Second round Aeroflot

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After two rounds of the Aeroflot open you can start to see the familiar tournament pattern. Players and coaches walk around shaking hands and greeting each other after not seeing each for whatever period of time. Here in Moscow it is one of the only times where you will have so many strong players together from so many different generations. They meet for coffee and drinks in the late evenings, other groups go off to have dinner in one of the many restaurants in the hotel complex.

It would be interesting to see how many foreign players never leave the hotel during the event. I believe the answer might surprise many people. Why not do more sightseeing? Apart from the language and weather barriers everyone has to begin preparing in the morning till the games begin at 15.00 hrs. With some games finishing after 21.00 hrs then the thought of braving Moscow at night does not seem to be popular! Thankfully many Russian speaking players help the foreigners with many practical things. It's not every day that you have Georgian star GM Badur Jobava come over and help you read the restaurant menu and then make suggestions! Many thanks again to this amicable young man!

Many experienced players now have become coaches and you can see people like Psahkis, Kengis, Kuzman, Tukmakov and Yuri Dokhoian walking around. Who is Garry Kasparov's old trainer coaching these days? The answer seems to be the talented Kosintseva sisters. The number of strong female players who are coming through the ranks these days is thankfully on the increase. Baby faced Hou Yifan is still only 12 we believe and with a rating of 2509 is certainly the next female player to seriously take on the men! After defeating GM Sutovsky in round 2 she now has to meet Russian champion Dmitry Jakovenko in round 3. She is probably the first female player who can take a serious look at the records of Judit Polgar and give them a real shake! I watched her before the beginning of the tournament asking permission from Chief Arbiter Geurt Gijssen to change tournaments from A2 to A1 (the cut-off being 2550). I am sure many players in the top section had wished he had said no!

Chess seems to be a young men's game these days but there are still some hardened warriors out there. Artur Yusupov still plays the same openings from his heydays and he still looks like he gives a hundred percent every game! Alexander Khalifman has the look of a university professor these days wishing to test the knowledge and skill of this so called younger generation.

It is impossible to pick a possible winner from all these players, one finds it even hard to come up with a short list. It would be interesting to make some predictions: would top seeds like Sasikiran and Akopian who are rating favorites be your choice? Or is it the Russian champion Jakovenko or the experienced Moldovoan GM Bologan your choice?

Akopian-Hou-Yifan-Twins

Babyfaced killer!

Concentration!

El Khalif, looking more "Yusupov" every day!

Ganguly

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Tournament Hall

Tournament Hall 2

Young stars Volokitin-Kuzebov

Yusupov



Jerrel too had a look at a game from round 2 for us:

In my previous article I was a little disappointed by Akopian's quick draw in the first round. Apparently we have been dealing here with higher powers as my wish came true, and already in the second round. Akopian really played a marvellous game against Eltaj Safarli. The IM from Azerbaijan wasn't prepared well in a Grunfeld Defence. If he had used the databases, he would have seen how Akopian crushed IM Leonid Shmuter 14 years ago!

"^Reports^^^1171666259^1314786230^manuel "Daily puzzle 021707"^"Daily puzzle 021707 How does White continue? The solution will be published tomorrow.

Yesterday's solution: Daily puzzle 021607 36.Ra3!! Nxd3 (36?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Rxa3 37.Qxc5 +-) 37.Qh4! 1-0, Bologan-Smirnov, Moskou 2003. Have fun with our daily puzzles!
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