FIDE World Chess Championship,
India, 28 November.
In the first round 8 pairs with Russians - at that 2 from these pairs
First - the game between "heavyweight" - two Champions of Russia
(Sakaev 1999)(Volkov 2000) plays between each other. The development
of the struggle on the board creates a strange impression...
Sergey Volkov playing with black usually tries to get a solid tough
position - but after
11...g5 - this is impossible! Sakaev also still plays unusually -
he refused to take the pawn and plays emphasized firmly, since
the position this allows :) Black have to correct the difficultes
which have appeared from the hyperactive opening...
The second from Russian pairs also develops under a not forecast
scenario... Rustemov playing with white against Tregubov till a
moment followed to an aim - reliable play - hoping to his ICC
experience - in active and blitz games he would have look not
worse than the Europian Champion, but... in the Volzhsky gambit
Rustemov quickly trades the queens and allows a very strong
counterplay for Black after
18...f5! and give back the pawn. Black has the pawn center and
stands evidently better. Looking for a draw Rustemov gives away
a piece on e5... The estimation is clear - Black has the upper hand.
In the others 3 pairs Russians looks as obvious favourites:
Wohl-Galkin - it is clear that the desire of the former Ukrainian,
who now presents the sunny Australia, to appear suitably in the
tournament (and only). This why playing with white he "dries"
the game as he can. On the board stays the exchange variation
of Grunfeld with g3. The comments are unnecessary...
Lima-Grischuk. These rivals have met at the Olympiad. Grischuk
won very confidently! Here Lima has chose the aggressive
strategy - taking into account that the castles were made in the
different sides. But it looks like after
15...Ng6 Black captures the black squares on the kingside and
stands not bad...
Malakhov-Kveinys. In this pair the superiority of the young
Russian one can see with the naked eye...
As usually outplaying the opening without fanfare Vladimir (Malakhov)
to the second decade of moves has captured the initiative and
pressed his rival on the last ranks. I am confident in victory
of talented Malakhov.
An obvious outsider in the Russian team Utnasunov (who confidently
won true in the last round of Cup of Russia against Grischuk!)
withstands to highly experienced Chernin. It is not easy will
be to representative of Kalmykia... In chosed opening - Meran -
the denouement could follow instantly.
The expert of Kasparovchess Bezgodov opposites to Gulko -
here chanses are certainly on the side of super experienced
American. Bezgodov do not get involves in a theoretical dispute -
it was outplayed a calm variation of Sicilian with 3.Bb5 -
Maroci without whitecolored Bishops - I will risk to presume
that the game will finish with a quick draw...
And the last pair - but one of the interesting (with White
plays the second of Garry Kasparov - Kharlov). Hansen -
solid and not simple chessplayer withstands to him...
Here all depends of how will play Andrew (Kharlov) - he is
very not predicted with his huge internal power...
Has he recovered after the supermatch Kasparov-Kramnik?
Black has an isolated pawn on d5 but his pieces are good
mobilized - an approximate equality.
In games of Bezgodov,Galkin and Tregubov Black easly has
obtained an equality and a draw desired in the knock-out
system. But Tregubov quite was able to struggle for
victory but couldn't realize an extra piece. Later I will
try to give a more clear estimation of the position,
arised after the sacrifice of the e5-Knight.
In the game of such fighters as Sakaev and Volkov the
resulte (a draw) arouse the questions yet...
There more it is incomprehensible the result (a draw?) in
the pair Chernin-Utnasunov - a draw after 14 moves (the
GM plays white!)
It has appeared more 3 official results - it seems that
all the games by Russians finished...
According to the protocol the only Russian who has won is
Malakhov - but the final position is drawen...
The position of Kharlov in which as if was fixed a draw -
is a winning one... A complete confusion!
One can be confident only in the result of the game of
Grischuk. Our young chess player has had an extra-pawn
but rather "in time" has offered a draw in a rather
dangerous position - this is a sign of a mastery :)
The 15-hour delay in Moscow before the flight to India
reflected rather strong on the playing manner of Russian
participants. The most of them tryed to to rule the game
with a rod of iron - this why naturally such an abundance
of draws in the first round...
The fast draws in games Bezgodov-Gulko and Whol-Galkin
quite could be explained and don't need comments.
It is hard to gain the advantage for White in an inoffensive
variation of Sicilian with 3.Bb5(B52) - and also Bezgodov
is confident in his black repertoire :) - sure! : Tarrash
Galkin practically always is agree for a draw by black -
there more in a "dull" Grunfeld defence (which have arised
from English opening A11) with g3.
An agreement to draw (this still was not confirmed officially)
in a final position Chernin-Utanasunov obviously premature...
In Meran variation of Slav defence with Qc2 (D46) the Queen's
station on e7 is often rather unhappy - he gets under possible
swoops of the Knight from f5 and g6 - just so was happend!
After suspicious 11...Qe7 Black has got into a predicament after
14.Nd4 - and after 14...g6 aggravated it yet more. This position
has met only in the game Browne-Hergott ,Linares 1992 (1-0) - and
it's necessary to note that in the variation with 11...Qe7 the
statistics for Black is very deplorable. White can develop the
initiative by way of 13.Bg5 (as it was played in source) with a
threat of 14.f4. Perhaps also is possible an instance "computer's"
13.f4 - the piece is winning - and one can't see a full
compensation in no one possible variations... And in such a
position the agreement on a draw - maybe only a simple stopping
the translation? The Russians affairs in this case here are not
But in the battle of "giants" Sakaev - Volkov came into the world
a Novelty! 11...g5?!! - so has played nobody in this position -
it were played a lot of games with this variation...
Black plays Volzhsky gambit or somethings like it changing the
queenside on the kingside! But it is well known that the openings
like King Indian on the queenside (i.e. with 0-0-0) are very
suspicious - and what one can wait from a gambit!
Sakaev has refused the sacrifice and fixed the pawn on g5 by
way of 14.Nf2 and 15.h3 - the position remained noticeably
more pleasant for White. Black were forced to lose the time
on 14...Rg8. After 17.0-0-0 followed the Knights exchanges
on e4 and e5, which opened the not castled Black's King.
After 21.de White has better development, better the standing of
the King, better the pawn structure... On 21...Qc5 it is possible
22.Kb1 with a very strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn after
22...Qc5 23.Be2 ... It was followed an agreement(?) on a draw?
I will refrain from any further comments till the official
The translation was resumed - results in the games have changed:)-
Russians have the same +1, but with another apportionment: +3-2+3.
The result of the games the following: ELO-favourites have gained
3 victories (2 with white) - won Galkin vs Whol, Sakaev vs Volkov
and Chernin vs Utnasunov, 2 draws by favourites with black -
Tregubov vs Rustemov, Grischuk vs Lima. Still only Kharlov couldn't
confirm his status...
From the results it is clear - have not occured any great surprises-
the opening has determined the developing of games and they rather
logically ended. Unless Grischuk in one moment has "floated" and
standed very suspiciously and Kharlov has not realized an extra-pawn.
But this is not a surprise - the young chess player perhaps still
has not recovered after the Olympiad - Alexander altogether played
very much this year and Andrew certainly has spent a lot of energy
helping to ex-Champion.
I will continue to comment of games, the opening of which has been
considered. So: the main intrgue of the day - Sakaev-Volkov
After 20.de Black by 20...Bd7 and 21...0-0-0 attempted to cover
the King on the queenside, but after accurate 21.Qe3! he faced with
a hard question - either to give away e4-pawn (which would be not
bad choice - after 21...Kb8 Black at least is OK with the King in
case of capturing on e4) or
21...Bc6. After the next Sakaev's move 22.Rc1! it become clear -
the King will not go away.
And after the Queen's throw to a7 Black has not moves - impossible
23...Qa7 since knock out 24.Rc6!bc 25.Ba6
Sakaev in this position would not let out even the "Sheriff"...
After the doubling of white Rooks on the c-file Volkov could resign.
He has made this after the loss of the pawn and the exchange. It
is a hard defeat for Volkov, who has promulgated a super-novelty
11...g5 (perhaps nevertheless half-cooked...) and an usual thing
for the whitecolored Sakaev, who in an excelent style has punished
Black for a backwardness in the development and weakened pawn
structure. What it will be tomorrow ?
A planned draw in the game Wohl-Galkin has not happened...
Simply were met two chess players with a very different levels -
Wohl became entangled in his own pieces on the queenside
17.Nb5? (his Queen and the Knight something have not divided among
each other), he got into a terrible pressure from Black side and
after the doubling of black rooks on the c-file has got a "coffin"
position. White has gave away a piece in exchange for 2 pawns
by 29.Nd5, but Black has returned it back and passed to an endgame
with 2 Bishops against the Bishop and the Knight with an extra-pawn -
the further comments are needless.
Any quick draws in the games Bezgodov-Gulko and Chernin-Utnasunov
have not occured, but for very different reasons... The game of the
vice-Champion of Russia 1999 seemed is excessively delays - after
an exchange of the Bishops on d7 in the opening the rivals methodically
have exchanged the pieces and pawns - in the Maroci's structure
Black provided b7-b5 ( in the recent game between K-K Black has obtained
even better) - the game irrepressibly rolled to a draw... But may be
on the 31 move White could nevertheless to capture a6-pawn and escaping
with the King on g3 to retain this pawn. White certainly have not a
direct winning in the endgame with the cutted off King, but for Black
is also difficult to obtain a draw... In our days only a few could
refuse to play in such position! So... - an agreement to a draw after
2 moves. Possibly Bezgodov has belived to Gulko and decided to retain
the strength for the further fight.
Chernin perhaps has not thought to economize the strength after
such an opening which was outplayed by the young Kalmyk! On the
well-tried 15.Bg5 followed a novelty ( is it deserve to call moves
in such positions as a novelty?)
15...Rad8 (in the sourse was 15...Ned7) - very on the verge...
Black locate the Rook under the "X-ray" of the g5-Bishop, which could
not be drived away after the weakened pawn structure g7-g6 - true
defence from a direct threat f2-f4 - it will follow Bc5 and the spring
of black pieces straighten oneself up... But how to play further?!
Chernin tries to reply specifically 16.Nb3! - it is resumed a threat
f2-f4, the Knight could jump to a5.