Summer is usually very hot in Italy. I'm not speaking of weather, but about chess events. There are several tournaments along this season in our country and the list is growing and growing every year. Many events take place in tourist locations, where sea or mountains can be a good alternative to chess for your wives and sons; some others are held in beautiful cities, such as the Bergamo International Open :-), which - this year - takes place in July 20 to 22. Bergamo is the town where I live and I've been starting playing chess. So - obviously - my advice is: come and play, you won't regret it. Organizers (Gianvittorio Perico, Felice Scarpellini and Valdo Eynard above all) are trying their best to put up a memorable tournament (this is the 6th edition): many titled players will take part in the main 1800+ group, such as GMs Vladimir Georgiev (MKD), Erald Dervishi (ALB), Todor Todorov (BUL), Sergey Krivoshey (UKR), Viesturs Meijers (LAT), Sinisa Drazic (SRB), Mihail Ivanov (RUS) and wGM Inna Gaponenko (UKR). There are many more, but there's not enough space to name all of them :-). You can download the tournament brochure from here: http://www.chesslab.bergamo.it/open2007bilingue.pdf (both in Italian and English). For entries and more informations you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org (Perico) or email@example.com (Scarpellini). Winners of the previous editions are IM and three times Italian champion Bruno Belotti (2002), GM Erald Dervishi (2003), GM Vadim Malakhatko (2004), GM Sinisa Drazic (2005) and GM Milan Drasko (2006). I remember to all of you that Bergamo has a very well connected International airport (some destinations are London, Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Oslo, Stokholm, Rome, Eindhoven, etc.). So, wherever you live, you will find a flight to come here. Hurry up!
Well, now let's come back to present events. After the first half of the tournament nobody is left with full score in the European Union championship, held in Arvier (Italy). Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak and Italian IM Giulio Borgo lead on 4.5/5 and will play each other in round 6. Twelve players are half a point behind them: GMs Thomas Luther, Evgenij Agrest, Michele Godena, Nenad Sulava, Alexander Baburin and young IMs Fabiano Caruana and Sabino Brunello are among the others. Official site: www.scacchivda.com.
The Aerosvit super-tournament in Yalta, Ukraine, saw only one draw (Rublevsky-Svidler) in round 2: Alexei Shirov won his second game in a row and now leads alone on 2/2, half a point clear of Vassily Ivanchuk, Dmitry Jakovenko and Sergey Karjakin. Official site: http://www.ukrchess.org.ua/aerosvit2007/index_e.htm.
Israeli GM Michael Roiz beat former world champions Anatolij Karpov in the "Gorenje 2007" tournament, held in Valjevo (Serbia), and share the lead on 5/7 with Turkish GM Suat Atalik, who won against Moldavian GM Viorel Iordachescu. Serbian GM Ivan Ivanisevic follows on 4.5, Karpov and Serbian GM Branko Damljanovic on 4. Official site: http://www.chessdom.com/.
Two more strong events are in progress: the "Kings Tournament" in Bazna (Romania), official site http://www.clubulregilor.ro/, and the Dutch championship in Hilversum, official site http://www.schaakbond.nl/nk2007. I also remember to all of you that the Sparkassen Chess Meeting starts in Dortmund next Saturday (June 23): Anand, Kramnik, Leko, Gelfand, Mamedyarov, Carlsen, Naiditsch and Alekseev will compete in this category 20 super-tournament; official site http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de/english/english.html, you will also find a daily coverage on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it.
And now here is a crushing win by Karjakin in the Aerosvit super-tournament.
Eljanov,P. (2686) - Karjakin,S. (2686) [D15], Yalta 19.6.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Nc3 b5 6.c5
This is absolutely not the best way to fight for the initiative. 6.b3 Bg4 7.Be2 e6 and; 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Ne5 e6 are much more common.
I don't know if this is a new move (it looks to be): for sure, it loses a tempo. 7.Bd3 and 7.Be2 make more sense.
Probably another inaccuracy. 8.Bd2 or; 8.Qc2 were more precise. 8...e5! Black starts fighting for the initiative!
9.dxe5 Ng4 10.e6 fxe6 11.Nd4 Nxc5 12.Be2
It looks that White has solved all his problems, but...
An intuitive and dangerous sacrifice, although probably not correct. 12...Ne5 13.f4 Nc4 14.Nxc6 Qb6 15.Nd4 Be7!? was a less risky way to fight for the initiative.
13...Qf6+ had also to be considered.
Probably the best. After 14.Nxc6 Black can prove his sacrifice is good, e.g.: 14...0–0+ 15.Kg1 Qh4 and now 16.Bf3 (16.g3 Qf6! 17.Qf1 (17.Qe1 Nb3 18.Rb1 b4 19.Nb5 Bc5 and Black is much better) 17...Qg5 18.Qe1 Nb3 19.Rb1 Nxc1 20.Rxc1 Qxe3+ 21.Kg2 b4 gives Black excellent chances) should lead to a draw: 16...Ne4 17.Qe2 Ba6 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.g3 Bxg3 20.hxg3 Qxg3+ 21.Qg2 Qe1+ 22.Kh2 Qh4+ 23.Kg1 Qe1+ 24.Kh2 Qh4+ =
14...0–0+ 15.Kg2 Bd7 16.Bd2?
A bad inaccuracy. Now Black can start a powerful attack. 16.Nb3 was more precise, e.g.: 16...Qb6 (16...Nxb3?! 17.Qxb3 b4 18.axb4 axb4 19.Rxa8 Qxa8 20.Nd1 c5 21.e4! and White has a slight edge) 17.Rf1 (17.Nxc5 Bxc5 18.Rf1 Rxf1 19.Qxf1 Rf8 20.Qe1 e5 with counterplay) 17...e5 (17...Na4!? 18.Bg4 Rxf1 19.Kxf1 Nxc3 20.bxc3 Rf8+ 21.Kg2 +/-; 17...Rxf1 18.Bxf1 Nxb3 19.Qxb3 Bc5 20.Bd3! +/-) 18.Nxc5 Bxc5 19.Re1! and White retains some winning chances.
16...e5 17.Nb3 Ne6
Now Black has full compensation.
18.Rf1 Rxf1 19.Kxf1 a4 20.Nc1 Qf6+ 21.Kg2 e4 would give Black a strong attack anyway.
18...a4 19.Nc1 Qg5! 20.h4 Qg6 21.h5?!
Another bad move. After 21.Bh5 Qf5 22.Qf3 Black can decide to draw immediately by 22...Qc2 23.Qd1 Qf5 24.Qf3 Qc2 or to fight for the full point by 22...Nc5, after which White can trade Queens with good drawing chances.
22.h6 would give Eljanov more chances of surviving, e.g.: 22...e4 23.Rh5 Qg6 24.Rh4 Be7 25.Bh5 Qg5 26.Bg4 and White holds on.
23.Be1 had to be considered: after 23...Qxe3 24.Qd2 Qxd2+ 25.Bxd2 Be7 26.Rh2 Bc5 Black retains some advantage, but White can hold on by 27.N1e2.
23...Nc5! 24.Bxd7 Nxd7 25.N1e2 Ne5 26.Qh1?!
The last inaccuracy in a horrible position: 26.Qd1 would prolong the resistance, although after 26...Rf3 27.Qh1 Nc4 28.Qh3 Raf8 White would lose anyway.
27.Be1 Nxh4+ 28.Qxh4 Qxe3 and White is paralysed.
27...Qf6! 28.Nf4 Nxd2 0–1
A very convincing win by the young Ukrainian prodigy.