World Cup: no surprises in round 1

The World Chess Cup has started in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) and the first round has come to an end right this afternoon. There were just a few unexpected winners in those matches where opponents had a difference of 100 or more rating points. Ivanchuk (winner of the Blitz World Cup some days earlier), Mamedyarov, Radjabov, Aronian, Ahirov, Svidler, Carlsen and Jakovenko won both games against their respective opponents, Adams, Grischuk, Kamksy, Wang Yue and Bacrot won 1.5-0.5, while Alekseev, Akopian, Ponomariov and Kasimdzhanov got the better hand on tie-breaks. Among the Elo-favorites, Russian GM Konstantin Landa (rated 2676) left the World Cup in favor of Romanian GM Vladislav Nevednichy, as well as his compatriot Pavel Eljanov (2691), who made a draw in the first game and lost the second one to IM Hossain Enamulu (2514) from Bangladesh.
The match between Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS) and Fernando Peralta (ARG) was truly unique and dramatic. In the first game the South American had a completely won endgame (Knight and Bishop vs King), but overstepped the time limit and the game ended in a draw. The position of the second game looked quite unclear, when Peralta, again, ran out of time and lost.
Speaking about the second day of the first round, Chessdom.com site (www.chessdom.com - it worth a visit) writes that it was "marked by many interesting games... that the world could not see. Live games for the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk got stuck on the first moves and did not recover for hours". Really sad for such an important event, isn't it? Official site, by the way, is: http://www.ugra-chess.ru/eng/main_e.htm. You can also find results, games and news about the 2007 WCC on www.messaggeroscacchi.it, my Italian site (direct link: http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/coppa07.html).
Meanwhile, the 2007 Italian chess championship is taking place in Martina Franca (Taranto). 15 y.o. prodigy Fabiano Caruana leads with a perfect score after round 4; Im Sabino Brunello and GM Carlos Garcia Palermo follow a point behind. Official site (with a very good coverage): http://www.torneionline.com/cia2007. Results and games on my Italian site at http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/italia/itach07.html.
And now here are some decisive moments and interesting games from Khanty-Mansiysk.

Ismagambetov,A. (2479) - Alekseev,E. (2716),
World Cup (1.1), 24.11.2007

The critical position. White wants to start an attack on the King side, Black on the Queen side. Who will arrive first?
19.g5 Ne8?
A serious mistake. After 19...Ng4 intending ...Nge5 Black has nothing to be afraid of.
The immediate 20.Nd5 looks even stronger.
Second weak move in a row. 20...Qb7 was the correct defence.
21.Nd5 Bf8 22.Bb6 Bb7
After 22...Rd7 23.Bb5 Bb7 24.Nxa5 White has a decisive advantage.
23.Bxd8 Qxd8 24.Bb5 Nc7 25.Bxc6 Bxc6 26.Nd4 Bb7 27.Nf5 Nxd5 28.exd5 Kh8 29.Qf2 Rc8 30.h4
White is an exchange up and Black has no compensation, since his Bishops are all but active pieces.
30...Rc5 31.Ne3 Rc7 32.h5 Bc8 33.Rdf1 a4 34.Nf5 b3 35.cxb3 axb3 36.Nd4?!
Not the best move. 36.axb3 was absolutely possible.
Black misses his last chance to continue fighting. After 36...Ba6 37.Re1 bxa2+ 38.Ka1 Bb7 White must win, but Black can play some more moves. Now it is all over.
37.Ka1 Kg8 38.g6 fxg6??
A really bad day for Alekseev. 38...f6 was a sad necessity.
39.hxg6 hxg6 40.Rh1 Qf6 41.Qh2 1–0
Black is going to lose his Queen, so he resigned.

