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Games Commentary

12 round press conferences
Monday, 24 May 2010
After 12th round games grandmasters came to the press centre and answered to the journalist’s questions.

240510_gashimov-rajabov.jpgVugar Gashimov vs. Teimour Radjabov

One can only dream about my position after the opening. White has a healthy extra pawn and the rest should be a technical task. Maybe I should have castled long, because my king would be safer on the queenside, but after 15.0-0 White also stands better. After 30.g4 it looked like the game ends in White’s favor, but then something strange started to happen. After 36...Qe8 White’s position looks completely winning, but I could not find a clear-cut way to win! Maybe I slipped it away earlier, I don’t know.

Question: This game may have ended you quest for the candidates matches...
– I disagree! First, there is one round to go, and anything can happen. And second, I may receive an invitation as a player from the host country.

The opponent outwitted me in the opening. I mixed up the move order and lost a pawn. Knowing Vugar’s technique, I was quite pessimistic about my chances to save the game. I desperately needed some counterplay, therefore I took an anti-positional decision to lock the kingside and play a King’s Indian kind of structure. I wanted to get some pleasure from the game, and after I played 22...Bf8, 25...h5, I actually cheered up. During this game I constantly needed to look for creative ideas in order to survive – I was quite sure that my position is objectively lost. And then I found a strange idea 36...Qe8, which looks more suitable for a blitz game. The resulting position is very suspicious for Black, but I cannot find a win for White. And then I discovered the perpetual check idea... To sum up, I got really lucky today.

240510_ivanchuk-pc.jpgVladimir Akopian vs. Vassily Ivanchuk

Akopian: This opening variation recently occurred in Wijk-ann-Zee in Kramnik-Ivanchuk. I paid attention to this game during the preparation and had clear understanding of possible plans. I am surprised that the victory came so easily – I have a bad score against Vassily. The plan that I employed in this game is not new: White ignores the d4-pawn and concentrates on a kingside attack. Vassily played without confidence; his 14...g6 only provokes my attack. And on the next move he should have played 15...h5. After he missed this opportunity, my only problem was to choose correctly from several good continuations. The final position is so ugly for Black that Vassily just resigned. Well, this probably just wasn’t his day...

240510_mamedyarov-leko.jpgShakhriyar Mamedyarov vs. Peter Leko

Mamedyarov: A played a decent game. I repeated the opening line used against Jakovenko in the first round. Peter did not make the most accurate move, and slowly I obtained a serious advantage. At some point I could win in one move... I missed this opportunity, probably due to tiredness, but nevertheless won the game in the end.

Peter Leko: This was a strange game. Losing to Eljanov killed my chances to qualify for the candidates matches, which obviously affected my motivation today. Of course, this is not a good excuse for my poor play against Shakhriyar...

Ponomariov vs. Wang Yue

I went for the Gruenfeld Defense hoping for a sharp game: I still had a slight chance to finish first. Unfortunately, I played inaccurately in the opening. The c5-break must be carried out on the 7th move, before castling. After this mistake I faced serious problems, and my opponent had many interesting options. I think I equalized after 14...Nа4, but even there he found a strong maneuver 17.Rd5, 19.Rс5. I played 20...Bc3 out of desperation. However, here Wang Yue suffered from his inclination to play without risk. After the bishops were traded, my position improved so much that I even got certain chances to play for a win! Still, the game ended in a draw.

Peter Svidler vs. Boris Gelfand

I recalled my “outstanding” results in the Petroff and decided to try a different opening today. We followed the earlier game between Carlsen and Gelfand, and White could not claim anything serious after the opening. Since I couldn’t capture the d4-pawn, I shifted to the kingside. 21.Qc1 was played in order to continue by 22.g4, however, it also contained a trap, and Boris fell into it. Then I had to find the accurate c2-с3 and open up the center. Generally I am satisfied with my play today.

There is not much to add. Peter explained everything right.

Pavel Eljanov vs. Dmitry Jakovenko

240510_jakovenko-pc.jpgEljanov: I failed to get any advantage as White and decided that the tournament situation does not oblige me to play recklessly for a win.

Jakovenko: There is nothing to say about the game. Pavel selected a well-known line of the Catalan Opening, where White agrees to repeat the moves early. Should I avoid it? Well, I played Black, and tomorrow’s game is very important... So this game ended in a short and dull draw.

Wang Yue:
I want to note two critical spots. 13.Qd2 looks stronger than the move actually played – 13.Qb1. Also, I really like Ruslan’s 20...Bc3. Apart from that there was nothing interesting in this game.

240510_alekseev-inarkiev.jpgEvgeny Alekseev vs. Ernesto Inarkiev

Alekseev: I failed to get an advantage in the Slav Defense. Ernesto had a comfortable game, but made a serious mistake on the 13th move by 13...Rad8. After this White makes several obvious moves – 14. g4, 15. f4, and I couldn’t see how Black can save his piece. After 18...Ng4 it seemed the game will end in a few moves. However, I played inaccurately despite having enough time on the clock, and Black extended his resistance. I coordinated my pieces and broke his defense only in the ending.

Inarkiev: My position after 13...Rad8 was extremely difficult, so it is surprising that we played for so long.
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