53rd Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia – Round Eight

Vallejo Pons and Gashimov win again to extend the lead

The exciting race between Francisco Vallejo Pons and Vugar Gashimov will be decided in the final meters of the 53rd Reggio Emilia tournament as the last round is played today at 12:00 local time. Apparently not shaken by the unpleasant defeat against direct competitor in the 7th round, Vallejo brutally attacked Alexander Onischuk’s castle and quickly forced the resignation when a beautiful checkmate image painted around the black King (replay bellow).

Vugar Gashimov also played white, but the inspired David Navara caused him all kind of trouble. The Czech champion was a pawn up and had nearly winning position, but he let it slip away and then Gashimov found a brilliant solution to launch a counterattack and grab a full point. With the little help of Caissa, the Azeri Grandmaster is still sharing the first place.

Vassily Ivanchuk weakened Nigel Short’s dark squares and the King, and then finished the game with an effective piece sacrifice. Alexander Morozevich routinely outplayed Michele Godena who appears to be totally out of form. Sergei Movsesian, who drew Fabiano Caruana, remained alone on the third place, while there is a huge tie of players with 50% score.

Live games with computer analysis

Official website

53rd Reggio Emilia index page

Reggio Emilia Ivanchuk Analyzing

Vassily Ivanchuk analysing his victory

Reggio Emilia Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana

Reggio Emilia dinner with president

Dinner with the chief organizer

Round 8 results:

Francisco Vallejo Pons – Alexander Onischuk 1-0

Fabiano Caruana – Sergei Movsesian draw

Vugar Gashimov – David Navara 1-0

Nigel Short – Vassily Ivanchuk 0-1

Alexander Morozevich – Michele Godena 1-0

Round 8 standings:

1-2. Vugar Gashimov AZE 2733 and Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2698 – 5.5

3. Sergei Movsesian SVK 2721 – 4.5

4-8. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2709, Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2764, Alexander Morozevich RUS 2700, David Navara CZE 2708 and Alexander Onischuk USA 2683 – 4.0

9. Nigel Short ENG 2680 – 3.5

10. Michele Godena ITA 2549 – 1.0

European Women Chess Championship

Hoang Thanh Trang, Salome and Rajlich leading followed by 10 players half a point behind

Top four boards in the 8th round of the European Women Chess Championship signed draws, which allowed IM Melia Salome and IM Iweta Rajlich to leap forward to the first place tie by beating WGM Tatiana Grabuzova and IM Nino Khurtsidze respectively. GM Hoang Thanh Trang is third player on the top after she split a point with WGM Natalija Pogonina.

IM Joanna Dworakowska, IM Maia Lomineishvili and, surprisingly, WFM Zoja Severiukhina won their games to enter the 10-player group sharing the 4th place. Big derby between two sisters Muzychuk, 2540-rated Anna and 2427-rated Maria, is set to take place in tomorrow’s 9th round.

Hoang Thanh Trang

GM Hoang Thanh Trang

Top round 8 results:

WGM Pogonina, Natalija RUS 2467 - GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2483 ½-½

IM Mkrtchian, Lilit ARM 2460 - IM Foisor, Cristina-Adela ROU 2412 ½-½

GM Socko, Monika POL 2449 - WGM Shadrina, Tatiana RUS 2416 ½-½

WGM Kovanova, Baira RUS 2386 - IM Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina RUS 2442 ½-½

IM Melia, Salome GEO 2422 - WGM Grabuzova, Tatiana RUS 2332 1-0

IM Rajlich, Iweta POL 2399 - IM Khurtsidze, Nino GEO 2421 1-0

IM Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan SCO 2500 - WFM Bodnaruk, Anastasia RUS 2384 ½-½

WGM Demina, Julia RUS 2361 - IM Ushenina, Anna UKR 2499 ½-½

IM Dworakowska, Joanna POL 2352 - IM Paehtz, Elisabeth GER 2455 1-0

IM Lomineishvili, Maia GEO 2437 - WGM Nebolsina, Vera RUS 2312 1-0

WFM Severiukhina, Zoja RUS 2327 - IM Ovod, Evgenija RUS 2430 1-0

IM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2540 - WGM Stepovaia, Tatiana RUS 2379 1-0

WGM Stojanovic, Andjelija SRB 2372 - GM Dzagnidze, Nana GEO 2518 0-1

IM Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS 2497 - IM Vasilevich, Irina RUS 2340 1-0

GM Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2488 - WIM Charochkina, Daria RUS 2316 1-0

Top round 9 pairings:

GM Hoang Thanh Trang 6.5 HUN 2483 - IM Rajlich, Iweta 6.5 POL 2399

IM Mkrtchian, Lilit 6.0 ARM 2460 - IM Melia, Salome 6.5 GEO 2422

IM Foisor, Cristina-Adela 6.0 ROU 2412 - WGM Pogonina, Natalija 6.0 RUS 2467

WFM Bodnaruk, Anastasia 6.0 RUS 2384 - GM Socko, Monika 6.0 POL 2449

IM Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina 6.0 RUS 2442 - IM Dworakowska, Joanna 6.0 POL 2352

