Round 3. Tie-Breaks
Tie breaks of round 3 are over. All results were predictable but for Macieja’s advance, this player displays a wild desire not to fall behind super grandmasters. Khalifman’s paid off some of his debt to the chess legend Leko, having won the main game of the round, that is the blitz game. We had no time to grieve about his nervous play with Black in the rapid game when several incautious moves spoiled a winning position. This game will be annotated below.
Anand deserves no special praise. He plays at home and wins not many games but at the proper time. Tkachiev is a well-known specialist in rapid. Adams won both 25 minute games against Yermolinsky. Shirov defeated Gurevich in games with the 15 minute control. Svidler already forgot about his first game with Peng. As the number of participants decreased considerably (less than a half of invited players continue the race) we shall report the course of events in more detail. At last it became possible to come to know the particulars of the struggle. Leitao and Gulko qualified easily for the 4th round although they began their way up from the very beginning. Macieja advanced too, having defeated Beliavsky and Krasenkov. One of his victories we demonstrate here.
Now let’s turn to women. The Russian team suffered a crushing strike. Only grandmaster Elmira Skripchenko-Lautier continues struggle of all French and Moldavian players. Both her husband and Bacrot were knocked out earlier, but instead she has real chances to win at the women’s championship. There are eight women on the arena now. Only two of them will fight in the final. We expect to see there one Russian player and someone of the Chinese players, but Skripchenko-Lautier definitely has chances too.
Macieja, Bartlomiej (POL) - Beliavsky, Alexander G(SLO)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O d6 6. a4 O-O 7. Re1 Be6 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. c3 h6 10. a5 a6 11. Nf1 Rfe8 12. Ne3 Bf8 13. Qb3 Bxc4 14. Qxc4 Ne7 15. Bd2 Ng6 16. Rad1 c6 17. Qa4 Rad8 18. Nc4 d5 19. Nb6 Qc7 20. Qb3 Bc5 21. exd5 cxd5 22. d4 exd4 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. cxd4 Bxb6 25. axb6 Qd6 26. g3 Re6 27. Ba5 Nd7 28. Rc1 Nxb6 29. Bxb6 Qxb6 30. Qxd5 Re8 31. Rc2 Rd8 32. Qe4 Qb5 33. Rc7 Qxb2 34. Rxb7 Qa2 35. Ra7 Rc8 36. h4
White was just a bit better. Both partners were in time trouble at this moment. It’s no time for Black to resign, right now, but Beliavsky checks with the rook and attempts to mate first. As the result, his attack exhausts and he just loses a pawn.
36... Rc1+ 37. Kg2 Qc4 38. Ra8+ Kh7 39. Nd2
The end of Black’s attack. White’s king is OK, unlike its Black adversary.
39... Qc6 40. h5 Qxe4+ 41. Nxe4
Beliavsky retreats with the knight. Of course he could not have put it on h8. Black hopes that White takes on a6, but Macieja plays more precisely.
41... Ne7 42. Ra7 Nd5 43. Rxf7
A training position. The pawn d4 survives.
43... Rd1 44. Rd7 Re1
If Black took the pawn, then White would have played 45. Nf6+ with an easy win owing to the extra exchange. Still now there is a simple way to drive out the knight d5. Only one more move was made in the game.
As soon as the knight retreats, White mates (Nf6 and Rd8).
Leko, Peter(HUN) - Khalifman, Alexander(RUS)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nb5 d6 6. Bf4 e5 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Bg5 a6 9. N5c3 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nd2 Be6 12. Nc4 Nd4 13. Ne3 Qa5 14. h4 Rc8 15. Bd3 Qb4
Sveshnikov Variation is OK for rapid games. Black’s king is safe, and the weakness on d5 can tell no sooner than in the endgame.
16. a3 Qa5 17. g3
Leko should not have offered Black such an alluring chance. Better was Qd2 and Ncd5. Now it’s evident that an active position is worth the sacrificed exchange.
17... Rxc3 18. bxc3 Qxc3+ 19. Kf1 O-O 20. Kg2 Rc8 21. Qe1 Qc5 22. Qb4 b5
Black got plenty of good things: an extra pawn plus further opportunities to win material.
23. Qxc5 dxc5 24. Rhd1 c4 25. Bf1 Be7 26. c3 Nb3 27. Ra2 Nc5 28. Nd5
"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.