Tbilisi, «Nona-75!» ACP begins, the President wins

After Stavangaer, St Louis and the blitz tournament with Mr THIRTEEN himself participating, the series of interesting events is not over, but simply impossible to keep track of. Amongst events of the second rank (in terms of media attention, certainly not strength) the biggest interest certainly goes to that devoted to the 75th birthday (on 3 May) of the legendary Nona Gaprindashvili. Among the 69 players, one third (26) were GMs, and what GMs! Younger generation: Baadur Jobava, Sergey Zhigalko, and Evgeny Romanov were at the head of the table; great interest was aroused by the participation of the veterans Oleg Romanishin and Kiril Georgiev; and the winner was from the middle age range!

The author of the project and ACP President pointed out that "Nona-75" is not just part of the ACP Tour, but also among the ACP Open Series. A characteristic of the series is financial support (from 3,000 - 5,000 Euros per tournament) and special conditions for ACP «Premium Members».

The winner said that his most important games were in rounds 7-8, which allowed him to move ahead and keep the lead to the end of the tournament. 

Shanava - Sutovsky

19…Rbd8 20.Bxe6 Nxe5 21.Rxe5 – There is not a back rank mate yet, but… 21…Bf6 22.Bxh6?! – In Konstantin's justification we can point out that 22.Вb2 does not save the game, and just prolongs his suffering. 22…Bxe5 23.Re1 Rd4 24.Qh5 fxe6 25.Rxe5 Qf7 – White resigns (0:1).

Konstantin Shanava in fighting mood

The following round saw a game with great fireworks, and an entertaining final position:

Sutovsky-Gagunashvili

White has a comfortable advantage, but instead prefers to start a sharp battle: 25.f5 Nb5 26.fxg6 hxg6 27.Rxa5 Bxa5 28.Rd1 Ra8 29.Qxc6 Qxc6 30.Nxc6 Rac8 31.Ba4 Nc3 – The queens leave the board but the intensity of the fight does not drop!

32.Nxa5 Nxd1 – Given the further course of the game, the decisive mistake. He should have taken the bishop. 33.Bxe8 Rxc1 34.Ne5 Rc2 35.Kf3 f6 – Maybe he should not give up the pawn so readily? (35…Rf2) 36.Nxg6 Rf2 37.Kg3 Rc2 38.Nc6 Rc3 39.Kg2 Rc2 40.Kf3 Rf2 41.Kg3 Re2 42.Nce7 Kh7 43.Nf8 Kh8 44.Nfg6 Kh7 45.Ba4 Re3 46.Kf4 Rd3 47.Nf8 Kh8 48.Neg6 Kg8 49.Bc2 – The white-squared "killer" either gets the rook or the black king.

Black resigns (1:0). After drawing with Sergey Zhigalko in the final round, Emil ensured himself a tie for first place, and was the winner on tie-break. 

Once, Oleg Romanishin was asked jokingly "What do you think about drawing five games in a row?" and replied "I'd rather lose five in a row!". The uncompromising play of the legendary Lvov GM is part of folklore and in Tbiulisi, Oleg Mikhailovich was true to himself: 

Merab Gagunashvili realised his advantage energetically in round five:

Kuparadze - Gagunashvili

51.Bb6 Rxh3 52.Kg2 Rh4 53.Be3 Bc5 54.Bf3 Bxg4 55.Bxg4 Rxg4 56.Kh2 Rf4 57.Qd2 Rh4 58.Kg2 Rxe4 59.Bxc5 Rg4 60.Kf1 Qxc5 – White resigned (0:1). 

Ovanes Gabuzian showed energetic play in many games, and tied first on 7 points, although ended second on tie-break. 

K Georgiev - Gabuzian

18…b5 19.Nf3?! – Kiril decides against the aesthetic but "too pretty" 19.cxb5 Bxd4 20.Rxc7 Bxf2 21.Kхf2 Qc7, and here something seemed unpleasant to the Bulgarian GM. But Stockfish disagrees:  22.Qc1 and White is fine. 19…bxc4 20.bxc4 Rd8 21.Nd2 Be7 22.e3 Nd7 23.Nb3 Ne5 24.Na5 Rdd7 25.Rc2 d5 26.Bf1 Bf6 27.Be2 Nc6 28.Nxc6 Rxc6

29.Rdd2? – He should have thought about saving himself in the opposite bishop position (29.е4) 29…Rdc7 30.Bd3 dxc4 – and despite desperate resistance, Ovanes realised his advantage on move 71 (0:1).

Evgeny Romanov (Russia) and Sergey Zhigalko (Belarus) were just half a point behind the winners...

In the traditions of the Nona school, the Georgian ladies competed well against the visitors. No doubt it was nice for Nona Terentievna once again to see her pupils doing well. 

Maia Lomenashvili: family and home take up a lot of time, but how can one live without chess?!

You can find detailed results from "Nona-75" here

Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10