GM Mikhail Golubev  annotates games

Round 5


Shirov - Nisipeanu

The first game between Shirov and Nisipeanu after Las-Vegas - 1999! Nisipeanu played his pet system of the Philidor Defence with the early ...d6-d5. Instead of the move 8...Nxe5, which Liviu-Dieter used against Timofeev in 2005, now he made a new move 8...0-0. Black obtained an acceptable position. But the pawn sacrifice (17...Re8) was over-optimistic. By move 25 Black's activity disappeared, White had a healthy extra pawn. Being in time trouble, Shirov did not manage to overcome the technical difficulties. (On the 40th move, deserved attention 40.c7). 0.5-0.5


Rublevsky - Volokitin

A rare line of the Sicilian: 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nge2. Already the 7th move of Black was new. After 13.g4! and 14.Ng3 White developed an initiative on the kingside. Still, Black preserved serious defensive resources. Trying to play as actively as possible, White sacrificed the pawn and later also exchange. His compensation turned out to be very serious. Probably it is possible to find an improvement for Black on the 25th-27th moves, but his decisive mistake was 29...Ng6? (instead, necessary was 29...Kh8!). After 30.h4! Black's position collapsed. An impressive victory by Rublevsky. 1-0


Bologan - Harikrishna

A well researched Breyer Variation 9...Nb8 of the Ruy Lopez. Only White's 21st move (21.b4) was new. Instead of the more obvious plan with 25.Rac1 (or 26.Rac1), allowing Black to play ...d6-d5, Bologan decided to play d4-d5 himself. This advance led to a very tense play. Black's exchange sacrifice 33...Rxe3 was somewhat dubious. Later, 39...Rxe1+ 40.Rxe1 f5 deserved attention (instead of 39...f5) but also there, 41.Rc1 (Bologan) 41...Kg7 42.Na4 Bxd5 43.Nxc3 Bc4 44.Ne4 d5 45.Nd6 favours White. In the game, after 41.Na4! White's large advantage became evident. 1-0


Areshchenko - Ponomariov

In the Sicilian, Ponomariov played an "Anti-Sozin" variation with 6...Bd7 (a favourite line of GM Leonid Stein, one of the strongest Ukrainian players on the 20th century). After 11.Qe3 b5, 12.a4!? appears to be new (12.h4 was Ciocaltea-Stein, Caracas 1970). Maybe Black could simply play 12...b4. Ponomariov's move 12...bxa4 is also playable, but White gradually managed to obtain a certain advantage. On the 16th and 17th moves, White's pawn c2 was untouchable: ...Qxc2? would have led Black to material losses (17...Qxc2? 18.Rc1 Qa2 19.Ra1 Qc2 20.Rfc1). Possibly, Black's 16th move (16...Rfc8) was inaccurate. Still, Ponomariov managed to equalize in the further play. White's 24.Qh3?! certainly helped. On the 30th move the draw became inevitable, and opponents agreed to finish the game. 0.5-0.5


Ivanchuk - Karjakin

The Moscow Variation of the Slav Defence. After 20 moves it was hard to see any advantage for White. A draw was agreed on the 24th move. The first draw for Karjakin against Ivanchuk (in their two previous encounters Sergey lost). 0.5-0.5


Grischuk - Mamedyarov

The Ruy Lopez with 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Be6. Black's 9th move is not especially popular. After 22.Ba3 White seems to be slightly better. Trying to fight for a victory, Grischuk sacrificed a pawn and gradually got a bad position. In the end of the game, Mamedyarov missed a win. (His last mistake was 44...Rg1+?). 0.5-0.5