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Games Commentary

7th round press conferences
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
180510-svidler-gashimov.jpgAfter 7th round games of the FIDE Grand Pix in Astrakhan all the participants visit the press conferences and answered to the questions.

Vugar Gashimov vs. Peter Svidler

Svidler: I didn’t expect 14.Bg5. Human beings don’t normally play like this – 14.Ng3 looks more standard. I spent 40 minutes for the next two moves, considering the best locations for my pieces, and then found an interesting pawn sacrifice in order to get rid of the pin and obtain a bishop pair.
White was poorly coordinated, so I thought I should have good compensation. The key question was whether White transfers the knight from f3 to f5 first, or Black trades all the pieces or brings his knight to d3. Vugar kept creating problems for me for the whole game, however, I managed to trade the pieces without paying too dearly. Generally, we played a good game, which logically ended in a draw.
I found an interesting opening idea – 14.Bg5 is a rare move. Peter’s reaction was also interesting and strong. I could take the central pawn, but rejected it, because I didn’t want to give Black the initiative. My position remained slightly better, so Black had to struggle to make a draw. I tried to avoid simplifications, but Black eventually managed to trade the pieces, and the game was drawn.
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Round 7 Report by Geoffrey BORG
Monday, 17 May 2010
170510-eljanov-web.jpgFollowing the battles we witnessed yesterday, another great round was expected today and the players did not disappoint. The surprise leader after round 6 was the sympathetic GM representing Elista, Ernesto Inarkiev and in this round he faced the previous leader GM Eljanov from Ukraine.

Ernesto INARKIEV – Pavel ELJANOV         0-1

Pavel needed to win and against the trendy Advance Caro Kan he chose a very tactical line. Inarkiev was the first to vary with 11.Kd2!? although this was given in the notes to the game Bologan – Palo from 2003. GM Bologan had preferred to play 11.Nb5 in that game.

Ernesto had a good position nevertheless but the creative 13.g4 did not promise white too much and the pin on the knight started to give white some problems. Black emerged with an extra pawn and a better position after a brief skirmish and tied up the game on move 50. Final times (0:30 – 1:00)
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6th round press conferences
Monday, 17 May 2010
170510_ponomarev-jakovenko.jpgFIDE Grand Prix chess players after the six round games explain to the journalists their strategy and answered to the questions.

Dmitry Jakovenko vs Ruslan Ponomarev

Dmitry Jakovenko:
Ruslan selected the Gruenfeld Defense, where I had an interesting novelty – 14. Bс4. White loses a tempo but lures Black’s pawn to b5, where it is placed rather badly. Ruslan’s reaction was inferior, and after 22.Bb5 I thought the game is virtually over. On the 30th move I made a mistake by not taking the pawn, so I had to work hard in the endgame to achieve this victory.

Ruslan Ponomariov: I played quite badly. I saw 14.Bc4, but still reacted in a bad way, and kept taking second-best decisions later on. After 22.Bb5 I wanted to resign immediately, but my opponent missed a clear-cut win and tortured me for quite a while...

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Round 6 Report by Geoffrey Borg
Sunday, 16 May 2010
160510_zal-web.jpgThe first rest day saw Ukrainian GM, Pavel Eljanov, going into the sole lead with +2 or 3.5 pts / 5 games. Pavel celebrated his 27th birthday just at the start of the tournament and the result is quite merited as he has been steadily improving from one GP tournament to another. This is also reflected in his other tournaments and he enjoys a current no.9 world ranking. Only one point separated thirteen players after round 5, obviously reflecting the cautious play adopted so far. 

With so many heavyweight Grandmasters around, we had some very important games again on the stage in Astrakhan today. We had some great fighting games and after 3.5 hours only one game (Svidler - Leko) had finished and the six other tables were showing some very interesting chess. Eventually Mamedyarov - Gashimov also petered out after some heavy pieces were exchanged just before the time control. In general, the no-draw offer rules have turned out well and we are getting great chess in the large majority of the games.

Pavel ELJANOV – Evgeny ALEKSEEV    0 - 1

Today, Eljanov employed one of the trendy ideas against GM Alekseev of Russia who chose the solid Queen’s Indian Defence. With 7.Re1, white gets black to lose a tempo with 7…Qc8 and only then develops the knight to c3. Alekseev seemed to be well prepared however and around move 20 was enjoying a 30 minute advantage on the clock.

This advantage continued as Alexeev started to increase his positional advantage and around move 27 white had 9 minutes left for 13 moves against Alekseev’s 26 minutes. Black soon picked up a pawn and white was in deep trouble. Eljanov managed to fight valiantly for quite some time but the position was really very difficult for him and Alekseev played well to clinch the win. Final times (0:00 – 0:14)

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