Bazna R10: Ivanchuk wins with a full point lead

by ChessBase
6/26/2009 – Ukrainian super-GM Vassily Ivanchuk drew Teimour Radjabov on the black side of a sharp Najdorf to take clear first place by a full point (and with a 2872 performance) in the Romgaz King's Tournament in Romania. Gata Kamsky drew Boris Gelfand in 32 moves, while Alexei Shirov got a plus one score with a fine victory against Liviu-Dieter Nisepeanu. Final report.

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ROMGAZ and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest are staging a double round robin tournament with six of the world's top GMs: the young Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaidjan, Elo 2756, ranking 5th in the world), the experienced Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, Elo 2746, 12th in the world), Alexei Shirov (Spain, Elo 2745, 13th), Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2733, 15th), Gata Kamsky (USA, Elo 2720, 24th), as well as the best ever rated Romanian chess player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Elo 2675, 55th in the world), 2005 European Champion. The competition is taking place from June 14th to 25th 2009 in Bazna, Romania.

Round ten commentary

By GM Dorian Rogozenco

Round 10: Thursday, June 25, 2009

   Teimour Radjabov 
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexei Shirov 
 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Gata Kamsky 
 Boris Gelfand

In order to secure the overall tournament victory Ivanchuk needed a draw with the black pieces against Radjabov. And the Ukrainian achieved it without any problems. Ivanchuk chose the sharp Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense, then went for a little-known line and equalized. Radjabov realized that White has no shadow of advantage and exchanged almost all pieces, after which the draw was agreed on move 28 due to the repetition.

The tournament winner Vassily Ivanchuk in a typical working pose

With the white pieces Kamsky got nothing out of the opening against Gelfand. Moreover, it was Black who looked slightly better after move 13. Then the US GM succeeded to bring his knights close to opponent’s king and create some threats. With the move 22 Kamsky prepared a nice trap, which Gelfand spotted in time and avoided. After the exchange of queens White kept some initiative, but the position was always double-edged. In a sharp endgame the draw was agreed on move 32.

Gata Kamsky vs Boris Gelfand in the final round of this tournament

Shirov-Nisipeanu was a great achievement for the Spanish GM. Nisipeanu prepared a novelty in a slightly unusual variation of the Sicilian, but Shirov refuted it with a very strong strategical play. On move 20 White made a positional exchange sacrifice and Black was left with a lot of weak squares in his camp. In spite of Nisipeanu’s efforts, Black failed to create any counterplay and White won smoothly.

Alexei Shirov at the start of a game that would give him a +1 score

Alexei Shirov vs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in round ten

Final standings

Radjabov,Teimour - Ivanchuk,Vassily [B94]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (10), 25.06.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. The Sicilian Najdorf, one of the most complex variations in the entire opening theory. Black is usually searching for a complicated battle and such an opening choice might have been a surprise for Radjabov. 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 Qc7. For a high level practice this is a very rare variation. No wonder that Radjabov spent a lot of time before his next move. 8.Qe2 e5 9.Nf5 h6

10.Bxf6. After 10.Bh4 Black just takes the pawn 10...exf4. 10...Nxf6 11.Ne3. A new move. The previously played 11.0-0-0 led to an equal position after 11...Bxf5 12.exf5 0-0-0 13.Qc4 exf4. 11...exf4 12.Ned5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 Qa5+ White has a powerful knight on d5, but Black can exchange it later with Be6. Both sides have one weak pawn each – White on e4, Black on d6. Other factors are similar, therefore the position is equal. 14.Qd2. 14.b4 would weaken too much the pawn structure. Black simply retreats the queen to d8 and in the future White might have problems with his queenside.; In case of 14.c3 both 14...Be6 and 14...Be7 lead to reasonable positions for Black. 14...Qxd2+ 15.Kxd2 Rb8 16.Nxf4 Be7 17.Bc4 Bg5 18.Raf1 Be6. Now it becomes clear that all the minor pieces will be exchanged and the draw is inevitable. 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Kd3 Bxf4 21.Rxf4

21...Rf8 22.Rxf8+ Kxf8 23.Rf1+ Ke7 24.Rf3 Rc8 25.Rg3 Kf7 26.Rf3+ Ke7 27.Rg3 Kf7 28.Rf3+ draw. [Click to replay]

Kamsky,Gata - Gelfand,Boris [C24]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (10), 25.06.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4. By such move order White avoids the Petrov Defense. 2...Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bd6 6.exd5 cxd5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Nc3 Bc7 10.Nb5 Bb6 11.Re1 a6 12.Nc3 Qd6 13.Bh4 0-0

