Several games of the 9th round ended quickly and peacefully, possibly in anticipation of the coming free day. Perhaps the players are trying to accumulate their energy for the final rounds.
Vassily INANCHUK - Dmitry JAKOVENKO½ - ½
The quickest game of the round was played between Vassily Ivanchuk and Dmitry Jakovenko. The Ukrainian surprised the observers by playing the English Opening, however, the Russian remained unperturbed. Black traded a couple of minor pieces and created a solid defensive setup of a Hedgehog type. Breaking this fortress was very difficult, and the players agreed to a draw on the 27th move due to a threefold repetition.
Teimour RAJABOV - Pavel ELJANOV0:1
Pavel Eljanov impresses all chess enthusiasts with his amazing fighting
spirit. Today he had Black against Teimour Radjabov and won in style,
returning on top of the table for the third time during this tournament.
It seems that Eljanov’s choice of the Ragozin Variation came as an
unpleasant surprise for Radjabov. Teimour was spending a lot of time
considering his moves, but his position kept changing for the worse.
Black transposed to a complicated endgame and seized the initiative.
Eljanov kept increasing the pressure, and Radjabov defended without his
usual persistence. Soon after the control he placed a pawn on g3, where
it was doomed. Eljanov won the pawn and flawlessly converted his
advantage. On the 56th move White resigned.
Peter LEKO - Boris GELFAND½ - ½
Peter Leko made
another attempt to break Boris Gelfand’s Petroff. The Hungarian troubled
the enemy king by advancing his pawn to h6. Black seized the initiative
in the center. The trumps of both sides were equally strong, and the
game ended in a threefold repetition on the 26th move.
YUE - Peter SVIDLER½ - ½
Wang Yue was unable to pose problems for
Peter Svidler. In the King’s Indian Defense the Russian successfully
relived the tension in the center, and his pieces became quite active.
White spent some time cementing his position in the center, but in the
meantime Black traded all the minor pieces, and the resulting ending was
completely drawn. A draw was agreed on the 26th move.
ALEKSEEV - Vugar GASHIMOV½ - ½
Evgeny Alekseev played a rather
toothless variation of the Sicilian against Vugar Gashimov, and got
nothing out of the opening. He even had to play accurately in order to
make a draw, and achieved the desired result on the 37th move.
INARKIEV - Shakhryiar MAMEDYAROV0:1
Ernesto Inarkiev lost his
third game in a row, this time to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The Russian
played rather passively against the Sicilian Defense, and his opponent
created a powerful group of pawns in the center, which eventually cost
White a piece. Mamedyarov converted his advantage almost effortlessly
and won the game on the 46th move.
Ruslan PONOMARIOV -
Vladimir AKOPIAN½ - ½
The longest game was played between Ruslan
Ponomariov and Vladimir Akopian. Akopian did not manage to solve his
opening problems, and Ponomariov created strong pressure at the
opponent’s position. Prior to the first control Akopian carried out an
exchange combination, however, despite very limited material, Ponomariov
developed a dangerous attack. Akopian had to show a lot of
determination and creativity in order to survive, and was rewarded by a
draw on the 96th move.