SIMPLECHESS

The Spanish league in Sestao

The Spanish Honours division has become one of the strongest national leagues in recent years. The format has been simplified into a one-off six-day event, taking place in Sestao (which overlooks Bilbao) in the Spanish Basque country.
The youthful Kasparov-Marcote team led after the four-round swiss stage.

The top division of the Spanish League is run in two phases, the Kasparov Marcote Chess School coming out ahead. Many of the teams need to import some top-ranking stars in order to compete in this division.

Indeed, as only two of the six players in any match must be Spanish, the richer teams can have as many as four (high-ranking) foreigners (generally on the top boards). There were nine 2700+ players involved of which only one (Shirov) is considered to be Spanish.

Rank Seed Team namePlayed + = - Match pts. Game pts.
1 1 ESCUELA I. KASPAROV MARCOTE 4 3 1 0 7 16
2 7 C.A. SOLVAY 4 2 2 0 6 13,5
3 3 C.A. LINEX-MAGIC 4 2 1 1 5 13,5
4 8 C.A. REVERTE ALBOX 4 2 1 1 5 11
5 4 SCC SABADELL 4 2 0 2 4 13
6 5 MERIDA PATRIMONIO 4 2 0 2 4 12,5
7 2 C.A. SESTAO NATURGAS 4 2 0 2 4 11
8 9 C.E. BARBERA 4 0 2 2 2 10,5
9 6 GROS X.T. 4 0 2 2 2 10
10 10 U.G.A. 4 0 1 3 1 9

In the first round (23rd of August) Marcote only drew but followed up with three victories.

Solvay pulled off a surprise and indeed continued their strong form throughout.

1 ESCUELA I. KASPAROV MARCOTE3 : 3 6 GROS X.T.
7 C.A. SOLVAY 4 : 2 2 C.A. SESTAO NATURGAS
3 C.A. LINEX-MAGIC 2½:3½ 8 C.A. REVERTE ALBOX
9 C.E. BARBERA 2 : 4 4 SCC SABADELL
5 MERIDA PATRIMONIO 4 : 2 10 U.G.A.

Second round (24th of August):

4 SCC SABADELL 2½:3½ 7 C.A. SOLVAY
8 C.A. REVERTE ALBOX 3½:2½ 5 MERIDA PATRIMONIO
2 C.A. SESTAO NATURGAS 2 : 4 1 ESCUELA I. KASPAROV MARCOTE
6 GROS X.T. 1½:4½ 3 C.A. LINEX-MAGIC
10 U.G.A. 2½:3½ 9 C.E. BARBERA

The top two seeds met and Sestao lost out again thus already indicating that they wouldn't finish in the top four.

Third round (25th of August):

7 C.A. SOLVAY 3 : 3 8 C.A. REVERTE ALBOX
1 ESCUELA I. KASPAROV MARCOTE 4 : 2 4 SCC SABADELL
3 C.A. LINEX-MAGIC 3½:2½ 5 MERIDA PATRIMONIO
9 C.E. BARBERA 3 : 3 6 GROS X.T.
2 C.A. SESTAO NATURGAS 3½:2½ 10 U.G.A.

Marcote achieved the biggest wins in both of the third and fourth rounds.

Fourth Round (26th of August):

8 C.A. REVERTE ALBOX 1 : 5 1 ESCUELA I. KASPAROV MARCOTE
3 C.A. LINEX-MAGIC 3 : 3 7 C.A. SOLVAY
6 GROS X.T. 2½:3½ 2 C.A. SESTAO NATURGAS
5 MERIDA PATRIMONIO 3½:2½ 9 C.E. BARBERA
4 SCC SABADELL 4½:1½ 10 U.G.A.

In the fourth round the clash between the two big Basque teams (and eternal rivals!) ended with a narrow win for Sestao (a suburb of Bilbao) over Gros (San Sebastian).

The top four qualify for the semi-finals, starting today whereas the bottom four are at the same time going to be involved in play-off matches to avoid relegation.

Here is a list of the strongest possible team that the semi-finalists can put out:

Kasparov-Marcote:

1Gashimov, Vugar 2719 AZE
2 Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2697 ESP
3 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2671 RUS
4 Smeets, Jan 2669 NED
5 Gustafsson, Jan 2643 GER
6 Salgado Lopez, Ivan 2607 ESP

Solvay:

1 Harikrishna, P. 2646 IND
2 Ganguly, Surya Shekhar 2655 IND
3 Negi, Parimarjan 2615 IND
4 Delchev, Aleksander 2632 BUL
5 Ubilava, Elizbar 2528 ESP
6 Bernal Moro, Luis J. (MI) 2443 ESP

Linex Magic:

1 Shirov, Alexei 2749 ESP
2 Ponomariov, Ruslan 2734 UKR
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2697 ITA
4 Sargissian, Gabriel 2673 ARM
5 Cheparinov, Ivan 2661 BUL
6 Perez Candelario, Manuel (MI) 2517 ESP

Reverte Albox:

1 Dreev, Alexey 2660 RUS
2 Krasenkow, Michal 2628 POL
3 Mchedlishvili, Mikheil 2625 GEO
4 Matlakov, Maxim 2603 RUS
5 Rivas Pastor, Manuel 2525 ESP
6 Ibarra Jerez, Jose Carlos (MI) 2520 ESP

Here are the other notable players present in Sestao and their clubs:

Gros:

1 Bacrot, Etienne 2720 FRA
2 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2699 UZB
3 Van Wely, Loek 2677 NED

Sabadell:

1 Navara, David 2731 CZE
2 Laznicka, Viktor 2638 CZE

Merida:

1 Almasi, Zoltan 2717 HUN
2 Jobava, Baadur 2710 GEO
3 Le, Quang Liem 2681 VIE
4 Rublevsky, Sergei 2688 RUS

Barbera:

1 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro 2653 CUB
2 Postny, Evgeny 2577 ISR
3 Quesada Perez, Yuniesky 2603 CUB

Sestao:

1 Nakamura, Hikaru 2729 USA
2 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2723 FRA
3 Short, Nigel D 2690 ENG
4 Moiseenko, Alexander 2667 UKR

For more information concerning the event go to the Official site


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