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Round 6: Kamsky joins the leaders
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Video report of round 6

After their first rest day, most players obviously were full of energy again, and it showed. A good round with nice games and three decisions, one of them scored by Cheparinov - he beat Inarkiev. Svidler won a nice game against Karjakin and Kamsky joined the tournament leaders Wang Yue and Grischuk by defeating Adams.
mamedyarov-radjabov.jpgToday started with another quick (and friendly!?) draw between two Azeri gents: Mamedyarov-Radjabov. Mamedyarov started with 1.e4 this time and he was surprised to see the Jänisch Ruy Lopez again (he had expected a Sicilian). At the press conference, boards 1 and 2 of the Azerbaijan Olympic team showed their game at the demo board, and then it became clear that the biggest part, including 16…g5! ("a fantastic move – Mamedyarov) had been preparation by Radjabov, who shared with the audience that he had spent 3 or 4 months in total to get it right, this Jänisch! The beautiful idea is 17.b4 Re4 18.f3 Nxf3 19.Qb3 Re2 20.Rxf3 (20.bxc5 Qh3! is a quick mate) 20...Qg4 21.Rg3 Re1+! 22.Nxe1 Qe2 and it's a forced mate in 9! Mamedyarov reacted very well, played some forced but difficult moves and then at the right moment Radjabov forced a repetition of moves. Click here for Sergey Shipov's live analysis of this game.

bacrot-grischuk.jpgBacrot-Grischuk also ended in a draw – a quiet one, despite the fact that Black had chosen the Sicilian Dragon ("a variation that has been buried so many times that it cannot even be counted" – Shipov). A surprising choice, but Grischuk said he was inspired by the location: "Many players from Baku, such as Gashimov, Guseinov and Mamedov have played the Dragon so I though I had to try it here." Bacrot couldn't calculate the complications arising from 16.Qxe7 (and didn't know it was the theoretical move!) so he went for the safe option 16.Qxb6, which gives White almost nothing in the ending. Black's only worry is that when the bishops get exchanged, the rook ending might be a bit unpleasant, but by playing 19…Rfd8! Grischuk could prevent this. In the end, White plans to create a passer on the queenside but because of Black's active king he can't.

Another game that was drawn without much spectacle was Carlsen-Gashimov. Both players agreed that White had a slight advantage after the opening; according to Sergey Shipov "Vugar’s attempt to build a hedgehog structure from the Maroczy system was unsuccessful." 18.Nb5 was an interesting idea by Magnus and after that he was better. The possibility of a pawn’s attack in the center was difficult for Black to accomplish because it would have made the white bishops very strong. White should have prevented 23...Bd4!, after which the position was about equal. After the game Gashimov thought he should have played 31...Ng4 "with small chances for a win."

wangyue-navara.jpgAfter that we saw Wang Yue and Navara entering the press room, who had also drawn their game. Especially for the young Czech this was a good result, who had been under serious pressure with Black. Wang Yue didn't like 18...Ne5 and Navara admitted "I wanted to restore the material imbalance too quickly." After the strong move 21.c6! he was in big trouble but fortunately, for his fans (whose number increases by the day, including a growing number in Baku), Navara managed to gather his last strength and start a heroic defense. According to Shipov, 25.Rd6 (instead of 25.f3) deserved attention and he also liked 26. a4! very much. Instead of 29.Nb4 White could also have tried 29.Nf2 (threatening 30.Ra4) but after 29...e5 30.Ng4+ Kg7 31.Nxe5 a5 Wang Yue thought Black's a-pawn is too strong.

Was it yesterday’s achievements as a goalkeeper in the fantastic football match that inspired Svidler to achieve a good result in chess? Maybe, but in any case he played a nice game against Karjakin today. Or so it seemed, because a more profound analysis shows that the game was decided by some major errors by Black. Still, Svidler was reasonably satisfied as he "saw more than in the first five rounds together". Just two hours before the game he had decided to go for 1.d4 (obviously avoiding Karjakin's massive work on the Najdorf) and then deviated from the recent game Gelfand-Anand (Nice blindfold 2008) with 16.Ne2, an idea he borrowed from the Ruy Lopez and learnt to be theory only after the game. Still, Karjakin was actually surprised by this choice. 22.Bf6! was a nice move, when according to both players the critical position was reached. 22…Qxc2 23.Bxc2 Bd6 was wrong; Black should have played 22...Nxd3 23.Qxd3 fxe6. Svidler was told by Sergey Shipov that after the planned 24.e5 Black has 24...Qc3! and if 25.Qd7 Rf7 26.Qxe6 Bc8! which is already better for Black. Later, 29...Rxe4 was the losing move; 29...gxf5 30.exf5 c5! was essential with the idea of blocking the bishop b3 by c5-c4 and chasing away the other bishop from f6 with Ra8-a6.

kamsky-adams.jpgOutstanding preparation helped White to win in Kamsky-Adams. Kamsky improved upon Leko-Adams, Wijk aan Zee 2008 with 28.exd5! and after the game he explained: "I had looked at it until Qg6 and there I decided Qxf7 leads to a better ending for White." He wasn't sure whether his opponent had to lose, though. "He shouldn't have allowed 39.Rxb5." And even in the end, if Black plays ...h5 himself, it isn't so easy for White. Adams also considered Kamsky's preparation very good and said he was soon looking at a "miserable position". He found it "very hard to defend for such a long time". Perhaps when analyzing this game he will look at 29...Qd6, as suggested by Sergey Shipov.

inarkiev-cheparinov.jpgAgainst Inarkiev, Cheparinov managed to score his first victory in the tournament today, in a difficult and dramatic battle. His strategy? "I just tried to forget about those first four rounds, and started a new tournament." In the game he was confronted with a novelty (18.e5), played after a threefold repetition by the way. Soon afterwards White had a clear advantage; Shipov suggests 18…c5 19.d5 0-0 for Black, or 19…Qc7 with the idea of c6-c5, and also 20…c5 21.Nxg5 hxg5 22.Bxb7 Rab8 23.Bf3 Rbd8!. As has happened so many times already, Inarkiev started to make mistakes with less and less time on the clock. 34.g5? was bad, and 38.Rg4 a blunder. "Maybe I should have taken on c6 [either on move 34 or 38 – PD] but I wanted more," Inarkiev said afterwards. Cheparinov said he was lucky that 41.Rxg5+ didn't win, because he had totally missed the move. The final phase of the game was not without mistakes either, but Cheparinov managed to convert his winning position into a full point. At the end of the press conference Inarkiev complimented his opponent: "He was a real gentleman today. I accidently touched my king and it fell, but Ivan wanted to play on."
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