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Games Commentary

Round 10 report
Saturday, 22 May 2010
220510_gashimov-web-1p.jpgPavel Eljanov vs. Peter Leko 1-0

Pavel Eljanov remains in the lead with three rounds to go following his today’s win against Peter Leko. The Ukrainian started the Grand Prix series as an underdog, however, he improved significantly during the last couple of years, arrived to Astrakhan as one of the favorites, and confirmed this status with very confident play.

The opening didn’t go right for Eljanov, as Leko, playing Black, not only equalized easily, but even rejected a draw offer on the 20th move. However, in the subsequent game the Hungarian made a few mistakes, and White obtained an advantage in the ending due to a strong passed pawn on the queenside. From that point Eljanov played very energetically. He did not allow Black to bring his king into the center, which would save the game for Leko. On the 43rd move White’s passed pawn became unstoppable, and Leko resigned.

Vugar Gashimov vs. Ernesto Inarkiev 1-0

Vugar Gashimov remains the only player sitting half a point behind the leader, following his win against Ernesto Inarkiev. In the Ruy Lopez Gashimov obtained a promising position and created strong pressure on Black’s position. On the 28th move he sacrificed a pawn, obtaining good piece play in return. Soon Vugar not only regained the pawn, but also won an exchange, and quickly converted his material advantage into a full point.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs. Ruslan Ponomariov ½ - ½

This game ended quickly in a draw. White selected a sideline in the Catalan Opening, and did not pose any problems for his opponent. Ponomariov provoked massive exchanges, and a draw was agreed on the 25th move on a half-empty board.

Wang Yue vs. Evgeny Alekseev ½ - ½

The Chinese grandmaster possessed the initiative for the whole game, but Alekseev defended resourcefully and did not allow White to develop that advantage into something real. In the Benoni Defense Wang Yue took control of the center, but soon Alekseev seized the e-file. White’s further attempts to improve his position led to exchanges. Eventually the players arrived to an endgame, which was slightly better for White, but Wang Yue lacked resources to play for a win. A draw was agreed on the 66th move.


Vladimir Akopian vs. Teimour Radjabov 0-1

The Armenian grandmaster reacted rather toothlessly to the Sveshnikov Sicilian, and allowed Black to achieve a comfortable game. After the queens were traded, Black got the initiative. Soon White weakened his king by 28.f4, allowing Black to create a swift attack against the king. During the attack Radjabov won two pawns, forcing his opponent to resign.

Boris Gelfand vs. Vassily Ivanchuk ½ - ½

Ivanchuk selected the Gruenfeld Defense, and his opponent went for a quiet line. The queens were traded early, and Black brought his pieces to comfortable squares, following White’s slight delay with establishing the central control. Gelfand was forced to trade pieces and opt for a draw. The game ended peacefully on the 26th move. 

Peter Svidler vs. Dmitry Jakovenko ½ - ½

In the Catalan Opening Jakovenko accepted a passive but very solid position. Svidler needed to break Black’s strong defensive line. In the middlegame White obtained a queenside pawn majority, however, Black pieces came out to good squares, and his queen became very active. White eventually had to accept the move repetition – a draw on the 40th move.
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