Bazna R5: Gelfand and Ivanchuk win, lead the event

by ChessBase
6/19/2009 – At half-time in this double round robin the two oldest players are leading: Boris Gelfand, who defeated Alexei Shirov, when the latter blundered a pawn; and Vassily Ivanchuk, who profited from an error by his opponent Gata Kamsky. Ivanchuk and Shirov are leading at half-way time and have 3.5/5 points. Friday is a free day. GM commentary by Dorian Rogozenco.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


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 five commentary – rule against rule

By GM Dorian Rogozenco

Round 5: Thursday, June 18, 2009

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

Teimour Radjabov, Azerbaijan, vs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in round five

Nisipeanu with the Black pieces against Radjabov played the relatively rare Scandinavian Defense. “His opening choice was a surprise for me. Then I missed Black’s transfer of the queen to a6, after which I could find nothing for White” (Radjabov). The game soon transposed into an equal endgame and even the 30-moves rule couldn’t prevent the players to agree to a draw on move 26 in a completely equal position (with arbiter’s permission, of course).

Alexei Shirov vs Boris Gelfand

Shirov-Gelfand saw a Queen’s Indian, where White spent a lot of time in the opening. Then in the middlegame Shirov blundered a pawn by missing a small tactical trick. “Surprisingly it was quite an easy game. After I won the pawn, considering his upcoming time-trouble the win for me was just a matter of technique ” (Gelfand).

America vs Ukraine: Gata Kamsky vs Vassily Ivanchuk

In Kamsky-Ivanchuk the players reached a standard position of the Sicilian Scheveningen. On move 15 Kamsky started to think and produced a move, which was characterized by Ivanchuk “very strange, looking like an obvious blunder”. Ivanchuk immediately used the tactical drawbacks of 15.Bc4 and Black achieved a pleasant advantage. Then Kamsky started to play very imaginatively, finding every chance in the position. Black needed to play very accurately to keep the advantage. Then in severe time trouble Kamsky blundered again and the game was immediately over.

Current standings

Radjabov,Teimour - Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter [B01]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (5), 18.06.2009

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6

At high levels this retreat of the queen is advocated by the Russian-Dutch Grandmaster Sergey Tiviakov. Black usually gets a slightly passive, but very solid position. 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nc4 Qc7 8.a4 g6 9.g3 [9.Qf3 Nb6 10.Bf4 Qd8 is not problematic for Black either.] 9...Bg7 10.Bg2 Nb6. White's only hope for advantage in such positions is connected with the fact that he has more space, therefore Nisipeanu's last move is a very important part of Black's plan - to exchange pieces. [10...0-0 would be inaccurate in view of 11.Bf4 Qd8 12.a5 and White has more chances to get an advantage.] 11.Nxb6 [The alternative was 11.Ne5 ] 11...Qxb6 12.a5 [12.0-0 a5 is a dream position for Black in this opening.] 12...Qa6! A very strong and ambitious move, preventing White from castle. 13.Qe2. This is a recognition that Black has solved all his opening problems. The problem is that in spite of multitude of options it is far from easy to refute Black's play. [In all bellow mentioned variations Black has at least equal chances: 13.Bf4 Bg4 14.Qd2 0-0; 13.Bf1 b5; 13.Ra4 0-0 14.Bf1 b5 15.axb6 Qxb6 16.Bg2 Ba6] 13...Qxe2+ 14.Nxe2 a6. It is important for Black to prevent the further advance of White's a-pawn. 15.0-0 Bf5 16.c3 0-0-0

Black has completed development and the position became completely equal. 17.Re1 Rhe8 18.Nf4 e6 19.h3 h5 20.Be3 Nd5 21.Nxd5 exd5 22.Bd2 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Kd7 24.b4 Re8 25.Rxe8 Kxe8 26.Bf1 draw. . [Click to replay]

Shirov,Alexei - Gelfand,Boris [E15]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (5), 18.06.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qb3. Alexey used to play 5.Qc2 here. Possibly he wanted to surprise his opponent, but soon he started to invest a lot of time in his opening moves. 5...Nc6 6.Nbd2 Na5 7.Qc3 c5 8.dxc5 bxc5 9.e4 Bb7 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Bg2 Nc6 13.0-0 Rb8

