IBCA 2024 – reports from Owen Phillips

The last round saw some long tussles, particularly on boards 2 – 5, but GM Marcin Tazbir of Poland disposed of his opponent relatively quickly to finish top on 7½/9 and complete the double of winning IBCA’s World and European Championships! The silver medal went to IM Jacek Stachancyk of Poland on tie break, and the bronze to Roberto Clemente of Spain. Also on 6½/9 in 4th and 5th places on tie break were Michal Racis of Poland and IM Rasim Nizam of Bulgaria.
WIM Lubov of Ukraine finished on 4½/9 after a fast start. Gary Hogan’s highest finishing opponent was Dieter Riegler of Germany on 5½/9, finishing in 18th place. Gary drew his last round game with an Albin Counter Gambit to finish on 4/9 in 47th place, one above his seeding.
The whole event was extremely well organised, with results and next round draws being posted particularly quickly online. IBCA and all twenty-two of the Federations present thanked and congratulated the Romanian hosts and the organisers and arbiters for carrying out a first rate job.

Owen Phillips 24/6/2024

Round 8 saw a mixture of fighting draws and bloodthirsty wins and a few tired or amicable early draws! GM Tazbir (Poland) was held to a draw by the Ukrainian Igor Shepelev, and so the 2024 Champion is yet to be decided. Tazbir leads with 6½/8, but joining Shepelev on 6 after their fighting wins are Roberto Clemente Llamero of Spain, IM Jacek Stachancyck of Poland and Gavril Flutur Draghici, also of Spain, who Gary Hogan missed out playing by one seeding in round 1.
Round 9:
Board 1 GM Tazbir vs Draghici
Board 2 Clemente Llamero vs IM Stachancyck
Board 3 Rarci 5½ vs Shepelev 6
Board 4 IM Nizam 5½ vs Bjelanovic 5½
Following on there are eight players on 5 including two more IMs and an FM, and Dieter Riegler, one of Gary’s winning opponents.
Gary is on Board 24 against the Dutch player Alaettin Gundogmus.

Round 7 saw a lot of long games, especially on the top 12 boards. Tazbir eventually won the centre against Dukaczewski and is now sole leader on 6/7!
Today he has Black against Igor Shepelev of the Ukraine on 5.5. There are six players on 5 including 3 IMs, then nine on 4½, including another IM and an FM. The ladies multiple World Champion now has 4, while Gary moved to 3 with a nice win with a Fargacs Karo Cann, which means he is now three places above his start ranking and can still do relatively well with a good finish.
In Round 8 he plays White against Miroslav Madjeric of Croatia, whom he beat in Rhodes in the World Championship. A tough struggle will no doubt ensue with Miroslav seeking revenge.

Round 6 saw GM Tazbir move equal top after his win against IM Rasim Nazim. This time he plays Black against fellow leader and fellow Pole IM Piotr Dukaczewski. They are closely pursued by 5 players on 4½ and 8 more on 4 points.
Sadly Gary lost to a very well-played game by his Romanian Braillist opponent Vasile Carapit, who found a mate in 9 after saccing a Queen and a pawn for two immensely strong rooks! The opening was a Horwitz.
Today Gary drops to board 29 and faces a 15-year-old German player from the Tarrasch club, Nathan Van Melle, whose RP here is +19.2, so another tough game is anticipated for sure.

Gary Hogan won his game with Black today inside two hrs in a g3 Queens Gambit Declined, so he moves onto 2/5.
IM Rasim Nazim of Bulgaria is now the sole leader on 4½/5 with five players in hot pursuit on 4/5, including three Polish players, a German, and a Montenegran. Nizam beat Lubov in Round 5 and she now heads up ten players on 3.5/5.
Round 6 sees GM Tazbir face IM Nazim, IM Nikac play Mueller on Board 2 and Racis play IM Dukaczewski on Board 3. Meanwhile on Board 22, Gary plays White against Vasile Carapit, who so far has only lost to an IM, so fingers crossed that Gary can keep up his resurgence!

Yesterday, Gary Hogan drew with a BD6 variant of the London System against his Slovenian opponents and now has 1/3. Eight-times IBCA World Ladies Champion, WIM Zsiltsova-Lisenko Lubov of Ukraine, is joint leader on 3/3 with Michel Racis of Poland.
They are closely followed by eleven players on 2½/3, including GM Tazbir and the four IMs as well as Gary’s first round opponent, who followed his draw with an IM by defeating an FM!

Round 4
Board 1 – WIM Lubov v Racis
Board 2 – IM Stachanczyk v GM Tazbir
Board 3 – IM Nikac v IM Dukaczewski
Board 24 – Hogan v Riegler of Germany

Round 1 saw many exciting tussles, not least for GM Marcin Tazbir, who had to have a very long think (around thirty minutes) in the middle of his game. He won in the end, as did nearly all the top seeds.
Gary Hogan started off against the 17th seed German Master Franck Schullmann, a vastly experienced player. Gary choose to play an Arkell Caro Khan against the Advance variation and all went to plan. Gary stood marginally better for most of the middle game. On move 28 he could have taken the ascendency by playing Qh2 and more or less forcing a Queen swap, and therefore a better endgame, with at least a draw to look forward to, but sadly within a few moves he suddenly went wrong, and Franck soon won. However, a promising if frustrating start by Gary!
Today they start an hour earlier at 3.00pm, and Gary has White on Board 20 against the former IBCA President, Frenchman Olivier Deville, another tough opponent. Although he is only 100 or so points higher rated than Gary, he has been a good deal higher, is very solid, and has been used to help program chess computer engines! Fingers crossed for a settler for Gary to help take away his nerves.

POSTSCRIPT — Gary drew against Olivier DeVille in a very interesting Pirc Werramantary Gurgenidze opening, so he is on the scoresheet! Today – 18/6/24 – he faces Gregor Cuzman of Slovenia.