Again three draws in Bazna

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
King's TournamentFor the fourth time in the Kings Tournament all games ended in a draw today and so Vassily Ivanchuk secured at least shared tournament victory in Bazna with one more round to go.

The 3rd Kings Tournament, a six-player round-robin with Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Gelfand, Kamsky and Nisipeaniu, takes place June 14-25 in Bazna, Romania.

Round 9

Vassily Ivanchuk can't escape tournament victory anymore in Bazna after again all games ended in a draw. In fact, both rounds 3 and 4 had ended in a draw, and its "mirror" rounds 8 and 9 saw the same results! Only if Ivanchuk loses to Radjabov and Gelfand beats Kamsky, the Israeli can catch up with the Ukrainian.

In his game against Kamsky, Ivanchuk always had a slighty advantage but the position was very static. In time trouble the Ukrainian decided to exchange queens and after the time control only two pawn breaks were left, on the a- and h-files. Kamsky then found a strong regrouping of his pieces where the bishop could to the job on the kingside alone, defending the h-pawn, while the rest of the troups kept guard on the queenside. Instructive!

Gelfand-Shirov was a quiet game with a symmetrical pawn structure and the bishop pair as White's only asset. At move 27 Shirov went for a strategy that's know as the "Nijenhuis approach" in Amsterdam clubs: get rid of your weak pawn as then the opponent will soon be lacking a plan! Of course it was more like going for active instead of passive defense this time, which should have been enough to draw.

However, in the opposite-coloured bishops endgame Shirov allowed his opponent to activate the king and at some point Gelfand had a win, and quite a nice one. It would have been a nice birthday present for the Israeli, who turned 41 yesterday. After the game he said: “It’s a pity, of course, that I missed a forced win, especially because I saw the idea. But in principle, the game was drawn all the time and I got this chance only due to his inaccurate play in the end”.

Nisipeanu-Radjabov was a Sicilian Dragon where White went for the 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5!? line which was invented by Leonid Milov in 1993 and became quite popular after the publication of Nunn & Gallagher's Beating the Sicilian 3. Nisipeanu came up with an interesting novelty at move 20 and seemed to have Radjabov on the ropes, but the Azerbaijani defended accurately till the end.

For everyone who has been following the games live: today the last round starts two hours earlier!

Games round 9

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