Sergey Tiviakov: “I had no choice but to leave the Championship”

15 September 2009
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Special thanks to Peter Doggers for sending us the article

The already seriously weakened Dutch Championship lost its top seed yesterday, after the third round. Sergey Tiviakov had prearranged a draw for his last-round game on Sunday and had told the organizers that he couldn’t attend the closing ceremony and possible tiebreaks. This was not accepted, after which Tiviakov decided to withdraw immediately. ChessVibes spoke with all people involved.

Three rounds have been played so far at this year’s Dutch Championship, which has GM Sergei Tiviakov (2670), GM Sipke Ernst (2589), GM Dimitri Reinderman (2572), GM Anish Giri (2552), GM Friso Nijboer (2540), GM Robin Swinkels (2511, IM Frans Cuijpers (2480), GM Karel van der Weide (2462) IM Ali Bitalzadeh (2437 and FM Roi Miedema (2396) on its participants list.

This year’s edition is one of the weakest Dutch Championships ever held, with no less than seven players from the top 10 missing. After the withdrawal of its main sponsor, the Dutch Chess Federation had to downgrade the prize fund considerably. The last three years, when the tournament was held in Hilversum, the first prize was € 12,000, € 8,000 and € 10,000 respectively; this year it’s € 6,000.

Players who we don’t see this year include Loek van Wely, Jan Smeets (reigning champion), Daniel Stellwagen, Erwin l’Ami, Erik van den Doel, Jan Werle and Jan Timman. And now, after three rounds, the tournament organizers had to say goodbye to the only top GM who did agree to play: Sergey Tiviakov. What has happened?

After the opening ceremony, which was held last Friday, Sergei Tiviakov walked over to his townsman Sipke Ernst, his opponent in the last round, and offered him a draw. Ernst accepted, but then Tiviakov added that he could’t play on Sunday, because he had to play in the Croatian league on Monday. Ernst suggested him to contact the arbiter, which Tiviakov did. At that point the arbiter and tournament director didn’t object (yet).

After the third round (Tiviakov had drawn with Bitalzadeh, lost to Swinkels and beaten Miedema) the organizers told him that they couldn’t allow it. As stated in the players’ contract, which was signed by Tiviakov, all participants have to attend the opening, closing and all rounds. If he wouldn’t appear in the playing hall, his game would be declared lost by default. Tiviakov immediately decided to withdraw from the tournament, which thus lost its top seeded player.

Here is the full article.

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