Posted on

Ilmar Raud Memorial

The 48th edition of the Ilmar Raud Memorial was held from 30th June to 6th July 2014 at the Viljandi Sports Center in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia.

The event was played in memorial of Ilmar Raud, member of the Estonian team that scored bronze at the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires.

GM Aleksei Aleksandrov from Belarus emerged a clear winner with 7,5/9 points, leaving the nearest contenders a full point behind. Yours truly shared second place. Final results here.

These long traditional tournaments have a lot of impact on younger players. I participated in this festival long time ago when I was only 14 years old in 1977. In 1979 I won this event. Young Gata Kamsky won the event in 1986. Behind these long traditions usually are some devoted sponsors and organizers. Mr. Toomas Valgmae  is a chess enthusiast, sponsor and organizer all in one. I am sure the Viljandi festival has bright future ahead.

I took this tournament too cautiously and made too many draws, still I managed to win some games. Late World Champion Tigran Petrosian from Armenia once lamented, that Kings Indian defence is an opening which is feeding his whole family. In his opinion this aggressive opening was not positionally sound and player who picked it up should be punished. In round seven I had white against young Vladislav Kovalev from Belarussia who was actually last year’s winner of the tournament. I new he might play Kings Indian and I was ready to play one of the most principle line.

After this game I made two more draws in final rounds, my job was done.