6th Panamerican Team Chess Championship: Merida 2000

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[ Basic data | Tournament review | Individual medals | Interesting games ]

Basic data

6th Panamerican Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 15th - 22nd July 2000
City: Merida, Venezuela
Venue: La Terraza Hotel
President of Organizing Committee: Mr. Uvencio Blanco (VEN)
Chief Arbiter: IA Lázaro Darromán Cotilla (CUB)
Teams participating: 6 (incl. Venezuela "B")
Players participating: 31 (incl. 8 GMs, 6 IMs, 3 FMs and 1 WFM)
Games played: 60
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Direct match result; 4. Berger; 5. Blitz play-off; 6. Drawing of
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours, then 1 hour for the rest of the game
Websites: Ajedrez de Estilo: intra report; final report
Downloadable game file: 00panamtch.zip

Tournament review

The 2000 event was least competitive of all Panamerican Team Championships played so far. Only 5 teams took part (and the Venezuela "B" team who joined to make the number of teams even), amongst them the Netherlands Antilles, a team of amateurs who hardly knew the way pieces move and Uruguay, who were only 2200 ELO on average. Cuba and Brazil were the only two teams to treat the Championship seriously and send GM squads to Mérida. Brazil had no substitutes but because of short distance this did not seem to be major handicap. Argentina, two times Panamerican Champions were big absentees.

First days of the competition proved that it was all Cuba and Brazil; Brazil and Cuba. Cuba marked their way with forceful 4-0 start vs the Netherlands Antilles followed with victory over Uruguay (3-1). Brazil beat Uruguay first (3-1 as well), then swept out Venezuela "A" with excellent 4-0. Both teams were in tied lead at 7 points as direct clash was to come. With three draws and Bruzon's win over poorly performing Vescovi the Cubans beat Brazil 2½-1½ and earned priceless one point advantage. Still they had to face decent Venezuela "A" squad and trash them in order to keep the pace with the Brazilians expected to score easy 4-0's in last rounds' matches vs Venezuela "B" and the Netherlands Antilles.

On the penultimate day Brazil beat the Antilles team by 4-0 while Cuba dropped only a fraction vs Venezuela "B" (Venezuela's board #1 unrated player Carlos Gallegos held GM Vera González). Cuba retained the lead with half of a point advantage over Brazil. On day five Cuba smashed Venezuela "A" 3½-½ and took gold as Brazil beat Venezuela "B" by only 2½-1½: Vescovi lost badly again and Milos dropped another fraction at board #1 vs (yes!) Gallegos. Uruguay smashed the Antilles 4-0 and moved into third. Venezuelan reserves proved somehow stronger than their team "A" mates finishing at 9½, a clear point ahead of them. The Netherlands Antilles finished last with dreadful 0/20 record.

That Cuba won was much deserved as they were undoubtedly the best and the most equal team. They scored 13 wins and 7 draws (no loss!) and Bruzon Bautista's 5/5 was comparable only to famous 1971 records held by Argentinian grandmasters. Brazil had only four men and as one of them (Vescovi) was in poor shape there were no possibilities for substitutes. Uruguay, without GM Rodriguez showed good skills like board #3 player Carvalho who held GMs Leitao and Arencibia with black. Gallegos of Venezuela "B" scored 3/5 and performed at 2452. María Alejandra Díaz from the Netherlands Antilles was the first women ever to appear at the Panamerican Team Championship.

Individual medals

bd name code pts gms %
1. GM Milos, Gilberto BRA 4 5 80.0
2. GM Leitão, Rafael BRA 4 5 80.0
3. GM Arencibia, Walter CUB 3 4 75.0
4. GM Bruzón Bautista, Lázaro CUB 5 5 100.0
1r. IM Domínguez, Leinier CUB 5 90.0
2r. None of the players played at least 50% of possible games.

Interesting games

Such games DO happen at the international championships...
Meijer, Gerjan (AHO) - Ostos, Julio (VEN) 0 - 1

The one sided game sealed Cuba's win over Brazil.
Bruzon Bautista, Lazaro (CUB) - Vescovi, Giovanni (BRA) 1 - 0

White had very promising position but
first missed winning 17. Qd2! then blundered 33. Ka2??
Ostos, Julio (VEN) - Leitão, Rafael (BRA) 0 - 1

Again, Vescovi played well below his strength to waste Brazilian chances.
Ordonez, Francisco (VEN2) - Vescovi, Giovanni (BRA) 1 - 0