Geneva Masters Rd3: A day of miniatures

6/29/2013 – With three of the fours spots into the final accounted for, one might have thought day three would be a sedate affair, but instead it was some of the most spectacular. Kramnik was pushed into the tiebreaks by Pelletier as they fought for the last qualifier, but the Russian came through in the end. Of note were the two miniatures including an epaulette mate by Kosteniuk.

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The first Geneva Chess Masters

The first Geneva Chess Masters is taking place from June 26th to 30th. Eight players in two groups qualify for a knockout phase. The games are played at 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. In the initial phase, two groups of four players play two game matches and play-offs (in other words, no ties) and produce points to go into an all-play-all table. The top two in each group go through to the final phase.

Day three

The hall of one of the many parallel events for chess fans

It brought players of all ages, including many a battle-hardened veteran

Advice from Mommy? "Be sure to snarl as you stare him down."

The final day of the Geneva Chess Master qualifiers kept the momentum of what has been a fun tournament to watch so far, and although there was effectively only one spot left undecided, even the players with no chance had a score to settle, not wanting to leave on a negative note.

If you don't have the biggest Elo you can at least have the biggest pieces

Special youth events are also being held

In Group A, Shakhriyar Mamdyarov had already secured his spot in the finals by virtue of his two match wins over Kramnik and Pelletier, while his opponent, Judit Polgar, was smarting from two losses. Both players are well-known for their fighting spirit, and Judit was especially motivated to once again strike a blow for the women.

Although she leveled the match, Judit Polgar succumbed in the blitz tiebreaks

Their match started badly as Mamedyarov drew first blood and won game one, but in game two they played a Closed Ruy Lopez in which impatience got the better of the Azeri and he made a mistake that cost him the endgame, pushing to the tiebreaks.

[Event "Geneva Masters GpA 2013"] [Site "Geneva SUI"] [Date "2013.06.28"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Polgar, Judit"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2696"] [BlackElo "2753"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2013.06.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Nbd2 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. Re1 Nd7 11. Nf1 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 Bg5 13. Ne3 Nc5 14. Bc2 g6 15. b4 Ne6 16. Bb3 Qf6 17. Qxf6 Bxf6 18. Nd5 Bg7 19. a4 Rfe8 20. g3 Ne7 21. Ne3 h5 22. h4 Bh6 23. Kg2 Kg7 24. a5 Ng8 25. Bb2 Nf6 26. f3 Rad8 27. d4 Bxe3 28. Rxe3 exd4 29. cxd4 d5 30. e5 Ng8 31. g4 Ne7 32. Kg3 Rh8 33. Rc1 c6 34. Rh1 Rh7 35. Rd3 Rdh8 36. Bc1 g5 $2 {A bad mistake which ends up costing the Azeri the game. } ({White would have had a very tough time trying to make anything of the position after a less punchy move such as} 36... Nc8 {followed by Na7-b5.}) 37. Bxg5 Nxg5 38. hxg5 hxg4 39. Rxh7+ Rxh7 40. fxg4 Rh1 41. Rd1 $1 {Black cannot accept the rook exchange since White's bishop is designed to wreak havoc against Black's a6-b7-c6 pawns.} Rh8 42. Bc2 Rb8 43. Rh1 Rh8 44. Rxh8 Kxh8 45. Kf4 Kg7 46. Bf5 Ng6+ 47. Kg3 Ne7 48. e6 $1 {Decisive as it frees the way for the g pawns and the king via e5.} c5 49. dxc5 Nc6 50. exf7 Nxb4 51. Bc8 Nd3 52. Bxb7 Nxc5 53. Bxd5 Nd3 54. Kf3 Nb4 55. Ke4 1-0

The two 5-minute tiebreaks were not enough to break the tie as they exchanged blows, and Shakhriyar was only able to maintain a perfect match score in the Armageddon which went his way.

This was the one match where both players were fighting for their life

The match between Yannick Pelletier and Vladimir Kramnik was the one with the greatest sporting interest as they were the two players whose fate was undecided and it was up to them. The rapid games did little to change their fates as they both ended in fairly uneventful draws, and it was in the blitz games that the former world champion was able to get the edge. After a draw in the first blitz game, game four was a Queen’s Indian that went badly for the Swiss player as he lost a pawn and that was all she wrote.

Oddly, it was in Group B that some of the brightest fireworks took place despite the guaranteed spots by Hikaru Nakamura and Etienne Bacrot, both of whom had two wins, which meant that both Romain Edouard and Alexandra Kosteniuk had two losses.

The official site has been providing excellent video coverage

In a rare initiative, commentary has been provided in both English and French.
Above are the French commentators GM Gilles Miralles and Axel Fritz.

Alexandra Kosteniuk faced Romain Edouard, and with both players staring at an abysmal total loss, they were equally anxious to be the one to strike a blow for honor. In theory, Kosteniuk was the one with the highest mountain to climb as her opponent outrated her by nearly 200 Elo, but you would never have noticed in their games. In game one it was a 25-move miniature with a lovely epaulette mate in the lines well worth the price of entry.

[Event "Geneva Masters GpB 2013"] [Site "Geneva SUI"] [Date "2013.06.28"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Edouard, Romain"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "2489"] [BlackElo "2666"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2013.06.26"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 c6 8. Be3 e6 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. O-O Be7 11. Qg3 O-O 12. Ne2 b5 13. Bh6 Ne8 14. Bf4 Ndf6 15. Be5 Bd6 16. a4 b4 17. a5 Qc7 18. f4 c5 19. c3 cxd4 20. Nxd4 Bxe5 $2 { Losing his nerve.} 21. fxe5 Nd7 22. Be4 Rc8 23. Nc6 bxc3 (23... Nef6 {was necessary, when} 24. exf6 {is not possible due to} Qxg3) 24. Bxh7+ $3 Kh8 ( 24... Kxh7 {would get mated after} 25. Qh4+ Kg8 (25... Kg6 {is also mate after} 26. Ne7#) 26. Ne7#) 25. Qh4 1-0

In game two, the French grandmaster got the advantage in a Torre Attack, but failed to capitalize on his advantage. The Russian managed to mobilize her kingside pawns and reverted the situation for her second win and the match.

Hikaru Nakamura had already won his two matches quite decisively, and his final encounter with Etienne Bacrot was no different. His first game was a miniature for which the game score is unavailable at the moment due to technical difficulties from the official site, and he rounded it off with a power attack in game two.

Hikaru Nakamura blitzed Bacrot in the rapid games for a 2-0 win


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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