4th Panamerican Team Chess Championship: Guarapuava 1991

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Basic data

4th Panamerican Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 21st - 30th October 1991
City: Guarapuava, Paraná state, Brazil
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: Mr. Cesar Franco (BRA)
Chief Arbiter: IA Francisco Trois (BRA)
Deputy Arbiter: IA Renato Gino Genovesi (BRA)
Teams participating: 8
Players participating: 42 (incl. 7 GMs, 12 IMs and 6 FMs)
Games played: 112
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 91panamtch.zip

Tournament review

After three consecutive Championships hosted by Argentinian cities, the era of Brazilian hospitality started for good with the 4th Panamerican Championship held in Guarapuava, Paraná state. Eight teams applied including Brazil, who missed 1987 event, and all of the podium winners from Junin. Cuba had theoretically strongest squad with four GMs rated circa 2500. Then came Mexico, a team of decent IMs, Brazil led by GM Sunyé Neto and Argentina, however considerably weakened (of their top players only GM Panno came to Guarapuava). Another team to watch were Colombia led by GM Zapata and strong IM G. García.

Already the first two days showed that the competition would be extremely tight. Brazil earned a minimal edge over the rest but played two minor teams and won 3-1 twice. Mexico and Colombia were lying in second. Cuba were lying in fourth after defeating Argentina 2½-1½ and halving vs Chile. On day three Brazil scored third consecutive big win but in the top matches of the day Cuba ran over Colombia (despite Arencibia's loss vs G.García) and Argentina scored important victory over Mexico. On the next day Brazil garnered prestigious win over Argentina trashing them 3½-½. Cuba beat Mexico to move into second, 3½ point behind Brazil and equal on points with Colombia. Round five saw a hit clash between Cuba and Brazil. The Cubans earned hard fought, minimal victory but would it be enough? Despite of the win they moved down to third as Colombia defeated Mexico 3-1. Standings after five rounds: Brazil 14½; Colombia 12½; Cuba 12.

The leaders met on penultimate round and the fierce battle went on to a draw. Meanwhile, Cuba made up a lot of a distance wiping out Paraguay 3½-½ and moved into second, only a point behind Brazil. Argentina finally scored a clear 4-0 win over Uruguay and moved into 4th, with poor prospects for reaching the podium though. On the last day Cuba easily ran over Uruguay dropping only a fraction. Brazil needed to beat Mexico at least 3-1 in order to win the title. The Mexicans were seeded second, but played much below their abilities and were lying in 6th, losing to all of top nations. The Brazilians started awfully as Van Riemsdjik did not manage to put up resistance and lost quickly to Hernandez. However, they soon managed to pick two victories at boards #3 and #4. It was all about top board game between Sisniega and Sunye Neto. The Brazilian tried to avoid trades and simplification at any cost. As the game went into the endgame he managed to gain passed pawn but it was not enough and the Mexican easily held the game to a draw. Cuba and Brazil finished equal on points then and Cuba won the title by virtue of match point record (thanks to a win in a direct match vs Brazil). Colombia beat Paraguay and took well-deserved bronze. Chile beat Argentina on the last day and took 4th place while Argentina fell down to 5th, still better than Mexico. Paraguay and Uruguay, two by far weakest sides finished in 7th and 8th position respectively.

Cuba had firm and stable squad and all of the players contributed to a final win. Brazil played excellent chess and it was only Van Riemsdijk's late form collapse (0/3 finish) that deprived them of the very first Panamerican Championship title. Colombia were sensation of the event. Zapata scored 5½/7 at top board without loss, won prize for best individual result and performed at sky-high 2676. Chile's fourth must be appreciated given they had no reserves. Argentina were not expected to play major role in the event and they did not make any surprise. Mexico, on the other hand, were disappointment of the Championship. Hernández played very well but the others were poor. Paraguay (best player: reserve Peralta!) and Uruguay (Olazarri) came to Guarapuava hoping not to come last. Although Uruguay won direct match vs Paraguay, the latter managed to scrape more points from other teams and finished in 7th.

Individual medals

bd name code pts gms %
1. GM Zapata, Alonso COL 7 78.6
2. GM Arencibia, Walter CUB 6 75.0
3. IM Lima, Darcy BRA 4 5 80.0
4. GM Vera González, Reynaldo CUB 5 70.0
1r. Corrêa, Aron BRA 6 91.7
2r. IM Díaz, Joaquín Carlos CUB 2 3 66.7

Interesting games

White Rook was trapped at a2 first, then was released
and ran in rage all over the board but it was not enough...
Vásquez, Rodrigo (CHI) - Arencibia, Walter (CUB) 0 - 1

According to Kasparov Knight on f5 is ample reward for sacrificed pawn.
A Knight on f5 AND an extra pawn = the game is over.
Zapata, Alonso (COL) - Sisniega, Marcel (MEX) 1 - 0

Weakening Kingside pawns' structure was decisive mistake.
Van Riemsdijk, Herman Claudius (BRA) - Arencibia, Walter (CUB) 0 - 1

Van Riemsdijk needed to grab a draw to win the Championship for Brazil.
Van Riemsdijk, Herman Claudius (BRA) - Hernández, Gilberto (MEX) 0 - 1