El Gindy,E (2503) - Ponomariov,R (2705),
World Cup (1.1), 24.11.2007

Black is a pawn up, but his King is exposed and White can easily equalize...
56.d7+! Kxd7
A clever decision. 56...Kd8 is drawn as well: 57.Nd6 Qe6 58.Rd2 Kc7 59.Nb5+ Kd8 60.Nd6 etc.
57.Qd1+ Kc6 58.Qd6+ Kb5??
An incredible blunder for such an experienced player! After 58...Kb7 White has nothing more than a draw: 59.Qd7+ Kb8 (59...Ka6?? 60.Nd6 +-) 60.Qd5+ Kb7 etc. Now Black loses on the spot.
59.Qd7+ Ka5 60.Nd6 Qf1+
If 60...Qa6 then 61.Rc2 +-
61.Ka2 Ra8 62.Rc2 Qd3 63.Rc3
White misses a more brilliant way to finish the game: 63.Rxc5+! bxc5 64.Qc7+ Ka6 65.Qc6+ Ka5 66.Nb7#
63...Qe2 64.Rc4 1–0
Black can't avoid mate, so Pono resigned.

Rublevsky,S (2676) - Hera,I (2544) [B12], World Cup (1.1), 24.11.2007
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nd7 6.Nf3 Bg6 7.Be2 Be7
The game Rublevsky - Morozevich, Dagomys 2007, continued 7...Nh6 8.0–0 Nf5 9.Bd2 h5 10.Rc1 Rc8 11.c4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Be7 13.Ba5 Nb6 14.Nc5 Bxc5 15.dxc5 Qxd1 16.Rfxd1 Nd7 17.Bf1 Ne7 with good prospects for Black.
8.0–0 h5 9.Bd2 Nh6
In Meszaros - A.Vajda, Balatonlelle 2004, White obtained a clear advantage after 9...a6 10.c4 dxc4 11.Na5 Qc7?! 12.Nxc4 Nh6 13.Bg5!
10.c4 dxc4 11.Na5!
Now it becomes clear why Morozevich was in no hurry with development of the dark-squared bishop.
11...Rb8 12.Nxc4 Nf5
12...Nb6 13.Ba5 Be4 deserves attention.
13.Ba5 Nb6
13...b6 was an alternative to be considered, e.g.: 14.Bc3 0–0 15.Ne3 b5 with an unclear position.
14.Rc1 Qd5?!
Black doesn't feel the danger... Better was 14...0–0, with the possible continuation 15.Qb3 (15.Rc3!? intending Rb3) 15...Nxd4 16.Nxd4 Qxd4 17.Rfd1 Qc5 18.Nxb6 Qxe5!? 19.Nd7 Qxa5 20.Nxf8 Bxf8 21.Bd3 Bxd3 22.Rxd3 and Black has a good compensation for the exchange, although White has a slight advantage thanks to the possession of the d-file.
15.Bxb6 axb6 16.Nxb6 Qxa2?
A bad move. It wasn't too late to admit the mistake by playing 16...Qd8 17.Nc4 0–0 and White has an extra pawn, but Black can hold on.
Simple and brilliant.
After 17...exd5?? 18.Na4! there is no defence against Ra1. 17...Qa7 is probably the best defence, but White has a huge advantage after 18.Nd7! Ra8 (18...Kxd7 19.dxc6+ Ke8 20.Qd7+ Kf8 21.c7 +-; 18...Rd8 19.Ra1 +-) 19.dxe6 fxe6 20.Qb3! Kxd7 21.Rfd1+ Kc7 22.Qxe6with a crushing attack.
18.dxc6 Rd8?
This move loses on the spot, but Black couldn't survive anyway, e.g.: 18...bxc6 19.Qd7+ Kf8 20.Nc8! Qd8 (20...Bb4 21.Ra1 Qd5 22.Qc7 +-) 21.Qxc6 +-; or 18...0–0 19.Nd7 bxc6 20.Nxf8 Bxf8 21.Rxc6 Rxb2 22.Bd3 and White must win.
19.Qd7+! Rxd7
If 19...Kf8 then 20.c7 Rxd7 21.Nxd7+ Kg8 22.c8Q+ Kh7 23.Qxb7 +-
20.cxd7+ Kf8 21.Rc8+ Bd8 22.Rxd8+ Ke7 23.Rxh8 Qxb6 24.Bb5! 1–0

