Alexander Donchenko: New Star Or Just a Couple of Successes?

Время публикации: 08.01.2015 18:33 | Последнее обновление: 15.01.2015 08:03

The recent main open of the Groningen festival has got a very surprising winner who wasn't among the favorites and isn't even a GM - yet he scored 8/9, getting the 2803 performance and leaving his more famous competitors at least one point behind. Shortly afterwards, the same player tied for the 1st place in the Basel open with 5.5/7. In both the tournaments, he hasn't lost a single game. Who is he, then? The answer is: 16 years old IM of Germany Alexander Donchenko whose Elo is only 2511 on January 1st.


Alexander Donchenko with his prize and the norm certificate (photo: schaakstadgroningen.nl)

In Groningen, Alexander made his 2nd GM norm, while there were only 7 rounds in Zurich which isn't enough for the next and final norm despite the excellent result. Yet, Donchenko is optimistic in this respect, as he told in the interview for the Groningen official website right away after having become the winner:

'I hope to score it in about a month. I'll play two tournaments which will give me the chance: first of all, I'll play in Gibraltar at the end of January (a very strong open tournament), and from there I'll travel directly to a round-robin tournament in Denmark'.

One can learn from the same video interview that Alexander Donchenko's father is a very experienced IM. (He had been born in the USSR but moved from Moscow to Germany around 15 years ago. One of the CN editors, Andrey Deviatkin, used to face Anatoly Donchenko a lot in Moscow regular tournaments - CN.) This fact, according to Alexander, has helped him very much.

The young German has always been considered quite a talented player but has never had any outstanding achievements close to the one in Groningen. That's what he said trying to explain this unexpected success:
'Probably after I'd started with 5 out of 5 it gave me a huge boost of self-confidence, because when you see that everything goes well, you get the feeling that you cannot lose anymore, and this is really important when you play games.'

His style is also far from bright and tactical, it is rather positional and almost deprived of any brilliancies. He possesses, however, pretty good technique and precision in calculations - as well as the type of a nervous system which is excellent for chess, it seems.

DONCHENKO - RAZNIKOV (Groningen 2014, round 8)

It isn't too difficult to win this endgame as White - what's definitely harder is to drive a young and ambitious opponent rated ~2500 into a sad position like this. Nevertheless, the winning plan is instructive and nice.
44.Ba5 Bh4 45.Bc7 Bf6 46.Bb8! (zugzwang) 46...hxg4 47.fxg4 Bg7 48.h4 Bf6 49.h5 gxh5 50.gxh5 Bg7 51.Bc7 (once more) 51...Bh8 52.h6 Bf6 53.h7 Bg7 54.e3. Next moves by White will be d3-d4 and Be5, so Black resigned. 1-0

Is this the beginning of the rise of a new star, or just a couple of very lucky tournaments for the young German player? It's only time that can tell. Anyhow, let's take a note of his name.

Below you can find all the available games by Alexander Donchenko from his recent successful events.

[Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.21"] [Round "1.13"] [White "Chen, Yibo"] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D24"] [WhiteElo "2156"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 dxc4 4. Nc3 a6 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O Qc7 9. Qe2 Be7 10. Rd1 O-O 11. b3 b6 12. Bb2 Na5 13. d5 Nxc4 14. bxc4 exd5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Be5 Nc3 17. Qd3 Qc6 18. Bxc3 Be6 19. Ne5 Qb7 20. e4 f6 21. Nf3 Rfd8 22. Qe2 Rxd1+ 23. Rxd1 Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Bxd8 25. e5 f5 26. Qd3 Qd7 27. Qd2 a5 28. Qc2 Bxc4 29. Bxa5 Qd3 30. Qxd3 Bxd3 31. Ne1 Be4 32. Bc3 Bc6 33. a5 bxa5 34. Nd3 c4 35. Nb2 Bb5 36. g3 a4 37. Bb4 Kf7 38. Nd1 Be7 39. Bc3 a3 40. Ne3 Ke6 41. Nc2 Kd5 42. Kf1 a2 43. Ke2 Ba4 44. Na1 g5 45. f3 Bc5 46. h3 Bd4 47. Bxd4 Kxd4 48. Kd2 Kxe5 0-1 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.22"] [Round "2.12"] [White "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Black "Afek, Y."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2285"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 d6 5. Nc3 g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Nc2 Bg7 9. b3 O-O 10. O-O a6 11. Bd2 Rb8 12. a4 Na5 13. Rb1 Bc6 14. e4 b6 15. Qe2 Bb7 16. Rfe1 Re8 17. Nb4 Nd7 18. Nc2 Rc8 19. Na3 e6 20. Qd1 Qc7 21. Rc1 Qb8 22. Bf4 Ne5 23. Be3 Nd7 24. Bf4 Ne5 25. Be3 Nd7 26. Qc2 Nc6 27. Red1 Nc5 28. Rb1 Nb4 29. Qd2 Qa8 30. Nc2 Nxc2 31. Qxc2 Bf8 32. Bf4 Red8 33. Bg5 Re8 34. Bf4 Red8 35. Rd2 b5 36. axb5 axb5 37. b4 Nxe4 38. Nxe4 Rxc4 39. Nf6+ Kg7 40. Bxb7 Rxc2 41. Bxa8 Rxd2 42. Bxd2 Rxa8 43. Bc3 Rc8 44. Rc1 Rc4 45. Kf1 e5 46. Nd5 f6 47. Ra1 Kf7 48. Ra5 Ke6 49. Rxb5 f5 50. Ke2 Rc8 51. Kd3 e4+ 52. Kc2 Bh6 53. Kb3 g5 54. Ne3 1-0 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.23"] [Round "3.10"] [White "Kerigan, D."] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2277"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Qe2 Nc6 7. c3 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Rd1 Rc8 12. Be3 Be7 13. Ne1 f6 14. f3 Ng5 15. Nd3 fxe5 16. dxe5 O-O 17. Nd2 b6 18. f4 Nf7 19. Nf3 Nh6 20. h3 Nf5 21. Bf2 Nb4 22. Nxb4 Bxb4 23. Qd3 Bc5 24. Rd2 h6 25. Kh2 Qa4 26. g3 Qe4 27. Qb3 Bb4 28. Rdd1 Rc2 29. Kg1 Rxf2 30. Kxf2 Bc5+ 0-1 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.24"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Black "Brandenburg, D."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E68"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2530"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. e4 a6 9. Qc2 exd4 10. Nxd4 Re8 11. Rd1 Rb8 12. a4 a5 13. Ndb5 Ne5 14. Qe2 Bd7 15. c5 d5 16. Bg5 dxe4 17. Nxe4 Bxb5 18. axb5 Qe7 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. f4 Bg7 21. fxe5 Qxe5 22. Rxa5 Rbd8 23. Raa1 Rd4 24. Rxd4 Qxd4+ 25. Kh1 Rd8 26. Rf1 h6 27. Qf2 Qc4 28. b6 cxb6 29. Nd6 Qb3 30. Nxb7 Rd1 31. c6 Bd4 32. Qe2 Rxf1+ 33. Bxf1 Qd5+ 34. Bg2 Qg5 35. Nd6 Be5 36. Bd5 Kg7 37. Nxf7 Qc1+ 38. Kg2 Bd4 39. Nd6 1-0 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.26"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Bok, B."] