GM Mikhail Golubev  annotates games

Round 9


Mamedyarov - Nisipeanu

The Old Indian Defence. At the first glance, by move 13 Black solved his opening problems. After the exchange of queens an acute endgame with mutual chances arose on the board. An interesting line, which could have occurred in the game: 31.Rc6 Bg4 32.Nf4 Bf3 33.Ne6 Re7 34.Ng5+ Kg7 35.d6 Re5 36.Rc7+ Kg6 37.d7 Nxd7 38.Nxf3 exf3 39.Rxd7 f2 40.Bg2 with a probable draw. Later, instead of 34...Rd6, curious (but hardly stronger) was 34...Nd5+!?. 0.5 - 0.5


Grischuk - Volokitin

A long theoretical line of the Petroff Defence, which was especially popular in 2005. On the 18th move Volokitin deviated from the game Grischuk - Nielsen, Monaco 2006 and obtained, as it seems, an acceptable position. Still, White's chances are a bit better. Аfter 31.Nf4! Black's defense became difficult. It was the third Volokitin's loss in the row. 1 - 0


Ivanchuk - Bologan

The Classical King's Indian with 7.Be3 Ng4. Ivanchuk exchanged queens on the move 12 in order to play without risk and to fight for a slight advantage. His move 13.Nd2 is very rare. 20.Na1!? is an impressive idea (preparing a3, b4 or Nc2-e3-f5), but hardly White has much there. Two moves later the draw was agreed. 0.5 - 0.5


Areshchenko - Rublevsky

The Sicilian Scheveningen with the early ...Bd7. Opponents followed the game Zapata-Spraggett, Dortmund 1984. On the 18th move White deviated from that game. Two moves later the draw was agreed in, possibly, a bit better for Black position. 0.5 - 0.5


Shirov - Harikrishna

The "Morozevich Variation" in the Slav Defence. Strangely, it seems that Harikrishna is not familiar with the game Johannessen-Shirov, Bundesliga 2004 where White was better after 18.Nb5 (also played by Shirov) 18...cxb5 19.axb5 Nc5 20.Qe3 Ng4 21.Qc3 Qe5 22.Qf3 Qe4 23.Qxe4 Nxe4 24.Bxe4. After 21.Qc3 Harikrishna returned the extra knight in a different way: 21...Ne4 22.Bxe4 Qxc3 23.bxc3. White won rather easily. 1 - 0


Karjakin - Ponomariov

A theoretically important game in the "Topalov's Variation" of the English Attack. (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.g4 h6 9.Qd2 b4 10.Na4 Nbd7 11.0-0-0 Ne5). After 25 moves, Black's position was already somewhat better. Possibly, 26...g6 was a bit inaccurate. Instead of 28.Qf4, White could have forced a draw by 28.Bd4!? Qa5 29.Qh8 Qxa2+ 30.Kc1 Rc8 31.Rd2 Qxb3 32.Bg7 =. On the 31st move Black sacrificed an exchange for the pawn, what led to a non-standard acute ending. Possibly, White should better have avoided the continuation 34.Nd6+ Ke7 35.Nxf7 Bf6!. After that, Karjakin's position became difficult. 0 - 1