A double round robin grandmaster tournament in the Bulgarian seaside resort of Burgas has come to an end. The event was a contest between representatives of the six countries with Black Sea shorelines. The fate of first place was decided in the final round, when the leader Ivan Cheparinov had no problems drawing against Jobava, while Vladimir Malakhov, who had been half a point behind, lost with Black to Nisipeanu and ultimately shared 2-3rd place with his conqueror.
The Bulgarian grandmaster had a remarkably steady tournament, winning mini-matches 1.5:0.5 against all the players other than Nisipeanu. For Cheparinov that was already his third tournament success this year: in April Ivan won the Bulgarian Championship with 10/11, while in August he also won the strong Politiken Cup in Denmark.
Malakhov, despite losing to the Bulgarian in the 1st round, fought for victory until the last, but in the 10th round Vladimir ran out of steam. Nisipeanu, meanwhile, was like a steamroller at the finish – 3.5/4 in the final rounds after he’d fallen to -1 by losing to Areshchenko at the start of the second half. The Ukrainian ultimately finished on 5.5 points.
The main suppliers of points were Baadur Jobava, who’d also recently collapsed in Amsterdam and scored -3 here, and Suat Atalik, who didn’t manage to win a single game while suffering six losses… Against the backdrop of 2700 players the Turkish grandmaster almost stuck out like a sore thumb, but his invitation was probably connected to a desire to show support for Suat after the “chess embargo” that was imposed on him.
The final standings were:
Ivan Cheparinov – first on the Black Sea