Macieja,B (2606) - Laznicka,V (2610) [C10], World cup (1.1), 24.11.2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 c5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Qe2 cxd4 12.0–0–0 Bc5 13.Qe5 Be7 14.Nxd4 Qa4 15.Qc7 Rd8??
You can't say this is a novelty... this is just a blunder! In a previous game Black could easily equalize with 15...Qa6 16.Rhe1 Qb6 17.Qxb6 axb6 18.a3 0–0 19.f4 Nd5 20.Bxe7 Nxe7 21.f5 Nxf5 22.Nxf5 exf5 23.Re7 Rae8 24.Rxb7 Re2= (Paramonov-Kholmov, Minsk 2001).
16.Nf5! Rd7
After 16...exf5 17.Rxd8+ Bxd8 18.Re1+ (what else?) 18...Qe4 19.Rxe4+ fxe4 20.Qxb7 Black is hopeless.
17.Qc8+ Rd8
Alternatives were not better, e.g.: [17...Bd8 18.Nxg7+ Kf8 19.Bxf6 Qf4+ 20.Kb1 Qc7 (20...Qxf6 21.Nh5) 21.Qxc7 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Bxc7 23.Rd7 Bb6 24.Rxb7+-]
18.Nxg7+ 1–0
After 18...Kf8 19.Rxd8+ Black loses material, so Laznicka resigned.

Tkachiev,V (2661) - Balogh,C (2562) [D39], World Cup (1.2), 25.11.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxd7+
This is a very popular variation. 12.Qb3 is probably more common at this point.
12...Nxd7 13.0–0 a6 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Qh5 Nc5 16.Rb4 Qe5 17.Qh4
After 17.Qxe5 fxe5 18.Nb3 Nxb3 19.axb3 0–0–0 20.f4 exf4 21.Rc4+ Kb8 22.Rxf4 Rd7 23.Rd4 Rc7 24.Rd3 Rg8 25.Kf2 a5 the endgame is about equal (Gulko-Salov, Linares 1990).
This is a new move. The game Gelfand - Jakovenko, Moscow 2007, continued 17...Qg5 18.Qh3 Qe5 19.Qh4 Qg5 20.Qh3 Qe5 21.Re1 Rd8 22.Qe3 Rg8 23.Nf3 Qc7 24.Rd4 Nd7 25.Red1 Ke7 26.g3 Ne5 and Black has a good counterplay.
18.Nf3! Qxc3 19.e5 f5
After 19...fxe5 20.Rc4 Qa5 21.Nxe5 White has very strong attack.
20.Rc4 Qa5 21.Ng5 Ne4
A natural move. After 21...Nd7 22.f4 h5 23.Rfc1 Black almost has no good moves.
22.Rxe4! fxe4 23.Qf4 Rf8
More precise was 23...Qc7, although after 24.Nxe4 h6 25.Nd6+ Kf8 26.Rc1 Qe7 27.Rc3 White will improve his position, while Black can just defend.
Stronger was 24.Nxe4 f5 25.Nd6+ Rxd6 26.exd6 Qd5 27.Rc1 and White must win.
24...Rh8 25.Ng5 Rf8?
The decisive mistake. Black had to play 25...Qc7 and after 26.Nxe4 b5 27.Nd6+ Kf8 28.h3 f5 he could put a stubborn defence.
26.Nxe4 Kd7 27.Rc1! Rc8 28.Nf6+ Ke7
After 28...Kd8 29.Qd4+ Qd5 30.Qb6+ Ke7 31.Rc7+ Black can't avoid mate.
Final blow.
This move loses on the spot, but after 29...Rxg8 30.Qf6+ Ke8 31.Rxc8+ Kd7 32.Rc1 Ke8 33.h3 White wins as well.
30.Qd4+ 1–0

1 comment:

Macauley Peterson, ChessBase.com said...

You're link to the Italian Championship page isn't quite right. The full link is: