Three draws in Bazna

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
King's TournamentAll games in the third round of the Kings Tournament in Bazna ended in a draw and so Shirov, Ivanchuk and Gelfand kept their shared lead. Only Radjabov had serious winning chances, in his game against Shirov.

The 3rd Kings Tournament, a six-player round-robin with Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Gelfand, Kamsky and Nisipeaniu, takes place June 14-25 in Bazna, Romania.

Round 3

The third round started with a remarkably short game between Nisipeanu and Kamsky, who started repeating moves already at move 11. After two unfortunate games the Romanian wasn't in the mood for new creativity, and after the game he said “I needed to stop it and want to start the tournament anew tomorrow."

White went for the theoretically harmless 4.c3 line in the Giuoco Piano and where 10...Nce7 used to be the main move in the position, Kamsky's 10...Na5 actually got an exclamation mark in Nunn's Chess Openings from 1999 (which has the delightful "computer-checked for accuracy" on the back cover). It also gives the option 12.Bb5 to avoid the repetition, but 12...Bd7 13.0-0 0-0 is just dead equal.

King's Tournament

In this respect it's important to mention that also in Bazna there are some regulations against short draws:

No draw agreement by the players are allowed before move 30. Any such draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter in the following cases:

  • a triple-repetition of the position;
  • a perpetual check;
  • in theoretically drawn position.

And so Nisipeanu-Kamsky was another game which questions the use of such regulations, since players will always find a way to draw quickly if they want to.

Ivanchuk tried hard to get something with White against Gelfand's Petroff by pushing both his a- and h-pawns but Black held is own relatively easy. In fact if anyone is better in the final position it's Black.

King's Tournament

Shirov's new move 16...Nd7 doesn't appear to be equalizing. After the game he said he "considered it to be the only way for Black to fight", as 16...Nc6 leads after 17.Nxc6 bxc6 to a "strategically lost position for Black". In the game Black gave up his fianchetto bishop to create an isolated queen's pawn in the white camp but with 20.a4! Radjabov proved that he was still on top.

However, after some very strong moves the grandmaster from Azerbaijan had to make a difficult choice at move 25, and 25.e7 Rfe8 26.Rxb7 was probably stronger there - in fact close to winning. Another strong alternative was 30.Rb2 when according to GM Rogozenco 31...Nb1+ seems best, "although after 32.Kd3 Rd7+ 33.Ke3 Black is on verge of losing, since in opposite to the game the knight is worse place on b1 than on a2."

King's Tournament

Hopefully Nisipeanu gathered some new energy as his White game against Shirov today could be a nice clash between two fantastic players!

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