IM Lomineishvili, Maia 6.0 GEO 2437 - WGM Kovanova, Baira 6.0 RUS 2386

WGM Shadrina, Tatiana 6.0 RUS 2416 - WFM Severiukhina, Zoja 6.0 RUS 2327

IM Muzychuk, Mariya 5.5 UKR 2427 - IM Muzychuk, Anna 5.5 SLO 2540

GM Dzagnidze, Nana 5.5 GEO 2518 - IM Khukhashvili, Sopiko 5.5 GEO 2416

IM Turova, Irina 5.5 RUS 2379 - IM Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan 5.5 SCO 2500

IM Ushenina, Anna 5.5 UKR 2499 - WIM Majdan, Joanna 5.5 POL 2351

IM Khurtsidze, Nino 5.5 GEO 2421 - IM Kosintseva, Tatiana 5.5 RUS 2497

WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta 5.5 POL 2385 - GM Lahno, Kateryna 5.5 UKR 2488

WGM Grabuzova, Tatiana 5.5 RUS 2332 - WGM Romanko, Marina 5.5 RUS 2451

IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 5.0 GER 2455 - WGM Demina, Julia 5.5 RUS 2361

Round 1 report

Round 3 report

Round 5 report

Official website

Gashimov and Milov Share the Lead

Gibtelecom Chess Festival Round Eight Report

Report compiled by Sean Hewitt with games annotated by Sunil Weeramantry.

The top board in the Gibtelecom Masters saw the two top seeds Peter Svidler and Vugar Gashimov slug it out. As both players are rated 2723 this was the strongest game ever played in Gibraltar. Svidler sacrificed his queen for a rook, bishop and pawn but could find no way to win what looked like a good position and the players had to agree a draw after 66 moves.

Gibraltar r8 1

Peter Svidler – Vugar Gashimov

Board 2 saw Indian team mates Surya Ganguly (2614) and Pentala Harikrishna (2673) face off against each other. Black equalised early on and easily held the position to draw in 42 moves.

Gibraltar r8 2

Surya Ganguly – Pentala Harikrishna

On board 3 the highest rated player from Switzerland, GM Vadim Milov (2669) took full advantage of the board 1 result by defeating the early leader, GM Vasilios Kotronias (2603). Milov has posted many tournament victories in his career, the most memorable being the 2005 Corsica Masters where he eliminated current World Champion, GM Viswanathan Anand. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0–0 5.Nge2 The Rubinstein variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defence. 5…d5 6.a3 Bd6 7.c5 Be7 8.b4 Nbd7?! [This was previously played in Dmitry Gurevich-Dzindzichasvili, USA op, Fort Worth 1984. A more reliable idea for Black, one that has been used successfully by the world's strongest players including Kasparov, Anand and Topalov, is to place pawns on b6 and c6 before embarking on any adventure in the centre. In fact, the 2004 game Milov-Topalov, Ajaccio Masters rapid continued 8...b6 9.Nf4 c6 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.Bb2 bxc5 12.bxc5 Qc7 13.0–0 Rb8 14.Rb1 e5=] 9.Ng3 a5 The point of …a5 is to secure queenside play by forcing a trade of pawns. But the immediate …a5 without …b6 allows White to keep the position closed to his advantage. 10.b5 e5 11.Be2 exd4 12.exd4 Re8 13.0–0 b6 14.c6 The queenside is now closed. 14…Nf8 15.f4 Ne6 [An alternative to developing the knight to e6 is 15...h6 16.f5 N8h7 17.Bd3 Bd6 18.Bf4 Qe7 19.Qd2 but it appears that Black's c8 bishop will suffer the same fate as in the game.] 16.Kh1 Ne4 17.Ncxe4 dxe4 18.Be3 Bf6

Gibraltar r8 3

19.f5! The key move. Unless Black is able to eliminate this pawn later on, he will have to play the rest of the game without the services of two pieces. 19…Nxd4 20.Bc4 a4 [Black may have been concerned that White would lock down the queenside with a4, but this gives White a free attacking move on the other wing. It is not clear how Black should proceed as defending the f7 pawn with 20...Rf8 , for example, would still lead to a clear advantage for White after 21.Rc1 Be5 22.Qg4! Bxg3 23.Bxd4 Qxd4 24.Qxg3 Qd6 25.Qxd6 cxd6 26.Rcd1 Rd8 27.Rd4± Ultimately, the immobility of the c8 bishop will seal Black's fate.] 21.Qh5+- Qe7 22.Bxd4 Bxd4

