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Round 7 Review
Monday, 22 December 2008
Peter obtained a solid advantage after the opening, but rushed to force things too much. Instead of 16.Rfd1 he should have played 16.c3, preventing Black’s counterplay. After the move in the game everything was exchanged and the players agreed to a draw.
Rustam KASIMZHANOV: - The game quickly came into the technical stage where the result was quite obvious lest the parties should gave an evident yawn. The collapse, as far as I see it, occured in the opening after 9. Кс6 and 10.Сb3.
Peter LEKO: - In the opening I played 7…f3. After that move it was very difficult to get the advantage. Only five moves later I got the position that I can call favourable.

I failed to find obvious flaws in this complicated and wild game. I am not even going to point at small improvements in order to preserve the overall impression of a highly skilled play of both grandmasters. Mamedyarov was more imaginative of the two; he seized the initiative in the middlegame and played for a win until the very end. Jakovenko was firm and composed, and deserved to hold to a draw.
Dmitry JAKOVENKO: The game has turned from the opening into the end-game which I cannot evaluate. But gradually I managed to get the better position. Further on due to the lack of time I didn’t find the stronger moves, although the White has no forced victory. I spent nearly all the time in search of victory. Then I overlooked the opponent’s e4. But, fortunately, the White’s margin of strength was solid enough to defend the position.
Shakhriyar MAMEDYAROV: The game was very interesting. In the opening I played f5 move which I play very often. Previously I had managed to win GM Vladimir Malakhov and GM Robert Markus in this variant. After several moves Dmitry has declined this variant and we began playing a completely different position.

Radjabov’s drama became miraculous resurrection for Ernesto. The Azerbaijani grandmaster showed a sensible novelty in his pet Dragon – 17…f5, seized the initiative and slowly outplayed the opponent. Black’s position on the 36th move was completely winning.
However, in the time trouble Teimour missed the simple 36…Qd3! with the idea 37.g3 Qxd2 38.Bxd2 Rd7! (38…Nxh5 is also good), which would basically finish off the game. Radjabov selected a more sophisticated plan. He created a deadly pin on the e-file, however, instead of the correct 39…Bd6 (defending the e7-rook and ruling out the Ne3-f5 resource) blundered by 39…Qd3? The 40th move of both players should not be commented, as they only wanted to avoid the time loss. And after the control has passed, it suddenly turned out that White has a winning ending. Inarkiev calmly converted his decisive advantage.
Ernesto INARKIEV: - A complicated game it was for me. Somewhere after the opening the Black managed to seize the initiative. The Black had conceivable advantage by the 30th move. To tell the truth, every move was difficult for me, because the Black had the better hand in the position therefore the White could only fight for leveling the situation. The material was equal however, I was able to find moves, and afterwards in the time-trouble the Black must have made several mistakes. After the control the White got the advantage. I think we both made mistakes in the period form the 30th to the 40th moves. After the control there was the ending with a good advantage of the White. It was difficult to decide whether to exchange the rook or not, because the advantage might not suffice for this. Still I estimated the chance as fair and exchanged the rook. The Black tried a clever practical move with the pawn sacrifice but failed.

Massive simplifications in the so-called Early Dragon did not bring White anything real. The accurate 17…g5! stabilized Black’s position in the center and gave him a good game. The exchanges that followed led to an equal ending and a logical draw.
Vugar GASHIMOV: - After I played h4, I got an interesting position. The Black responded properly with h6, but instead of Qf4 they made an excellent g4. Double-edged period followed. The black achieved equal position actually and after the queens exchange the draw was inevitable.
Etienne BACROT: - The game was interesting. The Black fought for the centre of the board. The draw is a quite logical outcome.

The Bulgarian grandmaster plays the role of Santa Claus (only he keeps some presents for himself). In the previous round Ivan presented a pawn to Gashimov, but survived. This time he gave Eljanov even two pawns – and also could survive!
Cheparinov’s problems began when he made a big mistake in an approximately even position by 18…Nf6?, missing that the recapture with the e6-pawn after 19.cxd5 allows the terrible blow on c6.
Another important moment occurred on the 26th move, when Pavel should have passed on the opportunity to pick up a second pawn (greed must have its limits) and retreat his queen: 26.Qc2, consolidating the position. The Ukrainian clearly underestimated the brilliant counterblow 29…Nxf2! The game proceeded to an ending with an extra piece for White, which was objectively... drawn! Or at least I was unable to find the win for White in the analysis.
Eljanov skillfully used the classical “Don’t hurry in the endgame!” principle, lulled the opponent’s vigilance and delivered a decisive blow on the 93rd move: 93.Bxg6! Then Pavel again started going wrong, but neither Ivan played perfectly, so on the 125th move White celebrated a win. Kudos to the marathon men!
Pavel ELJANOV: - It was the longest game of the tournament and it turned out a tragedy of the single mistake of Black who played Nf6. I actually played a plain opening; we had somewhat of an equal position, probably even more favourable for the Black. But after a bad mistake the Black even lost two pawns. Ivan persistently defended himself but couldn’t save the game.
Ivan CHEPARINOV: - I did make an awesome mistake. In the end-game I had some chance but I didn’t use it.

The elder member of the Russian national team slowly outplayed the younger one. It is difficult to give concrete advice on improving the White’s position in this game. The fall occurred gradually.
I can’t believe Alekseev’s maneuver Ng1-h3-g5-f3-e1 can claim any opening advantage. I don’t even think White can equalize with it. Grischuk reacted very accurately: 18…f5! The White’s center was destroyed, and then the Muscovite forced a standard for the Volga Gambit exchange of queens by 21…Qa6!, regained a pawn and got a comfortable plus in the ending. There were quite a few instructive moments in the subsequent game: 32…Bb5!, 37…Re5!, 46…g4!
Everyone who plays Volga Gambit must study this game carefully. A model performance by Grischuk!
Evgeny ALEKSEEV: The opening was a surprise for me. I think that the position with a spare pawn, then Ne1 move has been unfortunate. I underestimated the f5 move after which all the stronghold was broken through.
Alexander GRISCHUK: After yesterday’s victory over Vugar Gashimov, I have chosen the sharp opening by the Black. It seems to me that either Ne5 or Bc8 is a novelty if compared to Alexeev-Inarkiev game. After that the white made the excessively ambitious Ne1 move and forced back all the black pieces. But Zhenya must have underestimated or overlooked the Black f5 after which I got a luxurious position. In the end-game the White have lost several moves. After the time control the Black had a winning position.

Wang Yue-Akopian
Both played a nice game that was full of fine moves. Several post-opening moves looked suspicious, but proved to be sound, for instance, 11…exd4, 21.Rad1, 22…Qxe5, 23.Qxc6! As it often happens, strong play by both sides naturally led to an even ending. Wang Yue relentlessly looked for winning chances, but the recourses were too limited, and the game was eventually drawn.
Vladimir AKOPIAN: - The Black didn’t have many complications in the opening. I was knowledgeable in the position and that’s why solved all the problems quite easily. There was a moment in the end-game, when the position was utterly level and I made inaccurate moves. I must have given my opponent the chance to win, but the position seems very close to a draw.
Wang YUE: - I should have played a bit better in the opening. In case I played in a different way, the Black could get a more complicated position.








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