EN  |  ARM
Games Commentary
Contact Us
T. Petrosian 80

Round 8 report
Leko-Jakovenko.jpgLeko, the tournament leader entering round 8 ran into some problems today against Jakovenko's Berlin wall.  White tried the new move 14. Rfe1, but without any revolutionary ideas in the often seen ensuing position.  By the 20th move, the position was about even, and at this point, black began playing actively, grabbed the initiative, and secured some advantage.  Soon, this pressure transformed into a pawn advantage, but the position was probably closer to a draw than a win.  How strange that the 50 move rule, which may be relevant in one out of a thousand games, has reared its head in consecutive games here in Jermuk.  Had black been able to play 89...Rh2, he would have won the a-pawn, and a win may have been likely, but with this move, he would have played the 50th move without a pawn push or a piece take, and thus was forced instead to play a5, and white maintained drawing chances.  Regardless, black attempted to win, but white held on to split the point.

Ivanchuk-Gelfand.jpgWhile Ivanchuk has been among the leaders for the last few rounds, he is probably not all that satisfied with his play, considering the bullets dodged and the general good fortune that has smiled on him in Jermuk.  Our guess is that we have yet to see the best of Ivanchuk.  In the game against Gelfand, white played the new 13. Nf5, but may have slipped with 18. Ba3, giving black equalizing chances.  Black later won a pawn, but handed white an active game, and with the powerful flagship bishop on g2, a good game.  With 24. g4?! white sacrificed a 2nd pawn - a very interesting choice, that while maybe not objectively the best, an intriguing idea and posed certain practical problems to black.  With a firm control of the white squares, white pushed hard, gave back a pawn, and seemed to be in control as some uncertainty appeared in black's game, while move by move white was improving his position.  By the move 41. Ke2, white had a sizable advantage. Possibly, black was unable to transition from being 2 pawns up, and with 43...Nxa4?!, black's position collapsed.  A creative effort from Ivanchuk as he joins Leko in first place. Aronian-Karjakin.jpg
Aronian tried to strike back with a win after his second loss with black and tangled with Karjakin in a topical line of the QID where white gifts the d5 pawn for open lines and activity.  Black counterpunched successfully with 16...Re8 and the ensuing ideas embracing active defense.  With many options to choose from, white sank into deep thought, discovering that in each of the many variations, black had resources to defend.  With the interesting and strong 21...Re6 and 23.. d4, black demonstrated both lots of homework in the much studied variation as well as good over the board thinking with sharp responses.  After several long thinks, white went for a more peaceful continuation and the two opponents shared the point.


In the game between Alekseev and Kasimdzhanov, white tried the new move 12. Ne4, but it did not seem to pose too much of a challenge to black.  A few moves later, it became clear that black had few problems after the opening and had achieved a position of parity.   By move 25 it seemed that a draw was inevitable, as the activity shown by white didn't amount to much, and in the final position, it was white who had to play accurately to hold the draw.

Cheparinov-Kamsky.jpgThe exciting fighters Cheparinov and Kasmky dueled over a fascinating game.  We should acknowledge that the level of fighting chess has been remarkable, with nearly all of the players reaching deep down for something extra in an effort to win any and every game, not conceding anything to any adversary.  An interesting study in the placement of pawns arose from this Spanish opening.  Check out the pawn formation after 22...c5!! - there are so many structures to consider at each move and it was horribly difficult to calculate all the possible variations.  Several moves later, black had come out on top and may have secured a winning advantage with 36...b3 instead of the text Be4.  This hesitation may have been sufficient for white to be able to hold a draw, which after three consecutive losses, was a success for the Bulgarian at stopping the bleeding, if just barely.

Akopian-Bacrot.jpgAkopian and Bacrot dove right in to a Sicilian Dragon, repeating the same opening in their game from Nalchik, when the Armenian deviated with 16 Rad1, instead of his Nalchik choice Nb3.  However, as last time, white received little advantage from the opening (although he went on to win his game against the Frenchman in the previous Grand Prix).  This slightly more cautious approach by white, coupled with black's 16...Qb6, and black had no problems.  In fact, it was white who had to play correctly to avoid discomfort, after a few more moves, black passed on an interesting opportunity to play the promising exchange sacrifice starting with 19.Qb2, and black may have attempted to play for the win.  Instead, both players seemed to be content with a draw and black instead went for equal exchanges and a draw was forthcoming.


The shortest game of the day was an understandable one:  Inarkiev with a tough start to the tournament chose a quieter approach in an effort to secure a safe half-point and draw, possibly with the hope of conserving energy for the final rounds.  Of course for Eljanov, drawing with black was satisfactory and they signed the peace treaty after a 3-fold move repetition.
© FIDE Grand Prix 2008 - 2009    |    |    |    Powered by Turkish Chess Federation