Geneva Masters Rd2: Only one spot left

by ChessBase
6/28/2013 – Day two of the Geneva Chess Masters was going to prove decisive or not in which players are most likely to make it to the final. In each of the four-player groups, two alone make it to the final, and while being first is not crucial, it doesn’t hurt to cover your tracks and avoid tales of last-minute disaster. Illustrated report of day two.

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The first Geneva Chess Masters

The first Geneva Chess Masters is taking place from June 26th to 30th. Eight players in two groups qualify for a knockout phase. The games are played at 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. In the initial phase, two groups of four players play two game matches and play-offs (in other words, no ties) and produce points to go into an all-play-all table. The top two in each group go through to the final phase.

Day two

Day two of the Geneva Chess Masters was going to prove decisive or not in which players are most likely to make it to the final. In each of the four-player groups, two alone make it to the final, and while being first is not crucial, it doesn’t hurt to cover your tracks and avoid tales of last-minute disaster.

Vladimir Kramnik played Judit Polgar and in a sense this was comforting to him since she is one of those players who just can’t seem to solve the ‘Kramnik Equation’. In their first game, she played White and was well-prepared for his Berlin Wall. Being well-prepared only meant she did not suffer any unpleasant surprises, but nor was she able to achieve anything and they drew.

Judit Polgar was unable to solve the 'Kramnik Equation'

In game two things took a down turn as her Tarrasch was well met by the Russian and he was able to infiltrate her position to take the match.

[Event "Geneva Masters GpA 2013"] [Site "Geneva SUI"] [Date "2013.06.27"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Polgar, Judit"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A35"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2696"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2013.06.26"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. e3 e6 5. d4 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Bb5 Bd6 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. O-O O-O 10. b3 Bd6 11. Bb2 Bg4 12. Be2 a6 13. Nd4 Bd7 14. Bf3 Be6 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Rc1 Rc8 17. Na4 c5 18. Qe2 c4 19. g3 Qa5 20. Bc3 Qb5 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Nc3 Qa5 23. bxc4 dxc4 24. Rfd1 Ba3 25. Rc2 Rfd8 26. Bd5 Bb4 27. Bxe6 fxe6 28. Ne4 f5 29. Nf6+ Kf7 {Black was already in trouble, but this fails to a 'petite tactique'.} 30. Nd7 $1 Kg6 ({Trying to protect the pawn leads to a case of small economies leading to big expenses.} 30... c3 $2 31. Qh5+ Kg8 ( 31... Ke7 32. Qxh7+ Ke8 33. Qg6+ Ke7 34. Qg7+ Ke8 35. Nf6#) 32. Qg5+ Kf7 33. Qf6+ Kg8 34. Qxe6+ {etc.}) 31. Rxc4 Qb5 32. a4 Qxa4 33. Rcd4 Qa5 34. Ne5+ Kf6 35. Qh5 Rxd4 36. exd4 Qc7 37. Qh6+ Ke7 38. Qh4+ Kd6 39. d5 $1 {The most decisive.} Kxe5 40. Qxb4 Kf6 41. Qh4+ Kg6 42. dxe6 Qc2 43. Qd4 Qe2 44. Qd7 Rc7 45. Qe8+ Kf6 46. Qf8+ Kg6 47. Qd6 Rc2 48. e7+ Kf7 49. Qd5+ Kg6 50. Qg8+ Kf6 51. Qf8+ Kg5 52. Qg7+ Kh5 53. Qxh7+ Kg5 54. Qg8+ Kf6 55. Rd6+ Kxe7 56. Qd8+ Kf7 57. Rf6+ 1-0

Yannick Pelletier came hopeful of sustaining his first round success

Yannick Pelletier was eager to repeat his success from day one when he beat Polgar for the tournament’s first major surprise, but Mamedyarov had his own ideas. Their first game was a Gruenfeld in which the Azeri managed to equalize as Black, but in an equal queenless middlegame, the Swiss was outplayed and it was 1-0 for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In game two, Pelletier put on a great fight and built a winning position but at a serious cost of time. Late in the game, he continuously failed to find the killer blows and it was a final tactical oversight that allowed Mamedyarov to escape with the draw and thus the match.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov fought to the end to secure his spot

