Wet Sunday in Mainz
It was raining cats and dogs today in Mainz. After a beautiful day on Saturday, it just did not stop raining on Sunday. Where does this strange expression with the cats and the dogs come from? There are several intriguing possibilities, like this one: on account of the notorious inefficiency of 17th-century sewage and drainage systems, the streets of European cities were often littered with debris and dead animals after heavy rainstorms. They had to come from somewhere, right? As you can see on the picture, the chessplayers needed to protect themselves for the rain and were that happy that they made it to the Rheingoldhalle to play their games in the Ordix Open. And the grandmasters were happy that the players hotel “The Hilton Mainz” and the playing hall are under one roof.
After seven rounds in the Ordix Open, it looked like Levon Aronian was heading for his first Ordix title. The winner of the FiNet Open won some spectacular games in the morning against Radjabov and Naiditsch. However, in the last round before the lunchbreak, he had to play against Alexander Morozevich, but he lost. The Russian grandmaster met his master in round nine, when Teimur Radjabov from Azerbadjan won an impressive game and took the lead. After another win in the penultimate round against German hope Arkadi Naiditsch (“that was one of the easiest games in the tourney”, Radjabov later said) the 18-year old just needed a short draw in the last round against Alexei Dreev to win the Ordix Open!
It is always difficult for a player to decide whether to secure a considerable piece of the money cake or to risk it all, play for a win to get even more pricemoney and reach eternal fame. Dreev decided not to take any risks and offered a draw after only 12 moves, which is understandable on one hand, especially if you have to play with the black pieces against a player who obviously is in great form. On the other hand, thousands of people are watching the game in the hall and on the Net and hope for a “grande finale”. Many people were disappointed to see an empty board after just 10 minutes.
Reporter motivates player!
Fortunately, the other players on the top boards decided to show more fighting spirit. And some of them were just a bit lucky. Pentala Harikrishna from India played against Leonid Kritz and came back into the press room with a big smile on his face. His German opponent blundered a rook and with this “free” point, the youth world champion scored 9 points! The 19-year old always came to the press room after his games to chat on the Net with his friends and to give flash interviews to our colleagues from India. Maybe your reporter had something to do with his good score: I told Harikrishna that he was allowed to enter the press room, but only after a win. And that “threat” seemed to work: “Yes, you motivated me”, “Hari” smiled after the tournament. Hari and I met in Wijk aan Zee a few years ago, when he scored his second GM norm ... in his game against the winner of this Ordix Open, Teimur Radjabov! Radjabov also scored his second GM norm in that particular game in Wijk aan Zee. They both played in the B-group, back in 2001.
Flash interview with Teimur Radjabov
Immediately after it became clear that Radjabov would be the winner of the Ordix Open this year, Hartmut Metz spoke to the happy youngster. Here are a few quotes from that flash interview: “My game against Alexander Morozevich was very important and proved to be decisive. If Moro would have won that game, I am convinced that he would have been the winner in the end. My game against Aronian was also very important. I was completely winning, but somehow managed to lose that game. After that game, I realised that I had to win the rest of my games in order to win the tourney, and therefore I refused draw offers from my opponents. No, in my last game against Dreev, I could not refuse his draw offer. And yes, I would love to play against Vishy Anand in a match in Mainz next year.”
Facts and figures
52 grandmasters were playing in the Ordix Open and we had 139 players with an international FIDE title, so the interested Kiebitzer could watch many interesting games, not only on the top boards. The most interesting position of the day definitely could be seen on the board of Jörg Hickl and Ivan Sokolov, when no less than 5 Queens stood on the board. Hickl, a Queen down, even won the game in the end! With 546 players from more than 30 countries, the Ordix Open attracted more players than last year.
Some results of the most important special categories:
Best female: 1. Nino Khurtsidze 8; 2. Viktorija Cmilyte 8; 3. Alexandra Kosteniuk 7,5.
Best senior: 1. Lajos Portisch 8; 2. Dr. Helmut Reefschläger 8; 3. Sinisa Joksic 8.
Junior U20: Teimur Radjabov 9,5: 2. Pentala Harikrishna 9; 3. Arkadij Naiditsch 8,5
Very special categories:
Best Mayor: Jens Beutel, Mayor of Mainz 6,5 points!
Best couple: 1. Shirov/Cmilyte 8,5+8 = 16,5 2. Grischuk/Zhukova 9+7= 16 3. Aronian/Zigangirova 9+7 = 16
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