Gibraltar Rd2: Topalov Stopped

by Alejandro Ramirez
1/28/2015 – Round two of open events usually are still quite accessible for the top rated players, but when grandmasters face each other it really is anyone's game, no matter the rating difference. Topalov already had to concede half a point, and he did it in a wild, wild game. His opponent, Debarashi Das, was losing at some point, but he rallied together and was even close to winning.

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Dinner

A small gala dinner was hosted after the first round. The players had the chance to relax in a friendly atmosphere after a tough (or maybe not so tough) first encounter. Some players on the other hand decided to skip the event to relax.

If there is any tournament that tries hard to please the players, it is the Tradewise Gibraltar Festival

Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga and his girlfriend Gabriela Gonzalez

Former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova and Mariya Muzychuk

Pia Cramling and her daughter, Anna

The Chinese, as usual, sending a strong delegation that travels in a pack

Kimiya Sajjadi and Kimia Moradi from Norway

Elizabeth Paethz, Jovana Vojinovic and her significant other, Richard Rapport

Youngster Kayden Troff always travels with his mother, Kim

Round Two

When there are duels between grandmasters, anything can happen. Even a "big" rating difference of 300 points is irrelevant when the players are of such strong caliber. However there were still relatively few upsets in today's round, though some top GMs got nicked for a draw.

Topalov was unable to keep his perfect score

Devashis Das took care of that with a draw, which was simply wild

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2015"] [Site "Caleta ENG"] [Date "2015.01.28"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Debashis, Das"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E59"] [WhiteElo "2503"] [BlackElo "2800"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2015.01.27"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nc6 9. a3 Bxc3 10. bxc3 Qc7 11. h3 e5 12. a4 Bf5 {This tabiya of the Rubinstein Variation in the Nimzo-Indian always promises interesting games.} 13. Ba3 b6 14. Bb5 e4 15. Nd2 Na5 16. Qe2 Rfd8 17. Rfc1 Be6 18. Rab1 Rd5 $5 { Topalov is always looking for aggressive chances. Here he is planning to swing his rook over to the kingside, with some serious threats.} 19. Qf1 Rg5 20. Kh1 Rd8 21. Be2 {White's kingside is holding, but he doesn't seem to be making any progress of his own.} Rg6 22. f4 {Even though it is hard to come up with an alternative, this seems to weaken White's position too much.} exf3 23. Bxf3 Qd7 (23... Rh6 $5 {Was stronger to play first. The idea is actually quick simple; rip the game apart with g5-g4.} 24. Qf2 g5 25. e4 g4 26. Be2 gxh3 27. g3 Nc4 $3 $17 {sctacular, but not the only move} 28. Bxc4 Bxc4 {and the piece is taboo because of} 29. Nxc4 Nxe4 30. Qe3 Nxg3+ 31. Kg1 h2+ 32. Kg2 Rg6 $19) 24. Ra1 Nd5 25. Qf2 Bxh3 $1 26. c4 (26. gxh3 Qxh3+ 27. Qh2 Qe6 $19 {leaves White's king too vulnerable to the attacks on the h and g files.}) 26... Nf6 27. gxh3 cxd4 (27... Qxh3+ 28. Qh2 Qe6 {was still very strong.}) 28. e4 Nb3 $1 {A nice distraction tactic.} 29. Bg2 (29. Nxb3 Qxh3+ 30. Qh2 Qxf3+ {and mate}) 29... Nxa1 30. Rxa1 Re8 $6 {From here on Topalov seems to lose the thread of the game a little.} (30... Qc7 {was stronger, with the idea of relocating the f6 knight to a more powerful square, either e5, c5 or h5.}) 31. Bb2 Nh5 32. Ra3 d3 $2 (32... Rf6 $15) 33. e5 {Now White is fully back in the game. Black is not coordinated enough to push his d-pawn.} Rg3 34. Kh2 Qc7 35. Ne4 {Suddenly that rook on g3 is in serious problems.} d2 36. Rxg3 d1=Q 37. Nf6+ Kh8 38. Nxe8 {A crazy position! Black has two queens and a knight against a queen, a rook, and three pieces. Black must exchange queens or he will get mated very soon.} Qc5 39. Qxc5 bxc5 40. e6 fxe6 (40... f6 $1) 41. Bxg7+ (41. Rg4 $1 {and then taking on g7 with the knight instead, kept some winning chances.}) 41... Nxg7 42. Nxg7 Qxa4 43. Nxe6 Qxc4 44. Ng5 a5 45. Ne4 a4 46. Rc3 {Oddly enough the game fizzled into a draw. In this position some computers might claim that this is better for Black, but that is clearly not the case. As soon as White takes the pawn on c5 and sacrifices something for the a-pawn the position cannot be won, even if White sacrifices the rook!} 1/2-1/2

Peter Svidler was also held to a draw by Dennis Wagner

Daniel Naroditsky started 2-0 with a victory over....