Gibraltar r8 4

23.Rae1 [White gets his rook out of the line of fire but misses the most incisive continuation. 23.Nxe4! Bxf5 (23...Bxa1 24.Ng5 Bxf5 25.Rxf5+-) 24.Rxf5 g6 (24...Qxe4?? 25.Bxf7+ Kh8 26.Qxh7+ Kxh7 27.Rh5#) 25.Rxf7 gxh5 26.Rxe7+ Kh8 27.Rxe8+ Rxe8 28.Re1+-] 23…e3 24.Rf4 Rd8 25.h3 [Once again, White misses the sharpest line. 25.Rd1 Bf6 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.Qxf7+ Kh8 28.Bd5 wins convincingly.] 25…Bc3 [Somewhat better is 25...Qf8 26.Rd1 e2 27.Qxe2 Re8 but the outcome will be no different after 28.Qxe8 Qxe8 29.Rfxd4 Bxf5 30.Nxf5+-] 26.Re4 Qf6 27.R1xe3 g6 28.fxg6 Kf8 Black decides to put himself out of his misery. 29.gxf7 1–0

Gibraltar r8 5

Vadim Milov – Vasilios Kotronias

The last of the players on 5½/7 Josep Manuel Lopez Martinez (2540) and Alexander Beliavsky (2646) halved in 46 moves.

A familiar creeping up the leader board is defending champion, GM Hikaru Nakamura (2699) of the USA. His exciting eighth round win against Israeli GM Vitali Golod (2575) propelled Nakamura into a seven-way tie for third place – just half a point behind the joint leaders – and could well be a contender for the £1000 best game prize. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Nb8 The Breyer Defence to the Ruy Lopez, a favourite of former World Champion, GM Boris Spassky, who visited Gibraltar in the early rounds of the tournament. 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.b3 Bg7 16.d5 The Ruy Lopez is well known for long theoretical debates. All this has been played many times before and has been studied extensively by members of the Israeli team. 16…Rc8 In the critical encounter between the Ukraine and Israel at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, GM Michael Roiz played 16…Qe7 against GM Sergey Karjakin. Roiz helped Israel to a major upset by winning this game. 17.Be3 c6 18.c4 Nb6 19.Qe2 cxd5 20.cxd5 Nbxd5!? This idea of sacrificing a knight for two or three pawns was tried in a similar situation by another former World Champion, GM Mikhail Tal, against the German GM Wolfgang Unzicker back in 1960. 21.exd5 Nxd5 We have now arrived, by transposition, to the game Judith Polgar-Spassky, Budapest (match) 1993. 22.Rac1 [An attempt by Nakamura to improve on Polgar's 22.b4?! which gave Black ample compensation for the sacrificed piece after 22...Nxb4] 22…Nc3 23.Qd2 Nxa2 Black picks up the third pawn… 24.Ra1 Nc3 25.b4 …but White fixes the b5/a6 pawn duo, temporarily taking Black’s queenside majority out of the equation. 25…d5 26.Bb3 Qe7 [Black targets the b4 pawn. Instead, he might have tried 26...d4 27.Bh6 Bxf3 28.gxf3 Rc6 29.Ne4 Nxe4 30.Rxe4 with a complex game.] 27.Bh6 [Nakamura commented that he first entertained the idea of 27.Bc5 but rejected it on account of the exchange sacrifice 27...Rxc5 28.bxc5 Qxc5 with a position that he found difficult to assess accurately.] 27…Bh8

Gibraltar r8 6

The critical position. It appears as though White is in some serious trouble. 28.Nxe5! Nakamura spent over 45 minutes on this move. 28…Bxe5 29.f4 Ne4? [This move looks natural but plays into White's hands. Black's best bet was to try 29...Qh4 but after 30.fxe5 Qxg3 31.Qd4 Re6 White can simplify with 32.Re3 Ne2+ 33.Rxe2 Qxb3 34.Qa7 . Then, Black will have to give up his queen for rook and bishop in order to ward off the mating attack 34...Qc3 35.Rc1 Qxc1+ 36.Bxc1 Rxc1+ 37.Kh2 Bc6 38.Qxa6 and the position is balanced.] 30.Rxe4! dxe4 31.fxe5 Qxe5 32.Rf1 Re7 [32...Rc4 33.Bxc4 bxc4 34.Qe3 appears to give White the better chances as he retains the extra piece.] 33.Rxf7! Rxf7 34.Qd7 Black can only watch helplessly as White begins winning back material. 34…Qe8 35.Qxb7 Rc4 36.Bxc4 bxc4 37.Qxa6 Rc7 38.Qd6 Rd7 [38...Re7 is met simply by the advance of the b-pawn. 39.b5 e3 40.b6 e2 41.Nxe2 Rxe2 42.b7 winning easily.] 39.Qc5 c3 This makes White’s task even easier as two more of Black’s pawns fall immediately. 40.Qc4+ Rf7 41.Nxe4 Qd8 42.Qxc3 Qb6+ 43.Qc5 There is no need to continue playing for mate when you can trade down into a winning endgame. 43…Qxc5+ 44.bxc5 Re7 45.Nd6 Re5 46.c6 Rc5 47.Nc8 Kf7 48.Na7 The c-pawn is unstoppable 1–0

Gibraltar r8 7

Hikaru Nakamura – Vitali Golod

Amongst those fighting for the £6,000 first prize available for the leading female player are Antoaneta Stefanova (2557) and Monika Socko (2449) who played each other today.

