It’s official now. I predicted all right winners for the WCM finals: Armenian Levon Aronian, Hungarian Peter Leko, Israeli Boris Gelfand and Russian Alexander Grischuk, who beat 2.5-0.5 his compatrioti Sergey Rublevsky in today’s tie break. And I did even more: I also predicted the right results for Aronian-Shirov (“Aronian wins 3.5-2.5 or 3.5-1.5”) and Grischuk-Rublevsky (“Grischuk wins 3.5-2.5 or on tie break”). And what’s about what I wrote on April 23? “It looks really hard to predict who will succeed in qualifying for the Mexico city competition. I would say Aronian, Leko, Grischuk (or Ponomariov) and Kamsky (or Gelfand)”. Well, I was not far from the truth :-). Final reports on the official site http://globalchess.eu/main.php and on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/candidati07.html).
The "Gorenje 2007" tournament started today in Valjevo, Serbia. Turkish GM Suat Atalik won convincingly his game against the only IM participant, Serbian Mihajlo Stojanovic; another Serbian player, GM Ivan Ivanisevic, scored the only other victory of the day against Slovenian GM Dusko Pavasovic. K. Georgiev-Roiz, Iordachescu-Damljanovic and Karpov-P. Nikolic all ended in a draw. Official site: http://www.chessdom.com/.
An interesting interview with Vladimir Kramnik (conducted during the Miskolc rapid chess match against Peter Leko in April ) was published on www.chessbase.com. Today the fourth and final part appeared on the site. Vlad speaks about his decision not to play game 5 of the world championship match against Topalov last year: the decision "was very emotional", he says. "Actually it was wrong, because finally they got what they wanted. You could see - many people told me that they saw the manager of Topalov, Danailov, after this, and they never saw him so happy as on this day. So finally I made this mistake and they achieved what they wanted to achieve: to make a scandal, and in the best case to stop the match. To stop the match and keep his title which he begs for. Unfortunately this provocation proved to be successful. Because of this I believe it was probably a mistake". You can read the full interview on the above mentioned site.
Atalik,S (2584) - Stojanovic,Mih (2588) [D35], Valjevo 13.6.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 c6 7.h3 Ne4 8.Qc2
A new move according to my old database. The game Atalik-A. Mastrovasilis, Athens 2003, continued 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Nd2 Nf6 10.e3 Be6 (the immediate 10...Nd5 is a good alternative: 11.Be5 Bf5 12.a3 h5 13.Qc2 Qg5 14.0–0–0 Qg6 15.Rg1 f6?! 16.Bh2 Rd8 17.Be2 h4 18.g4 hxg3 19.Bxg3 Qh6 Seirawan-Speelman, Reykijavik 1991; after 20.Kb1 White would have a slight edge) 11.g3 Nd5 12.h4 f5 13.Be5 Qd7 14.a3 Nb6 15.Rc1 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Qxd6 17.Nc4 Nxc4 18.Bxc4 0–0–0=.
8...Bb4 9.a3 Qa5 10.Bd2 Nxd2 11.Nxd2 Be7
11...Nf6 12.e3 Bd6 comes into consideration as well.
12.e3 0–0 13.Bd3 Nf6 14.0–0 Re8 15.f4!?
White tries to scare his opponent. And he succeeds in doing that!
Black's aims to put his bishop on the a1–h8 diagonal by ...g6 and ...Bg7.
16.Rae1 Qd8 17.Nf3 c5?!
The first inaccuracy. 17...Bd6 was a bit more precise.
18.Ng5 g6 19.f5 Bg7?
The second bad inaccuracy. After 19...Bh6!? (probably the only good move) 20.fxg6!? (20.h4 Bxg5 21.hxg5 Ng4 22.fxg6 hxg6 23.Bxg6 leads to a draw after 23...Qd6 24.Bxf7+ Kg7 25.Rf4 Qxf4 26.Qg6+ Kh8 27.Qh5+ Kg7 28.Qg6+ Kh8=) 20...Bxg5 21.gxf7+ Kxf7 22.Bxh7 Kg7 White has to prove his sacrifice is good: 23.Qg6+ Kh8 24.Qxg5 Nxh7 25.Qh5 Re7 26.Nxd5 Rg7 27.Rf7 (27.Nf6 Qe7 28.dxc5 Rg5 29.Qh6 Qg7 30.Qxg7+ Kxg7 is drawish) 27...Qe8 28.Ref1 Be6 29.Rf8+ Qxf8 30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Nf4 Bf5 32.dxc5 Kg8 would give Atalik some winning chances, but Black can probably hold on.
20...hxg6 was more accurate.
21.dxc5 Re5 22.Nf3 Re7 23.e4 dxe4 24.Nxe4 Nxe4 25.Bxe4
White is simply a pawn up and Black has no real compensation.
25...Be6 26.Ng5 Qd4+
If 26...Kh8 then 27.Bxb7 Qd4+ 28.Kh1 Rxb7 29.Nxe6+-
This is a losing move, but 27...Rf8 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8 29.Bxg6 hxg6 30.Nxe6+ Rxe6 31.Rxe6 Qxb2 32.Qxg6 would have lost as well.
28.Rd1 Qxb2 29.Nxe6 Rxe6 30.Qxb2 Bxb2 31.Bd5 Kg7 32.Bxe6 Rxe6 33.Rd7+ Kh6 34.a4 b6 35.Rd6 1–0
Black has no chances of getting a draw, so he resigned.