Round 3. Game 1
One thing after another. So there are 16 pairs of challengers on the arena. All participants understand that it’s better for them to win without delay. Topalov won with Black. The middlegame structure resembled the last game of the match Karpov - Kasparov. Kasparov found then an incredible move Re7 which immured his own rook. But White’s attack stalled, as the result, and Karpov lost his title of the World Champion. This time Topalov coped without any findings. Morozevich, Bareev, Gelfand and Dreev confirmed their class. Leitao continues to rage. Today he defeated Nataf who knocked out Short in the previous round. The veteran of the Championship Gulko demonstrated good chess too. The defeat of Svidler who was winner of Russia Championships three times was a surprise. A doubtful opening gave, in our opinion, a rather quiet knight endgame. Though Svidler had single pawns on the queenside, his position looked defensible. All in all there were 9 wins of 16 games! Participants own no compromises. Macieja made a draw with Anand which also should be regarded as an achievement.
At the women’s tournament there were not so many events, probably because the number of participants is just half as great. Galliamova’s victory over Skripchenko was the most outstanding result. There was a four rook endgame and Galliamova’s pawns advanced further.
Van Wely, L. (NED) - Dreev, A. (RUS)
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 a6 10. a4 c5 11. Rd1 cxd4 12. exd4 Qc7 13. Bd3 b6 14. Be3 Bb7 15. Qe2 Nd5
It seems that Black’s problems are solved. Nevertheless, it’s hard to say anything definitely as long as all pieces are present on the board. Let’s see what the opponents will do next. By the way, the position will change radically in 10 moves.
16. Ne4 Nf4 17. Bxf4 Bxf4 18. g3 Bh6 19. h4 Qc6 20. Ra3 Qd5 21. Bb1 Rac8 22. Re1 Rfd8 23. Neg5 Bxg5 24. hxg5 Nf8 25. Re3 Qc4 26. Qxc4 Rxc4
This is the result of White’s creative play. He got plenty of weak points but no open file, unlike Black who controls the c-file.
27. b3 Rb4 28. Bd3 a5 29. Bc4 Bxf3 30. Rxf3 Rxd4 31. Rf4 Rd6 32. Ree4 Rd1+ 33. Kh2 Ng6 34. Rd4 Rxd4 35. Rxd4 Kf8 36. Rd8+ Ke7
So White arranged a check but he has already no means to prevent the knight from getting to e5. White’s pawns will be an easy catch for the rook’n’knight team, all the more that Black’s king is active too.
37. Rb8 Ne5 38. Rb7+ Kd6 39. Bb5 Rxb3 40. f4 Nf3+ 41. Kg2 Nd4 42. Rd7+ Kc5 43. Rc7+ Kd5 44. Bc4+ Kd6 45. Rxf7 Rc3 46. Ba6 Nf5 47. Kf2 Rc7
This move decides. If White’s rook retreats to f8, then White checks from c2, then from c3 and then White loses material. This is why Dreev defended the seventh rank, forcing Black to exchange. Now everything is absolutely clear as knight is stronger than bishop, especially when accompanied with an extra pawn.
48. Rxc7 Kxc7 49. Bd3 g6 50. g4 Nd6 51. Ke3 b5 52. axb5 a4 53. Kd2 Kb6 54. Kc1 Kc5 55. Kb2 e5 56. Ka3 e4 57. Bf1 Nxb5+ 58. Kxa4 Nd4
Time to resign. The best what White can do is to give up the bishop for the e-pawn.
Grischuk, A. (RUS) - Serper, G. (USA)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 d6 9. O-O Bd7 10. Qd2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. Bd3 a5 13. Rae1 Nd7 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Re3 Qb6
Black’s queenside is OK but his king takes chances to stay underdefended. You will see how soon this will happen.
16. Rh3 h5 17. Rxh5
Serper was not forced to take the rook. Maybe he hoped that White just intended to arrange a perpetual check. In any case, the one who takes the rook here should be very courageous if he realises what his opponent is going to undertake. Grischuk’s calculation was precise.
17... gxh5 18. Qg5+ Kh8 19. Qxh5+ Kg7 20. Qg5+ Kh8 21. Re1 Ne5 22. Re3 Qxe3
Black had to give away his queen at a low price. Otherwise there was a mate. Now an avalanche of White’s pawns with the help of the vivid queen can complete the work easily.
23. Qxe3 Nxd3 24. Qxd3 Rg8 25. Nd5 Bxd5 26. Qxd5 Kg7 27. Qxb7 Rgb8 28. Qd5 a4 29. h4 f6 30. h5 Ra7 31. Qf5 Rab7 32. Qg6+ Kh8 33. Qf7 Rxb2 34. Qxe7 Rxa2 35. Qxf6+ Kg8 36. h6 Rb7 37. c5 Rc2 38. cxd6 a3 39. Qg6+ Kf8 40. h7 Rxh7 41. Qxh7 a2 42. Qh8+ Kf7 43. d7
"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.