The Zonal 2.5 Chess Championship, a qualifying tournament for the Khanty Mansiysk World Cup 2011, was played from 16th to 24th May in Asuncion, Paraguay. Argentina’s Grandmaster Ruben Felgaer defeated Paraguayan GM-elect Jose Cubas in the last round to take a clear first place and book the ticket for the World Cup.
The other qualifier was to be decided in the tiebreak match after Grandmasters Sandro Mareco and Axel Bachmann shared the second place with 6.5 points each. Mareco was victorious, by 1.5-0.5, and marked a double celebration for Argentina.
In the decisive game of the last round, Ruben Felgaer defended with the Accelerated Dragon, which is a popular opening of GM Argentina, and his opponent Jose Cubas used a line popularized by Karpov in the 70’s. The position was tense and complicated, but white later erred, allowing the strong centralization of the black queen with check, followed by creation of the decisive passed pawn.
In Diego Flores versus Axel Bachmann the players set a line of the Symmetrical English opening, the same scheme that was successfully used by Grischuk in the Candidates Matches. The position was balanced until white opened the game without adequate preparation 28.f4?!.Black exploited the weaknesses and reached a winning endgame.
The tournament was organized by the Paraguayan Chess Federation under the auspices of the National Secretariat of Sports, Paraguayan Olympic Committee, Viviendas Paraguayas S.A, Restaurante la Pérgola Jardín, Diesa S.A. and Club Deportivo de Puerto Sajonia.
Top 15 Final standings:
1 GM Felgaer Ruben ARG 2570 – 7
2 GM Bachmann Axel PAR 2551 – 6.5
3 GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2591 – 6.5
4 GM Lemos Damian ARG 2550 – 6
5 IM Cubas Jose Fernando PAR 2505 – 6
6 GM Rodriguez Vila Andres URU 2527 – 6
7 GM Flores Diego ARG 2611 – 5.5
8 FM Mayorga Nicolas ARG 2293 – 5.5
9 FM Larrea Manuel URU 2299 – 5.5
10 Sabas Jorge ARG 2267 – 5.5
11 IM Pierrot Facundo ARG 2449 – 5
12 Toniutti Ezio ARG 2133 – 5
13 IM Lujan Carolina ARG 2353 – 5
14 FM Vazquez Guillermo PAR 2199 – 5
15 Jimenez Joaquin ARG 2224 – 5
16 FM Peralta Eduardo PAR 2237 – 5
17 Roman Rodrigo PAR 1986 – 5
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– GM Susan Polgar