Apr 21, 2001

Round 8

The question about the winner of the tournament will get an answer only in the last round. The main favourites made draws in their duels. Playing Black, J. Polgar failed to overwhelm the opposition of Pierrot and even lost a pawn, having made an inaccurate move 35... Nf4?!. The game Bologan - Karpov proceeded to a draw after mass simplifications without any special adventures. In the games Milos - Leitao and Ricardi - Short White did not strive for a complex play which predetermined their results to a considerable extent: both were draws. The only game not drawn was Flores - Milov, lost by the grandmaster.

Bologan - Karpov [C42]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6

A. Karpov decided to play with a guaranteed reliability and chose the Petroff Defence.

3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O Nc6 8. c4 Nb4 9. Be2 O-O 10. Nc3 Bf5

Another opportunity, implying 10... Be6, lost a great deal of its popularity recently. After 11. Ne5 f6 12. Nf3 c5 13. Be3 Rc8 14. dxc5 Bxc5 White played 15. Bxc5! Rxc5 16. Qb3 a5 17. Rad1 Qe7 (no better was 17... Qe8 because of 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. cxd5 with a most likely decisive advantage by White (Torre - Handoko, Bali, 2000)) 18. Na4 Bf7 19. Qe3 Rc7 20. a3 Na6 21. cxd5 and got a considerable advantage in the game Khalifman - Karpov (Bali, 2000).

11. a3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. Re1 dxc4

At present 13... Bf6 is played most frequently, though it’s not at all simple for Black to gain a satisfactory play in this case. After 14. Bf4 Ne7 (there was also no remedy against Black’s problems in case of 14... Na5 15. cxd5 Qxd5 16. Bf1 b6 17. Ne5 as the game Anand - I. Sokolov (Kopavogur (active), 2000) showed) 15. Qb3 b6 16. cxd5 Nxd5 17. Be5 Bg4 18. Rad1 Be7 19. h3 Bh5 20. g4 Black encountered fatal problems in the game Kasparov - I. Sokolov (Sarajevo, 2000).

14. Bxc4 Bd6 15. Bg5 Qd7

16. Ne5

V. Bologan avoided the line which was investigated just by his opponent and begins with 16. Nh4 Na5 17. Ba2. After 17... b5 18. a4 a6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Nxf5 Qxf5 21. Be7 Rfb8 White won a showy victory with 22. g4! Qd7 23. Bxf7+! in the game Karpov - Portisch (Turin, 1982), but later Black defended better. So, in the game Ljubojevic - Jussupow (Barcelona, 1989) the opponents agreed to a draw after 17... Bg4 18. Qc2 Rae8 19. h3 Be6 20. c4 Be7 21. Bxe7 Qxe7 22. Nf3. Now the move which V. Bologan made in the game allows Black to simplify the play immediately.

16... Bxe5 17. dxe5 h6 18. Qxd7 Bxd7 19. Bh4 Be6 20. Bd3

White wants to keep both bishops.

20... g5 21. Bg3 Ne7 22. f4 Rad8 23. Be4 b6 24. Rf1 Bf5 25. Bxf5

White is forced to go for this exchange as otherwise after 25. Bf3 Rd3 Black’s rook penetrated into his camp.

25... Nxf5 26. fxg5 Nxg3 27. hxg3 hxg5 28. Rf5 Rfe8 29. Raf1

After 29. Rxg5+ Kf8 30. Rf1 Rd5 31. Rff5 (31. Rgf5 Re7) 31... Ra5 White’s pawn chain had many weak points, so the position might become better for Black.

29... Rd5 30. Rxf7 Rc5 31. g4 Rexe5 32. Rf8+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

"Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it;and thence it is never played for money."

Benjamin Franklin, "Chess made easy", 1802

"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of the best ones, that one has toplay the position itself, not some abstract idea of the position."

John Watson, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", 1998

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