Black got a great position out of the opening. 14.Bxf6. Kamsky breaks opponent structure, hoping to use its drawbacks in the future. 14...gxf6 15.Qd2 Kg7 [15...Kh8 runs into unpleasant answer 16.Qh6] 16.Ne2 Qb4. The exchange of queens will clearly favour Black, who won't have to worry about his weakened pawn structure any longer. 16...Rg8 was a good alternative.] 17.c3 [17.Qxb4 Nxb4 offers Black advantage in endgame. 17...Qg4 18.d4 Rad8 19.h3 Qg6 20.Ng3 e4. Provoking this advance is an achievement for White. 21.Nh4 Qg5 22.Nhf5+. Kamsky sets a trap! 22...Kh8! Avoiding the trap. After 22...Kg6 White plays 23.f4! exf3 24.Qf2! and the bishop comes to c2, with an attack for White.; 22...Bxf5 23.Qxg5+ fxg5 24.Nxf5+ Kg6 25.g4 is obviously in White's favour. 23.Qxg5 fxg5 24.f3! Now thanks to the strong knight on f5 White's chances are not worse. 24...exf3 25.gxf3 Na5 26.Kf2 Nxb3 27.axb3 Bc7 28.h4 Rg8. Deserved attention 28...gxh4 29.Nxh4 Rg8. 29.h5 g4 30.Nh6 Rg7 31.fxg4 Bxg4 32.Re7 Bxg3+

Gelfand made this move and offered a draw, which Kamsky being short on time rightly accepted. After 32...Bxg3+ 33.Kxg3 Bxh5+ 34.Kh4 Bg6 35.Rxb7 f6 36.Rb6 Re8 the position is completely unclear. Draw. [Click to replay]

Shirov,Alexei - Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter [B48]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (10), 25.06.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Bb4 9.f3 Ne7 10.Nde2 b5 11.Bf4 e5 12.Bg5

This variation was played by Nisipeanu before. In the present game the Romanian GM comes with a novelty. 12...Qb6. A new attempt to improve Black's play. 12...Bb7 13.Kb1 Ba5 is strongly answered by 14.Bxf6 (in Akopian-Nisipeanu, Gothenburg 2005 White played weaker 14.Qd6) 14...gxf6 15.Qh6; 12...h5 13.Kb1 Ba5 was met in Karjakin,S (2732)-Nisipeanu,L (2684)/Foros 2008. 13.a3 Bc5 14.b4! Very concrete and strong. 14...Bf2 15.Qd6 Qxd6 16.Rxd6 Neg8 17.Ng3 h6 18.Nd1! Most likely Liviu Dieter underestimated this strong move. It is important for White to exchange opponent's dark-squared bishop. 18.Bd2 should also be some advantage for White, but the move made by Shirov is considerably stronger. 18...Ba7 19.Be3 Bb8 20.Bc5! A great positional exchange sacrifice, which underlines the drawbacks of Black's pawn formation. 20...Ne7 21.Ne3 Bxd6 22.Bxd6 Bb7. In all cases White has wonderful compensation for the exchange, e.g: 22...Nc6 23.c4 Kd8 24.Kb2 Ne8 25.Bc5 Rb8 26.Nd5. 23.c4 Bc6 24.Kb2! Great play by Shirov, who doesn't even want to take pawn e5 (which wouldn't be bad either). The bishop is very strong on d6, not allowing Black to connect his rooks. 24...Ng6 25.Ngf5. White has a large advantage. 25...Kd8 26.Nxg7 Ne8 27.Nxe8 Rxe8 28.Nf5. Black exchanged one pair of knights, but he lost a pawn on the way and the second white knight came to f5 anyway. 28...Re6 29.h4 h5 30.c5 Re8 31.g4! The start of decisive actions. 31...hxg4 32.h5 Nf4. 32...gxf3 33.hxg6 fxg6 34.Nh6 Bxe4 35.Nf7+ Kc8 36.Nxe5 Kb7 37.Rh7 is also hopeless for Black. 33.Nh6 gxf3 34.Nxf7+ Kc8 35.Bxe5. White is completely winning. On top of that Nisipeanu was in severe time trouble, having only one minute left on the clock. 35...Rxe5 [35...Ne6 36.h6 changes nothing, of course] 36.Nxe5 Kc7 37.h6 Rh8 38.h7 Bxe4 39.Rh4! Rxh7 40.Rxf4 Rh2+ 41.Kc3 1-0. [Click to replay]


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