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Games Commentary

5th round press conference
Sunday, 16 May 2010
150510_ivanchuk-pc.jpgFIDE Grand Prix chess players after the third round games explain to the journalists their strategy and answered to the questions.

Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) vs. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
Ruslan Ponomariov: Both players showed a lot of creativity from the start, especially after Vassily Mikhailovich played 9...Qe7. I thought I played logically, developed my pieces... Ivanchuk was taking his decisions very fast, and maybe I didn’t get enough time to fully comprehend the position. After 28...Be3 I gave away the initiative completely. Black started to attack... Maybe I had to play something more principled, but it’s hard to say without serious analysis. I thought I played well, but Black’s energetic play left me perplexed.
Vassily Ivanchuk: As far as I know, 9...Qe7 occurred in the Anand-Karpov match. I misplayed something in the opening, as I didn’t like my position early on. The a6- and b6-pawns could easily become weak. 22.h4 gave me some hope. Instead of 31.Nd5 White had 31.Bc2 intending 32.Bd1 with unclear position.  

150510_svidler.jpgShakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) vs. Peter Svidler (Russia)
Peter Svidler: Shakhriyar tried every known line against the Gruenfeld, so I was unable to guess his choice correctly. I played a relatively rare 10...Be6. His 12.b4 is a novelty. It looked dubious to me, but turned out to lead to a forced draw. White is not worse, but cannot claim any opening advantage either. During the game I thought that I am better after 15...Qc8, but when I saw his reply, I realized that tactics don’t work for Black. So I found and demonstrated a forced draw.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: I didn’t get any advantage in the opening. I agree with Peter’s assessment of the game. I had some problems with my computer, so I couldn’t prepare for the game in a usual way. When I played 12.b4, I was satisfied with my position and expected an interesting game, however, after Peter played 15...Qc8, I realized that I must look for an escape route.
Question: So, it wasn’t a so-called grandmaster draw – you actually had to put some effort into the game?

Svidler: Yes, I had to make a few choices during the game.
150510_leko-rajabov-pc.jpgTeimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) vs. Peter Leko (Hungary)
Teimour Radjabov: It was a big surprise to see Peter playing the Ragozin. I proceeded to a position in which I had some ideas, but at some point I realized that all of it already occurred in Gelfand-Aronian.
The outcome of the game is logical – I didn’t guess the opening scheme correctly, Peter knew the position well, and I didn’t have any improvements in the main lines.
Peter Leko: I indeed decided to try something new. I worked on this opening a lot, mostly for White, so it was interesting to test it as Black. Of course, I knew it will be a surprise for my opponent. In the end it is important to note that on 29.Rc1 Black must respond by 29...e3 with a good game.
150510_alekseev-pc.jpgEvgeny Alekseev (Russia) vs. Boris Gelfand (Israel)
Evgeny Alekseev: This was a funny game – to be honest, I have never played a symmetrical game for 12 moves straight... White had a slight advantage from the start, but Boris defended very accurately, and I was unable to develop it into something real.
Boris Gelfand: Beginners sometimes ask whether or not they should copy the opponent’s moves... In our game we maintained the symmetry for quite a while, but then White grabbed control in the center. I considered my next move for about 40 minutes. I felt that if I don’t find the correct plan, my position will be unpleasant. So I provoked crisis in the center, and Evgeny reacted in the most principled way. In the end I was forced to repeat the moves, otherwise my position would become bad.
150510_inarkiev-pc.jpgErnesto Inarkiev (Russia) vs. Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia)
Ernesto Inarkiev: This was my fifth ending at this tournament, and finally I handled it well! Dmitry played very passively in the opening, and I got everything one can wish for. However, Black defended very well, and I played rather slowly, which led to certain time pressure. I decided to complicate the game, and after e6 this was a forced draw.
Dmitry Jakovenko: I played poorly in the opening. I had some ideas, but it was difficult to implement them. However, despite my passivity, Black’s position remained quite solid. Ernesto selected one of the possible plans of converting the advantage, but I got lucky and made a draw.
150510_elianov-pc.jpgWang Yue (China) vs. Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine)
Pavel Enjanov: I played terribly in the first half of the game, partly because I underestimated my opponent. My position was worse, and I wasted a lot of time... Wang Yue played well and obtained a solid advantage. I even wanted to resign at some point, but then found the only chance and sacrificed an exchange. I was almost exhausted at that moment and had nothing to lose...
Actually, I have nothing to lose in this tournament, too – that’s why I am so dangerous for the others!
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