M-Tel R2: Ivanchuk loses again

PeterDoggers
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Round 2 in SofiaIt might be too early to say that Vassily Ivanchuk won't retain his M-Tel title this year, but thus far he lacks the form to be called a favourite. Today he lost again, missing a, it must be said, beautiful pawn sacrifice by Wang Yue in a pawn ending. Shirov-Topalov and Dominguez-Carlsen ended in a draw and especially the latter shouldn't be missed.

The 5th M-Tel Masters takes place May 12th to 23rd in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's a six-player double round-robin with Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves per player and 60 minutes per player till the end of the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so draw offers can be made only through the chief arbiter in the case of a threefold repetition, perpetual check or a theoretically draw position.

Round 2

Luckily the live broadcast of the second round worked fine, so everyone could follow the games during the day. Especially for the fans from Norway and Cuba it wasn't a bad day, because Dominguez-Carlsen was a truly great game. Dominguez, who we suddenly find in many super tournaments this year together with Wang Yue, is certainly a force to reckon with after his excellent Corus tournament. (In Linares he finished last, but still performed close to his rating.) The Cuban always goes for the absolute main lines and this time he picked the topical 6.h3 against Carlsen's Najdorf. Black made it a Dragon by answering 6...g6 and, well, there rest is below to enjoy!

Shirov couldn't prove an advantage against Topalov's new love in the Ruy Lopez (Bc5) and got a slightly inferior position, but then played the rest of the afternoon solidly and eventually shared the point. Poor Ivanchuk also lost his second White game despite Wang Yue's opening choice: the Petroff. In an ending that was equal if not slightly better for White, Ivanchuk missed a beautiful idea for Black that lured his king in a cage on the kingside, ultimately leading to stalemate and forcing White to push his c-pawn. Instead, the Ukrainian resigned of course.

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Wang Yue joins the leaders with a study-like win...



Ivanchuk

...against Ivanchuk, now on 0/2



Topalov

Topalov got far with Black, but not far enough...



Shirov

...as Shirov didn't falter



Dominguez

Dominguez happily entered the complications...



Carlsen

...against Carlsen, who again relied on sharp calculation



Kass

Super model Carmen Kass, apparently still in Sofia, following the round with interest



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