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Round 12 Review
Friday, 26 December 2008
kasym_cheparinov.jpg The most exciting game of today’s generally boring round: combative Ivan did not let fans of Rustam falling asleep.

In the Gligoric Variation of the King’s Indian Black employed an aggressive novelty – 14…g4. Kasimdzhanov did not fall into the devilish trap: 15.Bh4? Qe8! 16.f6 gxf3 17.fxg7 Rf4! 18.Bg5 Qg6!, and Black wins. He correctly retreated the knight to h4, and then brought it back to life by carrying out the f2-f3 break.

The combative nature of the Bulgarian player told on the 17th move. In my opinion, after 17...Nxf5 18.Nxf5 Bxf5 19.Raf1 Qd7 Black equalizes easily. However, he preferred 17…Ng4, starting the attack with the White pawn still on f5.

The move 19…Ne3!, which was not made in the game, leads to great complications. The Uzbek grandmaster had to calculate as deeply as 20.Bxe5! (other moves are worse) 20...dxe5 21.Qg3+ Kh8 22.Qxe5+ Bg7 (22...Qf6 23.Rxe3!) 23.f6! Bh6 (or 23...Bxf6 24.Qxe3 Bxh4 25.Qxc5) 24.Rxe3 Nd7! 25.Qg3 Bxe3+ 26.Qxe3 Qxf6 27.Nf3 Qg7, and White is slightly better in this complicated position.

The text-move 19…e4 is obviously weaker. White could consolidate his position by 21.Bf4! Bxf4 22.Rxf4 Qg5 23.Qd2! (threatening Rf4-g4!) and keep an extra pawn. However, Rustam’s move is also good.

The last critical moment occurred on the 26th move. Apparently, Cheparinov desperately wanted to get rid of the f5-pawn, so he captured it, which was a huge mistake. After the simple 26…Bd7! it was still everyone’s game. White responded by 27.Nb5! and carried out the rest of the game in exemplary fashion: 30.Nxc7!,  33.Bg4!, 35.Rxb2!, and the game was over soon.


The players demonstrated a well-known theoretical draw by repetition. Well, everyone needs to have some rest from time to time...


radjabov_akopian.jpg The grandmasters exchanged opinions on the ending that arises in one of the branches of the Scotch Game. Teimour was impressed by Vladimir’s tricky idea 12…Ng6!?, and accepted the move repetition in a few moves. In their next game the theory will surely be moved forward.

Mamedyarov-Wang Yue
Wang Yue made a new move in the Slav Defense: 13…Bxc3, but in my opinion his novelty does not solve Black’s problems. The two bishop advantage should not be underestimated! Mamedyarov could open up the position by 16.c4!? with the initiative, but his idea was also acceptable: first Shakh seized space on the queenside, and then delivered the central blow: 21.c4! White’s advantage became obvious at this point. However, later Shakhriyar lost concentration and made the inaccurate 23.Rb3, allowing his opponent to trade the light-squared bishops. After the correct 23.Raa1! White retained the long-lasting pressure, while the move in the game led to simplifications and a draw.



In the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez Black successfully blocked White’s queenside, which is the key idea of the system. Peter made several natural moves that looked logical, but could not prevent Evgeny from implementing his plan. The batteries of both players need to be recharged. They have no energy left to fight.

An opening surprise at this level is a lethal weapon. Pavel stunned surprised his opponent by playing a rare line of the Ruy Lopez, in which Black abstains from castling and develops the queenside initiative. Dmitry took his time on each move, but managed to find the right (and well-known) moves. However, after Black’s 13…b4! the Russian decided to play it safe. He deviated from the main lines and forced the move repetition.

gashimov_inarkiev.jpg   Losses in the previous round obviously depressed both players. Today they preferred extremely solid and accurate moves. White’s slight theoretical advantage was nullified soon after the opening, and the game logically ended in a draw.








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