M-Tel R3: all games drawn

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Round 3 in SofiaThe third round in Sofia saw a draw as the result in all three games. Of the six players Topalov must have been most disappointed, as he was very close to a win with White against Dominguez.

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 3

Ivanchuk scored his first half point with Black and quite comfortably, as Carlsen was a bit indecisive today. It seemed that he couldn't find a clear plan in the early middlegame and eventuallly found nothing better than to go for a rook ending that was just slightly better for White, but easy to draw even for an Ivanchuk in bad shape.

Wang Yue-Shirov was a strange game where White started with the new plan of moving the h-pawn (where you'd normally consider it before having castled kingside), followed by an original rook manoeuver on Black's part. At the first possible moment Shirov decided to go for an ending that was about equal.

The best game of the round was clearly Topalov-Dominguez. We haven't seen Topalov playing the White side of a Najdorf too often in recent years (when you search for the position after 5...a6 in 2007-2009, in 19 of the 22 games he was Black!) and perhaps he should do it more often. He outplayed Dominguez right out of the opening and got a huge advantage, that might well have been winning on move 41. White kept some advantage but with the clock ticking he decided to go for safety first.

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spectators

Quite a number of spectators following the games outside...



spectators

...but also watching a reflection of themselves



spectators

Ivanchuk getting rid of that nasty 0 in the standings...



spectators

...and explaining the game with his well-known hand-gestures



spectators

And as the media gather...



spectators

...Dominguez proves a tough nut to crack...



spectators

...for local hero Topalov



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