Friday, June 24, 2016

Pestaño: Chess memorial tournaments

MEMORIAL tournaments are more common in chess unlike other sports. Almost every country has one and there are probably close to 100 worldwide. Here in Cebu, we have two—the Roger Abella and Loloy Ruelan memorial tournaments.
I am featuring only the major ones which have bigger prizes and attract mostly the international top players.
The Capablanca Memorial has been held annually in Cuba since 1962. José Raúl Capablanca (1888–1942) was a famous Cuban chess master who was World Champion from 1921 to 1927. The Capablanca Memorial became at that time the best paid tournament in the world.  Since 1974 B and C tournaments have been held. The champion of the 2016 edition, which concluded the other day, s Vassily Ivanchuk .
The Rubinstein Memorial is held in Polanica-Zdrój, Poland in honor of the chess legend Akiba Rubinstein, who died in 1961 and the tournament had its first edition in 1963. The main tournament is usually a closed round-robin tournament, while the other side events are open Swiss system tournaments.
The Carl Schlechter Memorial Tournament  is a competition initiated to honor the memory of the leading Austrian chess master Carl Schlechter (1874–1918), who died as a result of injuries suffered in the immediate aftermath of World War I.
The Torre Memorial commemorates Carlos Torre Repetto (1905–1978) and is played in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. The first edition was played in 1987, and from a relatively weak tournament, it has now grown into a strong international tournament.
The Chigorin Memorial is held in honor of Mikhail Chigorin (1850–1908), founder of the Soviet Chess School and one of the leading players of his day. The first and most important edition was the one played in 1909 in St. Petersburg. Later on, the tournament was played in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. From 1993, the venue for the tournament returned to his hometown.
The Leopold Trebitsch Memorial Tournament was organized by the family of Austrian silk manufacturer Leopold Trebitsch. Twenty tournaments were played inVienna between 1907 and 1938. Leopold Trebitsch’s son, Oskar, made more funds available, enabling 11 additional competitions to be held until 1938, when Germany’s annexation of Austria ended the event.
The Max Euwe Memorial Tournament was played mainly in Amsterdam. The last edition of the memorial was held in 1996. It ended because the main sponsor Verenigde Spaarbank (VSB) lost interest.
The Paul Keres Memorial Tournament is played in honour of chess grandmaster Paul Keres (1916–1975) and usually takes place in Vancouver, Canada and Tallinn, Estonia. It is an annual international chess tournament that has been held in Tallinn every other year since 1969. Since 1999, this tournament also had a women’s section.
The Milan Vidmar Memorial commemorates Milan Vidmar (1885–1962), a leading Slovenian grandmaster. The first Vidmar Memorial was held in June 1969 in Ljubljana. In subsequent years, the tournament has been held in several different Slovenian cities.
LEUVEN TOUR. Magnus Carlsen was totally dominant in the Leuven Grand Chess Tour last June 17-20. The World Champion won the rapid part and easily overwhelmed the opposition in the blitz part, securing the title a couple of rounds in advance.
The race to second place was between Wesley So and the Armenian Levon Aronian. So’s “don’t lose any games” strategy seemed to pay off, as he bested the Armenian by half a point, collecting 10 grand chess tour points and $30,000.
So is now tied for the lead with Hikaru Nakamura in the Grand Chess Tour standings as Carlsen will not be playing in the St.Louis and London legs.

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