2nd round press conference
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
FIDE Grand Prix participants after the second round battles were talking to the journalists on their impressions of the games.
Peter Leko (Hungary) vs. Evgeny Alekseev (Russia)
Alekseev: Approaching the first control, I had a certain blackout. For
some reason I decided that we are playing with an increment! When I had
just 8 seconds left on the clock, I suddenly realized that there is no
increment, so I had to speed up! I had some minor problems to solve, and
ended up losing on time in an equal position. It has never happened to
me before, and I hope it will never happen in future.
Leko: My position was slightly better throughout the game, but the
opponent defended very well. In the end I was also in time trouble and
had to play very fast not because I tried to flag Evgeny, but because I
was worried about making the time control myself!
(Ukraine) vs. Wang Yue (China)
Vassily Ivanchuk: Everything went logically from the start. The first
critical moment occurred after 21...b6. I had a decent and natural move
22.b4 – White advances the pawn to b5, occupies the c6-square, and so
on. However, I decided that I should play in a more concrete style.
Unfortunately, after 22. Ra3 c5 I didn’t find anything decisive. I
underestimated 24.. ab6, and Black returns a piece, but obtains a very
solid position in return. Since I didn’t find any advantage for White, I
decided to force a draw. Generally I don’t think I played well in this
game. 22. Ra3, for example, is a bad move.
Question: You came to the press-conference with a book. Is this a
Vassily Ivanchuk: No. A man approached me before the game and presented
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘Citadelle’. It is not the most famous of his
books, so I’ll gladly read it when I have time.
Wang Yue: I think Vassily’s play can be improved at some occasions. I
didn’t like my position after 20.Be3 – the king is in danger, and there
is no clear game plan, so 22...с5 was a good escape route for me.
Peter Svidler (Russia) vs. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine)
Svidler: We played the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez. I selected a
safe line that I studied at home. The key moment of the game is White’s
22nd move. I had to choose a place for my knight: e2 or g2. I spent
about 10 minutes and moved the knight to e2, and I have no idea why I
made this choice – it was obvious that the knight belongs to g2.
However, losing the game in two moves afterwards was not at all
necessary. Maybe it just wasn’t my day.
Natural flow of the game was disturbed by my opponent’s blunder. Of
course it is a pleasure to win a game, but winning in some other way
feels much better.
Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) vs. Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia)
Teimour Radjabov: I played this ending many times as White. My position
is slightly better, and I can create various problems for the opponent.
Today’s game ended in a draw rather quickly, however, if I played 20.Kf2
instead of 20. Кd2, I’d have a big advantage. I am very unhappy that I
didn’t even consider this move! I can’t say I was immediately winning
after it, but I could get real chances.
Ernesto Inarkiev: I also play this line for many years, and already used
it against Teimour, too. So this was a principled opening duel, and I
think my position after the opening was little bit too good! I couldn’t
see the slightest problem for Black, and it made me careless. 17...Ng6
is just a blunder – this move loses a pawn! Teimour developed the
initiative and forced me to defend with accurate moves. I agree with my
opponent – 20.Кf2 gives White decent winning chances, although Black’s
position remains solid.
(Israel) vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan)
Boris Gelfand: This was an interesting game. I had no advantage after
the opening, so I traded the queens and tried to play as solid as
possible. Shakhriyar made a very unorthodox decision – he brought his
rook to а6 and started attacking my pawns. I also replied in a
non-standard way – sacrificed a pawn and blocked Black’s pieces. The
resulting position was dynamically balanced, I think. However,
Shakhriyar made a mistake on the move 26, playing 26...Na5 instead of
26...Nс5. Black’s position immediately became bad. White had a risk-free
advantage with a strong knight against a bad bishop.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I thought I have winning chances, and took too
much risk. With 26...Na5 I attempted to take advantage of the opponent’s
time trouble and his reluctance to force a draw. Unfortunately, I
underestimated all the options White had at the critical moment of the