Stefanova,Antoaneta (2557) – Socko,Monika (2449) [A45]

Gibtelecom Masters Gibraltar (8.15), 03.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c5 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.d5 Qb6 5.Qc1 f5 6.g3 Bg7 7.c3 Na6 [In Akopian,V (2660)-Atalik,S (2595)/New York 1998/ black played 7...h5 and the game continued 8.h4 Qh6 9.e3 d6 10.Qc2 Na6 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qb3 Nc7 13.Qxb7 Rc8 14.Nh3 0–0 15.Nf4 e5 16.dxe6 fxe6 17.Be2 e5 18.Nxh5 Kh8 19.c4 d5 20.cxd5 Qd6 21.Qb3 Rb8 22.Qc2 with white going on to win in 41 moves] 8.Bg2 Nc7 9.Nd2 Qh6 10.e3 10…0–0 11.Ne2 e5 12.a4 d6 13.b4 f4 14.gxf4 cxb4 15.cxb4 Na6 16.b5 Nc5 17.Ra3 Qg6 [Probably better was 17...exf4 18.Nxf4 Bf5 19.Nc4] 18.Rg1 exf4 19.Nxf4 Qh6 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Re8 22.Rc3 Bd7 23.Qb1 Kh8 24.Rc7 Rad8 25.Ne2 Qh4 26.Ng3 Re7 27.Qc2 Rde8 28.Rxb7 f5

Gibraltar r8 8

29.Rxd7! With the removal of the light squared bishop the pawn on f5 falls when the pressure on black becomes impossible to defend 29…Rxd7 30.Bxf5 Rdd8 31.Be6 Already, the point is in the bag. There really is no good way left for black to play this positon. 31…Be5 32.Kf1 Rf8 33.Kg2 Rde8 34.f4 Bg7 35.Nf5 Rxf5 36.Qxf5 Qd8 37.Kf3 Rf8 38.Qh5 Qf6 39.Qg5 Qc3 40.Qe7 h6 41.Qxd6 1–0. Stefanova is now tied with Nana Dzagnidze as the highest ranked female player. In the event of a tie after 10 rounds, the tie break is Tournament Performance Rating (TPR).

Gibraltar r8 10

Antoaneta Stefanova – Monika Socko

Pairings round 9 (Wednesday, 04 February 2009; 15.00 CET)

GM Gashimov, Vugar 6.5 AZE 2723 - GM Milov, Vadim 6.5 SUI 2669

GM Beliavsky, Alexander G 6.0 SLO 2646 - GM Svidler, Peter 6.0 RUS 2723

GM Socko, Bartosz 6.0 POL 2631 - GM Nakamura, Hikaru 6.0 USA 2699

GM Harikrishna, Pentala 6.0 IND 2673 - GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manu 6.0 ESP 2540

GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 5.5 FRA 2696 - GM Ganguly, Surya Shekhar 6.0 IND 2614

GM Berkes, Ferenc 5.5 HUN 2651 - GM Dzagnidze, Nana w 5.5 GEO 2518

GM Del Rio De Angelis, Salvad 5.5 ESP 2532 - GM Roiz, Michael 5.5 ISR 2647

GM Pavlovic, Milos 5.5 SRB 2520 - GM Avrukh, Boris 5.5 ISR 2645

GM Gurevich, Mikhail 5.5 TUR 2624 - IM Gordon, Stephen J 5.5 ENG 2524

GM Akobian, Varuzhan 5.5 USA 2619 - IM Szabo, Krisztian 5.5 HUN 2508

GM Berg, Emanuel 5.5 SWE 2606 - IM Al Sayed, Mohamad N. 5.5 QAT 2488

GM Kotronias, Vasilios 5.5 GRE 2603 - IM Kozlov, Oleg 5.5 RUS 2187

Current leading female players – Antoaneta Stefanova and Nana Dzagnidze

Full details can be found on the tournament website www.gibraltarchesscongress.com

Boris Savchenko and Yurij Kuzubov leading at the Politiken Cup

Vladimir Malakhov, Peter Heine Nielsen, Alexander A. Evdokimov, Emanuel Berg and Mikheil Mchedlishvili sharing the 3rd

GM Boris Savchenko rejoined GM Yurij Kuzubov in the lead after beating Bartosz Socko in the Italian opening. The Saturday’s penultimate round of the 2008 Politiken Cup should determinate the contenders for money prizes.