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "124"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Qc7 8. a4 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O b6 11. Qd3 Nbd7 12. Qc4 Qd8 13. Nd5 Bb7 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. Qb3 Bxe4 16. Bxb6 Qc8 17. Rfc1 Qc6 18. a5 Nd5 19. Ra4 Nf4 20. Bf1 Bd5 21. Qa3 Rfe8 22. Rb4 Bf8 23. c4 Be4 24. Qe3 f6 25. Nd4 Nxg2 26. Nxc6 Nxe3 27. Bxe3 Bxc6 28. Rb6 Bf3 29. c5 dxc5 30. Bxa6 Reb8 31. Bc4+ Kh8 32. Rxb8 Rxb8 33. b3 Rd8 34. Bf1 Kg8 35. Bc4+ Kh8 36. Bf1 Kg8 37. a6 Kf7 38. a7 Ra8 39. Ra1 Ke6 40. Ra6+ Kd7 41. Bd3 h6 42. Kf1 Kc7 43. b4 Rd8 44. Be2 Bxe2+ 45. Kxe2 Kb7 46. Ra5 cxb4 47. Rb5+ Ka8 48. Kf3 g6 49. Ke4 h5 50. h3 Be7 51. f3 Bf8 52. Bb6 Rd7 53. Be3 Rb7 54. Rxb7 Kxb7 55. Kd3 f5 56. Kc4 Be7 57. Bf2 g5 58. Be3 f4 59. Bb6 e4 60. fxe4 g4 61. hxg4 hxg4 62. Kd3 Bf6 0-1 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.27"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Black "L'Ami, E."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2613"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. Nf3 c6 6. b3 d5 7. Bb2 Ne4 8. d4 Bf5 9. O-O Nxc3 10. Bxc3 Be4 11. e3 e6 12. Qe2 Nd7 13. Bh3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 f5 15. Qe2 Nf6 16. Bg2 g5 17. h3 h5 18. Rfc1 Rf7 19. b4 g4 20. h4 a6 21. b5 cxb5 22. cxb5 Bf8 23. bxa6 Rxa6 24. a4 Rc7 25. Bf1 Qc8 26. Bd2 Rac6 27. Qd1 Rxc1 28. Rxc1 Rxc1 29. Bxc1 Qc3 30. Bd2 Qb2 31. Bd3 Ne4 32. Be1 Kf7 33. a5 Bb4 34. Qa4 Bxe1 35. Qd7+ Kf6 36. Qd8+ Kf7 37. Qd7+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.28"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Ipatov, Alexander"] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2599"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. g3 Bb7 6. Bg2 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Nbd7 10. Bf1 Ne4 11. Qc2 f5 12. Nh4 Qf6 13. f3 Ng5 14. Bg2 Nf7 15. f4 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rae8 17. e4 g6 18. Be3 Qd8 19. exf5 exf5 20. d5 c5 21. dxc6 Qa8 22. Bd4 Qxc6+ 23. Kg1 Nh6 24. Ng2 Ng4 25. h3 Ngf6 26. Ne3 Qf3 27. Qg2 Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 h5 29. a4 a5 30. Rab1 Ne4 31. Nd5 Nd2 32. Ra1 Nxc4 33. g4 Kf7 34. Kg3 1/2-1/2 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.29"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Black "Raznikov, D."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A35"] [WhiteElo "2523"] [BlackElo "2494"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 9. d3 O-O 10. Be3 Bd7 11. Nd4 Qd6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. Rc1 Qe6 15. Rxc5 Qxa2 16. Rb5 b6 17. Qb3 Qa6 18. Rb4 Rfc8 19. Ra4 Qb7 20. Rfa1 h5 21. f3 Rc6 22. Ra6 Qd7 23. R1a4 Re6 24. Kf2 Re5 25. Rxb6 Qh3 26. Rh4 Qf5 27. Rb7 Re6 28. Rxa7 Rxa7 29. Bxa7 Qe5 30. Re4 Qxb2 31. Qxb2 Bxb2 32. Rxe6 fxe6 33. Ke3 Kf7 34. Kf4 Kf6 35. Be3 e5+ 36. Ke4 Ke6 37. Bb6 Bc3 38. g4 Bb2 39. Ba5 Bc1 40. Bc3 Bf4 41. h3 Bg3 42. Bb2 Bh2 43. Bc3 Bg3 44. Ba5 Bh4 45. Bc7 Bf6 46. Bb8 hxg4 47. fxg4 Bg7 48. h4 Bf6 49. h5 gxh5 50. gxh5 Bg7 51. Bc7 Bh8 52. h6 Bf6 53. h7 Bg7 54. e3 1-0 [Event "52nd Groningen Open"] [Site "Groningen NED"] [Date "2014.12.30"] [Round "9.8"] [White "Alsina Leal, D."] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2540"] [BlackElo "2523"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2014.12.21"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. b3 Nc6 10. Bb2 O-O 11. O-O a6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Na4 Qc7 14. Qe2 Nd7 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. f4 Qa5 17. Qe3 Rad8 18. Rad1 Rfe8 19. Rf2 Nf6 20. Rfd2 e5 21. Qc3 Qc7 22. Qf3 exf4 23. Nc3 Qa5 24. h3 Re6 25. Rd3 Qe5 26. Rd4 Rde8 27. R4d3 g5 28. Qf2 h6 29. Qd4 Qxd4+ 30. Rxd4 Nxe4 31. Nxe4 Rxe4 32. Rxe4 Rxe4 33. Rxd6 Re6 34. Rd1 Kg6 35. Kf2 f5 36. Rd8 g4 37. Rg8+ Kh5 38. Rf8 Kg5 39. Rg8+ Kh4 40. Rg7 Rd6 41. Ke1 Kg3 42. c5 Rd5 43. b4 h5 44. hxg4 hxg4 45. Kf1 Rd1+ 46. Ke2 Ra1 47. Rf7 Kxg2 48. Rxf5 f3+ 49. Ke3 Re1+ 50. Kd4 0-1 [Event "Basel Masters 2015"] [Site "Basel SUI"] [Date "2015.01.03"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Black "Rapport, R."