Svidler in sole lead in Moscow

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Peter SvidlerAfter he won his third game in a row yesterday, Peter Svidler wasn't too upset today when Alexander Lastin went for the famous Ruy Lopez Zaitsev move repetition. Going into the first rest day, Svidler leads the Russian Ch Superfinal with 3.5/4.

At Moscow's Central Chess Club the Russian Championship Superfinal takes place from October 3 to 15. Play starts daily at 15:00 hours Moscow time, which is 13:00 CET and 07:00 EST.

After beating Inarkiev with White and then Morozevich with Black, Svidler turned his good start at the Superfinal into a great start: yesterday he also beat Riazantsev. In doing so he took sole lead, since Lastin drew against Sakaev, and after all of today's games ended in a draw, Svidler kept his lead going into the first rest day tomorrow.
Round 3 results Svidler - Riazantsev 1-0 Jakovenko - Alekseev 1-0 Timofeev - Inarkiev 1-0 Vitiugov - Morozevich 1/2 Sakaev - Lastin 1/2 Maslak - Tomashevsky 1/2
Round 4 results Lastin - Svidler 1/2 Inarkiev - Jakovenko 1/2 Riazantsev - Vitiugov 1/2 Morozevich - Timofeev 1/2 Tomashevsky - Alekseev 1/2 Maslak - Sakaev 1/2


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In the third round, Svidler reacted well to Riazantsev's new idea 13...Rab8 and especially 19.a3! was a very precise move (there 19...Nxc2? fails to 20.Qd3). After a forced series of moves including the great 25.Kd4!! White ended up with a knight and two rooks against a queen and after Black missed a way to complicate matters (30...f6! 31.exf6 e5! as given by Maxim Notkin in Chess Today) White's advantage soon became decisive.

Jakovenko managed to tear down Alekseev's Berlin Wall slowly but surely and especially the pawn ending was very instructive for those who haven't seen the Zugzwang idea in the final position yet. Not showing any mercy, Timofeev was responsible for Inarkiev's third loss. The rest of the games ended in a draw and especially for Morozevich that might have been somewhat disappointing as he had reached a promising ending from, again, a Gr?ɬºnfeld with Black.

Today apparently almost all of the players were longing for the rest day of tomorrow, and so in five of the six games the "fight" ended relatively quickly in a move repetition - the easiest way to avoid the Sofia Rule.

Not joining this peacefulness, Riazantsev almost defeated Vitiugov, but after missing several wins in the queen ending, he had to settle for the half point as well. In a highly theoretical Anti-Moscow Gambit, 16...Nxe4 was a novelty where Rybka actually prefers the known move 16...c3 as played in Grischuk-Gelfand, Odessa (rapid) 2007. And indeed White got a big advantage but after several accurate moves, Black was still holding on.

However, he probably should have gone for 31...Qc7 because after 32.Qa8+ Ke7 33.Rb1 Black can take on c4 and after exchanging the rooks and winning a7 with check, the resulting queen ending is still very difficult to win for White. In the game White must have been winning at several points but Vitiugov miraculously escaped - the Q+2 vs Q is already a theoretical draw!

Here are the games of rounds 3 and 4:




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