6th round press conferences
Monday, 17 May 2010
FIDE 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...
Peter Svidler vs. Peter Leko
It is difficult to play with such an experienced player as Peter. I
spent my free day studying the variation that did not occur in the game.
Only at the board I realized that nothing I planned at home gives me
any edge. 16.Bf4 was over-the-board improvisation, but unfortunately it
failed, as Black was able to transfer the bishop from e6 to g6 just in
time. My opponent was excellently prepared to the game, as usual.
Leko: Today I decided to play a variation of the Ruy Lopez that I
never tried before. 16.Bf4 is an interesting idea. I tested it already,
but without success. As soon as the bishop arrives to g6, Black solves
all his opening problems completely.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs.
Mamedyarov: I think Vugar
misplayed in the opening – 9…Bc5 seems dangerous for Black. I thought I
had a better game, but it seems my advantage was not very significant. I
tried to play actively, wanted to have a real fight, but made an
inaccurate move and gave Black some counterplay, after which I had to
trade the queens with a draw. We never prearrange our games with Vugar
because we are not afraid of each other, but somehow we always make
Gashimov: I am not sure whether 12...Be3 is the best move. I
thought it’s the simplest, however, there were other ideas that I also
considered. Shakhriyar tried to be active, but Black had strong pieces,
too, so my opponent was right when he played 30.Rd6 forcing a draw.
Pavel Eljanov vs. Evgeny Alekseev
know almost nothing about this variation. I thought I achieved a
playable position and maybe even had an advantage. The critical moment
occurred when I played 22.с5, thinking that I have a decent edge.
However, the position was extremely double-edged. I made an inaccuracy,
and after 22…Rcd8 my position became dangerous. I was unable to
consolidate, althought Evgeny gave me some chances. The ending was very
difficult and probably losing. However, I lost it without any
Alekseev: The position after the opening was
very sharp; both sides had chances. I thought White was slightly better,
but maybe playing Bа3 was premature. I doubled my pawns, but got a good
counterplay, which was probably underestimated by my opponent. After I
took the pawn on а2, my position became winning. The endgame was
complicated, and White had drawing chances at some point, but he
misplayed again, and I managed to win.
Vladimir Akopian vs.
Akopian: I already played this variation against Gelfand in the
first round. I think my opening advantage today was even bigger, but
after 26…Bh3 the game became very complicated. I had many options and
probably did not find the best ones. Maybe I needed to avoid trading the
queens. However, I still think White must be able to hold that
Wang Yue: White had an advantage after the
opening. Of course 26.Re3 is bad; maybe 26.Ba2 is better. After 26…Bh3
the endgame is better for Black, as White’s pawns are weak. However,
winning it is by no means easy, so one can say I was lucky today.
Vassily Ivanchuk vs. Teimour Radjabov
Ivanchuk: I liked my position after the opening, but then I
made a mistake somewhere. Maybe 20.Qd3 was bad, as it allowed the
Black’s queen to take a nice spot on а4. Perhaps taking on h5 was also
too optimistic. After that I had to sacrifice a piece, and I think Black
had a win somewhere. However, I tried to play creatively, and maybe
deserved a draw in this game.
Radjabov: White had an
advantage in the opening, and his plan was very simple – there was
always a threat of f3 and g4. I agree that taking on h5 is incorrect;
I’d prefer to play Qd1 and maintain the tension. After I advanced the
a-pawn to а3 Black should be winning, however, I didn’t see a clear-cut
win. In the endgame I also had winning chances, but could not spot the
immediate win. Still, there is a feeling that I lost half a point in
Boris Gelfand vs. Ernesto Inarkiev
It was a very interesting game. I think Black played very strong. Right
now I cannot spot my decisive error. Ernesto had a very good game – my
Inarkiev: I played this variation nearly for
the first time in my life. White played his usual trumps, attempted to
exert pressure, but I neutralized all the direct threats and got a very
good position. The game was virtually over after the 26th move.
How it feels to lead the race at a Grand Prix tournament?
It feels great, but there is a long way to go, and I must maintain my