Round 8 results:

GM Vladimir Malakhov – GM Yurij Kuzubov draw

GM Boris Savchenko - GM Bartosz Socko 1-0

GM Konstantin Landa – GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili draw

GM Artur Kogan – GM Pavel Eljanov draw

GM Jonny Hector – GM Michael Roiz draw

GM Peter Heine Nielsen – GM Jacob Aagaard 1-0

IM Viktorija Cmilyte – GM Sergey Tiviakov draw

GM Michal Krasenkow – GM Alexander A. Evdokimov 0-1

GM Emanuel Berg – IM Ashwin Jayaram 1-0

GM Vitali Golod – IM Oliver Kurmann draw

GM Alexei Iljushin – GM Arkadi Eremeevich Vul 1-0

Round 8 standings:

1-2. GM Yurij Kuzubov 2578 and GM Boris Savchenko 2578 – 7.0

3-7. GM Vladimir Malakhov 2689, GM Peter Heine Nielsen 2652, GM Alexander A. Evdokimov 2555, GM Emanuel Berg 2592 and GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili 2604 – 6½

8-26. GM Michael Roiz 2680, GM Sune Berg Hansen 2542, GM Sergey Tiviakov 2645, GM Vitali Golod 2578, GM Pavel Eljanov 2716, GM Artur Kogan 2569, GM Konstantin Landa 2615, GM Bartosz Socko 2628, GM Jonny Hector 2537, Djurre den Heeten 2278, GM Alexei Iljushin 2546, IM Viktorija Cmilyte 2508, IM Oliver Kurmann 2394, IM Christian Jepson 2358, IM Thomas Engqvist 2363, FM Heini Olsen 2368, Andreas Moen 2297, FM Erik Hedman 2363 and Felix Klein 2241 – 6.0 etc

(280 players)

Politiken Yurij Kuzubov

GM Yurij Kuzubov

Round 9 pairings:

GM Yurij Kuzubov – GM Peter Heine Nielsen

GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili – GM Boris Savchenko

GM Alexander A. Evdokimov – GM Emanuel Berg

GM Pavel Eljanov – GM Vladimir Malakhov

GM Michael Roiz – IM Viktorija Cmilyte

GM Sergey Tiviakov – FM Heini Olsen

GM Bartosz Socko – Andreas Moen

IM Oliver Kurmann – GM Konstantin Landa

IM Thomas Engqvist – GM Vitali Golod

FM Erik Hedman – GM Artur Kogan

Djurre den Heeten – GM Alexei Iljushin

More information on the official website

Politiken Emanuel Berg

GM Emanuel Berg

Politiken Viktorija Cmilyte

IM Viktorija Cmilyte

Politiken Vladimir Malakhov

GM Vladimir Malakhov

Topalov closing the distance

Ivanchuk saved a draw against Bu and is still half point ahead of Topalov

Mtel Masters 2008: General page / Photos from Mtel

Mtel Masters live: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Topalov – Ivanchuk / Radjabov – Aronian

Report: Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4 / Round 5 / Round 6 / Round 7

Round 8 results:

Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN ½ – ½ Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR

Aronian Levon 2763 ARM 0 – 1 Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE

Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL 1 – 0 Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL

Saturday (14 CET): Live game commentary by GM Vladimir Dimitrov and live blog with the Chessdom team. See you there!

Bu Xiangzhi finally played an excellent game and tortured the leading Vassily Ivanchuk deep into the Rook ending when Ukrainian had to save the draw with unique moves. Perhaps Bu even missed a win some time before 47. Ke2. Ivanchuk is still holding a half point lead two rounds before the end, but Veselin Topalov is dangerously breathing down his neck. Topalov played a rare and apparently quiet variation against Ivan Cheparinov’s Gruenfeld Indian defence, but then with couple of energetic moves simply blasted off the board his long-time training partner.

Mtel Masters cage 3

The games are taking place inside the soundproof glass aquarium

Azeri press will certainly celebrate Teimour Radjabov’s fine victory against Levon Aronian. It was a bayonet variation of the King’s Indian defence, where Radjabov presented correct patient plan for black. He is recovering from fatigue after a long series of consecutive tournaments and already has two wins in a row after the shaky start. Aronian, on the other hand, appears to be completely out of form, having signed four losses in only eight rounds.

