SIMPLECHESS

Vladimir Okhotnik wins World Seniors

The 2011 champions
The 21st World Senior Championships took place in Rijeka, Croatia from the 15th to the 26th of November. A last round victory with Black enabled Vladimir Okhotnik (now of France, formerly of the Ukraine) to beat Bojan Kurajica, and finish the tournament with 9/11. The Russian Galina Strutinskaya is the new Women's Senior Champion.

Participation in the men's event requires that the players are more than 60 years old. To be precise, that their sixtieth birthday be before the 1st of January 2011. Former Ukrainian Champion Okhotnik for example was born in 1950.

The two previous winners met on board two, but a decisive result on board one determined the 2011 champion.

The last round pairings on the top boards:

Board Seed Title Name Rating Pts. Result Pts. Title Name Rating Seed
1 2 GM Kurajica Bojan 2532 8 0 - 1 8 IM Okhotnik Vladimir 2427 15
2 10 GM Cebalo Miso 2446 ½ - ½ GM Vaisser Anatoly 2555 1
3 4 GM Timoscenko Gennadij 2483 1 - 0 IM Leskovar Mario 2316 36
4 9 GM Komljenovic Davorin 2451 1 - 0 GM Kovacevic Vlatko 2482 5
5 19 GM Rajkovic Dusan 2416 7 1 - 0 7 GM Rashkovsky Nukhim N 2517 3
6 8 GM Suba Mihai 2458 7 ½ - ½ 7 GM Chernikov Oleg L 2402 23
7 26 IM Karasev Vladimir I 2377 7 0 - 1 7 GM Balashov Yuri S 2443 12
8 14 IM Zhelnin Vladimir V 2430 7 ½ - ½ 7 IM Lederman Leon 2267 47
9 18 FM Mishuchkov Nikolai M 2418 7 ½ - ½ 7 IM Pritchett Craig W 2343 30
10 40 FM Kelleher William 2300 7 0 - 1 GM Jansa Vlastimil 2478 7

The final table demonstrates that IM Vladimir Okhotnik finished ahead of a whole host of GMs. A surprising outcome as the Paris-based Okhotnik was only fifteenth seed.

Rank Title Name Country Rating Points Tie-break 
1 IM Okhotnik Vladimir FRA 2427 9.0 52.5
2 GM Komljenovic Davorin CRO 2451 8.5 54.5
3 GM Timoscenko Gennadij SVK 2483 8.5 52.0
4 GM Vaisser Anatoly FRA 2555 8.0 54.0
5 GM Kurajica Bojan BIH 2532 8.0 51.5
6 GM Cebalo Miso CRO 2446 8.0 49.5
7 GM Rajkovic Dusan SRB 2416 8.0 47.5
8 GM Balashov Yuri S RUS 2443 8.0 47.0

In the parallel women's event the participants only need to be 50-years-old (i.e. born before 1/1/1961).

The Russians and Georgians fought it out for the title with Galina Strutinskaya finishing alone on 8.5/11. Two-times winner Nona Gaprindishvili was surprisingly outside the medals.

Rank Title Name Country Rating Pts.  Tie-Break 1   Tie-Break 2 
1 WIM Strutinskaya Galina N RUS 2277 8.5 0.0 49.0
2 WFM Melashvili Nino GEO 2106 8.0 1.0 48.0
3 WGM Saunina Ludmila RUS 2274 8.0 0.0 51.5
4 GM Gaprindashvili Nona GEO 2360 7.5 0.5 48.5
5 WIM Thipsay Bagyashree Sathe IND 2152 7.5 0.5 45.5

The table of previous winners (Wikipedia) makes interesting reading:

  Year City Men's Winner Women's Winner
1 1991  Bad Wörishofen (Germany)  Vasily Smyslov (Russia)  Eve Ladanyike-Karakas (Hungary)
2 1992  Bad Wörishofen (Germany) Efim Geller (Russia)  Eve Ladanyike-Karakas (Hungary)
3 1993  Bad Wildbad (Germany)  Mark Taimanov (Russia)  Tatiana Zatulovskaya (Russia)
4 1994  Biel/Bienne (Switzerland)  Mark Taimanov (Russia)  Eve Ladanyike-Karakas (Hungary)
5 1995  Bad Liebenzell (Germany)  Evgeny Vasiukov (Russia)  Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia)
6 1996  Bad Liebenzell (Germany)  Alexey Suetin (Russia)  Valentina Kozlovskaya (Russia)
7 1997  Bad Wildbad (Germany)  Jānis Klovāns (Latvia)  Tatiana Zatulovskaya (Russia)
8 1998  Grieskirchen (Austria)  Vladimir Bagirov (Latvia)  Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia)
9 1999  Gladenbach (Germany)  Jānis Klovāns (Latvia)  Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia)
10 2000  Rowy (Poland)  Oleg Chernikov (Russia)  Elena Fatalibekova (Russia)
11 2001  Arco (Italy)  Jānis Klovāns (Latvia)  Elena Fatalibekova (Russia)
12 2002  Naumburg (Germany)  Jusefs Petkevich (Latvia)  Marta Litinskaya (Ukraine)
13 2003  Bad Zwischenahn (Germany)  Yuri Shabanov (Russia)  Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia)
14 2004  Halle, Saxony-Anhalt (Germany)  Yuri Shabanov (Russia)  Elena Fatalibekova (Russia)
15 2005  Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy)  Liuben Spassov (Bulgaria)  Ludmila Saunina (Russia)
16 2006  Arvier (Italy)  Viktor Korchnoi (Switzerland)  Ludmila Saunina (Russia)
17 2007  Gmunden (Austria)  Algimantas Butnorius (Lithuania)  Hanna Ereńska-Barlo (Poland)
18 2008  Bad Zwischenahn (Germany)  Larry Kaufman (USA) and  Mihai Suba (Romania)  Tamara Vilerte (Latvia)
19 2009  Condino (Italy)  Mišo Cebalo (Croatia)  Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia)
20 2010  Arco (Italy)  Anatoly Vaisser (France)  Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia)

The vast majority of winners learnt their chess in the former Soviet Union.

This is also true of both French winners Anatoly Vaisser and Vladimir Okhotnik.

The Bosnian (formerly part of Yugoslavia) Bojan Kurajica has the particularity of being World Junior Champion in 1965. A surprising last round loss cost him the chance to be the first player to be both Junior and Senior World champions!

More from the official site: http://www.rijekachess.com/


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