1. Game 2: Grandmasters produce draws (29.11.2000)
Round 1. Tie-Breaks
Time control becomes nearly the main factor of the championship, there are different variants for to every taste. 15 pairs of the first round were forced to play rapid games. The duel between two Russia Champions was especially showy. There were no compromises there. Both players bravely attacked with Black and won deserved victories. So the score of the rapid games was 2:2 and the opponents turned to blitz. In the first blitz game Volkov gained a positional advantage but failed to win. In the second he left no chance to Sakaev. Now Volkov will try to demonstrate his death grip in a match against the Hungarian chess star Leko.
Milos, Bacrot, Lutz, Macieja, Iordachescu, Grishuk, Gulko and Piket coped without the blitz jitters. Others enjoyed good blitz games. Tregubov, Ehlvest, Minasian and Dizdarevic won and qualified for the second round.
The Russian delegation decreased. Sakaev may go home, as well as Rustemov who was defeated by Tregubov, and the creature of the FIDE President Utnasunov. Our prognoses for the first round were too optimistic. So many ELO favourites were knocked out that it becomes unclear what their ratings should mark at all. Lotier, Fedorov, Ponomariov, Sakaev, Speelman, Psakhis, Sutovsky were knocked out.
Women demonstrated more order. Only 5 pairs had to play rapid games, but instead there were 4 draws and only Qin won at this stage. Others proceeded to the next trial. Wang, Peng and Cramling were winners, Arribas made a draw with Black in the decisive game and qualified too. Also Irina Krush will continue struggle.
We show this game not because of our great sympathy for the Champions of Russia. At last, one Russian will beat another here. But both grandmasters were incredibly persistent, vigorous and resourceful, this is why their games are annotated here once more.
Volkov, Sergey - Sakaev, Konstantin
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 c5 5. d5 b5 6. e4 O-O 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 Re8 9. dxe6 Rxe6 10. Ne2 g5 11. Bf2 bxc4 12. a3 Ba5
Well, at least Black’s king is safe, so far. This is important in rapid.
13. h4 g4 14. Nf4 Rb6 15. Qd2 Nc6
Sakaev is ready to give a rook for this excellent bishop.
16. Bxc5 Rab8 17. Bxb6 Qxb6 18. O-O-O Nd4
Black’s threats become quite perceptible.
19. Bxc4 Ba6 20. b4 Bxb4 21. Qxd4 Bc5 22. Na4 Bxa3+
The white king is stripped naked. Though there is no immediate victory, White has already no chance to escape.
23. Kc2 Qc6 24. Kd3 Rb4 25. Bxa6 Rxd4+ 26. Kxd4 Qxa6 27. Nc3 Bb2
White’s careless king won’t find a safe square to hide.
28. e5 Qa4+ 29. Ke3 Bxc3 30. exf6 g3 31. Nd5 Bb2 32. f4 a5 33. Kf3 Qb3+ 34. Kg4 a4 35. Rhe1 a3 36. Ne7+ Kh7 37. Nf5 a2 38. Nxg3 Qa4 39. Nf5 a1Q 40. Rxa1 Bxa1 41. Re7 Kg6 42. h5+ Kxf6 43. Re1 Qa5
The last double strike. White’s defensive resources are exhausted.
Sakaev, Konstantin - Volkov, Sergey
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. c5 Nbd7 6. Bf4 Nh5 7. e3 g6 8. Bd3 Bg7 9. O-O f6 10. h3 e5
We believe it was no blunder.
11. Bh2 e4 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 O-O 14. Nd6
While the bishop c8 and the rook a8 stay where they are White does not feel the absence of the lost piece.
f5 15. g4 fxg4 16. hxg4 Nhf6 17. Ng5
White has some threats but he misses a piece.
17... Qe7 18. e4 Nd5 19. f4 h6 20. Nh3 Qh4 21. Rf3 N7f6
White’s pawns stand fine, but this is all.
22. Nf2 Bxg4 23. Nxg4 Qxg4+ 24. Kh1 Nxe4 25. Nxe4 Nxf4 26. Rf2 Qh4 27. Qe1 Rae8
Volkov prepared all his pieces. The agony begins.
28. Rxf4 Rxf4 29. Nf6+ Bxf6 30. Qxe8+ Kg7 31. Qd7+ Be7 32. Rg1 Rf2 33. Rg2 Rf1+
With the next move Black mates: Qd5#.
"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch
"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.