I probably made a wrong calculation, or I just ignore some rules... Whatever happened, it seems that half a point was enough for Italian IM Sabino Brunello to score his first GM norm in the European Union championship... and he drew against Croatian GM Nenad Sulava! This means, according to official site, that he did it! Many congratulations, Sabino! And happy birthday in advance: he will be 18 years old on June 27. Another Italian idol, GM Michele Godena, beat Swedish GM Evgenij Agrest with Black pieces and now share first place with Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak (having a better tie-break) with only one round to go: they're both on 7.5/9. Croatian GM Miso Cebalo follows on 7, eight players are on 6.5: Brunello, German GM Thomas Luther, Slovakian GM Tomas Likavsky, Irish GM Alexander Baburin, French IM Vladimir Okhotnik and GM Erik Prie, Italian IM Fabiano Caruana and Sulava. Top boards of 10th and last round: Sedlak-Cebalo, Godena-Sulava, Prie-Luther, Baburin-Likavsky, Okhotnik-Caruana, Sulskis-Brunello. Official site: www.scacchivda.com.
Veselin Topalov will not play in Mexico City, as Bulgarian Federation asked to Fide. But, according to a press release from Peter Rajcsanyi (Fide Pr and Marketing Director), "Topalov will have an eight-game Challenger Match against the winner of the 2007 World Cup in the year 2008 as part of the new WCCh cycle". According to the regulations, if "Kramnik wins the WCCh tournament in Mexico City 2007, a match between Kramnik and Topalov, the current and the previous world champions, will take place in 2008. In that case, the winner of the Kramnik-Topalov match will play against the winner of the 2007 World Cup". More details at: http://www.chessdom.com/news/topalov-wcc.
Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, number six in the world, beat German GM Arkadij Naiditsch in a tense 44-move battle and took sole lead in the 2007 Sparkassen Chess Meeting, which started today in Dortmund. Alla other games were drawn: Kramnik-Anand was a Slav which Anand held comfortably in 35 moves; Gelfand-Alekseev, a Symmetrical English, looked fine for Black, but was drawn in 23; Carlsen-Leko was an Anti-Marshall that ended in a 29-move draw. Official site: http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de/. You can also find a Dortmund section on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/dortmund07.html).
And now here is our game of the day...
Agrest,E (2561) - Godena,M (2558) [D43], Arvier 23.6.2007
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 h5!?
Probably a new move. 11...Bg7 is the main line here.
12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Be5 Rh6 14.Qc1 Rg6 15.Rd1 Ng4 16.Bg3 f5
Godena is usually not an attacker, but in this game he shows he can be...
17.f3 Nh6 18.b3 cxb3 19.axb3 Kf7 20.Bf2 a6 21.Ra2 Be7 22.Bd3 g4 23.Be3 Rh8 24.f4 Rf8 25.Re2 Kg8 26.Bb1 Qc7?!
26...h4, keeping the initiative, was much stronger.
27...Qb8 was more precise.
28.Bxe4 Nf5 29.dxc6?
After 29.dxe6 White has excellent winning chances, e.g.: 29...Nxe3 (29...Rxe6 30.Nd5! Qc8 31.Nxe7+ Nxe7 32.Bc5+-; 29...Qc8 30.Bxf5 Rxf5 31.Qc2 Rff6 32.f5+-) 30.Bxg6 Nxd1 31.Nd5+-
A weak move. 30.Nxb5 was the only way to fight for the initiative, e.g.: 30...axb5 31.Bf2 h4 32.g3 e5!? 33.Rc2 hxg3 34.hxg3 Bxe4!? 35.Rxc7 Rh6 36.Kf1 Rh1+ 37.Bg1 Nxg3+ 38.Kf2 Rxf4+ 39.Qxf4 exf4 40.Rxe7 Kf8 and the position is all but easy to understand. After 30.Na2, instead, Black can start a strong attack.
30...Nxe3 31.Qxe3 Bxe4 32.Qxe4 Qc5+ 33.Kh1 Qf5 would also give Black good winning chances.
31.fxe5 Qb7 32.Bxf5 Rxf5 33.Bc5?!
33.Qc2 Be4 34.Qd2 Rxe5 35.Bd4 Bg5 36.Qb2 would give White better chances to fight for a draw.
34...Rxe5 35.Bd4 Bxd1 36.Bxe5 Bxb3 37.Kh1 Qc6 38.Nc3 b4 39.Qb1 Bf7 40.Ne2 Qc5
Time control: Black has a totally won position.
41.Qf5 Qd5 42.Qxh5 Rg7 43.Rxf7
43.Qf5 Be6 44.Qh5 Bd7 was not better for White.
43...Qxf7 44.Qh6 Rh7 45.Qc6 Bf8 46.Kg1 Rh5 47.Bd4 Rf5 48.Ng3 Rd5 49.Ne2 b3 50.Qc8 Qf5 51.Qc4 Kh7?!
51...b2 52.Bxb2 Bc5+ 53.Bd4 Qe6 would win immediately.
52.Qxb3 Rb5 53.Qc3 Rb1+ 54.Nc1 Bh6 0–1
An important win for Godena, who now has excellent chances to be the 2007 EU champion.