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Round 7: Gashimov beats Kamky, joins leaders
Monday, 28 April 2008
Video Round Report 7

Today, exactly in the middle of the tournament, we have witnessed arguably the most interesting round so far. After seven rounds Gashimov has an outstanding performance – after he beat Kamsky today, he is sharing first place with Grischuk and Wang Yue, another player performing very well so far.

navara-svidler.jpgThe first game that ended today – the only one finishing before the first time control – was Navara-Svidler. After Black's interesting novelty 13...dxc5!? White decided to immediately return the piece and around move 20 he was better. Navara: "But my opponent played very resourcefully. Perhaps I should have given a check on c4 somewhere." Svidler agreed that something went wrong in the beginning. "I mixed something up in the opening and felt I was close to losing." He thought instead of 18.Rad1 White should have played 18.Rfd1 and 19.Rac1 after which White is much better. Then he showed a pretty (but not forced) line on the demo board, which he had seen during the game: 26. Qf7 Ba4 27. Ne6 Rd7 28. Qxf6+ Kg8 29. Ne5 Rxd1 30. Rxd1 Bxd1 31. Nc6 Qe1+ 32. Kh2 Re8 33. Ne7+ mating! In the game, thanks to some energetic strikes (19...d3! and 20...a5!) he destroyed the centre, cleared space for his bishops by using an inaccuracy of his opponent (25.Nd4?! instead of 25.Nf4!) and, as a result, he overtook the initiative. But then Navara started playing very carefully and secured the draw.

adams-bacrot.jpgIt seemed Black equalized quickly in Adams-Bacrot, but only after 47 moves the point was split. Adams: "I had a slight advantage at some point, it was sort of my preparation. In the ending I missed Black's counterplay with those pawns on the kingside." Bacrot, who had spent too much time on the clock, considered 27...f5 "a complete blunder" as he was afraid of 28.Bd4, but computer engines disagree and say "no worries".

Today Gashimov beat Kamsky in a good game, thus winning even more credit in the chess world. In his first top tournament, not only he's not losing, but he's also defeating chess giants. Kamsky couldn't say he had bad luck today, because he was simply outplayed.
With 14.Ba2 deviated from his recent game against Miton, Marseille 2008 but it was nothing special and after the opening the position was about equal. Gashimov thought Black's 23…Ne7? was wrong, because it allowed the transfer of White's knight from g3 to c3(-d5).
"23...Nf4 24.Bf1 Ne6 was better, after which I might have repeated moves with 25.Bd3. After 23...Ne7 I have some advantage. I think taking on d4 and f4 was also good." All Kamsky could say was "I agree." Instead of 28…Nf8, according to Shipov it was necessary to exchange the knights on f3 and he found 32…cxb4?! too risky. A clear mistake was 37…a3? (37…d3 and 37…Nb3 give some chances) which does win an exchange but for too high a price, and after the first time control White was already winning.

cheparinov-mamedyarov.jpgCheparinov is back in town. Today he won his second game in a row, against Mamedyarov, using a move he had already attached his name to in January: Nxf7. "After the opening I had nothing," he said, "because after 13.Bg3 [a novelty in this old line of the QGD - PD] if Black plays 14…Nh5 15.Be5 Nhf6 it's just equal." A bit over-optimistic, Cheparinov considered White to be winning after 27.Nxf7 and thought that instead of 26...Rcd8 Black should have played 26...Nd3. Mamedyarov didn't agree with his opponent and mentioned the moves 28…Qe6 and 28…Rf6, and indeed Black seems to be doing fine then – another good chance was 29...Rd8 by the way. But in timetrouble Mamedyarov had to play very quickly and he made several mistakes.

karjakin-inarkiev.jpgAfter two losses, Karjakin won again today, against "timetrouble addict" Inarkiev. The Ukrainian had "analysed this line a few years ago" but couldn't get an advantage out of the opening. "But then I managed to put some pressure on b5 and I was better. My opponent missed several opportunities to equalize and after the time control I'm already winning." Inarkiev nodded "yes, it there were many mistakes, not just one." The last and the biggest one, according to Shipov, was 40…Qb6? where 40…g5! 41.Qxe5 Nd7 42.Qc3 h5! was much better. About Inarkiev's disappointing performance so far, he writes: "The problem lies in Ernesto’s psychological state of mind. He has to forget whom and where he is playing! He has to play the way he can, and his fans know that he can do much better."

radjabov-carlsen.jpgThe game of the day was Radjabov-Carlsen, if only because of the opening variation: one of the sharpest possible lines of the Sicilian Dragon. A surprising choice by Carlsen, and apparently the fire-spitting animal isn’t as calm and gentle as Shipov described yesterday. Radjabov wasn't fully prepared and "mixed up some moves - 15.Bh6 is probably better." 15.g4 isn't known to be problematic for Black and this verdict didn't change today. Correspondence games excluded, 19...Qa5 was a novelty (both players considered 19...Rxg5 20.Qxg5 e6 21.Qxg4 Qf6 also slightly better for Black and in fact, prove of this is the game Glimbrant-Pavlovic, Barbera des Valles 1994) which looked more dangerous according to Radjabov but appeared to be fine as well. Carlsen showed the game on the demo board and he explained that 23.Rxd6 is answered by 23...Rxe4! and 25.Nd5 by 25...e3 26.g6 Kf8 (although 26...f5 might be even better). He described 22.Nf5 as "interesting" but according to Shipov, White should have taken on g4 there. Afterwards, Carlsen thought 28.Rxb7 to be the critical move and was planning 28...Rf8 with a big advantage to Black. In timetrouble he blundered with 31…e2?? (only calculating lines with 32.Qc8+) where White can suddenly draw the game with 32.Qd7! but Radjabov also missed this move and then it was lost for White.

grischuk-wangyue.jpg The top match between two of the tournament leaders, Grischuk-Wang Yue, was the longest game and ended in a draw. Grischuk at the press conference: "First I'd like to emphasize that I played just truly badly today." He had reached a very nice position, using one of Gennadi Sosonko's ideas (5.g3 and 6.Ne5), but then lost track. For example, afterwards he called 18.Bg5 "a cheap trap" (the idea was 18...Bxg5? 19.Bxh7+.) Wang Yue liked Sosonko's idea for White and suggested 11.Nb3!? to play for d4-d5. He also thought the immediate 26.g4 was more dangerous than 26.Kh1. The Chinese had defended against White's upcoming attack with a strong series of moves: 26…Bb5!, 27…Ba4!, 29…Be8!, 30…f6!. In the ending, Black was the one with small winning chances after the inaccurate 45.dxe5 and according to Sergey Shipov, the last chance to play for a win was 50…Ke4 but Grischuk had seen that 51.Re8+ Ne5 52.Kg2 Rxe3 53.Nc6 Kf5 54.Kf1 followed by 55.Nxa5 should draw.
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