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Round 3 Review
Wednesday, 17 December 2008


It seems Radjabov won this game at home. He repeated 21 move from Dominguez-Kasimzhanov game from the Olympiad in Dresden, and then demonstrated a strong improvement: 22.Ne4! Rustam was unable to find the way out of complications, and Radjabov crushed him by a direct attack.
In further Dragon practice Black should consider the possibility of 22…d5!? 23.Bxd5 Nhf4. Here White also has serious initiative, but Black can find some hidden resources.
Kasimdzhanov played d6-d5 a bit later, apparently missing White’s neat rearrangement: 26.Qf2+ and 27.Rf1!!, which forced additional weakening of the Black’s king.
The last attempt to extend the struggle was 28…Rc5 29.c3 Qc8, but to be honest this was only a practical chance. In the game White destroyed the d5-pawn and found a clear-cut path to a victory.


In this game we witnessed another chess drama. The game quickly transposed to a sharp ending of the Slav Defense, in which Black obtained a strong pawn phalanx, while White tried to utilize activity of his knight.
During the game I had a feeling that Black should be better, but Mamedyarov’s accurate game disillusioned me. He managed to create mating threats, and obtained a winning position around the move 40.
The critical moment occurred on the 40th move. By 40.Rd6+ Ke7 41.Rdb6! Shakhriyar could force trading the rooks and break the opponent’s resistance. However, he played 40.Rxa5?, missing a powerful blow: 40…g4+!
After that Etienne was able to hold the game. Such a miraculous draw is more valuable than some wins!


Peter could not let down his father-in-law Arshak Petrosian, who celebrated his 55th birthday today. Leko played a very good game and achieved a well-deserved victory. Ivan also deserves words of praise: he resisted until the very end and almost survived, but ran out of fuel...


This game wasn’t very tense. The players merely checked their theoretical knowledge and signed a peace treaty. White’s novelty 15.d4 in a fashionable line of the Ruy Lopez was completely harmless. Black quickly cleaned up in the center and transposed to a drawn ending.


An unfortunate miss of the Elista nominee. Ernesto handled the game well, cleverly utilizing the opponent’s slow play. Instead of 27…Bb5, Vladimir should have played Ne7-g6!, activating the passive knight. However, in the time trouble Inarkiev was inaccurate and allowed the opponent to create strong counterplay.
From the practical point of view, instead of the impatient 38.f4, which weakened the g2-square, White should have simply improve his position by, for example, 38.Kf2, and start looking for the best way to convert the advantage only after the 40th move.
Akopian found an excellent practical chance, sacrificing a piece by 39…Rd2!, which clearly surprised the young opponent. Maybe Inakriev had to decline the offer in a different way. 40.Bh5+ Kg8 (40…g6 41.Bxg6+!) 41.Rb2! looks very good for White – I cannot find the way for Black to save this game. After the move in the game the players proceeded to an endgame with opposite-colored bishops, in which Black managed to survive.

Gashimov-Wang Yue

Both players showed some splendid maneuvers. Just like the day before, at some point Wang Yue managed to bring all his pieces back to the back rank, and it paid off.
A positional war turned into a tactical one after the 34.d4! blow, but Black found an adequate defense. During the game it looked like White spoiled a big advantage, but the analysis did not prove it. Kudos to both players, and think about the drawing death of chess.


A very interesting strategic duel! Mutual effort led to creation on the Great Wall on the 18th move, which seemed to block the board completely. However, while Alekseev tried to hold it, Eljanov had other interests, trying to break it. The critical moment occurred on the 42nd move. Before that the Black’s king visited the d6-square many times, and Evgeny incorrectly decided to bring it there again. After the correct 42…Ke8! Black could at least hold the attack and maybe even survive. The point is that after 43.b3 cxb3 44.Qxb3 Qe7! 45.Kh3 h5! the White’s king is also insecure, and the analysis suggests that the game is drawn.
The game continued 42…Kd6? 43.b3! Black did not have enough time to create counterthreats and perished quickly due to the exposed position of his king.

S. Shipov








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