Gibraltar Rd7: Finally Stopped

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/3/2015 – It came down to the wire, the last seconds of the game. David Howell was defending tenaciously the entire game against Hikaru Nakamura, but a last minute blunder... went unpunished! In a series of mistakes late in the game Howell finally held the draw against the tournament leader. Board two was a crazy duel between Yu Yangyi and Hou Yifan. Nakamura keeps his half point lead.

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Round Seven

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg
1 Howell David W L 2670 ½ - ½ 6 Nakamura Hikaru 2776
2 Yu Yangyi 2724 ½ - ½ 5 Hou Yifan 2673
3 Adhiban B. 2630 5 0 - 1 5 Naroditsky Daniel 2622
4 Wagner Dennis 2501 5 0 - 1 5 Bachmann Axel 2629
5 Topalov Veselin 2800 ½ - ½ Lenderman Aleksandr 2614
6 Salgado Lopez Ivan 2628 0 - 1 Svidler Peter 2739
7 Vitiugov Nikita 2735 1 - 0 Roiz Michael 2592
8 Sethuraman S.P. 2624 0 - 1 Jakovenko Dmitry 2733
9 Harikrishna P. 2723 1 - 0 Muzychuk Anna 2544
10 Vazquez Igarza Renier 2592 0 - 1 Rapport Richard 2716
11 Oparin Grigoriy 2551 0 - 1 Cheparinov Ivan 2681
12 Lalith Babu M.R. 2537 ½ - ½ Rodshtein Maxim 2680
13 Venkatesh M.R. 2460 0 - 1 Wei Yi 2675
14 Matlakov Maxim 2695 4 1 - 0 Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2595
15 Donchenko Alexander 2511 4 0 - 1 4 Motylev Alexander 2665
16 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2649 4 ½ - ½ 4 Javakhishvili Lela 2486
17 Debashis Das 2503 4 ½ - ½ 4 Edouard Romain 2638
18 Sutovsky Emil 2637 4 1 - 0 4 Das Arghyadip 2476
19 Anton Guijarro David 2617 4 ½ - ½ 4 Krush Irina 2467
20 Bologan Viktor 2608 4 1 - 0 4 Trent Lawrence 2470

Nakamura came incredibly close to going 7-0 in this event. Rook endgames are never basic, no matter who you are!

Almost there! Nakamura was grasping victory the entire game.

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2015"] [Site "Caleta ENG"] [Date "2015.02.02"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Howell, David W L"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2670"] [BlackElo "2776"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/8/3R3p/7r/5k2/2K5/8 b - - 0 62"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2015.01.27"] 62... Rh1 {After a long, fighting game, we have re ached this position. Only one move preserves the draw.} 63. Kb2 $2 {Right idea! Wrong execution...} (63. Rd3+ $1 Ke4 64. Rc3 $1 {Again, absolutely forced.} (64. Rb3 h4 65. Kb2 Kf4 { doesn't allow White to check on c2.})) 63... h4 64. Rd4 Ke3 $4 {Gifting the game right back} (64... Kg3 $1 65. Rd3+ Kf2 $1 66. Rd2+ (66. Rd4 h3 $19) 66... Ke3 67. Rc2 Rf1 $1 $19) 65. Rc4 {Now Black is too late to a void the checks as he cannot move the rook from the h-file (it must defend the h4 pawn). The rest is easy for Howell.} h3 66. Rc3+ Kd4 67. Rg3 Rh2+ 68. Ka1 Rh1+ 1/2-1/2

Board two was a crazy fight between two Chinese stars:

