More than 660 "wunderkinds" will compete in the 2007 Italian U16 championship, to be held in Palermo (Sicily) from tomorrow to July 7. Master Axel Rombaldoni from Pesaro (one IM norm) and Italian female champion Roberta Brunello from Bergamo are clear favorite in the main U16 event (in male and female groups respectively). Sicily will be (that's obvious) the more represented region with 111 players; Emilia Romagna follows on 69, Marche on 63, Lazio on 48 and Piemonte on 47; only 33 participants from Lombardia, 16 of them coming from Bergamo (where I live) and only 13 from Milan (the second most populated Italian city after Rome). Official site: http://www.palermoscacchi.it/.
As expected, Ukrainian superGM Vassily Ivanchuk won the 2007 Aerosvit tournament, which ended today in Yalta (Ukraine). Chuky drew his last game against Svidler and scored 7.5 points out 11, a half more than his young compatriot Sergej Karjakin. Alexander Onischuk (USA), Peter Svidler (RUS), Loek Van Wely (NED) and Alexei Shirov (ESP) shared third place on 6, Cuban top GM Lenier Dominguez was placed fifth on 5.5. After three great months of chess, Chuky will be fourth in the July Fide list on 2762, just a few points behind Topalov and Kramnik (both on 2769, if I don't mind). Vishy Anand will arise to 2792 and consolidate his first place thanks to his good performance in the German Bundesliga. Official site of the Aerosvit tourney: http://www.ukrchess.org.ua/aerosvit2007/index_e.htm.
The day has come: Garry Kasparov will be in Milan tomorrow (June 30). I know he's not very approachable in this period (he is a politician, don't you remember?) and he will not give any press conference, but I'll try to ask him a few questions, if possible (I'm an accredited journalist, after all :-) ). If not, he will give a lecture about "Competions", anyway, and you will read my report here by tomorrow or Sunday evening. Official site of the cultural event Kasparov will take part in: www.lamilanesiana.it.
And now here is our game of the day...
Sasikiran,K (2690) - Van Wely,L (2674) [D44], Yalta, 29.6.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.g3 Bb7 12.Bg2 Qb6 13.exf6 0–0–0
The extra-sharp Botvinnik System of the Slav Defence was much popular only a few year ago at top level, but is considered too risky for Black nowadays. Van Wely shows he is not afraid...
14...c5 15.d5 b4 16.Na4 Qb5 17.a3 etc. is a more common variation.
15.Bxh6 Rxh6 16.b3
A rare move. 16.Qd2 and 16.Ne4 have been played more often.
17.axb3 Nxf6 18.Ne2 e5 19.Qc1 Rdh8 20.h4 exd4 21.Rd1 c5 22.Nxd4 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Rh5 24.Nf3 was played in Del Rio Angelis-Dominguez, Ubeda 2001: White has better chances, but Black managed to get a draw. The game Hofmann-Bohne, Bad Bergzabern 1997, went 17.Qxb3 Nxf6 18.a4 b4 19.Ne2 a5=
17...Nxf6 18.Nc5 b2!
A strong novelty. Czerwonski- Kaszowski, Poland 2000, continued 18...bxa2 19.Rxa2 Nd7? 20.Qc1 and White soon got a huge advantage.
19.Rb1 e5 20.Qd2
20.Qf3 is interesting, e.g.: 20...exd4 21.Qf4 Rdh8 22.Qf5+ Kb8 23.Rxb2 Bc8 24.Qe5+ Qc7 25.Qxd4 and White is even slightly better.
21.Rxb2 Rxd4 22.Qc3 b4 23.Qf3 Qxc5 24.Qxf6 was more complicated.
21...exd4 22.Nxb7 Kxb7 23.a4 a6 24.Rfc1 Nd5 25.a5
25.Qe2 Rh6 26.axb5 axb5 27.Rb3 is an interesting alternative for White.
25...Qxa5 26.Qxd4 Qb6
26...Qc7 looks even stronger.
27.Qg7 Rf5 28.Rb2 Qc7 29.Re2
29.Rbc2 is probably better.
30.Qa1, followed by h4 on the next move, was much more precise.
White's Queen is now unable to cooperate with her Rooks.
32.Rxe5 Qxe5 33.h5 would give White more drawing chances.
32...Qe6 33.Qd4 Re1+ 34.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 35.Kh2 a5
Sasikiran's position is now almost desperate.
36.Rc2 a4 37.Be4 Qb4! 38.Qd3 Rd6 39.Bf3 Kb6 40.Qf5 Qb3 41.Bd1?
The last mistake in a very bad situation: 41.Rc1 is probably the best way to prolong the resistance.
42.Bf3 a3 43.Rc1 Qb2 wouldn't help.
42...Qe6 43.Qf4 Rxd2 44.Qxd2 Nxd1 45.Qxd1 a3
White should resign.
46.Qd4+ Kb7 47.h5 Qd5 48.Qh8 a2 49.h6 Qd1 50.Qf6 a1Q 51.Qxf7+ Kb6 0–1
And Sasikiran finally shook hands.