Gukesh makes a Golden debut for Prilep at 36th European Chess Club Cup 2021
GM D Gukesh is consistently doing well. Exactly a week after winning his second consecutive tournament, Norway Chess 2021 Masters, Gukesh made a stellar debut at the 36th European Chess Club Cup 2021. He scored 5.5/7, performed at 2815 and gained 18.7 Elo rating points which earned him an individual Gold medal on Board no.1 ahead of Mamedov, Mamedyarov, Donchenko, Grischuk, Korobov, Harikrishna and Svidler. The 15-year-old's impressive debut at the star-studded event, took his live rating to 2640. Prilep finished 14th overall, Gukesh lived up to his billing of top player of the team with a top-notch performance. Harikrishna and Sasikiran won team Silver for AVE Novy Bor for third consecutive year. Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia
Harikrishna and Sasikiran win Silver for Novy Bor
Pentala Harikrishna and Krishnan Sasikiran along with Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL), David Navara (CZE), Markus Ragger (AUT), David Anton Guijarro (ESP) and Mateusz Bartel (POL) won Team Silver for the third consecutive year (2018, 2019 and 2021) which means AVE Novy Bor made a hat-trick of Silver medal wins. Navara, Anton and Bartel won individual Gold medal on Board no.3, 5 and 7 respectively.
Gukesh started the tournament with a very nice win against IM Peter Schreiner (AUT).
Gukesh - Schreiner, Round 1
21.c4 discover attack is a powerful move as it gives White a decisive advantage, 21...Nc6 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Bxb5 Rxa2 24.Qd7 forces the queen exchange.
GM Johan-Sebastian Christianssen buckled under pressure in the second round.
Christiansen - Gukesh, Round 2
36.Nf3 would have kept White afloat a bit longer. 36.g3 allows Black to finish things off immediately, 36...Rh8.
In the third round, Gukesh made a solid draw against the legendary eight-time Russian champion and FIDE World Cup 2011 winner, Peter Svidler.
GM Aleksandar Indjic's (SRB) invasion with the king in the fifth round turned out to be fatal for him.
Gukesh - Indjic, Round 5
Black needed to play Kd4 without the 39...Rf1+. 41.Rf3 forced the exchange of rooks 41...Rxf3+ 42.Kxf3 Be8 43.Kf4 now the Black king is a point of no return. Gukesh converted his advantage into a win comfortably.
Gukesh defeated GM Vladislav Nevednichy (ROU) in the sixth round.
Nevednichy - Gukesh, Round 6
Position after 27.Qb3
27.Qb3 alleviated the pressure on the e4-pawn. 27...f4 28.Bxb6 Qb7 now the f3-threat is looming large and White's b6-bishop is also in a pin. White gave up the bishop with the hope of getting some offense, but got none.
Watch Gukesh receive his Gold medal
Gukesh was appreciated by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
He also thanked Toni, captain of team Prilep for giving him the opportunity to play on Board no.1.
Replay Gukesh's games
Harikrishna scored an important 3.0/6 for his team, Novy Bor. His sole win of the event was against Peter Svidler in the fifth round.
The tournament took place in Struga, North Macedonia from 18th - 24th September 2021.
Final standings on Board no.1
|2||GM||Mamedov Rauf||2654||AZE||Vugar Gashimov||2794||0||5||70,0||3|
|4||GM||Donchenko Alexander||2641||GER||Skakfelag Selfoss||2747||0||7||71,4||5|
|6||GM||Korobov Anton||2685||UKR||Silla-Valencia Origin of Chess||2724||0||7||64,3||9|
|7||IM||Noe Christopher||2518||GER||De Sprenger Echternach||2671||0||7||78,6||37|
|8||GM||Berkes Ferenc||2671||HUN||Team XtraCon||2660||0||7||64,3||6|
|9||GM||Harikrishna Pentala||2725||IND||AVE Novy Bor||2648||0||6||50,0||2|
|10||GM||Svidler Peter||2701||RUS||Mednyi Vsadnik||2626||0||6||41,7||1|
Final Standings in Team
|2||3||CZE||AVE Novy Bor||7||5||2||0||12||201,5||27,5||172,5|
|9||5||ESP||Silla-Valencia Origin of Chess||7||4||1||2||9||201,0||26,5||180,0|
|13||8||NOR||Offerspill Chess Club||7||4||0||3||8||143,0||25,0||150,5|