Current standings:

1. Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – 6.5

2. Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL – 6.0

3. Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE – 4.5

4. Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL – 3.5

5.Aronian Levon 2763 ARM – 2.0

6. Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – 1.5

Round 9 pairings:

Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE – Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL

Mtel Masters Topalov Cheparinov

Veselin Topalov vs Ivan Cheparinov

Mtel Masters Bu 3

Bu Xiangzhi

Mtel Masters Aronian 4

Levon Aronian

Mtel Masters Spassky simul

Boris Spassky playing a simul against Bulgarian journalists

Gausdal Classics Round 8

Gregory Kaidanov still with a full point lead, GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal now second

GM Gregory Kaidanov beat GM Kjetil Lie and kept the full point lead while heading into the last round of the 2008 Gausdal Classics’ GM-group A. GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal won the Indian derby against GM Chanda Sandipan and broke through to the second place. Another big jump was from GM Bartlomiej Macieja who is now 3rd, while Chanda and Lie dropped to the 4th place tie.

gausdal 2008

IM Jon Ludvig Hammer was on the brink of winning against GM Aloyzas Kveinys with black in the Nimzo-Indian, but seasoned veteran engaged in active defence and was able to reduce the endgame to a draw. Hammer is still holding a half point lead, followed by eight players with 5.5 points. IM Stefan Bromberger’s cold-blooded defence in a sharp Meran opening was very instructive, see the game bellow.

More Gausdal Classics coverage on the official website.

GM-group A round 8 results:

GM Gregory Kaidanov – GM Kjetil A Lie 1-0

GM Vyacheslav Ikonnikov – Eric Moskow 1-0

GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal – GM Chanda Sandipan 1-0

IM Øystein Hole – GM Bartlomiej Macieja 0-1

GM Vasilios Kotronias – IM Irina Krush draw

GM-group A round 8 standings:

1. GM Gregory Kaidanov (USA 2596) – 6.5

2. GM Geetha Naraynan Gopal (IND 2562) – 5.5

3. GM Bartlomiej Macieja (POL 2599) – 5.0

4-6. GM Chanda Sandipan (IND 2585) – 4.5

4-6. GM Kjetil A Lie (NOR 2558) – 4.5

4-6. GM Vasilios Kotronias (GRE 2611) – 4.5

7. GM Vyacheslav Ikonnikov (RUS 2578) – 4.0

8. IM Irina Krush (USA 2479) – 3.0

9. IM Øystein Hole (NOR 2387) – 1.5

10. Eric Moskow (USA 2229) – 1.0

GM-group B round 8 standings:

1. IM Jon Ludvig Hammer (NOR 2457) – 6.0

2-9. GM Aloyzas Kveinys (LIT 2515), GM Felix Levin (GER 2546), GM Ralf Akesson (SWE 2466), IM Stefan Bromberger (GER 2487), GM Rune Djurhuus (NOR 2459), IM John Cox (ENG 2380), GM Mihail Saltaev (UZB 2500) and IM Mathias Womacka (GER 2445) – 5.5 etc

Games from GM-group A and B

Russian team chess championship round 8

Ural and Economist 1 singled out on the top

Participants / Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4 / Round 5 / Round 6 / Round 7

chessdom logo

After the yesterday’s sensational win over Tomsk 400, TPS Saransk failed to follow the pace and lost to lower placed Politekhnik. Ivanchuk beat fellow Ukrainian Efimenko, but Sutovsky and Volkov lost to Lysyj and Bocharov. Team from Yekaterinburg convincingly won the Ural derby, Kamsky outplayed Korchnoi in his beloved Open Ruy Lopez, Akopian and Dreev secured a win soon after.

The finely balanced team of Economist 1 is firmly holding the 2nd position, only a point behind Ural. Tomsk 400 recovered and beat the strong Finek Gazprom 4-2, this time without losing a single game.

Round 8 results:

64 (Moscow) – Shatar Buryatia 3-3

GM Boris Gelfand – GM Vugar Gashimov draw

GM Sergei Rublevsky – GM Bu Xiangzhi draw

GM Pentala Harikrishna – GM Anton Shomoev 1-0

GM Wang Hao – GM Boris Avrukh draw

GM Evgeny Bareev – GM Farukh Ammonatov 0-1

GM Alexander Khalifman – GM Alexander Lastin draw

South Ural (Chelyabinsk) – Ural (Yekaterinburg) 2-4

GM Alexander Riazantsev – GM Teimour Radjabov draw

GM Viktor Korchnoi – GM Gata Kamsky 0-1

GM Igor Kurnosov – GM Vladimir Malakhov 1-0

GM Evgeny Romanov – GM Vladimir Akopian 0-1

IM Pavel Ponkratov – GM Alexei Dreev 0-1

IM Sergey Matsenko – GM Alexander Motylev draw

SHSM (Moscow) – Economist 1 (Saratov) 2.5-3.5

GM Alexander Onischuk – GM Evgeny Tomashevsky draw

GM Karen Asrian – GM Pavel Eljanov 0-1

GM Ivan Popov – GM Ni Hua draw

GM Sergey Grigoriants – GM Michael Roiz draw

GM Michał Krasenkow – GM Alexander Galkin 1-0

GM Boris Savchenko – GM Ildar Khairullin 0-1

TPS Saransk (Saransk) – Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 2.5-3.5

