June 26, 2014 10:47

Ivanchuk & So Lead Edmonton International After Round 5

The two top seeds of the Edmonton International, Vassily Ivanchuk and Wesley So, are sharing the lead after five rounds. Both players won four games, and drew against each other. Like every year, the Canadian tournament is a 10-player round robin designed to score IM or GM norms.

The 9th Edmonton International Chess Festival takes place 21-29 June at the Edmonton Chess Club. Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, located on the North Saskatchewan River. It is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region.

The festival includes a 5-round Swiss, a lecture by Irina Krush, a simul by Wesley So and a blitz tournament. The main event is a 10-player all-play all, with a group of players that stretches from Elo 2744 all the way down to 2168. The tournament is a possibility for local players to score norms, but that won't be easy!

Besides four international grandmasters (Wesley So, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sam Shankland and Irina Krush) and one from Canada (Anton Kovalyov), there are two IMs (24-year-old Raja Panjwani, Elo 2440 and 15-year-old Richard Wang, Elo 2365), two FMs (36-year-old Vladimir Pechenkin, Elo 2311 and 46-year-old Dale Haessel, Elo 2168) and “FM elect” Alex Yam, Elo 2299.

Sam Shankland is a last-minute replacement for Lazaro Bruzon, who won last year's edition convincingly but had to withdraw due to a family emergency.

Round 1 in action, with Irina Krush-Anton Kovalyov in front

Haessel's participation seems a bit out of place, although he's quite capable of upsetting players of a very high caliber, as the official website notes: “In the 2012 edition Dale upset GM Victor Mikhalevski thus preventing the GM from possibly winning the first place in the competition. In the last round of the 2013 edition of the event, Dale managed to draw GM Nigel Short.”

But this year it's not happening. Mr Haessel lost his first five games (like Axel Yam), and especially the last one didn't look good.

PGN string

Generally speaking, the top players tend to outplay their weaker opponents mostly on calculation, especially when their opponents refuse to “believe” them. It's always a good not to trust your opponent too much, but if his name is Ivanchuk... 

PGN string

Pechenkin had a similar experience. Maybe he didn't like his position anyway, or maybe he really thought that his 2700-opponent was blundering a pawn? Well, he wasn't!

PGN string

Ivanchuk also scored an interesting win against the Canadian grandmaster:

PGN string

So's win over Panjwani was quite spectacular:

PGN string

Wesley So, playing black in round 1 vs Richard Wang

The top clash was played in round 4, and ended in a draw. Ivanchuk was pressing in an ending, but couldn't break the Philippine GM's defense:

PGN string

Edmonton International 2014 | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 So,Wesley 2744 2876 phpfCo1l0.png ½   1 1   1   1   4.5/5 10.75
2 Ivanchuk,Vassily 2738 2867 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1   1     1 1   4.5/5 10.25
3 Kovalyov,Anton 2636 2558   0 phpfCo1l0.png     ½ 1   1 1 3.5/5 3.25
4 Shankland,Sam 2632 2549 0     phpfCo1l0.png   ½   1 1 1 3.5/5 2.75
5 Panjwani,Raja 2440 2585 0 0     phpfCo1l0.png 1   1 1   3.0/5  
6 Krush,Irinia 2484 2449     ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½     1 2.5/5  
7 Wang,Richard 2365 2398 0   0     ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½   1 2.0/5  
8 Pechenkin,Vladimir 2311 2321   0   0 0   ½ phpfCo1l0.png   1 1.5/5  
9 Yam,Alex 2299 1838 0 0 0 0 0       phpfCo1l0.png   0.0/5 0.00
10 Haessel,Dale 2168 1686     0 0   0 0 0   phpfCo1l0.png 0.0/5 0.00

The Edmonton International takes place 21-29th June in Edmonton, Canada. All photos © Vlad Rekhson courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Chess.com Member's picture


observer's picture

Right. Looks like about the level of discussion we can expect at Chess.com.

Third's picture

Has anyone ever written First and then gotten outdone by the real first comment? Must be humiliating.

Jhoravi's picture

Thanks for sharing your experience :)

observer's picture

More importantly...who gets the last comment before the switch tomorrow

frenchfries1's picture

me! lol hahah, go gm wes!

Chess.com member's picture

The post above is an impersonation (note the uppercase "M", which I didn't use for my previous comments). Some people claim that the discussions at Chess.com are poor-quality, yet impersonation is their sole "argument".

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the coverage of this tournament.

Chess Fan's picture

I was unable to go to Canada for this event this year. Visiting there and seeing these players live in action is a good chess experience.
I even wanted to seriously participate in the event and see how I do, though it (my participation) continues to remain a dream.
So the coverage provides me a vicarious experience against players I would have seen in action or actually played.
Thanks Chess Vibes.

RG13's picture


Vítor Almeida's picture

Go Chuky!!

Greco's picture

This just came in....Magnus Carlsen will participate in a three day chess festival titled "MAKING S3 CRY DAY".

loulou's picture

i believe Ivanchuk can still make it in this tournament, as per many guys on icu (funny website to give your opinion and check later who was right/wrong). http://goo.gl/qjZ6aJ

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