Lilit Mrktchian

Guo Qi vs. Salgado was a fighting draw

Hikaru Nakamura convincingly outplayed Harika Dronavalli

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 64 GM Debashis Das 2503 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Topalov Veselin 2800 1
2 2 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2776 1 1 - 0 1 GM Harika Dronavalli 2496 66
3 65 IM Wagner Dennis 2501 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Svidler Peter 2739 3
4 4 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2735 1 1 - 0 1 IM Raznikov Danny 2494 68
5 67 IM Svane Rasmus 2496 1 0 - 1 1 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2733 5
6 6 GM Yu Yangyi 2724 1 1 - 0 1 GM Shyam Sundar M. 2489 70
7 71 IM Ducarmon Quinten 2488 1 0 - 1 1 GM Harikrishna P. 2723 7
8 8 GM Rapport Richard 2716 1 1 - 0 1 IM Tari Aryan 2487 72
9 73 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2486 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Matlakov Maxim 2695 9
10 10 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2681 1 1 - 0 1 IM Smith Axel 2483 74
11 75 GM Zhukova Natalia 2482 1 0 - 1 1 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2680 11
12 12 GM Wei Yi 2675 1 1 - 0 1 IM Pichot Alan 2480 76
13 77 IM Das Arghyadip 2476 1 0 - 1 1 GM Hou Yifan 2673 13
14 14 GM Jones Gawain C B 2671 1 1 - 0 1 IM Melia Salome 2473 78
15 79 IM Trent Lawrence 2470 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Howell David W L 2670 15
16 83 GM Krush Irina 2467 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2649 17
17 18 GM Edouard Romain 2638 1 1 - 0 1 IM Adla Diego 2469 80
18 85 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 2463 1 1 - 0 1 GM Sutovsky Emil 2637 19
19 20 GM Bartel Mateusz 2631 1 0 - 1 1 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2468 82
20 87 IM Docx Stefan 2450 1 0 - 1 1 GM Adhiban B. 2630 21

Some other important results involve the Chinese. Hou Yifan beat her opponent with good play. For the first time since 1989 (!) Judit Polgar does not top the live rating list.

  Name   Classical +/- Age
1 Hou Yifan China 2675.2 +2.2 20
2 Polgar J Hungary 2675.0 0.0 38
3 Koneru India 2581.0 0.0 27
4 Dzagnidze Georgia 2570.0 0.0 28
5 Ju Wenjun China 2547.8 +0.8 24
6 Muzychuk A Ukraine 2543.5 -0.5 24
7 Cmilyte Lithuania 2530.2 +5.2 31
8 Lagno Russian Federation 2530.0 0.0 25
9 Kosteniuk Russian Federation 2529.0 0.0 30
10 Gunina Russian Federation 2527.8 -10.2 25
11 Zhao Xue China 2527.1 +13.1 29
12 Muzychuk M Ukraine 2524.0 +4.0 22
13 Khotenashvili Georgia 2521.2 -4.8 26
14 Cramling Sweden 2517.8 -0.2 51
15 Stefanova Bulgaria 2513.7 -1.3 36

Taken from 2700chess

Currently the reigning World Champion and the retired Judit Polgar are tied at 2675 as FIDE rounds down when doing calculations.

Also close to breaking records is Wei Yi. The youngster defeated the reigning u-16 World Champion, Alan Pichot, very convincingly. He sits at only one victory away from crossing the 2700 barrier. If he does so in this tournament, he becomes the youngest player ever to do so - even younger than Magnus Carlsen himself.

Tomorrow's round promises some interesting games:

Round Three Pairings

Bo.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg
1 GM Nabaty Tamir 2579 2   2 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2776
2 GM Stefansson Hannes 2573 2   2 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2735
3 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2733 2   2 GM Mikhalevski Victor 2571
4 GM Oparin Grigoriy 2551 2   2 GM Yu Yangyi 2724
5 GM Harikrishna P. 2723 2   2 GM Chirila Ioan-Cristian 2548
6 GM Ju Wenjun 2547 2   2 GM Rapport Richard 2716
7 GM Lalith Babu M.R. 2537 2   2 GM Cheparinov Ivan 2681
8 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2680 2   2 GM Rasmussen Allan Stig 2526
9 GM Khotenashvili Bela 2526 2   2 GM Wei Yi 2675
10 GM Hou Yifan 2673 2   2 GM Al-Sayed Mohammed 2516
11 GM Blomqvist Erik 2520 2   2 GM Jones Gawain C B 2671
12 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2515 2   2 GM Edouard Romain 2638
13 GM Adhiban B. 2630 2   2 IM Donchenko Alexander 2511
14 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2468 2   2 GM Bachmann Axel 2629
15 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 2463 2   2 GM Naroditsky Daniel 2622
16 GM Grandelius Nils 2602 2   2 GM Bellon Lopez Juan Manuel 2370
17 GM Venkatesh M.R. 2460 2   2 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2595
18 GM Roiz Michael 2592 2   2 WGM Soumya Swaminathan 2346
19 IM Houska Jovanka 2388 2   2 GM Vazquez Igarza Renier 2592
20 GM Topalov Veselin 2800   2 FM Guerrero Vargas Andres 2320

Replay Masters games - Round Two

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All photos by Sophie Triay from the Official Website

Links

The games will be 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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Shurlock_V Shurlock_V 1/29/2015 03:30
Rating Inflation? hahahaha Has been shown there is no rating inflation.

http://freakonomics.com/2011/08/04/are-we-actually-getting-better-at-chess/

Read and learn, if you dare.
fons fons 1/29/2015 09:41
Yes Wodzu, although it's fair to assume Hou Yifan is not yet at her best.
Considering how strong the current top ten is it seems like a very high mountain to climb, but we will see.
Wodzu Wodzu 1/29/2015 09:24
There is no sense to compare Hou's ranking to Judit's. As fons pointed out better would be to compare places on the world list. And this ranking inflation also has a big factor. Let's face it, Hou is nowhere near the strenght of Judit at her best days.
fons fons 1/29/2015 08:59
Ratings are relative. Judit Polgar was 10th in the world (rated 2715) in April 2003.
http://ratings.fide.com/toparc.phtml?cod=45
And you have to factor in rating inflation.
(Things Hou Yifan herself mentioned actually in an interview during Tata.)
cheat3 cheat3 1/29/2015 08:31
COME ON Trenty!
Chvsanchez Chvsanchez 1/29/2015 06:47
"For the first time since 1989 (!) Judit Polgar does not top the live rating list."
But she has retired! Why to keep the rivalry?
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