GM Vassily Ivanchuk – GM Zahar Efimenko 1-0

GM Konstantin Sakaev – GM Alexander Areshchenko draw

GM Andrei Volotkin – GM Boris Grachev draw

GM Emil Sutovsky – GM Igor Lysyj 0-1

GM Sergey Volkov – GM Dmitry Bocharov 0-1

GM Evgeny Najer – GM Roman Ovetchkin draw

Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) – Tomsk 400 2-4

GM Peter Svidler – GM Alexander Morozevich draw

GM Vadim Zvjaginsev – GM Sergey Karjakin 0-1

GM Sergey Movsesjan – GM Dimitry Jakovenko draw

GM David Navara – GM Loek Van Wely draw

GM Nikita Vitiugov – GM Artyom Timofeev 0-1

GM Maxim Turov – GM Andrei Belozerov draw

Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) – Economist 2 (Saratov) 4-2

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – GM Dimitry Andreikin draw

GM Ernesto Inarkiev – GM Alexander Evdokimov draw

GM Vladislav Tkachiev – GM Alexei Iljushin 1-0

GM Alexei Aleksandrov – GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov draw

GM Denis Khismatullin – GM Alexei Korneev 1-0

GM Vladimir Kosyrev – GM Alexander Kovchan draw

Current Standings

Team / Match points / Game points (click here for the team lists)

1. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 13 (29.5)

2. Economist 1 (Saratov) 12 (28.0)

3-5. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 10 (27.5)

3-5. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 10 (26.0)

3-5. Shatar Buryatia 10 (25.0)

6. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 9 (25.0)

7-8. SHSM (Moscow) 8 (25.5)

7-8. 64 (Moscow) 8 (22.5)

9. Tomsk 400 6 (21.0)

10. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 5 (21.0)

11. Economist 2 (Saratov) 3 (18.0)

12. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 2 (19.0)

Selected games from round 8:

Onischuk and Radjabov in best position to win Biel 2007

Full point against Carlsen on the previous day gave wings to Yannick Pelletier, who next beat Bu Xianghzi

Round 7: Magnus Carlsen was enjoying firm lead in the tournament until he played 16.Bxh7 against Yannick Pelletier. Two pawns were poor compensation for the piece and young Swiss scored his first win in Biel 2007. Teimour Radjabov used this opportunity to even up with Carlsen on the top. The continued discussion with Van Wely in Kings Indian bayonet attack ended in Radjabov’s favor after the Queens went off. Nevertheless, it looked like Van Wely had strong pressure when he sacrificed both exchanges, and only careful analysis will show if this variation is stable for Black.

Radjabov coffee1 Van Wely thinking

Kings Indian discussion: Teimour Radjabov and Loek Van Wely

Alexander Onischuk dropped significant advantage against Judit Polgar and the game was drawn in heavy pieces’ endgame. Alexander Motylev had tough job with Black against Boris Avrukh, but the material imbalance created in the time scrabble was not sufficient for either of them and game ended with repetition. Motylev thus recovers after three consecutive defeats. Bu-Grischuk was also draw by repetition, although without excitement.

Round 7 results:

Judit Polgar – Alexander Onischuk draw

Loek Van Wely – Teimour Radjabov 0 – 1

Bu Xianghzi – Alexander Grischuk draw

Boris Avrukh – Alexander Motylev draw

Magnus Carlsen – Yannick Pelletier 0 – 1

Round 8: Obviously, win against Carlsen on the previous day gave wings to Yannick Pelletier, who annihilated Bu’s Slav defence to move up on 3rd place tie. Carlsen might be experiencing turning-point as he run into lost position against Van Wely straight out of the opening. Once those pawns started rolling, it was impossible to stop them. The imaginative temporary Rook sacrifice with a long forced sequence allowed Onischuk to earn extra pawn against Avrukh. The rest was matter of his excellent technique.

Carlsen losing

What went wrong: Magnus Carlsen

Judit Polgar saved tough endgame with the wonderful stalemate motif. Grischuk’s Rook + Knight squadron made a deadly mess among Judit’s pawns earlier. Radjabov-Motylev was the shortest game of the tournament – 14 moves draw in Scotch opening.

Round 8 results:

Teimour Radjabov – Alexander Motylev draw

Alexander Onischuk – Boris Avrukh 1 – 0

Loek Van Wely – Magnus Carlsen 1 – 0

Yannick Pelletier – Bu Xiangzhi 1 – 0

Alexander Grischuk – Judit Polgar draw

Alexander Onischuk

Nice view from the top floor: Alexander Onischuk

Round 8 standings:

1-2. Alexander Onischuk (USA 2650) and Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2746) 5.0

3-5. Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2710), Yannick Pelletier (Switzerland 2583) and Judit Polgar (Hungary 2707) 4.5

6. Alexander Grischuk (Russia 2726) 4.0

7-8. Bu Xianghzi (China 2685) and Boris Avrukh (Israel 2645) 3.5

9. Alexander Motylev (Russia 2648) 3.0

10.Loek van Wely (Netherlands 2679) 2.5

Going into round 9: Two consecutive defeats have pushed Magnus Carlsen down to the 3rd place tie. Alexander Onischuk and Teimour Radjabov are now in best position to win the tournament. Still, there is one round left, and Magnus will certainly seek for a win with White against Radjabov. Onischuk is playing Black against shaken Motylev. Other pairings are Bu Xiangzhi – Loek van Wely, Judit Polgar – Yannick Pelletier and Boris Avrukh – Alexander Grischuk. If two or more players tie the first place at the end, there will be a tie-break on the same day (with the two best players) to promote the official winner of the Tournament – two rapid games (15 minutes) and, if necessary, blitz.

