GM Mikhail Golubev  annotates games

Round 1


Nisipeanu – Harikrishna

It was the Ruy Lopez with 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.d4. On 16th move White deviated from the drawish line 16.Raxd1 Bxf3 (Khalifman-Azarov, Aeroflot open 2006), but hardly got anything special in the endgame. 0,5-0,5


Volokitin – Ponomariov

Quite a principled choice by both players: the Marshall Attack! On 16th move White have several important options. Thus, in Linares 2002 Ponomariov as White played 16.Qe2 against Adams and Anand. While Anand has tried 16.Qe1 against Bacrot in Sofia-2006. But Volokitin opted for 16.Qf1. Ponomariov answered with 16...Qxf1+ (instead of the more usual 16...Qh5). On 20th move Ponomariov deviated from the game Volokitin-Sargissian, Bundesliga 2006 (where Black played 20…g4). But after 20…Bh3+N 21.Kg1 Bg4 22.Ne5 f6 23.Nd3 Bf5 24.Rd1 Bg4 (24...Re2 25.c4 or 25.a4) 25.Rd2 Black had not enough for the pawn. Black was forced to fight for a draw. Ponomariov did not manage to save half a point and lost on the 63rd move. 1-0


Bologan – Karjakin

A long theoretical line of the Queen’s Indian. On 14th move Black has several options: 14...dxc4 or 14...bxc4 (as in Bologan-Kramnik, Dortmund 2004). Karjakin’s choice was 14…dxe4 15.Nxe4 bxc4. After 16.Qe2! and later 19.b4! White was somewhat better. An interesting option for White was 23.Rxe6!? (instead of 23.Qd4), with the idea 23...fxe6? (23…Rb3! is critical) 24.Qxe6+ Rf7 25.Bd5 Bf8 26.Qf6 +-. Bologan agreed with simplifications but preserved certain initiative, because his a-pawn was dangerous. Black’s gross mistake 23…c3?? decided the game. 1-0


Rublevsky - Mamedyarov

Mamedyarov was extremely well prepared to meet Rublevsky’s Four Knights. Using a rare move 6…d5 (instead of the more common 6…d6) and later 8…Bc5 Black obtained a virtually winning position after the opening! 0-1


Shirov – Grischuk

A quiet Anti-Marshall. The line occurred in Shirov’s and Grischuk’ games previously. On 17th move  Shirov played 17.b4 (deviating from 17.a4 Ba5 18.axb5 axb5 19.Qb3 Bxd5 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Qxd5 Ne7 22.Qb3 Sutovsky-Grischuk, Turin Olympiad 2006) and possibly obtained a slight edge. Nevertheless, the game has ended in a draw. 0,5-0,5


Areshchenko - Ivanchuk

As Black, Ivanchuk played an interesting edition of the Kan Variation. The position after Black's 10th (10…Nbd7) is not well researched. Instead of Areshchenko’s  11.Qf3 White also can play 11.Qe1 (or Qe2). A novelty 12.f5 (more cautious is 12.Bd2) allowed Black to organise a good counterplay by the typical 12...e5 13.Nde2 h5!. After 16…d5 White could not win the d-pawn because of …e5-e4. Still, Areshchenko managed to consolidate, and he was at least not worse when the draw was agreed. 0,5-0,5