Sasikiran Wins Capablanca Memorial
By Arvind aaron
Four-time Indian champion Krishnan Sasikiran of Chennai won the 52nd Capablanca Memorial by a wide one point margin at Varadero in Cuba on June 6, 2017. It was a six-player double all-play-all and Sasikiran remained undefeated winning three games and drawing seven to score 6.5/10.
Others including seven-time former champion Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) managed only 5.5 points. This event ran from May 26 to June 6 at Varadero in Cuba.
This event is named after the Cuban chess great Jose Raul Capablanca (1888-1942) who was world champion from 1921-1927.
Sasikiran, 1981-born became the first Indian to win this event. He drew both games against Ivanchuk and Ortiz Suarez. He beat the other players including Samuel Shankland of USA once.
No American had won this event. In 1965, Bobby Fischer had been invited and he agreed to play at a then fancy fee. However, the US State Department would not allow him to travel to Cuba. However, he played in the event by telex sitting in the Marshall Chess Club in New York and his moves in Havana were made by Dr Jose Raul Capablanca Jr, the son of Capablanca. Cuban President Fidel Castro claimed propaganda victory. Fischer finished shared second behind former champion V Smyslov (then USSR).
Final placings: 1 Krishnan Sasikiran (Ind) 6.5/10; 2-3. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr), Samuel L Shankland (USA) 5.5 each; 4 Kacper Piorun (Pol) 5; 5 I.R. Ortiz Suarez (Cub) 4; 6 Emilio Cordovo (Peru) 3.5.