GM Mikhail Golubev annotates games
Harikrishna – Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk opted for the same line of the Petroff Defence, which he used against Leko in Monaco-2006. White deviated from Leko-Ivanchuk on the 12th move. After 12.Be3 Nac5! (introduced in Smirnov-Motylev, Sochi 2004) Black equalized easily. 0,5-0,5.
Grischuk - Areshchenko
A topical line of the Najdorf with 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3. Instead of the more popular 14.Nd5 Grischuk played 14.f4!?, and on the 18th move he made a new move 18.Bd3! (instead of 18.Bg2, Bogner-Areshchenko, Aarhus 2005). Later, White sacrificed a pawn by 19.Nd5 and developed a dangerous initiative. Areshchenko spent a lot of time for the unobvious move 21…Rсe8. After that White preferred to regain a pawn, sterilizing the position. 0,5-0,5.
Mamedyarov – Shirov
Anti-Meran. Shirov is fighting for equality, but plays faster than his opponent. On the 18th move White deviated from the game Georgiev-Shirov, Gibraltar 2005 and played 18.Qb1. On the 19th move Shirov sacrificed a pawn (still, the extra pawn which White got was doubled and had not so much importance), and on the 23rd move Shirov offered to White another pawn. After 24.Qxh6 Rc6 25.Qe3 Re6 Black would be absolutely OK. So, Mamedyarov did not take on h6. After that, the game ended in a draw quickly. 0,5-0,5
Karjakin – Rublevsky
Two of the first round losers are facing each other. The first 17.5 moves were made with an incredible speed. Rublevsky’s opening repertoire is narrow, but he is ready to defend his pet lines (in this case – the Sicilian Taimanov) till the end. Karjakin made a new move 13.Qg4 and developed pressure on the Black centre. Still, Rublevsky has found an interesting resource 19…Qb8 20.Kh1 Bb4!?. After that 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Bxh7+ Kxh7 23.Qh5+ Kg7 24.Re3 would not work because of 24…e4 25.Rg3+ Qxg3 26.fxg3 Rh8 27.Qe2 Rxh2+ 28.Kxh2 Rh8+ 29.Kg1 Bc5+ 30.Kf1 Rh1#. In the game, the queens were exchanged quickly, and opponents agreed for a draw in an equal endgame. 0,5-0,5
Ponomariov – Bologan
Ponomariov began the game against his former assistant with 1.d4. The King’s Indian with 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4, what is often called The Bayonet Attack. After the prophylactic retreat 13…Ra8 White thought for a while, and sacrificed the pawn by 14.c5. White obtained a terrific positional compensation for the pawn, only luck could help Bologan to save a game. And the miracle happened. Ponomariov exchanged too many pieces and pawns - and did not manage to convert a huge positional advantage into a full point. After the game Bologan opined that he could avoid all troubles by playing 22…Nh5 (instead of 22…Nh3+). 0,5-0,5
Nisipeanu – Volokitin
The Sicilian Alapin with 2.c3. The line with 8.Bb5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 is not considered to be dangerous for Black. Still, it is somewhat poisonous. Nisipeanu spent a lot of time for his 14th move (14.Re1) . After that he gradually got a promising position. After the dubious 24...Qf8 White, as it seems, missed the possibility to get a clear advantage by 25.b4! (instead of the slow 25.h3) 25...axb4 26.Bxb4 Nxb4 27.Qb3. The game has ended in a draw by repetition of moves on the 33rd move. 0,5-0,5