The play-offs of the first knockout stage were held today, November 26th, 2007, in Khanty Mansiysk. I would like to mention the success of Mikhail Gurevich, who eliminated the respectable USA GM Gregory Kaidanov.
Mikhail Gurevich is representing Turkey for the last two years and he has become an important figure in Turkish chess life. Just before the start of the play-offs, Turkish Chess Federation President Mr. Ali Nihat Yazici phoned Mikhail Gurevich and stated his personal and the TSF's officials support and trust. As he was sure of Mikhail qualification, he also stated his opinion that against Adams (coming match) his chances can be rather good! Finally, I have to comment the huge moral support of Turkish fans, which is really important for the psychology of any chess-player.
As nowadays I am working as Head Trainer of the Turkish Men Team and being in Antalya for the World junior Championship, I was able to have an insight information of all the above!
1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.e3 A modest but interesting way of handling a rapid game. White's strategy is simple: developing his pieces modestly but harmoniously and waiting for his chances.
4...Be7 5.b3 0-0 [Another way to handle the opening is 5...c6 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Ba3 Bxa3 9.Nxa3 Qe7 10.Nb1 e5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Qxe5 13.Nd2 Rd8 14.Qc2 h6= Khadempour,F-Boguszlavszkij,J/Budapest 2005.]
6.Bd3 [Some players have tried 6.Nbd2 : 6...c5 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Bb2 dxc4 9.bxc4 b6 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Rc1 (11.a3 Qc7 12.Qe2 Rfd8 13.Rad1 Rac8 14.Rfe1 cxd4 15.exd4 Qf4~~ Riediger,M-Epding,O/Bayern 2005) 11...Rc8 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.Rfd1 h6 14.Bb1 Rfd8~~ Simantsev,M-Julin,A/Kiev 2004. The resulting positions are very similar to 'Queen's Indian Defence' formations.]
6...b6 [A bit passive is 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 Re8 8.Bb2 c6 9.Nbd2 Nf8 10.Ne5 Bd6 11.f4+/= Fritz,P-Fehres,W/Tiefenbach 2004 but; again Black can choose some of the above mentioned 'QID' set-ups with 6...c5 7.0-0 cxd4 (7...b6 8.Bb2 Nc6 9.Nbd2 cxd4 10.exd4 dxc4 11.bxc4 Ba6 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.Qe2 Nb4 14.Bb1 Nbd5 15.Ne5+/= Malaniuk,V-Gyimesi,Z/Warsaw 2005; 7...Nc6 8.Bb2 Ne4 9.Nbd2 f5?! 10.Rc1 Bd7 11.cxd5 exd5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Bb1+/= Karayannis,A-Tassopoulos,M/Ermioni 2006) 8.exd4 Nc6 9.Bb2 (9.a3 dxc4 10.bxc4 b6 11.Bb2 Bb7 12.Nbd2 Qc7 13.Rc1 Rad8 14.Qe2 Qf4 15.Rfe1~~ Herich,M-Dichmann,A/Munich 2006) 9...Nb4 10.Be2 b6 11.a3 Nc6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.Nbd2 Rc8 14.Rc1 dxc4 15.bxc4 Qd6 16.Qe2~~ Kuzubov,Y-Laznicka,V/Polanica Zdroj 2007.]
7.cxd5 exd5 [7...Nxd5 8.0-0 Bb7 9.Bb2 Nd7 10.Nbd2 c5 11.Qe2 offers White a tiny but pleasant opening advantage, as in Bustamante Montoni,R-Mata Gonzalez,F/Villahermosa 2001.]
8.0-0 c5 9.Ne5 Bb7 [9...cxd4 10.exd4 Bb7 11.Bb2 Nc6 12.Nd2+/= .]
10.Bb2 Nbd7 11.Nxd7 [Now, after 11.Nd2 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Ne4 the presence of White's e-pawn and Black's c-pawn, allows the later to equalise.]
11...Qxd7 12.Nd2 Rac8 13.Rc1 Qe6 14.Qe2 Rfd8 15.Rfd1 A double-edged position appeared on the board, in which where different pawn-structures are to be seen in the near future (hanging, isolated).
15...Rc7 16.Nf3 Ne4?! [An inaccuracy which allows White to grab the advantage. With hand-sight I would have gone for 16...Bd6~~ .]
17.dxc5! Rxc5 [Worst was 17...bxc5?! 18.Nd4! Qg6 (18...Qh6 19.Nf5 ) 19.f3 Rcc8 20.Nb5 a6 21.Na3 f5 22.fxe4 fxe4 23.Bb1+/- .]
18.Nd4 Now White obtained an even more pleasant advantage, due to the weak black isolated d-pawn and his more harmoniously placed pieces.
18...Qc8? [A second important mistake in a row. The only logical follow-up for Black should be 18...Qd7 19.a3 Bf6 20.b4 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8 22.Rxc8+ Qxc8 23.g3+/= .]
19.b4! Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Qb8 [20...Qd7 21.Bb5! Qd6 22.Nf5+- .]
21.Bxe4! Black's kingside has been left unprotected and White is in hurry to exploit this important but short-term advantage.
21...dxe4 22.Nf5 Bxb4 [There was no salvation anymore: 22...Bf8 23.Nh6+! Kh8 (23...gxh6 24.Qg4+ Bg7 25.Qxg7# ) 24.Nxf7+ Kg8 25.Nxd8 ; 22...Bd6 23.Qh5! (23.Qg4? Be5 ) 23...g6 (23...Be5 24.Bxe5 Qxe5 25.Nh6+ ) 24.Qg5 Kf8 25.Bf6 Rd7 26.Qh6+ Ke8 27.Ng7+ Kf8 28.Qxh7 .]
23.Qg4 g6 24.Qh4! Qc7 [A small trick as the alternative 24...Kf8 25.Be5! Qxe5 (25...Qa8 26.Qh6+ Ke8 27.Ng7+ ) 26.Qxd8+ Qe8 27.Qf6 gxf5 28.Rc7 Kg8 29.Rxb7 was easily wining for White.]
25.g4! [25.Rxc7?? Rd1# was too much for White to fall-in.]
25...Qxc1+ 26.Bxc1 Rd1+ 27.Kg2 gxf5 [Or 27...Rxc1 28.Qd8+ Bf8 29.Nh6+ Kg7 30.g5 Rc6 31.Qd4+ f6 32.Qd7+ Kh8 33.Qf7 .]
28.Bb2 Rd6 29.Bf6! Rd1 [29...fxg4 30.Be7 .]