14.Re1. Something must have went wrong in Shirov's opening preparation to this game. Up to this moment Alexey already spent one hour, which is difficult to explain considering that Gelfand already played this position before. [14.Ng5 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qc7 16.Re1 Be7 17.Nf3 Qb7 18.Kg1 0-0 19.b3 d6 with equality, Van Wely,L (2679)-Gelfand,B (2696)/Monte Carlo 2005.] 14...Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Nd4 16.Bd1. This is a novelty, which in the present game failed to impress. [16.Bg2 Be7 17.Rb1 Qb6 18.Be3 0-0 19.Qd3 a5 20.Be4 g6 21.Red1 Rfd8 22.Qa3 d5 23.exd6 Bxd6 24.Bd2 Bc7= Riazantsev,A (2638)-Zhigalko,S (2568)/Plovdiv 2008] 16...Be7 17.Be3 Qc7 At this moment Black does not threaten to take the pawn on e5 due to the answer Bf4. 18.Rb1? Blundering a pawn. The rook on b1 changes the situation and Black already can take the pawn. In case of 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Qxd4 Bc5 Black will win back the pawn on b2, due to the fact that 20.Qc3, or 20.Qd2 are answered by 20...Bb4. Therefore deserved attention; 18.a3 threatening to take on d4. After 18...Nc6 19.f4 0-0 20.Bc2 White is only slightly worse. 18...Qxe5! 19.Bxd4. It turns out that after 19.Bf4 Black has 19...Qf5 attacking the rook on b1. In all variations Black remains with a pawn up. 19...cxd4! 20.Qd2 Qc5 21.Be2 0-0 22.Red1 e5

White is a pawn down and the presence of the opposite-coloured bishops make things even worse for Shirov. There is nothing White can do against Black's simple plan to advance the central pawns. 23.Qd3 f5 24.g4 g6 25.gxf5 gxf5 26.b4 Qc6. 26...Rxb4 would be a bad mistake in view of 27.Rxb4 Qxb4 28.Qg3+ Kh8 29.Qxe5+ Bf6 30.Qxf5 and White will hold the position. 27.b5 Qb6 28.Qg3+ Qg6 29.Bh5 Qxg3+ 30.hxg3 Bc5 31.Kg2 e4 32.Rh1 d3 33.Bd1 f4 34.Rh5 f3+ 35.Kf1 d6 36.Bb3 Rbe8 37.Re1 d2 38.Rd1 Bxf2 39.Rxd2 [or 39.Kxf2 e3+ and Black queens.] 39...Bc5 40.Bc2 Re7 0-1. . [Click to replay]

Kamsky,Gata - Ivanchuk,Vassily [B90]
Kings' Tournament Bazna ROM (5), 18.06.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Be2 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.f4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Qd2 Bd7 13.Rad1 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 Bc6

15.Bc4? 15.Bf3 would be a standard move in such situations. By placing the bishop on c4 Kamsky prepares the advance of the f-pawn, but he misses a tactical trick. 15...Bxe4. 15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 d5 was another way to achieve an advantage. 16.Nxe4 d5 17.Bxd5 Nxd5 18.c3 Rad8. Black has the advantage thanks to the fact that White's pieces in the center are good targets for attack and besides Black's pawn formation is better too. 19.Ng3. "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" (Ivanchuk). Starting with this moment Kamsky plays very inventive and always finds some ideas to force Black solving concrete problems. 19...Qc6 20.Nh5 Bf8 21.Bg1 g6

22.Rd3! "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg" (Ivanchuk). Indeed, now Black must play accurately to keep his advantage and Ivanchuk succeeded to do so. 22...f6! The forced variation 22...e5 23.fxe5 gxh5 24.Rg3+ Bg7 25.e6 f6 26.c4 favours White, who after 26...Rxe6 27.cxd5 Qxd5 28.Qf4 keeps good chances to escape. 23.c4 [23.Ng3 is bad due to 23...Nxf4 24.Qxf4 Rxd3] 23...gxh5 24.Rg3+ [24.cxd5 Rxd5 25.Rg3+ Kf7 26.Qe4 Rf5 27.Qxc6 bxc6 leads to a better endgame for Black] 24...Bg7! After 24...Kf7? 25.Qd3! Black is suddenly in trouble. 25.cxd5 exd5 [25...Qxd5? 26.Qxf6] 26.Qd1 h4

27.Rh3. In time trouble Kamsky goes wrong. After 27.Rc3 Qe6 (or 27...Qd7 28.Bb6 Rc8 29.Rd3) 28.f5 Qd7 29.Bd4 White could still put up a tough resistance. 27...d4 28.Rff3 Qe4 29.f5 [29.Rxh4 d3 30.Re3 Qd5 is worse] 29...Re5 30.Bf2 Qe2 31.Qb3+ Kh8 32.Rxh4? 32.Bg1 was the only move, even if after the precise 32...Qe4 It is still difficult to defend. 32...Qe1+

0-1. [Click to replay]


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register