8th round press conferences
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
After 8th round games grandmasters came to the press centre and answered to the journalist’s questions.
Evgeny Alekseev - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
The game was very tense. I played very risky, because I saw no
difference between losing and making a draw. At some point my position
was very dangerous, although I didn’t see a forced win for Black. I
would never play like this under different tournament circumstances, but
here I had to take risks. Finally I found the winning idea – White
defended all the pawns and trapped the enemy knight.
I played against
a very good player, but I was not afraid to take risks, and we produced
a very interesting game.
Alekseev: I didn’t expect the
Catalan, and did not remember the theory well. Generally this line is
considered acceptable for Black. I tried to make natural moves, but did
not dare to play Nxf2 on the 20th move despite lengthy consideration. I
decided to play 20…Qf6, overlooking White’s 22nd move. After that my
position quickly became hopeless...
vs. Vassily Ivanchuk
- I played another solid opening, and once again nearly killed myself.
Black was obviously okay, but I wanted to create some play for my
pieces. Maybe 13.h4 was not the best move, but at least it gave White
additional opportunities. However, after 13…b6 I thought for about half
an hour, and realized that I have no idea how to proceed. Black just
ignores the h-pawn and invites it to h6, however, I couldn’t see any
benefits of this advance. 16…f5 was a very responsible move in my
opinion, but Black was well-prepared for that, and obtained a better
game. I think I made many only moves to make a draw. I was first to give
checks, but my pieces were misplaced, so I had to find 44.Rf7,
transposing to the queen ending without a pawn, but with compensation in
form of a strong passed a-pawn. In accordance to the Sofia rules,
Vassily made a draw by perpetual.
- Generally it was fun, but my head didn’t quite function – I calculated
many variations that were simply impossible. I wanted to move my night
to c4 square that's why I played 13...b6.
Pavel Eljanov vs. Ruslan Ponomariov
- This game is difficult to assess. After the loss against Jakovenko I
decided to play in a more solid style, so I played 5...Bd6 – I tested
this move against Gelfand a couple of times. This variation isn’t
popular, but is quite sound. Pavel seemed unprepared for it. His
position was solid, but he handled it inaccurately. Possibly а4 wasn’t
good, as it created a weakness. Then I suddenly discovered that I have
counterplay – after b5 White has a weakness on b2. The resulting
position was very unpleasant to defend for White, and Black’s play was
very natural. Pavel’s only chance was to mate me, so I had to play
carefully in the end.
- I had a good position and then spoiled it in one move. I don’t know
how I could forget about 23…b5, but I played 23.Ne1 at the least
appropriate moment. White immediately got a difficult position. I
thought I could survive in a rook ending, but it didn’t work out.
Gelfand - Teimour Radjabov
Radjabov: I’d say the game was dynamically balanced the whole
way. Black had a lone pawn on a7, so White could create some pressure
against it by a4, b5, a5. However, I equalized with a key move 32...Rd2.
White had an advantage on the queenside, but Black’s pieces were
sufficiently active. Then I found a forced simplifying operation that
started with 34…Bd5 – a motif similar to Wang Yue-Jakovenko.
Gelfand: We played the King’s Indian many times before. I had to
choose whether to play closed or open game. Closed game is more natural
for me, however, this time I decided to open the position. Black reacted
with the principled с5. White had some advantage, but Black handled the
position correctly. I think we both played quite well.
Gashimov - Wang Yue
Gashimov: Today I decided to avoid theoretical lines and play
something new. We ended up in a position where White creates threats and
Black can only parry them. In my opinion, Wang Yue played very strong
and didn’t make a single mistake. I tried to fight until the end,
searched for remote chances, but generally the result of this game is
Wang Yue: I found several strong moves – 18...Be7 and 19...Nе8,
transferring the bishop to f6 and the knight – to d6. Despite White was
better all the way, the outcome of the game is logical and fair.
Peter Leko - Dmitry Jakovenko
Jakovenko: We played the first 16 moves very
quickly, so it was clear for me that Peter is ready for this line, while
I never analyzed it seriously. Therefore I decided to avoid the most
principled 17.g4 in favor of 17.f3. I figured that White should draw
without much trouble. Black had a nominal advantage in the opening, but
there were no real winning chances.
Leko: I analyzed this line indeed. Dima employs it as Black
sometimes, so it was an interesting duel from psychological point of
view. According to my analysis, 17.g4 is the most critical move. I
studied it a lot, and the conclusion was that Black is fine. However, I
didn’t remember the concrete lines, just the conclusion, so I had to
calculate a lot at the board... The ending was drawn, of course, I never
had any winning chances.
Vladimir Akopian vs. Ernesto Inarkiev
Akopian: Black had potentially strong pieces, but he needed to
arrange them properly. I assessed White’s position as more pleasant, but
Black’s position was quite solid. Then Ernesto made a couple of small
mistakes, and I got a real advantage. After that our play was far from
perfect, to be honest, and at some point I could force a draw, however, I
decided to keep looking for chances, and was right – I eventually won
the g-pawn and the game.
Inarkiev: I think White had a decent advantage after the opening,
but I managed to defend and nearly equalized. At that point I thought
my position is okay, however, after we passed the time control, Vladimir
created more problems for me. Objectively е6 was just terrible – I
voluntarily blocked my bishop. I tried to complicate things, but was
always one tempo short.