Hou Yifan is still having a great event, keeping herself on the top boards

Yu Yangyi will face Nakamura with black tomorrow

[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2015"] [Site "Caleta ENG"] [Date "2015.02.02"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Yu, Yangyi"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B82"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2673"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.01.27"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be3 Nc6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O a6 10. g4 Nd7 11. g5 b5 12. Bd3 Nc5 13. Kb1 Bb7 14. h4 Rc8 15. h5 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 b4 17. Ne2 e5 {It's always difficult to describe exactly what is happening in a Sicilian. Black's last move is strategically desirable, but it is risky as it opens the f-file for the White queen.} 18. Bxc5 (18. fxe5 dxe5 19. g6 exd4 (19... hxg6 20. hxg6 Rxh1 21. gxf7+ Kd7 22. Qxh1 exd4 23. Nxd4 $13 {is not pretty either, but maybe still unclear after} Qe5) 20. Qxf7+ Kd7 21. Nxd4 {is not for us mortals to analyze, but it does look bad for Black.}) 18... Qxc5 19. g6 $1 hxg6 20. hxg6 Rxh1 21. Rxh1 Bf6 $1 {Very tenacious from Hou Yifan. This is probably the best way to try to hold this difficult position.} 22. Qg4 Ke7 23. gxf7 Rf8 24. f5 a5 $1 {It's amazing how Black's slow counterattack is actually sufficient in this position. White is not only unable to prevent the push a4-a3, but he is also unable to create real threats on the kingside.} 25. Ng3 a4 26. Nh5 a3 27. Qg1 {Yu Yangyi exchanges queens before things actually go wrong.} Rxf7 (27... Qxg1+ 28. Rxg1 d5 {was probably more exact, and actually Gave Black some winning chances.}) 28. Qxc5 dxc5 29. bxa3 bxa3 30. c4 Kd8 (30... Rf8 {to bring the rook around was far more natural. }) 31. Kc2 Bc6 32. Nxf6 gxf6 33. Kb3 Rg7 {Black will lose the a-pawn for sure, but her counterplay compensates it fully.} 34. Rh3 Rg4 35. Re3 Kc7 36. Kxa3 Kb6 37. Kb3 Ka5 38. a3 Rh4 39. Kb2 {White is completely tied down to e4, so the came is clearly a draw.} 1/2-1/2

These two draws opened the doors for several people to put pressure on the leader by reaching 6.0/7. Two important victories in boards three and four were in favor of Daniel Naroditsky (over Baskaran Adhiban) and Axel Bachmann (over Dennis Wagner). There's still four rounds left, and anything can happen in Gibraltar.

Only half a point behind: Daniel Naroditsky

17-year old Dennis Wagner lost to Axel Bachmann from Paraguay

Alex Lenderman from USA

On board nine Pentala Harirkrishna defeated Anna Muzychuk

Richard Rapport is back in action with 5.5/7

Kayden Troff has had some problems this tournament, with only 4.0/7

Round Seven Standings

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2776 6.5
2 Howell David W L ENG 2670 6.0
3 Yu Yangyi CHN 2724 6.0
4 Naroditsky Daniel USA 2622 6.0
5 Bachmann Axel PAR 2629 6.0
6 Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2735 5.5
7 Svidler Peter RUS 2739 5.5
8 Harikrishna P. IND 2723 5.5
9 Hou Yifan CHN 2673 5.5
10 Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2733 5.5
11 Wei Yi CHN 2675 5.5
12 Rapport Richard HUN 2716 5.5
13 Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2681 5.5
14 Topalov Veselin BUL 2800 5.0
15 Vishnu Prasanna. V IND 2463 5.0
16 Lenderman Aleksandr USA 2614 5.0
17 Wagner Dennis GER 2501 5.0
18 Adhiban B. IND 2630 5.0
19 Lalith Babu M.R. IND 2537 5.0
20 Rodshtein Maxim ISR 2680 5.0

Pairings Round Seven

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg
1 Nakamura Hikaru 2776   6 Yu Yangyi 2724
2 Bachmann Axel 2629 6   6 Howell David W L 2670
3 Naroditsky Daniel 2622 6   Vitiugov Nikita 2735
4 Svidler Peter 2739   Hou Yifan 2673
5 Rapport Richard 2716   Jakovenko Dmitry 2733
6 Cheparinov Ivan 2681   Harikrishna P. 2723
7 Wei Yi 2675   5 Rodshtein Maxim 2680
8 Ju Wenjun 2547 5   5 Topalov Veselin 2800
9 Spraggett Kevin 2538 5   5 Matlakov Maxim 2695
10 Motylev Alexander 2665 5   5 Lalith Babu M.R. 2537
11 Xu Jun 2523 5   5 Sutovsky Emil 2637
12 Popilski Gil 2522 5   5 Adhiban B. 2630
13 Lenderman Aleksandr 2614 5   5 Wagner Dennis 2501
14 Muzychuk Mariya 2520 5   5 Bologan Viktor 2608
15 Mareco Sandro 2583 5   5 Vishnu Prasanna. V 2463
16 Padmini Rout 2388 5   5 Nabaty Tamir 2579
17 Hansen Eric 2574 5   5 Nakar Eylon 2419
18 Watson John L 2319 5   5 Bok Benjamin 2572
19 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2649   5 Dragnev Valentin 2344
20 Edouard Romain 2638   Harika Dronavalli 2496

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All photos by Sophie Triay and John Saunders from the Official Website

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Topics Gibraltar

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Wem420 Wem420 2/3/2015 06:07
I get the feelkng some commentators use a translation program. Things like 'a void'
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