[Event "Geneva Masters GpA 2013"] [Site "Geneva SUI"] [Date "2013.06.27"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Pelletier, Yannick"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A84"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2574"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2013.06.26"] 1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 d5 5. Bg2 c6 6. b3 Bd6 7. O-O Qe7 8. Bb2 O-O 9. Qc1 b5 10. Ne5 a5 11. Nc3 bxc4 12. bxc4 Ba6 13. Na4 Nfd7 14. Qe3 Bxe5 15. dxe5 Qb4 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Bxd5 exd5 18. e6 Qxa4 19. e7 Qe4 20. exf8=Q+ Nxf8 21. Qxe4 fxe4 22. Rfc1 Bc4 23. e3 Nc6 24. Bc3 Nd7 25. Rcb1 Ra7 26. Rb2 Kf7 27. Rab1 Bd3 28. Rc1 Bc4 29. Rcb1 Bd3 30. Rc1 Nde5 31. Bxe5 Nxe5 32. Rc8 Ba6 33. Rcb8 Rc7 34. Rb1 Nd7 35. R8b2 Ke7 36. Kg2 Kd6 37. g4 Bd3 38. Re1 Ne5 39. h3 g5 40. Kg3 Rc3 41. Rb8 Rc2 42. a4 Ra2 43. Rd8+ Kc5 44. Re8 Nf3 45. Rc1+ Kb4 46. Rh8 Kxa4 47. Rxh7 Bc4 48. Rb7 Nd2 49. h4 Nb3 $2 {Black misses his chance to equalize the match and take it to the tiebreaks.} (49... Nf1+ $1 {would have concluded a good showing by the Swiss GM and garnered him the full point.} 50. Rxf1 {Forced.} (50. Kh3 Rxf2 {and Rxf1 is the only way to prevent Rh2 mate.}) 50... gxh4+ $1 51. Kg2 h3+ $1 52. Kxh3 (52. Kg1 Bxf1 53. Kxf1 Ra1+ 54. Ke2 h2) 52... Bxf1+) 50. Rh1 gxh4+ 51. Rxh4 Ra1 $6 {Lack of time and nerves are costing him his advantage,} (51... Nd2 $1 52. Rh1 Nf1+ 53. Kh4 Rxf2 {and soon Black will have two pawns racing to queen.}) 52. g5 Rg1+ 53. Kf4 Nc5 54. Rb6 Nd3+ 55. Kf5 Nxf2 56. g6 Nd1 57. Kf4 Rf1+ 58. Ke5 Nxe3 59. g7 Rg1 $2 {Missing the clever shot} 60. Rh1 $1 Rxh1 {Forced.} (60... Rxg7 {is mate after} 61. Ra1+ Ba2 62. Rxa2#) 61. g8=Q Nc2 62. Qe8+ Ka3 63. Qf8+ Ka4 64. Qe8+ Ka3 65. Qf8+ Ka4 66. Qe8+ Ka3 1/2-1/2

Alexandra Kosteniuk was unable to make a dent against Hikaru Nakamura

In the second group, top-seed Hikaru Nakamura played the bottom seed Alexandra Kosteniuk, sporting a nigh 300 Elo advantage. Kosteniuk’s fans would love to read about a heroic save, near win, or the like, but the truth is the American GM outclassed her through and through in their games and it was not close.

Hikaru Nakamura won his second straight match and is in the final

The match between the two French guests started lukewarm as they drew in 18 moves, and one wondered whether they planned on deciding it in the blitz tiebreaks. They did not, and in their second game, Bacrot got the upperhand in a Slav and won a smooth game.

It started slow, but in game two Bacrot came out swinging


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