Three decisive battles in Elista

After two rest days, WCM re-started today in Elista. And it was a really bloody day: only one draw and three decisive games, all in White's favor. Top seed Levon Aronian beat Alexei Shirov, who gave an exchange sacrifice but didn't find enough compensation in return; Russian Alexander Grischuk won against his compatriot Sergei Rublevsky; Peter Leko got the full point after a miscalculated sacrifice by Evgeny Bareev, while Gata Kamsky and Boris Gelfand signalled their draw by repetition on move 23. The computer challenge duel between Deep Fritz and Deep Junior has also started today alongside the second round of matches. The first game ended in a draw on move 32. This match will have six games to be followed by tie-breaks if necessary. Official site of the event: http://globalchess.eu/main.php. As I've already written a million times, you can find a WCM section on my Italian site, www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/candidati07.html).
Fide has started publishing expected rating changes for July 1 (the so called "tentative list"). The main news about Italian players are that 14 y.o. (soon 15) Fabiano Caruana will be the new number 1, with a 2549 Elo, while GM Michele Godena will slip to second place ont 2547 (or 2546). IM Sabino Brunello will arise to fifth place on 2476 (same rating of IM Carlo D'Amore). Some tournaments are not calculated yet (such as Porto Mannu), so Caruana's and Godena's ratings should change (in Fabiano's favor, anyway). And what's about the world top 100? Anand didn't play any game in the last three months, so he is still on 2786. Topalov and Kramnik are going to lose 3 points each (Veselin played in Sofia, Vlad in the Ducth team champ.), so they still share second place (on 2769). Aronian will be fourth on 2759, since Morozevich lost 4 points, slipping to 2758. Mamedyarov keeps being sixth on 2757, Ivanchuk will arise to seventh place on 2753 (+24). Official site: www.fide.com.
The 7th European Senior championship takes place in Hockenheim, Germany, until June 10. Seven players share the lead after round 5 (out of 9): GMs Vlastimil Jansa (CZE), Mark Tseitlin (ISR), Jacob Murey (ISR), Janis Klovans (LAT), FMs Boris Khanukov and Efim Rotstein (both GER) and master Norbert Stull (LUX). Italian FM and national champion Antonio Rosino shares 8th place on 4 and will play Hungarian GM Ivan Farago (with Black pieces) in tomorrow's round. Come on Antonio! Official site: http://www.euro-seniorchamp.de.vu.
And now here is our game of the day...