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A40"] [WhiteElo "2511"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2015.01.01"] 1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. d5 Ne4 6. Nxe4 fxe4 7. Nd2 e3 8. fxe3 exd5 9. cxd5 O-O 10. Nf3 Na6 11. a3 d6 12. g3 Bf6 13. Bg2 Qe8 14. O-O Qh5 15. e4 Nc5 16. Qc2 Bd7 17. e5 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Rxf1+ 19. Kxf1 Qxe5 20. Bf4 Qf6 21. Qc3 Qxc3 22. bxc3 Bb5 23. Rb1 Bc4 24. Be3 Rf8+ 25. Kg1 Nb3 26. Bd4 a5 27. e4 b5 28. Be3 Re8 29. Kf2 a4 30. Re1 Bd3 31. Bf4 Nc5 32. e5 Bc4 33. Bf1 Bxf1 34. Kxf1 Nd3 35. Rb1 Nxe5 36. Rxb5 Nd3 37. Bd2 Nc5 38. c4 Re4 39. Rb8+ Kf7 40. Rc8 Rxc4 41. Rxc7+ Kg8 42. Be3 h5 43. Bf4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Basel Masters 2015"] [Site "Basel SUI"] [Date "2015.01.04"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Bok, B."] [Black "Donchenko, Alexa"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2572"] [BlackElo "2511"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2015.01.01"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Nd7 6. O-O Ne7 7. Nbd2 Nc8 8. c3 Be7 9. Ne1 O-O 10. Bd3 Bg6 11. Bxg6 fxg6 12. Qg4 Rf5 13. Nc2 Nf8 14. Ne3 Rf7 15. Nf3 a5 16. Ne1 c5 17. dxc5 Bxc5 18. Nd3 Bb6 19. Rd1 Ne7 20. c4 Nf5 21. cxd5 exd5 22. Nf4 Nxe3 23. Bxe3 Bxe3 24. fxe3 h5 25. Qe2 Qb6 26. Kh1 Re8 27. Rxd5 Rf5 28. Qc4 Kh7 29. Qc3 a4 30. Rc1 Ne6 31. Rd6 Qb5 32. Rd5 Qb6 33. Qd2 Ng5 34. Rd6 Qb5 35. Rd5 Qb6 36. Rd6 Qb5 37. Rd5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Basel Masters 2015"] [Site "Basel SUI"] [Date "2015.01.04"] [Round "6"] [White "Donchenko, Alexander"] [Black "Toth, Bela"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A11"] [PlyCount "135"] [EventDate "2015.01.04"] [SourceDate "2015.01.04"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. c4 dxc4 5. O-O g6 6. Na3 Bg7 7. Nxc4 O-O 8. b3 Nbd7 9. Bb2 Nb6 10. Qc2 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nbd5 13. a3 Nd7 14. d4 N5b6 15. Rfd1 Nxc4 16. Qxc4 Nb6 17. Qc2 Qd7 18. h4 h5 19. a4 Nd5 20. a5 a6 21. e4 Nf6 22. d5 cxd5 23. e5 Rac8 24. Qe2 Ng4 25. Bxd5 e6 26. Be4 Qc7 27. f4 Rfd8 28. b4 Bf8 29. Rac1 Qb8 30. Rxc8 Rxc8 31. Rd4 Qa7 32. Kg2 b6 33. axb6 Qxb6 34. Qd2 Rc4 35. Rxc4 Ne3+ 36. Kh3 Nxc4 37. Qd4 Qxb4 38. Bc3 Qb3 39. f5 gxf5 40. Bxf5 Nb6 41. Be4 Nd5 42. Qd2 Bg7 43. Bd4 Qc4 44. Bd3 Qc6 45. Be4 Qd7 46. Bd3 Ne7 47. Kh2 Nf5 48. Bc3 Qd5 49. Bxa6 Qxd2+ 50. Bxd2 Bxe5 51. Be1 Ne3 52. Bd2 Ng4+ 53. Kg2 f5 54. Bb5 Kf7 55. Bb4 Bd4 56. Bd2 Nf6 57. Be2 Kg6 58. Bb5 Kf7 59. Be2 Bc5 60. Bg5 Ng4 61. Bb5 Be3 62. Bd8 Bh6 63. Bb6 Nf6 64. Bd4 Ne4 65. Be2 Kg6 66. Bc4 Kf7 67. Be2 Kg6 68. Bc4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Basel Masters 2015"] [Site "Basel SUI"] [Date "2015.01.05"] [Round "7"] [White "Van Foreest, Jorden"] [Black "Donchenko, Aleksander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B19"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2015.01.04"] [SourceDate "2015.01.04"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Kb1 O-O 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Nf6 16. Qe2 Qd5 17. Be3 Qb5 18. c4 Qf5+ 19. Ka1 c5 20. Ne5 cxd4 21. Bxd4 Rfd8 22. Qe3 Qe4 23. Qc3 Qxg2 24. Rdg1 Qe4 25. Qg3 Ne8 26. Bc3 Bg5 27. Nf3 Rd3 28. Nxg5 Qxh1 29. Rxh1 Rxg3 30. fxg3 hxg5 31. Rd1 b6 32. b4 Rc8 33. Kb2 Nf6 34. h6 Rxc4 35. Rf1 Re4 36. b5 Re2+ 37. Kc1 Re3 38. Bd4 Rxg3 39. hxg7 Nd5 40. Kd2 Ra3 41. Rc1 Rxa2+ 42. Kd3 f6 0-1 


  


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