Valery Popov Valery Popov,
International Grandmaster

FIDE World Chess Championship,
India, 29 November.

The super-match between Champions of Russia goes on! Sergey Volkov managed to recover with white color and now the rivals will cross swords in the active chess... In favourite Volkov's variation in Nimco defence with 4.f3 (E25) Sakaev chose not the most popular retreat of the f6-Knight -
9...Nf6 (more often the Knight retreats on Е7 and Я7) and first went away from theoretical ways by
11...Nfd7!? A move prepared at home, but it makes no an impression because Black don't try to use an advantage in development and close the exit to the c8-Bishop. Why he gave away the pawn in this case, besides White has also the advantage of the 2 Bishops... A strange variation has chose Sakaev, if he wanted to make a draw with black - the only game after 11.Kf2 - is Volkov-Tunik, St.-Petersburg 1999 (1-0)...
Sergey regularly takes the pawn in this variation, exclaiming - "Here, again they gave away the pawn..." Konstantin has not a sufficient experience in this variation - the further course of the game confirms it. Have not been confused of the Sakaev's home preparation Volkov gives back the pawn and offer to eat a one more pawn - all this Sakaev hardly could foresee at home...
After exchange of the Bishops on a6 - the key moment of the game: Sergey was not afraid of phantoms and he binds black pieces with an energical
19.Qd6 - it's clear that White takes initiative. And... follows an inexplicable Konstantin's error
19...Nb6?? - now it is obvious in which Volkov is stronger - nerves,nerves... Desiring no to lead a passive defence after 19...Qc8 Sakaev miscounts, blinding after a natural capture on c6 the next White's move
21.Rbd1 - and it seems that this is the end...
White retains a pawn and straighten out the structure after
24.Qb4! - the further endgame is completely hopeless - a mercurial c-pawn inevitably breaks into the Queen... A marvelously conducted game now by Volkov and a frankly weak play by Sakaev. In the active chess Volkov has better chances.
In the games with the Russians participation Tregubov-Rustamov and Gulko-Bezgodov it was not a fight... Gulko, seems has not simply found a variation for victory in Bezgodov's favourite Tarrash defence of Queen's gambit (this why an incomprehensible E06) - a quick draw. The same result in the game of two Russians. After a calm
8.Be2 in the variation with Bf4 of Queen's gambit (D37) - Rustemov employs a new move
10...Nbd7!?, letting a choice to Pavel - 11.Qe2 b5 (what else?) leads to a well-known position, which arise after 10...b5 11.Bd3 Bb7 12.Qe2... Or by way of 12.Ne4!? to try to capture initiative (what was happened) - but this is the last active move in the game.
Rustemov giving to White the 2 Bishops confidently takes one of them after a tipical (but making no weaker from this!) 15...f6! and 16...Na4! In the result Black could stand only better - therefore an instant fixation of a draw by White after trading the Queens.
The game Galkin-Wohl once more compels to doubt in the right way of the recruitment of the World Championship... After 20 moves Wohl could resign easly. Russian condacted the game with ease, employed an interesting novelty
7.Nb5!?, have not tried to make a draw from an advantage-ground but launched an attack by himself - the Australian simply crumbled. As an only way to continue the fight the computer shows 16...Ncb4 - in the game Black gave away a pawn and a piece after 2 moves. I wish a successful firther appearance to the young Russian!
The game Grischuk-Lima rather unexpectedly also ended quickly - a draw in 20 moves in the opening 1.e4 b6 could not to no astonish! But the matter probably not in the peaceable disposition of Grischuk - he was not marked in this, but in his desire to wish "deeper" :) Otherwise
7.a3 could not be commented... A novelty, which follows the aim - after the realization d7-d5 by Black - to get a position similar in spirit to Grischuk's favourite variation in French defence 1.e4 e6.2.d4 d5.3.e5 c5.4.c3 Nc6.5.Nf3 Qb6.6.a3 (C02). But "let well alone" - one could try to use a backwardness in development somehow simpler... The further "supersly" play of both sides (7...c4!?, 10.Nf1!?, 10...Na5!?,12...a6!?) leaded to an unclear position, where Grischuk took once more a decision to not take a risk... In rapid chess and there more in blitz the chances completely has the ICC's star Grischuk.
Till 10 move the game Utnasunov-Chernin repeated the beginning of the game Volkov-Sakaev. But further the experienced Chernin acted more confident than Sakaev and with an extra exchange for a pawn confidently fixed a desired draw (a second fight in 150 moves scarcely charmed Chernin). Rather not bad performance of the young Russian participant on the World Championship. Looking on his tournaments appearances it seems that in Kalmykia grows a prospective chess player. In the final position again a mistake of the transmission - instead of a natural move 35.Nd5 - once more the King's move!?? on f4 ... Remind again - buy the electronic boards of Shahcom Company!!!

Main page Shahcom Company, © 2000