I would like to play a chess tourney this summer, but I can’t find any event taking place in Italy (and almost in the whole Europe) in July 2 to 7 and in August 11 to 18, the periods when I’ll have my holidays. This is quite strange, at least in our country, if you consider that there are many tournaments in all other periods :-( Well, I think I’ll have to wait for 2008…
Speaking about Italian events, the strong Capo d’Orso Festival in Palau, Sardinia, didn’t see any surprise in round two, played today afternoon. Pairings are made according to the degrading accelerated swiss system (the same in use at Cappelle la Grande), and that’s why you can’t find any GM on 2/2, while many not rated players are in the leading group. Many interesting games are going to take place in the third round: IM Aagaard-IM Steingrimsson (the only two titled players on top), IM Shytaj-GM Godena, GM Marin-IM Mogranzini, GM Efimov-GM Matamoros, IM Caruana-IM Bruno, GM Djuric-IM Seger, GM Rowson-IM Ziegler, IM Glienke-IM Orlov, GM Ortega-FM Friedrich, etc. Official site: http://asd.caissa.it/portomannu/vega/index.html.
After rounds 6 and 8 (read my previous posts) I wrote I would have bet on Topalov’s win in Sofia. Well, I’m just sorry I didn’t place any bet… because Veselin finally took first place with a half a point lead over Mamedyarov, Kamsky, Nisipeanu and Sasikiran, who lost to Bulgarian GM in the last round. Official site: http://www.mtelmasters.com. Final report in Italian, games and on-line viewer on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link to the Mtel section: http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/mtel07.html).
Finally here is a crushing win by Italian master Claudio Pantaleoni over Dutch IM Herman Grooten in Palau.
Pantaleoni,C (2219) - Grooten,H (2392) [E15], Palau 19.5.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.d5!?
A sharp variation, quite popular in recent times. 7.0–0 is more common.
7...exd5 8.cxd5 Bxd5
8...Nxd5 9.0–0 Be7 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Qf5 Nf6 12.e4 was played in Carlsen-Ivanchuk, Monte Carlo 2007.
9.Nc3 Bc6 10.e4
Is this a novelty? White has previously played 10.0–0 Be7 11.e4 d6 12.Bf4, but the text move looks stronger.
10...Be7 was also possible.
The first real inaccuracy. 11...Be7 was definitely better now.
The losing move! 12...Be7 13.Bxd6 0–0 was a far more secure defence for Black. Now White wins on the spot.
After 13...dxe5 14.Nxe5! Bxg2 15.Nxd7 Qb7 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Rhe1++- Black has no defence.
14.Rhe1 Nxf4 15.gxf4 d5 16.Nxd5 Qb7
Black had no good moves, e.g.: 16...Bxd5 17.Rxd5 Be7 18.Qe4 Nf8 19.f5+-
17.Ng5 looks even stronger, but the text move leads to a fast win anyway.
17...Bxd5 18.exd7+ Kd8 19.Qd3
Good, but 19.Ng5! was even stronger: after 19...Bxg2 20.Re8+ Kc7 21.Rxa8 Qxa8 22.d8Q+ Qxd8 23.Rxd8 Kxd8 24.Nxf7++- Black was completely lost.
19...Be6 20.f5 c4 21.Qe4 Rb8 22.fxe6 fxe6 23.Qxb7
23.Qxe6 was faster.
23...Rxb7 24.Ng5 1–0
After 24...Rxd7 25.Nf7+ White is clearly winning, so Grooten resigned. What a crushing win by Pantaleoni!