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Games Commentary

Round 7 Report by Geoffrey BORG
Monday, 17 May 2010
170510-eljanov-web.jpgFollowing the battles we witnessed yesterday, another great round was expected today and the players did not disappoint. The surprise leader after round 6 was the sympathetic GM representing Elista, Ernesto Inarkiev and in this round he faced the previous leader GM Eljanov from Ukraine.

Ernesto INARKIEV – Pavel ELJANOV         0-1

Pavel needed to win and against the trendy Advance Caro Kan he chose a very tactical line. Inarkiev was the first to vary with 11.Kd2!? although this was given in the notes to the game Bologan – Palo from 2003. GM Bologan had preferred to play 11.Nb5 in that game.

Ernesto had a good position nevertheless but the creative 13.g4 did not promise white too much and the pin on the knight started to give white some problems. Black emerged with an extra pawn and a better position after a brief skirmish and tied up the game on move 50. Final times (0:30 – 1:00)

Peter LEKO – Vassily IVANCHUK        ½ - ½

Black chose to play a Ruy Lopez Deferred Steinitz variation and GM Leko was the first to try a new idea on move 11 in a well tested position. Black slowly unraveled his position and after breaking open with f5 the position offered dynamic equality. After the exchange of knights, it appeared that white was better but GM Ivanchuk showed his correct evaluation of the position and defended accurately to come down to a rook endgame with 3 vs 2 pawns on the king side. Again Ivanchuk played the endgame very quickly. Final times (0:54 – 2:06)

Vugar GASHIMOV – Peter SVIDLER        ½ - ½

We had another Ruy Lopez in this round which makes a change from the Petroffs we are accustomed to normally in elite tournaments. This time black chose the Breyer variation and GM Gashimov tried a new idea in a minor variation. Just as in the stem game where white had gone 17.Qd2, he did not obtain much with the exchange on e5.

Black appeared to take the initiative and had the more pleasant game but never really enough to worry white. Some inaccuracies by black (24…Nf4) let white get back into the game. After a few heavy piece exchanges another endgame with bishops of opposite colours was reached and Peter held the draw comfortably. Final times (1:31 – 1:00)

Ruslan PONOMARIOV – Boris GELFAND         ½ - ½

An interesting clash between the two World Cup finalists. GM Ponomariov preferred to go for a line with a small positional advantage but GM Gelfand is completely at home in such positions.

After yesterday’s game, both players may have been happy with a quieter round today. However, the game soon warmed up and both players showed some fancy footwork and accurate play in defusing the other’s respective tactics. A draw was a fair result in a noteworthy game. Final times (0:34 – 0:02)


WANG YUE – Shakhriyar MAMEDYAROV        ½ - ½

In a King’s Indian fianchetto, GM Maedyarov provoked white with his seemingly risky 11…c5!? GM Wang Yue could not find any significant way to progress against the weakness on d6 however. After a flurry of exchanges a somewhat equal position was reached and most probably under normal tournament rules a draw would have been agreed around move 27. Nevertheless, the players continued for a further 22 moves when they decided to repeat as none of them could make any significant progress.

Evgeny ALEKSEEV – Vladimir AKOPIAN     1 - 0

The third Ruy Lopez of the day saw a positive result for white. With this win, GM Alexeev moves into joint second place and he will be happy with his play so far, after the rest day. GM Akopian went for the classical lines of the Chigorin Defence with 9…Na5 and the players followed theoretical lines until the 20th move. Istratescu-Schlosser in 2008 had gone 20..Kh8 and a draw was agreed two moves after. GM Akopian played 20..c4 but after 23.bxc4! white showed that he had more space in this line and the black queen was badly placed. Black tried to complicate as the king side was appearing rather weak but after the dubious sacrifice of the knight with 31…Nh5 white tied up the game and the point rather easily. Final times (0.17 – 0.04).

Teimour RADJABOV – Dmitry JAKOVENKO    ½ - ½

GM Radjabov has proved to be absolutely solid but this does not mean that one will win the tournament. He has had no problems in any of his games so far and quite often got a good position. Notwithstanding, he has not managed to win any game so far and today was no exception. In a Bogo-Indian type of Catalan, he obtained a very good position after black’s interesting  Stonewall setup.

A lot of maneuvering took place and despite white having the control of the h-file and better pawn structure, Radjabov could not convert them into any tangible advantage. Good tenacious defence by Jakovenko. Final times (0.04 – 0.19).

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