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Games Commentary

9th round press conferences
Friday, 21 May 2010
After the games of the FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Astrakhan all participants of the tournament visit the press conferences. There are the most interesting replies

200510_gelfand-leko.jpgPeter Leko vs. Boris Gelfand

This game had theoretical importance. I implemented a new plan – transferred the bishop to h5, and equalized without much trouble. A similar structure occurred in our game with Peter at the World Championship in Mexico, which ended in a draw on the 100th move.
Leko: 11...Bg4 is an important novelty! The idea is very interesting: the bishop goes to h5, and deprives White of all attacking chances. The queen is excellently placed on d8, which creates an opportunity to play Bf6. I tried the most principled plan: to carry out f4 and f5. However, after Black brought his rook to e4, I figured that I have no advantage at all, and decided to start repeating the moves.
Vassily Ivanchuk vs. Dmitry Jakovenko

Ivanchuk: Well, what can I say... The position after the opening was equal. If we used the standard rules, I could offer a draw earlier, but here we had to search the move repetition.
Jakovenko: I knew that as soon as the knight arrives to c5, Black solves all his problems, because White cannot make progress. During the game I took time just once – when I considered my 17th move, because it required some calculation. draw.

Wang Yue vs. Peter Svidler
Svidler: I always responded to g3 with a symmetrical game, played 3…с6, etc. However, today I decided to try something new. I play reasonably well here, but the results are poor, so I needed a change. It was a strange mixture of Indian and English opening, which was okay for me, because the game was sufficiently complicated. Unfortunately, it turned out that Black has exactly zero chance to play for a win.
After we traded the knights, the position became equal. And my opponent has a strong reputation for playing in simple positions – he likes them and handles them flawlessly. I tried to create imbalances, but did not succeed. Well, that’s life.
Wang Yue: I shouldn’t have allowed 8…ed. The position after 8.d5 is very rich of opportunities; I think it was more promising. White hasn’t castled, which is good, because sometimes I’d like to castle long. But I just castled short without thinking, underestimating Black’s reply, after which he is completely in order.

Evgeny Alekseev vs. Vugar Gashimov

200510_alekseev-gashimov.jpgAlekseev: I played 4.Qd4, and Shakhriyar replied by 4…Bd7. Usually Black plays 4…а6 or 4…Nс6. I thought White is better, but Black found a strong move b5, forcing me to offer a temporary pawn sacrifice. The position became equal. We played on for a long time, but did not achieve anything.
Gashimov: Generally I agree that the game was rather uneventful. I tried to complicate it, but Evgeny played correctly, and forced major simplifications with his temporary pawn sacrifice. The resulting position was equal, and we could agree to a draw much earlier.

200510_inarkiev-mamedyarov.jpgErnesto Inarkiev vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Mamedyarov: Ernesto played his worst chess today. I think he is just very tired, and therefore does not look like himself. His 3.с4 was a bit unexpected for me. I knew this line exists, but I didn’t know how to react. So I jumped 4…Nd4 in order to make the game interesting. I think after 15…Bg4 my position is already better, and I can play for a win. After 27…d5 I worried about 32.d6 with an unclear game. Ernesto played 32.fe, and gave Black a winning advantage.
Inarkiev: Yesterday I had a tough game indeed, so today I wanted to play something simple, therefore 3.с4. However, even there I started making mistakes. Unfortunately, I didn’t spot my chance – 32.d6, but before that Black could win quicker on several occasions.

Teimour Rajabov vs. Pavel Eljanov

200510_eljanov-rajabov.jpgEljanov: I surprised my opponent in the opening. I play the Ragozin all the time, but never played the line that occurred today. It is a rare variation, and my opponent wasn’t ready for it. The resulting endgame was more pleasant for me, although I don’t think there was a big advantage.
It is not easy to say who benefited from closing the position. Maybe this was Teimour’s mistake – White became very cramped, while I could play at no risk. After the 40th move his position was already were difficult.

Ruslan Ponomariov vs. Vladimir Akopian

200510_ponomarev.jpgPonomariov: The game was very long, and finding the truth about it is impossible for a sober man. I liked my position after the opening, and I had an advantage for a while, but then the game became sharp. I was a bit short of resources in the end, although I still had certain chances, because the a-pawn was a headache for Black.
At some point I just didn’t feel like keeping on playing. In modern chess almost everyone has an excellent defensive technique.

Akopian: Maybe I was wrong about 31…Kd8. 31…f4 was a viable alternative. Or maybe I should have played а5.
I didn’t want to give up the knight in the end, because I looked for a simpler
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