Carlsen Radjabov

Last round decision: Carlsen and Radjabov

Biel Round 3 report

Biel Round 4 report

Biel Round 5 report

Biel Round 6 report

Politiken Cup – Round 8

Michal Krasenkow and Gabriel Sargissian on the top again

Good chess in 8th round of Politiken Cup. GM Gabriel Sargissian beat GM Tiger Hillarp-Persson to once again catch Krasenkov in the lead. Tiger neglected his kingside for a moment and was forced to sacrifice pawn in order to prevent deadly attack. Vladimir Malakhov performed interesting opening experiment against Queens Gambit, but Krasenkov was up to task and held a draw with active counterplay.

Politiken Michal Krasenkov Gabriel Sargissian square

Leaders: Michal Krasenkow and Gabriel Sargissian

Round 8 standings:

1-2. GM Michal Krasenkow (POL 2660) and GM Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2667) 7.0

3-9. GM Nick de Firmian (USA 2540), GM Evgeny Agrest (SWE 2541), GM Emanuel Berg (SWE 2580), GM Vladimir Malakhov (RUS 2676), GM Kjetil A. Lie (NOR 2536), G. Rohit (IND 2470) and GM Tommy Nybäck (FIN 2567) 6.5 etc

Politiken Nick de Firmian Politiken Peter Nielsen

Concentration: Nick de Firmian and Peter Heine Nielsen

Top round 9 pairings:

GM Emanuel Berg – GM Gabriel Sargissian

GM Michal Krasenkow – GM Nick de Firmian

G. Rohit – GM Vladimir Malakhov

GM Tommy Nybäck – GM Evgeny Agrest

GM Igor Khenkin – GM Kjetil A. Lie

IM Mikkel Antonsen – GM Peter Heine Nielsen

IM Christian Kyndel Pedersen – GM Alexander Stripunsky

Politiken Vladimir Malakhov Politiken GM Jonny Hector

Top seed GM Vladimir Malakhov and GM Jonny Hector

Politiken Tommy Nyback Politiken IM Jon Ludvig Hammer

GM Tommy Nyback and IM Jon Ludvig Hammer

Politiken Cup – Round 9

Politiken Cup earlier rounds

Mtel Masters 2007 round 8

Report, photos, videos, games

Rank Name FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Sasikiran Krishnan IND ** ½ 1 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1
2 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE ½ 0 ** 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 4
3 Kamsky Gata USA 0 1 0 1 ** ½ ½ ½ ½ 4
4 Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter ROM ½ ½ ½ ½ ** 1 0 0 1 4
5 Topalov Veselin BUL 1 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ** ½ ½ 4
6 Adams Michael ENG ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ **

Video: Round 8 start

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu was steadily squeezing Michael Adams’ King from the White side of the Ruy Lopez. Once he stopped the Black’s queenside counterplay, everything was set for the final buildup. The action was delayed to after the time trouble, but Adams couldn’t do more than to sit and wait.

During the press conference, Adams was asked why he didn’t use his favorite Marshall attack in Ruy Lopez as he had this chance in two games already. “I wanted to try something else”, he replied. We have no doubts that he is saving his opening secrets for the candidate matches.

Video: Interview with GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu

Day 08 - 04 Topalov Mamedyarov

The game Topalov-Mamedyarov was full of unexpected turn-arounds. Topalov admitted after the game that he underestimated the strenght of 20…f5, missing the fact that 24.Be6 was not possible due to 24…Qc1. Therefore, he was forced into passivity with 24.Bf1 and Mamedyarov rightfully gave up his Queen for two Rooks and strong initiative. Topalov’ thinks that Mamedyarov rushed with 29…Nh4 and 30…Nf5 while he had steady had advantage. GM Ian Rogers correctly pointed that 37…Bb7 38.Qb7 was deflecting the Queen long enough for the crushing 38…ef2 – Mamedyarov slapped his forehead when he realised what he had missed.

The press conference also revealed that Mamedyarov has received many emails and SMS messages of support from his friends and colleagues. “They know that when I lose one game, I tend to lose more games in a row”, he explained, “Today is the happiest day in my life when I ended losing streak while playing strong against Topalov”.

Video: Topalov and Mamedyarov press conference

Video: Sasikiran and Kamsky press conference