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Games Commentary

11th round press conferences
Sunday, 23 May 2010
On the daily press conferences participants of tournament have short commented on their 11th round games.

230510_eljanov_pc.jpgVassily Ivanchuk vs. Pavel Eljanov

Ivanchuk: I thought I got a slightly better game in the opening, although the position was complicated and everything could change at any moment. 18.Nс4 looks spectacular, but is by no means decisive. The situation remained complex with a nominal advantage to White. Eventually Black managed to hold a draw.

Eljanov: We arrived at a typical position for this variation with one difference: White’s queenside knight usually stands on d2, not c3, but this should favor Black. I underestimated 15.Nd3, but found an interesting reply 15...Nb4. Taking the knight makes no sense, because White’s pieces become passive, and Black has a very simple plan on the queenside. After 16.Qb1 Black should also hold his position.

230510_pono-pc.jpgRuslan Ponomariov vs. Vugar Gashimov

Ponomariov: Vugar is a bit one-sided player – he always plays Modern Benoni against 1.d4. Such approach has its pluses and minuses. The advantage is that Vugar knows his positions very well. The disadvantage is that he knows other lines superficially. Thus I decided to transpose to the Nimzo-Indian Defense. In my opinion, I got a very comfortable position. Perhaps in the middlegame I could play better. For example, on the 17th move I could take on g3 with the queen, making Black’s defensive task tougher. Yet, defending was unpleasant enough for such an active player as Vugar. He started to make reckless moves such as 26...h5, which helped me to win the game. Generally I am satisfied with this game.

230510_inarkiev-wang-pc.jpgErnesto Inarkiev vs. Wang Yue

Inarkiev: 12...Bf5 is a strong novelty which equalizes immediately. White has to trade many pieces and continue without serious chances for an advantage. The further game was more or less equal. The rook ending was more pleasant for Black, but he didn’t have real winning chances. Since we have no right to offer a draw, we played until the bare kings.

Wang: I also like 12...Bf5. I don’t think White has anything better than accepting exchanges and making a draw.

Dmitry Jakovenko vs. Boris Gelfand

Jakovenko: 13.Bf3 is an improvement over the most recent Leko-Gelfand game, in which White took on f3 with a pawn. Boris quickly made a mistake – 17...Qf3, and he was really lucky that there was no immediate win for White. Unfortunately, soon I returned the favor – despite many good alternatives, I kept selecting the weakest continuations. Of course I am disappointed. What a pity: I obtained such a great advantage against the Petroff, and blew it in a few moves! The key moment occurred on the 23rd move. I could take on g7 with a pawn, but I thought that 23.Rg7 wins by force. However, Boris found a very strong maneuver Qh5-f7, which allowed him to save the game. White kept the minimal advantage; I tried to pose problems, but Boris defended easily.

Gelfand: Until the 13th move we repeated my game against Leko from this tournament. Dmitry found an interesting move – 13.Bf3, and I had to solve certain problems. I made a serious mistake by taking on f3 with a queen, which led to a very suspicious position. Later White played inaccurately and spoiled his advantage; however, I didn’t see a clear-cut win for him. In the end I managed to build a fortress and make a draw.

230510_akopian-pc.jpgPeter Leko vs. Vladimir Akopian
Leko: The position after trading the queens is well known in theory, and is considered to be slightly better for White. Handling it, however, is difficult with both colors: Black must withstand some pressure, and White has to play very accurately in order to keep his evaporating advantage. Unfortunately, I was unable to achieve anything...

Akopian: Black had to defend for the whole game. White could keep playing for a win even in the final position, but I should hold easily with more or less accurate play.

230510_rajabov-mamedyarov-pc.jpgTeimour Radjabov vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Radjabov: I got a pleasant position after the opening – White had a clear plan based on his extra kingside pawn. Black stood slightly worse and needed to neutralize White’s advantage. I think after 20.Qf4 White may already be winning. Not sure if 28.d6 was necessary, but I thought I needed to force the issues. In any case, after this move it becomes extremely difficult for Black to hold. Maybe he can survive with some computer moves, but for a human it is almost impossible. Then I fixed the kingside structure and won the h-pawn...

Mamedyarov: I expected the Exchange Ruy Lopez today, as Teimour played against me at the President’s Cup. I disagree with his assessment of the opening: in my opinion, White didn’t get any advantage. He started to take the upper hand only when I made a mistake by 19...Qd4 – this move is overambitious. When I realized that I simply overlooked White’s reply, I got disappointed and lost without much fight. Even 38...Ка7 would be more stubborn – I think this ending is unpleasant, but not lost.

230510_svidler-alekseev-pc.jpgEvgeny Alekseev vs. Peter Svidler draw

Alekseev: The opponent surprised me in the opening, and I thought for a long time looking for the ways to fight for an advantage. Yesterday I had a tough game and still feel a bit tired. So I decided to avoid complications and went for a quiet game with a small plus. However, Peter did not make any obvious mistakes, so the game ended in a draw.

Svidler: Every day I am trying to break the unfavorable course of the tournament. Today, for example, I played the opening that I rarely use – the Scheveningen Sicilian. Evgeny reacted very accurately, and I was unable to complicate the game. My main motivation for the rest of the tournament is to win at least one game – it would be very unpleasant to finish the event without a single win...
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