Grischuk,A (2717) - Rublevsky,S (2680) [B84], Elista 6.6.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 d6
6...Qc7 is a more popular alternative.
7.0–0 Nf6 8.Be3 Bd7 9.a4 Be7 10.f4 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Bc6 12.b4
Not a common move at this point: but Grischuk was probably well-prepared on the whole variation...
12...0–0 13.b5 Be8
In the game Fishbein-Psakhis, Tel Aviv 1992, Black played 13...Bd7 , but White got the initiative after 14.e5 Ne8 15.Ne4 d5 16.Nc5 Bc8 17.c4 dxc4 18.Qxd8 Bxd8 19.Bxc4 Nc7 20.b6 Nd5 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.a5 Be7 23.Rac1 Bxc5 24.Bxc5 Re8 25.Bd6 Bf5 26.Rc7 Rab8 27.Rd1 Be4 28.Rd2 and Fishbein took the full point in the endgame.
14.e5 Qc7 15.b6 Qc6 16.Bf3!?
This seems to be the first new move! In a previous game played by Rublevsky on the Black side, his opponent, Dmitry Jakovenko, continued 16.exd6 Qxd6 17.Bf3 Qxd4 18.Bxd4 Rd8 with a completely equal position, the game went 19.Rfd1 (19.Ne2?! Nd5 20.c3 Bc6 21.g3 Rd7 22.Nc1 Rc8 23.Ne2 a5 24.Kf2 Rdd8 25.Rfd1 g6 and Black is even slightly better, Palac-Borgo, Valle d'Aosta 2001) 19...Rxd4 20.Rxd4 Bc5 21.Ne2 Bxb6 22.Bxb7 a5 23.Kf1 Bxd4 24.Nxd4 Bd7 25.Nb3 Nd5 26.Bxd5 exd5 27.Nxa5 Ra8 28.Nb3 Rxa4 29.Rxa4 Bxa4 and a draw was agreed on move 38.
16...d5 17.Rae1 Nd7
17...Rc8 was also possible, but after 18.exf6 Bxf6 19.Nxd5! exd5 (19...Bxd4 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.Bxc6 Bxe3+ 22.Rxe3 Rxc6 23.Nxc6 Bxc6 and Black is lost) 20.Qxd5 Qxd5 21.Bxd5 Bc6 22.c4 White would have kept the better chances.
A very interesting sacrifice, which Black is forced to accept.
18...exd5 19.Bxd5
This position is not simple for Black. He is a knight up, but all his pieces are bad placed.
This move is, for sure, not the most precise. After 19...Qc8 White has to prove his sacrifice is good (and I think he can). E.g.: 20.a5 (20.f5?! Bc5 21.Qe4 Bxe3+ 22.Qxe3 Qc5 23.Bxb7 Rb8 24.Bxa6 Qxe3+ 25.Rxe3 Nc5 and Black has good winning chances) 20...Bc5 21.Qd2 Kh8 22.Rf3 Nb8 23.f5 Bxe3+ 24.Rfxe3 Bc6 25.c4 and White has a good position and two strong pawns in return for the piece. Now 25...Qxf5? loses to 26.e6 fxe6 27.Rf3, so Black has to play 25...Nd7.
20.e6 Qxd4
After 20...fxe6 21.Bxe6+ Rf7 (21...Kh8? 22.Bxd7 Qxd4 23.Bxd4 Bxd7? 24.Rxe7+-) 22.Qe4 Qd6 23.Bf2 White is simply much better.
21.Bxd4 Nf6 22.Bb3 Rd8
What else? 22...fxe6 23.Rxe6 Bb4 would have lost to 24.Rxe8+; while 22...Bb4 23.e7 Bxe7 24.Rxe7 Bc6 would have been even worst than the text variation.
23.Bxf6 Bc5+
23...Bxf6 24.e7 Bxe7 25.Rxe7 Bc6 was not better, e.g.: 26.Rfe1 Rd2 27.R1e2 Rd4 28.g3 Rd1+ 29.Re1 Rd2 30.R1e5 Rg2+ 31.Kf1 Rxh2 32.Bd5 Rxc2 33.Bxc6 bxc6 (33...Rxc6 34.Rxb7 followed by a5) 34.Ra5 Rb8 35.Rxa6 Kf8 36.Rea7 and White wins (a5, Ra8, etc.).
24.Kh1 gxf6 25.e7 Bxe7 26.Rxe7 Bc6 27.Rc7
White has a must win position now, but Black had no better moves after 19... Qc5?
27...Rd2 28.Re1!
Grischuk wants to activate all his pieces, even at cost of a pawn.
28...Bxg2+?! was good for White, e.g.: 29.Kg1 Bc6 30.Ree7 Kh8 31.Bxf7 Rfd8 32.Rxc6 bxc6 33.Bb3 R2d7 34.Rxd7 Rxd7 35.a5 Kg7 36.Bc4 followed by Bxa6 and White wins easily. 28...Rxg2?? would have lost on the spot, since 29.Rxc6 wins a piece. 28...Kg7 would have probably been the better try to fight for a draw, although after 29.Bc4! f5 (29...a5 30.h4 Bxg2+ 31.Kg1 Rxc2 32.Ree7 Kh6 33.Bxf7+-) 30.a5 Bxg2+ 31.Kg1 Kf6 32.Re2 Rxe2 33.Bxe2 Be4 34.Kf2 White is still much better.
29.h3 Rxf4
29...Kh8 would have lost anyway, e.g.: 30.Bxf7 Rxf7!? 31.Rxf7 Rxg2 32.Re6 Bd5 33.Rd6 Be4 34.Rd4 Bf3 35.Rd3+-
30.Ree7 Rf1+
This loses immediately. 30...Kg7 would have prolonged the battle some more moves.
31.Kh2 Rf2
31...Kg7 was better again.
The first blow!
32...bxc6 33.Rxf7!
The second and final blow!
If 33...Rxf7 then 34.b7+-
To prevent ...Rb4.
Now Black loses the rook and the game. There was no good defence anyway.
35.Re7+ 1–0
Rublevsky resigned. Very convincing victory by Alexander Grischuk, who showed an excellent opening preparation!

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