Wesley So leads the ACP Golden Classic

7/16/2014 – After three rounds of this seven-player round robin (category 17) the very talented 20-year-old Filipino GM has scored 2.5/3 points, with a rating performance of 2924. Although adjournments are allowed in this event, there was just one occasion to seal a move – and the game was decided without continuation. We bring you a special report with lots of comments and videos.

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The ACP Golden Classic International Chess Tournament is being held in Bergamo, Italy, from 12 to 20 July 2014, as the main event for 2014 in the agenda of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP). The tournament is a seven-player round robin. The rate of play is 150 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 60 minutes for the next 16 moves, followed by 15 minutes to finish the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move in the last period. The ACP Golden Classic brings back the long forgotten tradition of adjourned games. If a game is not finished at the end of the first playing session (five hours), the arbiter will ask the player whose turn it is to move to adjourn the game and ‘seal’ his move. This does not apply to the last round.

Wesley So leads afteer three rounds in Bergamo

Round one

Saturday, July 12, 2014
So, Wesley
½-½
Sutovsky, Emil
Jobava, Baadur
½-½
Brunello, Sabino
Almasi, Zoltan
½-½
Nepomniachtchi, Ian

The first round was played with a lot of fighting spirit, with games that included queen sacrifices and imaginative moves. Ian Nepomniachtchi (video above) tried to press his opponent and traded his queen for a rook, a piece and one pawn. Despite having some compensation, White was under pressure. After a long fight the players agreed to draw.

Emil Sutovsky and Wesley So agreed to draw in 23 moves after reaching an equal endgame. Baadur Jobava and Sabino Brunello delighted spectators with an exciting five-hour fight. Both players made really good plans and moves and showed real tenacity and ambition to win the game. At the end, none of both got it and the game was adjourned and eventually agreed to a draw.

Baadur Jobava about his game: "First rounds are always difficult for me and today I had a strong opponent, Sabino Brunello, who is progressing really fast. I think we actually played an interesting game. There were some critical moments where both players could have played more accurately but I think it was a nice game for the first round of this tournament".

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Round two

Sunday, July 13, 2014
Sutovsky, Emil
1-0
Jobava, Baadur
Vocaturo, Daniele
½-½
Almasi, Zoltan
Nepomniachtchi, Ian
0-1
So, Wesley

Gianfranco Baraldi, a former middle-distance runner and winner of nine Italian championships,
makes the first move in the game Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Wesley So

Wesley So was the first player to finish his game with a win over Ian Nepomniachtchi, showing good technique in a bishop endgame. Watch the following postgame interview with Wesley.

Emil Sutovsky (above) managed to execute a well-organized attack against Baadur Jobava. Sutovsky: "My opponent played a very provocative line. The position was quite equal but then my opponent made some innacuracies. He could played 0-0 and it is a forced draw but he tried to press for the win and consequently let me find the nice move e6, which is actually winning." Watch his postgame video interview:

The third game between Vocaturo and Almasi lasted nearly five hours and was finally adjourned (the organizers then added that the draw was agreed during the final of the Footbal World Cup).

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Round three

Olympic silver medalist and four-time World Champion Daniela Masseroni from Bergamo was the special guest for the third round. The retired rhythmic gymnast made the first move in the Jobava-Nepomniachtchi game. She was introduced by Yuri Garrett (standing in the background left), the director of the tournament.

Monday, July 14, 2014
So, Wesley
1-0
Vocaturo, Daniele
Brunello, Sabino
1-0
Sutovsky, Emil
Jobava, Baadur
1-0
Nepomniachtchi, Ian

In their first ever encounter Wesley So defeated Daniele Vocaturo in a King's Indian

The number two and three seeds had a bad start after losing their games yesterday. Ian Nepomniachtchi suffered a second consecutive loss. "It always feels bad to lose a game when your opponent doesn't need to make any good moves to beat you. I think during most of the game, the black position was quite better, but after f4 and f5, the position got sharper with more complications. For some mystery reasons, I made some mistakes and suddently I got a lost position. I don't know why I changed my mind and went from a winning position to a lost position.

Baadur Jobava: "Honestly said I played like this not because I wanted. I played these lines because I didn't know the principal variation. I have played 2.c3 for the first time of my life. I was hoping another answer but Ian surprised me with 2...d6, which is actually the main variation. The position suddenly got sharped and both sides had chances to win. It really reminded me of yesterday position with Sutovsky."

Sabino Brunello (above) beat Emil Sutovsky straight from the opening. In a Grunfeld Defense the Italian GM opened Black's king'sside with 15.g5 hxg4 16.h5. The Israeli never found a good solution and threw the towel after 25 moves. Emil Sutovsky, who faced Brunello for the first time, said: "I played the Bg4 line because the other moves lead to more or less to simplifications if white wants. And I didn't knew what Sabino's plan was. And probably I caught the Jobava virus of playing procreative. Sabino played the strongest moves and I didn't expect 13.Ng5, which I have in my notes but I didn't checked it. The position wasn't that bad until some bad decisions from me. Maybe 15...b4 instead of 15...hxg4 is an improvement. I think Sabino Brunello played a really good game. 18.Bh3 was a good move and I simply forgot the simple idea of Rxg3. Then 21.Qh2! and it is over." Here's a postgame interview with Sabino (you've gotta love the Italian accent).

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Standings after three rounds

Information provided by David Kaufmann,
photos by Antonio Milesi for the official tournament site


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Topics: ACP, Italy
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Hamsuns Hamsuns 7/17/2014 09:55
notice the nature of response (comments) by Sutovsky and Nepomniachtchi. I like how Sutovsky gives credit to the opponent (Brunello) while admitting to own inaccuracies.
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