Granda Zuniga wins American Continental; Kaidanov, Shabalov and Hansen also qualify for World Cup 2013
Peruvian Grandmaster Julio Granda Zuniga was the big winner of the 7th American Continental Championship, not only winning the competition that was held in the auditorium of the Hotel Casino – which brought together around 200 players – but also managing to qualify for the next edition of the World Cup to be held in Tromso (Norway) in August 2013.
Granda, who has lived for five years in Salamanca and has an international Elo of 2647 points – which places him among the 100 best players in the world – was awarded (thanks to his better tie-break) the 7th Continental Championship: he shared the leading position with Diego Flores (Argentina), Eric Hansen (Canada) and the Americans Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov, all with 8.5 points after eleven rounds.
Given that the tournament only gave the four best ranked a place in the World Cup, last night at the same venue, a mini round robin semi-rapid tournament was played, with a time control of 15 minutes and an increment of 10 seconds per player since the first move.
The tie-break lasted just over five hours, and at the end, Gregory Kaidanov emerged as the winner with 3 points (beat Flores and Hansen, and drew Granda and Shabalov). He was followed by Granda with 2.5, Shabalov with 2, Hansen with 1.5, and Flores with 1.
So, the former Argentine champion Diego Flores was eliminated from the series (he beat Shabalov and lost to Granda, Kaidanov and Hansen).
“I really had low expectations about winning the tournament, having lost the pace with two draws (against Jorge Cori and Diego Valerga), and then losing against Shabalov. I thought that my chances were slim. I still can’t believe I turned out as the winner”, he said after receiving the trophy from the organizer, Mr. Mario Petrucci, and the President of FIDE America, Jorge Vega.
Later, after successfully qualifying in the playoff series for a place in the World Cup, the chess player born in Camaná, and Peru’s No.1 said: “… It’s part of the job, right? One must accept that sometimes things are decided this way, with a different style of chess, more tactical. I was concerned about the possibility of winning the tournament and being removed from the World Cup. The key was in the 1st game, when I beat Diego Flores. That gave me confidence. I’m sorry about Diego who was left out, but one had to be left with nothing. He is a good boy and plays very good chess.”
Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, Julio Granda will be in the city of Buenos Aires, participating in the Marcel Duchamp Festival.
He’ll be in the Masters section along with the GMs Fernando Peralta, Ruben Felgaer, Diego Flores, Salvador Alonso and Sandro Mareco.
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