Round 2: Adams, Inarkiev & Radjabov win
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
A good second round saw three decisive games, and still there's no player left with a hundred percent score. Adams, Inarkiev and Radjabov won their games today and now Kamsky, Adams, Radjabov and Grischuk are leading with 1.5/2. Cheparinov is the only player with 0/2.
started promising, with another Nxf7 sacrifice in the Anti-Moscow
Variation, but then suddenly ended in a perpetual. Grischuk felt like
playing a football match "with two or maybe even three players with a
red card", to describe the handicap he felt of being less well prepared
than his opponent. He saw the possibility to continue with Ne4, with or
without check, but he "saw no reason not to expect his opponent to play
At the press conference there was discussion with Geoffrey
Borg and Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who argued that there's no point in
having anti-draw measures and even a technical advisor present at the
tournament, when players avoid moves that continue the fight but
instead go for perpetual. Grischuk didn't agree and
argued he was punished enough for having prepared worse, with a quick
draw with White.
The first decisive game of the round was Inarkiev-Mamedyarov, in which
the Russian chose a very solid set-up with White against the Azeri's
Pirc Defence. Solid means not too dangerous, and Black was doing all
right after 11…Nxe4! and 14…Qf6!. But 16…Rf4 was far too risky, where
16…Rxe1+ 17.Rxe7 Bd7 would have been equal. "I wanted to play for a
win," Mamedyarov said afterwards. But after the excellent move 17.c3!
Black loses an exchange, and so he became a victim of his ambitions. A
strong game by Inarkiev, however.
Svidler-Carlsen was an interesting draw, in which White chose a
rare line against Black's Open Ruy Lopez. "I expected Magnus to be well
prepared against the line I played against Sutovsky recently," Svidler
said. His line worked out well, because White had a slight edge for
quite a while, which Carlsen admitted at the press conference. However,
Svidler couldn’t find a way to get in c2-c3 and Bb3-c2 somewhere, which
he considered crucial for getting a tangible advantage.
strong because after 20.axb5 Black first plays 20…c4!. "After 26.Rd8+
Kh7 I got excited about 27.R1d6, but after 27…Qf5 28.g4 Rc1+ 29.Kg2 Qb1
I couldn't find anything." Commenting on the draw discussion, both
players said they like the Sofia rule. But Svidler emphasized that it's not invented to prevent draws, but to prevent quick draws.
this game, another happy face came into the press room. It was Mickey
Adams who had just beaten Ivan Cheparinov in a fine, positional game –
in fine Mickey Adams style we could say! He felt he had a slight edge
all the time, but wasn't sure where Black went wrong.
Cheparinov himself, who happens to be on minus two now, it was the move
28…Nb4. Adams added that he had expected 28…Qe5 there. A series of
strong moves (30.Qf6!, 31.e5!) led to a very good rook ending that was
soon coverted to victory.
The game Wang Yue-Gashimov was a rather difficult Modern Benoni. In
the first half of the game, the Azeri GM got some activity on
both flanks with the moves 14…g5, 20…h5 and 26…b5, but the Chinese player responded well with 26.b4! and 30.g4!. The pawn structure became fixed,
which had a paralyzing effect on the game. A draw was reached soon
afterwards. Both players were quite satisfied about their play.
A great example of chess defence was given by David Navara, who now
has scored two half points out of his first two Black games – an
excellent start. In his encounter with Gata Kamsky he was slightly
worse throughout the game, but managed to save himself. Or, as he put
it, "I managed not to blunder anything today." Kamsky was a bit puzzled
during the press conference, and wasn't sure where he could have gained
more chances for a win. "I thought the knight ending would be very
unpleasant for Black." But even there Navara reacted very well, and all
of Kamsky’s efforts to confuse his opponent in the endgame were
longest game of the day, Bacrot-Radjabov, started with a theoretical
discussion in the Sveshnikov Sicilian. The new move 18.Nc3 did not
change the verdict of this line, which says Black has no problems.
Bacrot clearly wasn't satisfied about his play: "I played very badly in
the opening and then just tried to survive." With 22.Nd5 he decided to
sacrifice a point, because the opposite-coloured bishops would perhaps
give some drawing chances. But then both players agreed that 27.Bf1 is
a bad move, after White is in real danger. Still, also after a
different move (e.g. 27.Ra3), Black would have had an easy but
dangerous plan with Bb6-c5 and Qb6. Although Radjabov thought he could
have played the technical phase a bit better, he was satisfied of