who had to play three time controls or nerve-consuming battles the day before. Add some hours of sleep debt or even a level of blood alcohol, and it is not easy even for experienced players not to drop pawns or even pieces in two strength-consuming rounds with only a short break in between. Anyway, quite early, boards set back to initial position and stopped clocks have been seen in the tournament hall – and unused analysis boards but wild gesticulations and head-scratching in the corridors and in the restaurant.

Denis Perman from Zumikon, youngster of the General Open and U-10 Swiss Champion, plays an excellent tournament an is yet undefeated. He plays thoughtfully, agrees to draw whenever appropriate, and last but not least hands out carefully written game sheets. Meanwhile, his lag is only half a point behind the three leaders, and he belongs to the fourteen best candidates who still can hope for tournament win. At the moment, WFM Claude Baumann, Thomas Schoch and Andreas Scheidegger are leaders of the General Open.

Youth: Osuna wins, followed by Wolfensberger and Roost
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

A quick draw in the last round has been sufficient for Pablo Osuna from Winterthur to win the Youth Tournament. Due to his high Buchholz value, his victory has been a fact before he made his first move. He won five games and drew twice, also against the leader of the starting list, Matthias Wolfensberger from Pfungen. The latter has been lagging a whole point because he lost against Fabian Bänziger in the second round. On the third final rank we find Till Roost from Kleinandelfingen. Each one of these three has five wins against the rest of the participants table. Final standings

Fourth Round: Ulybin Leading Solo With Full Point
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

The duel between co-leaders Mikhail Ulybin and Igor Rausis saw a decision, it was in favour of Ulybin. The chasing group is now a full point back. GM Gleizerov, after his bad start, has managed to join this group.
In the General Tournament, Thomas Schoch (St Gall) has taken the solo lead with four victories, his last one against Ciril Trcek. Closest followers are WFM Claude Baumann, Michael Krüger and Dominik Bosshard.

Third Round: Two Grandmasters Take the Lead
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

It is hard to repeat an exploit. After his brillant win of yesterday against GM Gleizerov, Gabriel Gähwiler had nothing to lose and did the only right thing – launch all forces to attack. After the first step, a second one has to be taken, thus a Knight had to be sacrificed on f7. But cold-blooded GM Mikhail Ulibin parried all attacks on King and Queen, castled longside, not caring about all the holes there, found a safe place for his monarch and won. Fabian Lang, too, had to pay tribute to his top rank and play a Grandmaster with no chance to save at least a draw. So Ulibin and Rausis take the lead with maximum points an equal Buchholz. Half a point back, Carmi Haas in meanwhile third, but now it is his turn to play a GM. On top, one or two half-points must be lost somehow, giving Gähwiler and Lang a chance to re-approach a little bit.

In the General Tournament, junior Gilda Thode (Grafstal), winning against Günter Stoffregen, has taken the lead, together with Thomas Schoch and Ciril Trcek. The chasing group is led by WFM Claude Baumann together with a dozen of more players, only half a point behind.

Youth: Pablo Osuna One Point Ahead
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

In the Youth Tournament, after three of seven rounds, Pablo Osuna (Winterthur) is clearly leading with three wins, one full point ahead of the higher rated Till Roost (Kleinandelfingen) and Matthias Wolfensberger (Pfungen), plus Daniel Fischer (Pfäffikon SZ). Wolfensberger, first ranked in the starting list, has four rounds remaining for catching up. The direct encounter with the leader is yet to follow and may become the key game of the youth tournament.

Blitz: Grandmaster strikes back
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

Evgeny Gleizerov

Evgeny Gleizerov

Making the headlines as a youngster’s trophy? This cannot be the end of the story, may have thought GM Evgeny Gleizerov when he made the first blitz moves after his spectacular loss of the day. And, in a very convincing way, made seven points out of nine rounds, winning the Blitz with an advantage of three Buchholz points. GM Igor Rausis, on second rank, won seven and lost two games. Sebastian Gattenlöhner (Engen), playing for Winterthur and hence winning the title of City Blitz Champion, showed an excellent performance with one single loss and half a point lag, followed by IM Martin Ballmann and IM Nedeljko Kelecevic, both from Winterthur, one point back. Results

Second Round: Junior from Winterthur Area Defeats Grandmaster
Posted ON By Christian Bachmann

Gabriel Gähwiler (Neftenbach), playing an excellent game, set the highlight of second round, defeating the Russion Grandmaster Evgeny Gleizerov against an Elo difference of nearly 400 points. Fabian Lang (Mönchaltorf), after his unexpected win in the first round, added one more victory against a higher rated opponent. These two, together with the GMs Mikhail Ulybin (RUS) and Igor Rausis (CZE), make the leading quartet without point loss. The chase group, lagging half a point, are Jean De Lagontrie (FRA), FM Bruno Kamber (Olten), Nicolas Dupont (Vessy) and Carmi Haas (Zurich).

In the General Tournament, no less than nine of the first twenty games ended with a draw. From the discussions in the analysis room, the reason easily could be found out: After a good start with a victory, nobody liked to try forcing a win in a good, but somehow unclear position. The leader group without point loss is made of eleven, with WFM Claude Baumann (Ottenbach) on top.

First Round: 40 Percent for the Outsiders
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

The lower half of the Master participants list, playing against an Elo lag of 246, has gained no less than 40 percent of the maximum – about twice as much as the statistical expectation. Four players have managed to defeat distinctly higher rated opponents: Gérard Gorse (FRA), Fabian Lang (Mönchaltorf) and Jean De Lagontrie (FRA) as Black, Hansuli Remensberger (Bassersdorf) as White. Honourable draws can be credited to Bruno Zülle (Frauenfeld), Paul Remensberger (Schwerzenbach), Stefan Wanner (Hittnau) and Urs Leuenberger (Zürich).

The General Open, on the other hand, was reigned by the law of big numbers, emphasizing once more the very good participation in the Winterthur Chess Week. With 6,5 of 45 points, the outsiders met quite exactly the expectation that has been calculated from the outcomes of millions of chess games. Winners against the odds have been Serge Biolley (Winterthur), Michèle Britschgi-Zwimpfer (Sarnen) and Grace Biasi (Laupersdorf), all as White. Otakar Mares (Pfäffikon ZH), Ruth Huber (Winterthur), Emil Eigenheer (Effretikon), Peter Thurnheer (Zürich), Janusz Barczyk (Zürich), Norbert Barz (Winterthur) and André Buob (Bülach) managed to draw higher rated opponents.

Witht 90 participants, the general tournament has topped previous year by eleven; the 30 masters are nine less than before – in total there is a small plus of two participants.

photo slide show (html version)

First Decennial Jubilee
Posted on by Christian Bachmann

Swiss chess life without Winterthur Chess Week? Unconceivable! This has become clear in the ten years that this tournament now has completed. Year after year, it has been attracting more than a hundred chess enthusiasts from all over the world to the beautiful Swiss city, famous for its green parks, for its fine arts and music life – and chesswise one of the most active cities in Switzerland.

Looking at participant lists of past years one cannot help seeing the same names all over again. What else could tell us better that there must be a unique chess atmosphere here in Winterthur? And the First Decennial is by far not the only jubilee to be celebrated in this tournament:

Quarter Centennial of Youth Open

The Youth Open, an important part of Winterthur Chess Week – sometimes completed by Invitation or Young Master Tournaments – has an even longer history, reaching the quarter of a century this year. A look at former winners of the Youth Open is appealing. Two of these young talents, Richard Forster (1990-1992) and Florian Jenni (1994) have reached GM norms and title, Michael Hochstrasser (1993) is now IM and Michael Bucher (2000) is FM.

A Hearty Welcome to All

Have good and attractive games in the fair chess spirit, whatever the outcomes may be, and enjoy your stay here in Winterthur!