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MTel R10: Ivanchuk wins Sofia by 1½ points

5/18/2008 – Ivan Cheparinov threw everything at him, but Vassily Ivanchuk defended coolly and scored a final black-piece victory to clinch the 2008 MTel Masters, with 8.0/10 and a performance of 2977. Second was Veselin Topalov, who drew Radjabov to end at 6.5/10, with a 2839 performance. We bring you a final report with commentary, pictures and more great videos by Europe Echecs.
 

The tournament, which is being held in the Central Military Club in Sofia, Bulgaria, is a double round-robin (all play all, with white and black). The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves + 1 hour to the end of the game. Starting time: 15:00h local time (12:00h UTC), except the final round, which starts at 14:00h.

Round ten report (final)

Round 10: Sunday, May 18, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Ivan Cheparinov 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Bu Xiangzhi

Topalov,V (2767) - Radjabov,T (2751) [B32]
4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (10), 18.05.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nf6 9.c4 b4 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Nc2 Qg6 12.Ne3 Be7 13.g3 Nd4 14.Bg2 Bb7 15.Nf5

15...Qxf5!? A spectacular queen sacrifice, but not completely new. 16.exf5 Bxg2 17.Rg1. The game Kulaots,K (2525)-Ivanov,S (2356), Finland 2007 continued 17.Be3 Bxh1 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.f3 0-0 20.Kf2 d5 21.cxd5 Bc5 22.Rc1 Rac8 23.Kg1 Rfd8 24.Kxh1 Rxd5 and White went on to win in 59 moves. 17...Bf3 18.Qd3. The game Klovans,J (2462)-Sveshnikov,E (2499), Riga 2005 continued 18.Qa4+ Bc6 19.Qd1 ½-½. 18...d5 19.cxd5 Rc8 20.Be3 Nc2+ 21.Kf1 e4 22.Qxa6 0-0 23.Rb1 Nxe3+ 24.fxe3 Rc2 25.h4 Rd8 26.Qb7 Kf8 27.a4 Rd2.

Radjabov has worked this all out: Black can now force a draw by perpetual with a rook and bishop: 28.Rc1 R2xd5 29.Rc8 Rd1+ 30.Kf2 R1d2+ 31.Ke1 Rd1+ 32.Kf2 R1d2+ 33.Ke1 Rd1+ 34.Kf2 R1d2+ ½-½.


The game of the day was Cheparinov-Ivanchuk, with the pre-round possibility of a win by Cheparinov and Topalov to allow the latter to catch Ivanchuk in the table and force a tiebreak. In the Sicilian Taimanov Cheparinov castled long and launched a vigorous kingside attack, which was coolly refuted by the experienced Ukrainian.

Cheparinov,I (2696) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [B48]
4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (10), 18.05.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Bb4 9.f3 Ne5 10.Nb3 b5 11.Bd4 Be7 12.Qf2 d6 13.g4 0-0 14.g5 Nfd7 15.Rg1

Is this uncompromising or what? Cheparinov is going after the black king with everything he has. But Ivanchuk, who has played at the highest level of chess for decades, knows how to deal with this kind of thing. 15...Bb7 16.Kb1 Rfc8 17.Rg3 b4 18.Na4 Bd8 19.Nc1 Bc6 20.b3 Bxa4 21.bxa4 Nc6 22.Be3 Qb8 23.Rh3 Nb6 24.Qh4 h6 25.Qg3 Nxa4 26.Rxd6 hxg5 27.Bd3? Bf6 28.e5 Bxe5

It looks really scary, with all the white pieces lined up for an assault on the lone king, and all the black defenders tucked away on the kingside.Which colour would you choose to play? 29.Rh8+ Kxh8 30.Qh3+ Kg8 31.Qh7+ Kf8 32.Rd7.

White is treatening mate in one with his queen on Qh8#, and if Black plays 32...g6 it is 33...Qxf7#. But Ivanchuk has it all worked out: 32...Nc3+ 33.Ka1 Nb5+ and now if 34.Kb1 Black plays 34...Na3 mate! It's all over. 0-1.


A final handshake as Cheparinov resigns the game

Final standings


Video reports by Europe Echecs

The video report "Round 10 in music" captures some interesting images from the tournament:


Ivanchuk adjusting the black pieces before the game (0:27 min into the video)


Armenian chivalry: Lev Aronian shakes with Bu when he enters the hall (0:58 min)...


... and then jumps up to shake again when the arbiter starts the clock (1:10 min)


The two main rivals, Topalov and Ivanchuk, watching each other


At the closing ceremony the players – here Cheparinov, Ivanchuk and Bu – get cartoons of themselves – with Ivanchuk getting a good bottle of Champaign in addition (video report "Cocktail Party")


...AND a valuable Slavic icon (while Cheparinov holds the bottle)

All pictures on this page are taken from the videos produced by GM Robert Fontaine and the Europe Echecs team. They have given us a unique view of the tournament, with daily wrap-ups and atmosphere reports. Robert has promised to work on his French accent – we implore you, Bob, leave it the way it is!


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, May 8, 2008

Levon Aronian 
0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Ivan Cheparinov 
1-0
 Bu Xiangzhi
Teimour Radjabov 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 2: Friday, May 9, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Ivan Cheparinov

Round 3: Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ivan Cheparinov 
0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Bu Xiangzhi

Round 4: Sunday, May 11, 2008

Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Ivan Cheparinov
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
 Levon Aronian

Round 5: Monday, May 12, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Bu Xiangzhi
Levon Aronian  
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Ivan Cheparinov 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov

Round 6: Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Bu Xiangzhi  
0-1
 Ivan Cheparinov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov

Round 7: Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
1-0
 Bu Xiangzhi
Ivan Cheparinov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian

Round 8: Friday, May 16, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Ivan Cheparinov
Levon Aronian 
0-1
 Teimour Radjabov
Bu Xiangzhi 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 9: Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bu Xiangzhi 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Ivan Cheparinov

Round 10: Sunday, May 18, 2008

Veselin Topalov 
-
 Teimour Radjabov
Ivan Cheparinov 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
-
 Bu Xiangzhi

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