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Games Commentary

10th round press conferences
Saturday, 22 May 2010
After 10th round games grandmasters came to the press office and answered to the journalist’s questions.

220510_pono-pc.jpgShakhriyar Mamedyarov vs. Ruslan Ponomariov

Mamedyarov: I didn’t expect this variation. I knew how to play it, but I didn’t prepare for it. It seems I was unable to surprise my opponent. He made a couple of decent moves and equalized the game. There wasn’t much of a fight today.

Ponomariov: During the preparation to this game I studied Shakhriyar’s games. He seemed to be on the rise, as he won his last two games, while I made two dull draws. So for today’s game I selected a solid setup, sometimes applied by Peter Leko. The most principled move in this variation is 12.Bf4. After I carried out the freeing 18…с5, the position became symmetrical and equal.

220510_ivanchuk-pc.jpgBoris Gelfand - Vassily Ivanchuk

Gelfand: We played a popular Gruenfeld line with 8.Bе3. Vassily selected 9…сd4. 16.Kе1 is a tricky move, but Black found a strong reply 16...Bf8, and all I could do is force a draw.
Ivanchuk: I planned to play it safe and create small problems for my opponent without trying to seize the initiative. White had to try hard in order to lose this game.

Vladimir Akopian vs. Teimour Radjabov

220510_rajabov-pc.jpgAkopian: I didn’t play well in the opening, as Black got everything he could wish for in the Sveshnikov. He tried to force the matters with 21...е4, which was very aggressive, but possibly a little bit unsound, as it allowed me to coordinate the pieces. Maybe trading the queens was wrong, and I should have preferred 24.Qh6. I also don’t like my next moves – 26.Ndf4 and 28.f4. White’s position became very cramped, and Teimour showed good technique, not giving me any chances to survive.

Black achieved a lot in the opening, but 21...е4 was wrong, of course. There were many simple and positionally sound alternatives, but even the anti-positional 21...f4 would be in order. However, I was ahead on the clock and decided to force the matters, not seeing that it gives White good counterplay. 26.Ndf4 is a serious inaccuracy, which allowed me to bring the dark-squared bishop into play. White’s time trouble also made an impact, but in any case it was hard to survive in the arisen ending.

220510_inarkiev-pc.jpgVugar Gashimov vs. Ernesto Inarkiev

It was an exciting game. The position was complicated, but I found an interesting plan with 15.Bd3 and 16.Re2. My pawn sacrifice led to a curious position: White is a pawn down, Black pieces seem to be active, but actually White can play for a win at no risk. Soon I regained the material, keeping all the advantages of my position, then won an exchange and converted the advantage without much trouble.

Inarkiev: The middlegame position was very complicated: I needed to check various White’s sacrifices on every move. Thus I became short on time and made a stupid mistake – 30...d5. After 31...Qe8 I lost an exchange, but without these mistakes Black would have a decent position. I admit that Vugar played very energetically and deserved his win.

220510_svidler-pc.jpgPeter Svidler vs. Dmitry Jakovenko

Svidler: In his previous games Dmitry obtained a few suspicious positions in the Catalan, so I decided to give it a try instead of fighting against the Berlin. However, this time his position after the opening was approximately even. 16.с5 was White’s only chance to play for a win. A strange and imbalanced structure arose, but Black found the safest way of dealing with my ghost initiative. I could try playing for a win with 27.ba4, but this attempt is very sharp and risky, because White’s pawns are weak, and the king is not safe. After 32...Qg6 I faced a very responsible decision: I could either take on c6 and lose a few pawns, or force a draw. I took the second option, also because I could not pass the time control without repeating the position three times.

Black equalized after the opening indeed, and I don’t think White’s 16.с5 was justified. Peter also surprised me by 18.Qc3. It turned out that I underestimated the dangers of my position, however, White never had anything decisive, and even 27.bа4 looked very risky for both sides.

220510_leko-pc.jpgPavel Eljanov vs. Peter Leko
Eljanov: I habitually misplayed the opening – 10.Ng3 seems to be wrong. Black obtained a pleasant position, and after the strong maneuver Nd7-b8-с6 it became clear that he has no problems whatsoever, although it was not easy to make progress. Perhaps 21...Nа5 and 24...b5 was a bit too straightforward. After 24.Ne2 Black faced certain problems due to poor coordination of his pieces. I was lucky that Peter did not grasp the situation completely before the control, and after that his position was already hopeless.

After the 13th move Black obtained a good position and seized the initiative. However, I spent too much time looking for the best continuations, and then made several inaccuracies, which wasted the advantage and even led to a difficult position. After the control I could notsave the game.

220510_akekseev-wang-pc.jpgWang Yue vs. Evgeny Alekseev

I played poorly today. White obviously had an edge after the opening, but I played inaccurately and blew it. The game was lengthy; White had a slight advantage, but it didn’t grow into anything bigger.

Alekseev: The game was complicated. My opponent played well and created a lot of problems for me, but I managed to solve them and made a draw.

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