Three draws in round 9 Bazna

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kings TournamentAll three games of round 9 in Bazna, Romania ended in draw. With one round to go, Carlsen leads the Kings Tournament with 6.5/9. Gelfand, who celebrated his 42nd birthday on Thursday, has a point less. Games commented by GM Dorian Rogozenco & videos.

The fourth Kings Tournament takes place in Medias, Romania from June 14 till 25. Against it's a 6-player, double round-robin, with two rest days. This year Carlsen, Gelfand, Nisipeanu, Ponomariov, Radjabov and Wang Yue play. The rate of play is 2 hours for the first 40 moves, one hour for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move.

The rounds start each day at 15.30 which is 14.30 CET and 08.30 EDT. They can run well into the evening, as we won't see ultra-short draws in this tournament - no draw agreement by the players are allowed before move 30, except for cases of a triple-repetition, a perpetual or a theoretically drawn position.

The event is organized by Romgaz and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade”. This year the tournament is officially part of the Grand Slam, substituting the cancelled MTel Masters. Venue is the brand new Romgaz Center in Medias (near Bazna), but the organizers are considering to move back to Hotel Complex Balnear Expro in Bazna, where everyone is staying.

ChessVibes will be at the tournament from start to finish, providing videos for the official website:


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Round 9

A bit more than an hour into the round, Radjabov and Wang Yue already finished their game. I was upstairs in my hotel room working on something else, and suddenly I saw the '1/2-1/2' on the live transmission board. I went downstairs with my camera, but the players were nowhere to be seen. There wasn't much to record anyway, since everything was theory, and analysed to a draw back in 2002.

Kings Tournament

More interesting were the other two games, but these two also ended in draws. Ponomariov-Gelfand had quite a disappointing finish, since there was still enough going on in the final position. The reason for this draw? Ponomariov was suddenly wondering what he was doing. He didn't like his last few moves at all, and thought that if he'd continue that way, he'd certainly lose. Then he saw Gelfand had just two minutes left on the clock, and it was a good moment for a draw offer.

Kings Tournament

Nisipeanu surprised Carlsen by playing the Jänisch Gambit of the Ruy Lopez. This variation has mainly been played at top level by Radjabov recently, and Carlsen said he knew those games, but that he was less comfortable when he saw 5...d5 played. Therefore he didn't go for the critical 9.Nxa7+, but the more solid 9.f4.

In his recent book The Ruy Lopez Revisited, Sokolov says about 16.Qf1 "this is considered to be White's best. A number of other moves have been tried - almost everything. Black has adequate counterplay and the tables can easily turn," and then 16.Nf7 Bxf7 17.Bxf7 Rhf8 (Timman-Speelman, London Candidates 1989), 16.Kb1, 16.a4, 16.Rdf1, 16.Bxe6+ and 16.g4 are mentioned. After 16.Rdf1 (instead of Carlsen's 16.Rhf1) Sokolov gives 16...Rhe8 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Nf7 (18.Rxf6 Bxe5 as in the game is only possible with a rook on d1 instead of h1) 18...Rd7 Lau-Schiffer, Bundesliga 1996/97.

Kings Tournament

Nisipeanu played very accurately, e.g. his 21...Qh6+ and 25...Kc7! were strong. When Dorian Rogozenco told him that it had all been played in correspondence games, Nisipeanu said he ought to update his correspondence database, but in fact his second Iordachescu admitted they had looked at it. After the game Carlsen and Nisipeanu analysed a possible pawn ending for about half an hour.

At night, just like last year, Gelfand was given a birthday cake and we all toasted to his health with a glass of champagne. A very nice gesture from the organizers.

Kings Tournament

Round 9 games commented by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule & results
Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule
Kings Tournament 2010 | Round 9 Standings
Kings Tournament 2010 | Round 9 Standings


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