7th round press conferences
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
After 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
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.
Gashimov: 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.
Ponomariov vs. Boris Gelfand
Gelfand: It was a very interesting game. We played a rare
variation. I thought for a long time and probably found the best reply –
castled long, not fearing possible attacks. Ruslan released the tension
in the center fairly quickly. I think I got a very comfortable game. I
hoped to fight for an advantage, but it didn’t materialize. Ruslan
correctly played 21.е4 with equality. In the ending I had to be alert,
while White continued at almost no risk.
Ponomariov: After two losses I needed to score at least half a
point. First I decided to play solid, but it isn’t easy when the kings
castle to the opposite sides of the board. My position was good, I had a
bishop pair, but my king was weak. Black had a very easy and
straightforward game. I hoped my opponent would be affected by possible
time trouble, but it didn’t happen. 17.Bа6 looked like an interesting
try. Later I played 21.е4 because I felt I must be careful. After we
traded a few pieces, I completely missed 30...b3, but nevertheless drew
vs. Vladimir Akopian
Alekseev: We played the Ruy Lopez. Black selected a passive line
and transferred his knight to f7. After 20.Be3 his position became
difficult, but he probably could hold with patient play. After 21...Ng5
it turned out that he has no counterplay, and the g7-knight is
completely out of play. White had a very simple and straightforward plan
on the queenside, and Black’s kingside counterplay was of no help.
Akopian: 20...с4 is a huge blunder. I considered this move for
quite a while, choosing from several possibilities. I thought it opens
up the position with a lively and dynamic game, but it turned out that
my counterplay with h5 fails – White immediately drived my queen off the
c8. I underestimated this idea and was disappointed to find that I have
no counterplay in a hopeless position. I either had to resign
immediately or complicate the game at all costs.
Peter Leko vs.
Leko: We went for an ancient opening variation, which was
frequently played by Lajos Portisch. I mixed up the move order: instead
of 11.g3 I needed to capture 11.Bd7 first, and only then go for 11...Nd7
12.g3. After the castling Black obtained an extra option – 12...Qd7.
Then Vassily found 19...Rad8, which was fairly strong, and Black got a
good albeit a bit passive game. There was no real advantage for White,
although in the endgame I had a symbolic extra pawn.
Ivanchuk: I played an old line – Lajos Portisch used it in the
80s, and before him it was played by Paul Keres. Recently Wang Yue
employed it against Short. White found a strong plan with 18.h3 and
19.Qg4, so I had to find 19...Rad8. I think I defended quite well.
vs. Ernesto Inarkiev
Eljanov: I played a variation that is considered semi-correct and
quite dangerous, but I think it is better than its reputation. I found
the ways to hold Black’s position. After 9...с4 my position was already
better strategically: I had a good structure and better pieces. White
had many alternatives to 11.Kd2. After 11...Bb4 I couldn’t see how White
can get rid of the highly unpleasant knight pin. Ernesto turned
desperate and played 13.g4, accepting an ending without a pawn. I surely
could win it faster.
Inarkiev: I went for a sharp line, but was unable to claim any
advantage. Still, I have faith in White’s position and think we’ll see
more of this variation in future. 13.g4 is a horrible blunder, as after
that move I obtained a very difficult position, which was hard to
defend. I created some problems for Black, but realistically I couldn’t
hope to survive.
Wang Yue vs.
Wang Yue: I played this opening for the first time and didn’t
quite understand what I should do. Maybe instead of 16.Nd5 I should go
for 16.Ne3 with unclear play, but I wanted to act more solidly. I still
thought I had the advantage until the opponent made his 22nd move.
Mamedyarov: My opponent played 3.g3 instead of his usual 3.Nc3. I
was completely perplexed when I saw that move on the board – he caught
me unprepared. I looked around and saw Ivanchuk playing 3...Ngе7 in the
Ruy Lopez – and this man knows everything! So I decided to try something
creative, too. 16.Nd5 is probably a mistake, as I have a better game
after 16...b5. I obtained a certain advantage, but Wang Yue defended
accurately and made a draw.
Radjabov vs. Dmitry Jakovenko
Radjabov: I clearly had an opening advantage, because Dmitry
mixed up the move order: it is better to play Ba6 and then Bb7. White
had many good options, I selected one of them. The game became
complicated; I was worried about possible dc and с5 advance. After
32.Nh3 Black’s position became very difficult. I was told I missed 35.е4
with the idea to sacrifice a piece on e4, but during the game it looked
too risky to me. After 35...Nh7 Black made several only moves to hold
his position, and my advantage evaporated... It was a very hectic game.
Jakovenko: I planned to play the usual 10...а5, but suddenly got
very interested in 10...Bb7. Then I spent 40 minutes on 11...h6, because
I really didn’t want making that move. Later I regretted that the rules
of chess do not allow me to retreat this pawn... Teimour forced me to
trade the dark-squared bishops, and obtained a clear plus. I wasn’t sure
if the plan with dc and с5 worked – I thought White can always play d5,
and Black is in trouble. So I tried to keep the game closed. 30...g5
looks suicidal, but somehow there was no clear win for White. The
resulting position was still very difficult for Black – my bishop did
not participate in the game at all. However, I held the position by a
miracle – White didn’t find a good moment to carry out the e4-break.
After I took on a4 I was already sure that Black holds.