Comments by Sergey Zagrebelny. Round 7

The report of the most brilliant games of the seventh round is proposed to the attention of the readers by GM Sergey Zagrebelny.

Ivanchuk, Vassily (2754 Ukraine) – Jobava, Baadur (2710 Georgia)


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6 4.a3. A novelty on the 4th move!Recently White played 4.a4, for example, Nepomniachtchi used this move against Ivanchuk in Havana 2010. 4...e5 5.exd5 Nf6  6.dxe5 Bc5

7.exf6 Bf2+ 8.Ke2 0–0. A weird picture – White general is in front of his army. 9.Qd2. Vacating a room for a king. 9…Re8+?! An inaccuracy. Black should have played 9...Bxg1 and then, for instance, 10.Kd1 Bd4 11.fxg7 Bxg7. 10.Kd1 Re1+?! 10...Bxg1 is better. 11.Qxe1 Bxe1 12.Kxe1

Black gave up too much material for the queen, and it would be difficult for him to develop the initiative. 12...Bf5 13.Be2 Nd7 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Bd1. It looks like Fischer random! 15…Re8+ 16.Ne2 Nxf6 17.Nbc3 Bc8 18.a4! Opening the door for a rook. 18…a5 19.Rf1 Ba6 20.Rf2 h5 21.Ra3 h4 22.g3 h3 23.g4 Rd8 24.Nf4 Nd7 25.Rb3 Qd4 26.Nfe2 Re8 27.Ne4 Qxa4 28.Bd2 Qa1?! The queen enters the wolf lair. 29.Bc3 Ne5

30.Ra3 Qb1 31.Nd2 Qc1 32.Rxa5 Ng6 33.Rxa6 Nf4 34.Ra8! Black resigns.

Karjakin, Sergey (2747 Russia 1) – Tomashevsky, Evgeny (2701 Russia 2)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.a4  Bf8

An old-fashioned Breyer Variation. 14.Bd3 c6 15.b3 Qc7 16.Bb2 Rac8 17...cxb5 18.c4 exd4 19.cxb5 Nc5 20.Bf1 axb5 21.Bxb5 Re7 22.Nxd4 Nfxe4 23.Nxe4 Rxe4 24.b4 

24...Qb6? An unlucky decision – after the simple 24...Rxe1+ 25.Qxe1 Ne4 or 24...Ne6 the position remains approximately even. 25.bxc5 dxc5. After 25...Rxe1+ 26.Qxe1 dxc5 27.Nf5 Qxb5 28.Nh6+! gxh6 29.Qe5 f6 30.Qe6+ White wins. 26.Rxe4 Bxe4 27.Qg4! Qb7 28.Nf5. Karjakin misses a spectacular win: 28.Ne6! fxe6 29.Qxe6+ Kh8 30.Bc4! Bd6 31.Ra7! 28...Bxf5. On 28...g6 White wins by  29.Ra7! Qxb5 (29...Qxa7 30.Qxe4) 30.Nh6+ Bxh6 31.Qxc8+ Bf8 32.Be5. 29.Qxf5 Qxb5

30.Bxg7 Rb8 Or 30...Re8 31.Bf6 h6 32.Ra3 Re1+ 33.Kh2 Bd6+ 34.f4+-. 31.Bc3 Qb6 32.Qg5+ Qg6 33.Qe5 1–0

Guseinov, Gadir (2611 Azerbaijan) – Pashikian, Arman (2639 Armenia)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.dxe5 Nxb5 7.a4 Nbd4 8.Nxd4 d5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Nd2 Be7 11.Nb3 c5 12.Na5 Qd7

13.f4 f5 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Re1+ Kf7 16.Be3 d4 17.Qf3 c6 18.Bf2 Qd5 19.Nxc6 Qxf3 20.gxf3.

Black’s position looks safe, but suddenly his monarch decides to commit suicide. 20...Kg6?! After20...Re8 21.Rxe8 Kxe8 22.Re1+ Kd7 23.Ne5+ Kc7 or even 23...Ke6!? the position is about even.  21.Ne5+ Kf5 22.c3 dxc3 23.bxc3 Kxf4 24.Rad1 Bxe5?! Black could still play 24...Rd8 25.Rxd8 Bxd8 26.Bxc5 Bb7 27.Kg2 Bf6 28.Bd4 Rc8. 25.Bg3+ Kxf3 26.Rxe5

26...Ba6? A terrible blunder. Black retained drawing chances by 26...Kg4! 27.Rxc5 g5.  27.Rde1 Rhf8 28.R5e4! Black resigns.

Corrales, Fidel (2599 Cuba) – Stellwagen, Daniel (2635 Netherlands)

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Be7 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15.Qe2 Qd5

16.c4 Qe4 17.Qf1. White has a safer option – he can transpose to an ending like in Anand-Leko, Nice 2008: 17.Qxe4 Nxe4 18.Be3 f5 19.Kc2 f4 20.Kd3 fxe3 21.Kxe4 exf2 22.Rdf1 Rf8 23.Rxf2 etc. 17...0–0 18.Re1 Qh7 19.Qe2 Rad8 A novelty. Earlier Black played b7-b5 at once.  20.Bc3 Rfe8 21.Rh3.

21...b5! That’sthe time! Otherwise the game will be one-sided.22.Ne5 bxc4 23.Rf3 Nd5! 24.Nxf7? White maintained the balance by 24.Qc2, or he could try the desperate 24.Rxf7 Bg5+ 25.Bd2 Nb4 26.Qe4 (26.Bxg5? Nxa2+ 27.Kd2 Rxd4+) 26...Qxe4 27.Rxe4 Nd3+ 28.Nxd3 Kxf7 29.Bxg5 hxg5 30.Ne5+. 24...Nxc3 25.bxc3 Rb8 26.Qe4 Ba3+ 27.Kd2 Rb2+ 28.Ke3 Re2+!!

Amazing move! White resigns.