Plovdiv- Open Bulgarian Championship (Memorial Georgi Tringov)

30-th Jubilee Open Bulgarian Championship took place in Plovdiv 2-8 February. Since 2001 it is named after the second grandmaster in the history of Bulgarian chess-Georgi Tringov who passed away in 2000. This remarkable man was born in Plovdiv, and is one of the most famous representatives of the Plovdiv chess school and Bulgarian chess. Some of his records are not still beaten-he took part in 12 Olympic games, and won two times golden medals for best performance on his board (Lugano, 1968-second board, and Buenos Aires, 1978- third board). He is the second Bulgarian player to take part in an Interzonal tournament (Amsterdam 1964), three-time national champion. Tringov is famous for his fighting spirit, and aggressive chess, his kindness, and strong memory. It is known that he never had a chess-set at his home, and all the theory that he knew was from his strong visual memory.

At the opening ceremony the organizer Haralampi Vanev, made a short speech in memory of his citizen and friend and wished to all the young players to achieve at least small part of the results, and understanding in chess that Tringov had. The tournament started with a pleasant surprise when three players-GM Ivan Radulov, IM Petar Orev and Petar Ljangov were presented with flowers for being the only participants in the first edition of the open back in 1966. There were small prices for shortest win, best endgame (won by Petar Orev), and a special price for GM J. Radulski for most elegant player of the tournament. The best Bulgarian player will play at the EIC free of taxes.
(Berbatov and Ivanov in good mood)
Novotel Plovdiv hosted 237 players from seven countries. Among them were 13 GMs and 27 IMs, who competed for the price fund of 8000 euro. Romanian group was impressive-there was a whole bus with Romanian children, and some strong GMs to compete for the title. GM Nevednichi said: “I was here for the ETC in 2003, and I like the place very much. Now I come to check the things before the EIC, and play a good tournament. I have a lot of friends in Bulgaria.” Although there were no conditions for the titled players the organizing committee arranged a very special price of 6 euro per bed in a double room for all the players. Not bad for a five-star hotel, is not it?
We played in one of the halls where the championship will take place. This was a general rehearsal before the EIC and the hotel passed it with honor. Bulgarian semi-finals and finals will also take part here, when life-transmission of the games will be tested.
(WIM Iulia Ionica (ROM))
Plovdiv is a nice ancient town, where Roman ruins peacefully live together with Orthodox Churches and Mosque. The old town is a special place for a walk and fun.
Among the participants were two world champions. GM Ljuben Spassov (BUL) (ex-senior champion from 2005), and Ioan Cristian Chirila (ROM), world champion under 16 for the last year.
The mayor of Plovdiv Mr. Slavcho Atanasov paid a visit to the tournament. It appeared that he is a big chess fan, and received a chess set from the organizers. “I will practice hard, and we will meet you the next year again”, promised the politician.
The tournament was very tense, and everything was possible until the final game. Our youngest GM (actually he is waiting for the FIDE congress to achieve the title) Valentin Iotov was the most stable player, and deservedly won the tournament. He had just returned from USA, his biological clock did not work very well, but his play was fine. Valentin had only one suspicious position for the whole tournament, won six games, and drew three, playing practically with all the best players. In the final round he refused a draw against GM Berescu from Romania (although the draw appeared to be enough later for the first place), won the game and the tournament solely. The guests from Romania also did well and three of them went into the big group that shared 2-10 places. Gabriel-Andrei Grecescu achieved GM result, while two Bulgarian players-Veselin Pantev and Velislav Kukov made IM norms. WGM M. Voiska who represents the organizing club won the first female price.
(Iotov-left and me before the last game)
Final Ranking

1 IM Iotov Valentin 2495 BUL 7,5
2 GM Kolev Atanas 2572 BUL 7,0
3 IM Karakehajov Kalin 2437 BUL 7,0
4 GM Nevednichy Vladislav 2538 ROU 7,0
5 IM Bojkov Dejan 2523 BUL 7,0
6 Grecescu Gabriel-Andrei 2383 ROU 7,0
7 IM Chirila Ioan Cristian 2400 ROU 7,0
8 GM Radulski Julian 2511 BUL 7,0
9 IM Drenchev Petar 2426 BUL 7,0
10 IM Dochev Dimitar 2421 BUL 7,0
… 237 paricipants from 7 countries

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