Mighty Morozevich dominating Governor's Cup

10/14/2011 – The Governor's Cup is currently underway in Saratov, Russia, and with the list of participants playing, such as Ponomariov, Shirov, and Morozevich, one had all the reason in the world to expect an exciting event. Sadly, 75% of the games have ended in draws. The exception is Morozevich who is running away with the tournament with 5.0/6 and a near 3000 performance. And what games too!

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Saratov Governor's Cup, Saratov/Russia

Tourney format: round robin with 12 players over 11 rounds
Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the first move
Round start: 13:00, last round on Oct. 19 at 11:00
Rest day: 14th October
Special: No draw offers before move 30.
Tiebreak rules: 1st Sonneborn-Berger, 2nd head to head match, 3rd no. of victories

Mighty Moro dominating Governor's Cup

The Governor's Cup is currently underway in Saratov, Russia, and with the list of participants playing, one had all the reason in the world to exect it to be an exciting event. There are young players such as Michael Roiz, Evgeny Tomashevsky, and Dmitry Andreikin seeking to grow still, as well as veterans seeking to redeem themselves from a bad phase such as Peter Leko, and Pavel Eljanov, not to mention top ten Ruslan Ponomariov, who is the rating favorite. Finally, for extra fun (for the audience) there are Shirov and Morozevich whose take-no-prisoner reputations precede them. Rounding the list off are Evgeny Alekseev, Nikita Vitiugov, and Ni Hua.

Morozevich has been unstoppable this year, and the Governor's Cup is no exception

The first thing we must note, is the lack of a proper tournament page, or pictures, which is really deplorable and unworthy of the players. In today's age, it is frankly absurd. The second thing worth noting, and no fault to the organizers, is the incredibly high draw rate with 75% of the games ending in draws.

That said, before you conclude the report is about how incredibly dull the tourney is, it is not. One player has single-handedly made reporting the tournament mid-way a must: Alexander Morozevich. 2011 has been heavily marked by his return to chess, and a return to strike envy in almost all the elite, with one 2800+ performance after the other, even when he failed to win an event. This event is no exception.

After six rounds, he is leading the rest by 1.5 points with 5.0/6 and a near 3000 performance. In fact, had he not stumbled at the last minute in his game against Shirov in the sixth round (quite won) he would have 5.5/6. If the event has somehow slipped under your radar until now, be sure to follow the games live on Playchess, and of course Mighty Moro.

Here is a sample of the play he has displayed as he wins a lovely game against Pavel Eljanov:

[Event "Governor's Cup"] [Site "Saratov RUS"] [Date "2011.10.12"] [Round "5"] [White "Morozevich, A."] [Black "Eljanov, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2683"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2011.10.08"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Bd3 d6 (6... Qh4 7. Qe2 Ne7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Be3 Bb6 10. O-O d5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Bd2 Bd4 13. Rae1 Nb4 14. Qe4 Qxe4 15. Bxe4 Ba6 16. Ne2 Bc5 17. a3 Nd5 18. b4 Bd6 19. Nd4 Bxf1 20. Kxf1 Nb6 21. Nxc6 Rfe8 22. a4 Kf8 23. a5 Nc4 24. Bc1 a6 25. f4 Re6 26. Bd5 Rf6 27. Re4 {1-0 (27) Carlsen,M (2821)-Caruana,F (2711) Biel 2011}) 7. Nc3 Ne7 8. O-O O-O 9. Na4 Bd4 10. c3 Bb6 11. Bg5 f6 12. Bh4 Be6 13. Qc2 Qd7 14. Rad1 Ng6 15. Bg3 Qf7 16. b3 Rae8 17. c4 c5 {Although the bishop on b6 is now just a fancy looking pawn after ...c5, White was threatening c5 himself after which things could soon become ugly for Black.} ({Morozevich had a vicious little counter to the attempt to centralize the bishop with} 17... Bd4 {Now he would play} 18. c5 $1 {and win material. For example} Bxc5 (18... Be5 19. f4 Bd4+ 20. Kh1 {and unless Black wants the same line as Bxc5, he has other problems with the bishop x-rayed by the Rd1.} d5 21. exd5 Bxd5 22. Bxg6 {and the bishop on d4 is lost.}) 19. Nxc5 dxc5 20. Qxc5 {and the queenside pawns fall like ripe fruit.}) 18. f4 Ne7 19. e5 $1 {With this strike, White soon goes from slightly better to much better. For some reason the engine keeps suggesting lines with Nxb6, but short of a certain material win, there is no way White is going to voluntarily solve Black's bishop problem for him.} f5 20. exd6 cxd6 21. Be2 d5 22. Bf2 {Although this may seem like an invitation for ...d4, Black is still stuck with the short end of the stick despite the passed protected pawn.} Rc8 ( {If Black were to play the immediate} 22... d4 {then White would undermine the pawns immediately with} 23. b4 $1 cxb4 (23... Rc8 24. Nxc5 Bxc5 25. bxc5 $16) 24. Nxb6 axb6 25. Rxd4 Rc8 26. Re1 $16 {followed by Bd3 and Re5.}) 23. Nb2 d4 24. Nd3 Ng6 25. Bf3 Qf6 26. Rfe1 Rfe8 27. g3 a5 28. Re2 Bd7 29. Rde1 Rxe2 30. Qxe2 Bc6 $2 {A very bad idea that opens the door for White to penetrate along the e-file.} 31. Bd5+ (31. Bxc6 {was also fine since Black has to take with the queen with} Qxc6 (31... Rxc6 32. Qf3 {White penetrates from all angles.}) 32. Qe6+ Qxe6 33. Rxe6 Rb8 34. Be1 Kf7 35. Rd6 Ke7 36. Rd5 $16 {and c5 or f5 falls.}) 31... Bxd5 32. cxd5 a4 33. Ne5 Ba5 {[#]Morozevich shows more of the stellar form he has exhibited all year.} 34. Qc4 $3 {What can one say? Superb.} Qd6 ({If Black takes with} 34... Bxe1 {then} 35. d6+ Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. d7 $3 {The point.} Bxf2+ 38. Kxf2 Rf8 39. d8=Q Rxd8 40. Nxd8+ Kh8 41. Nf7+ Kg8 42. Ng5+ Kh8 43. Qe6 $1 {and it is over.} Qxe6 44. Nxe6 $18) 35. Re2 axb3 36. axb3 Ne7 37. Qb5 Bb4 38. Nc4 Qd8 39. d6 Nc6 40. Ne5 Nxe5 41. fxe5 1-0

Standings after six rounds


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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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