Cuba without GM Leinier Dominguez for World Olympiad

Cuban chess player and Grand Master Leinier Dominguez was temporarily dismissed from the Cuban national team to represent the island in the 43rd next edition of the World Olympiad in the city of Batumi, Georgia, from September 23 to October 6, 2018, said Cuban national chess commissioner Carlos Rivero here today.

'When he decides to come back to Cuba we will evaluate his reinsertion to the national team, starting from the established rules in the sport,' Rivero said in a press release by the Cuban National Chess Federation that was read and published during the official presentation of the 53rd edition of International Jose Raul Capablanca in Memoriam.

This will be the second consecutive year Dominguez is absent from the national team's list, since in 2017 he asked permission not to participate in Cuban tournaments for a non-specified period of time.

At that time the chess player born in Güines, 60 kilometers southeast of this capital, resided outside the country and worked as a commentator on the website Chess24.

The Adolfo Luque Hall of the Latin American Stadium was the place where the Elite Group to compete at the Capablanca International was revealed, led by US Grand Master (GM) Samuel Shankland, owner of the 70th place in the world ranking with .2671 Elo points.

Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon, his Russian counterparts Alexey Dreev and Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Spanish David Anton, and the Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga will also participate.

The tournament will begin on Tuesday, May 8, at the Embajadores Hall of the Habana Libre Hotel and will hold its first round the following day, starting at three o'clock in the afternoon.

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Leinier returns to the Chess Boards

This year looked like the perfect season to rest and to spend some time with his family, especially with his little boy Sebastian. There were no major events ahead, so the best Cuban chess player nowadays wanted to take a sabbatical 2017.

However, life sometime changes and it happened these days. He was invited to participate in a rapid and blitz Tournament to be held in St. Louis.

I am pretty sure this is not the first invitation he has received this year. He rejected the others, but this one is different. It has something special: the return of genius Garry Kasparov to an official tournament.

Playing against Baku’s Beast, privilege or torture Leinier has never experienced before, must have shaken his foundations as he said yes. Therefore, Leinier will be playing along with seven other strong chess players in August 14-19.

Besides Leinier and Kasparov, Vietnamese Le Quang Liem, Czech David Navara, Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergey Karjakin, and Americans Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruano, Armenian Levon Aronian, and Indian Vishy Anand complete the line-up.

With such line-up, it is hard to turn the invitation down. Not even for the Cuban, who has not competed for months and will face here strong players.

Nonetheless, Leinier is not there for free. He is number three in the FIDE world rapid ranking with (2803) behind Nakamura (2822) and Nepomniachtchi (2819).

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Cuban Dominguez in 17th place in World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship

Cuban Leinier Domínguez reached two wins and three draws during the opening day of the 2016 FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship taking place in Doha, capital of Qatar.

In the first of three days dedicated to the rapid modality (15 minutes), Dominguez defeated Argentine Diego Flores before signing peace with Russian Alexander Riazantsev, Dutchman Benjamin Bok and Ukrainian Olexandr Borthyk.

As a colophon he beat Egyptian Bassem Amin to total 3.5 points and now ranks sixteenth among 106 contestants who are led by Ukrainian Anton Korobov, only one with perfect performance who is followed by Armenian Levon Aronian (4.5).

According to, Korobov included among his victims super elite players such as Russian Alexander Grischuk, blitz champion a year ago, and Chinese Yangyi Yu.

The news of the day was the win of Georgian Levan Pantsulaia over superstar Magnus Carlsen, last year champion, who surprisingly appears 20th with 3.5 points.

Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi (ranked 17), American Hikaru Nakamura (18) and Frenchman Maxime Vahcier-Lagrave (22) are other well-known figures away from the leaders.

Five more games will be played today and this phase will end on Wednesday, which will give way to the blitz event (three minutes) scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The women's event, 12 games, is led by Ukrainian Anna Muzychuk, only one who won the four games.

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Cubans to participate in Chess World Cup

With the presence of 13 Latin American players, including five Cubans, it will be inaugurated on Thursday in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, the Chess World Cup, attended by 128 contestants.

The Cuban representatives will be the GMs Leinier Dominguez, Lazaro Bruzon, Yunieski Quesada, Isan Ortiz and debutant Ermes Espinosa.

Leinier, 25th in the world ranking with 2732 ELO points, will face in the first round tArgentine GM Federico Perez, who is the fourth player of his country with 2,563 ELO units.

In turn, the second Cuban player GM Lazaro Bruzon ( 2659), who appears 85th in the world rankings, will rival Santos Vidit, who ranks sixth in India (2651).

The GM Yunieski Quesada (2643) will have a tough opponent in the Russian Ernesto Inarkiev (2660), who is located in the 83rd seat of the world list.

Finally, the less experienced in the Cuban delegation, Isan Ortiz and Ermes Espinosa, will clash in the opening with the French Maxime Vachier Lagrave and Russian Sergey Karjakin respectively.

The Frenchman ranks 16th with 2,744 points while the Russian is12th with 2,762 units.

The other Latin Americans competing in the World Cup come from Brazil, Peru and Argentina, all with two players, and Venezuela and Chile , with one each.

The best of these players are the Peruvian GM Julio Ernesto Granda (2667) and Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga, who will face Brazilian Alexander Fier and Israeli Maxim Rohstein in that order.

The top two players of this contest will earn tickets to the Candidates Tournament. The venue will be one of the newly built "Flame Towers ".

Each elimination round includes two games. In case of draw the players would play a tiebreaker match.

The first round will be played from September 11 to 13. The contest runs until October 4.

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