Ivanchuk close to victory

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Even with just fifteen seconds for three moves, Ivanchuk managed to hold his rival Topalov to a draw today, virtually securing tournament victory.

In a Semi-Slav, Ivanchuk avoided a sharp theoretical battle with 6.Bxf6 and 8.Rc1. A wise decision in this tournament situation, and actually White was slightly better for a long time. But Ivanchuk got into severe timetrouble and people feared for his life, but with just half a minute left on the clock he responded very well to Topalov's aggressive Ne5-g4xf2. After the timecontrol he found a more or less forced way to draw the game, and who wouldn't go for that with plus five already in the bag?

Before all this, Radjabov had won his game against Bu. In a Chebanenko Slav, 11.a3 was new. Bu got into another slightly passive position, as has happened to him almost throughout the tournament. White's 24.Rf7!? was spectacular with one of the ideas being 25...Rg8 (instead of 25...exf6) 26.h3! Be2 27.Rxe7 Qc8 28.Bxg7+ Rxg7 29.Qf6 Qg8 30.Rd7+-. Bu decided to go for R&B against Q immediately and 27...a4!? was an interesting try for a fortress (27...Bf8 28.f7 Rc8 29.Qf6+ Bg7 30.Qd6+-) but after a nice march of the White king, Black couldn't prevent more material damage.

Erwin l'Ami apparently spent the night with a few cups of coffee and the Anti-Marshall Variation on the analysis board (or, more probably, laptop screen). Because this was Cheparinov's choice against Aronian, with the old move 8.a4. The players followed Anand-Grischuk, WCh (Mexico City) 2008 and especially Carlsen-Adams, Wch (blitz) 2007 and with 18...c4!? and 19...Bc5 Aronian seemed to have done his homework time and again. Still, a few moves later it wasn't clear whether Black had enough for the pawn, but his position remained very solid until the end and so White's extra pawn wasn't worth that much.


Pairings round 8:

Topalov, V - Cheparinov, I Aronian, L - Radjabov, T Xiangzhi, Bu - Ivanchuk, V

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