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Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 (6)

Ivanchuk defeats Short in Round 6 to take the lead

Vassily Ivanchuk against Nigel Short from Round 6. Photo ©

Vassily Ivanchuk against Nigel Short from Round 6. Photo © |

Nigel Short's run of 5 wins came to an end when he was defeated by Vassily Ivanchuk in Round 6. Ivanchuk now leads on 5.5/6 half a point clear of the field. Stewart Reuben reports on a couple of other interesting games.

Stewart Reuben reports

Daniel Fridman against Michael Adams in Round 6. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

It warmed the cockles of my heart that there were English players on both board one and two of the Masters. It was fascinating to look at the different approaches of our two English players. Nigel Short played a quite extraordinary new variation with the black pieces, taking the fight to his illustrious opponent right from the start. We couldn’t work out the ramifications of the game, but suspected that 17…Rxf3 18 Nxf3 Bg4, rather than the move 17...Nxe5 played might have given Nigel the better position. It isn’t clear whether he should have drawn the endgame, but he eventually went down. Meanwhile, Michael Adams rapidly exchanged off into an inferior endgame, but one which he drew with consummate ease.

Vassily Ivanchuk took the lead by beating Nigel Short in Round 6. Photo © Gibraltar Website. 2011

Thus four of the top six games were drawn (a normal percentage). Many people think that drawn games must, by their very nature, be inferior to those with a positive result. This is nonsense. A perfectly correctly played game will be drawn. After all, a drawn football match may be much better than one which is decisive.

The games today were so complex and there were so many exciting encounters that it was impossible to keep up in the commentary room. We should have been allowed to go up to the players and require them to slow down. For some reason the arbiters seemed reluctant to do this!

Only later in the day did I come across the Dzagnidze-Vallejo Pons game which is utterly enthralling. Another clear candidate for the £1,000 Best Game Prize was that between Akobian and Mikhalevski. The Israeli played an unusual variation of the Benoni. OK, there may have been errors and imperfections, but it was exciting. Chess is a very complex game and the very best will still have mistakes.

Yesterday I rushed to contact my associate John Saunders to get him to take a picture of the wonderful double rainbow that could be seen from the playing hall (the photo can be found on our website). I thought of telling the players they could stop their clocks to see the phenomenon, but thought better of it. A pity - I could then have made the play on words ‘rainbow stopped play’.

We now know the number of entries in the whole event. 66 in Challengers B (there were 55 in the first event) 40 in Amateur B (30). The total number of players is 306 from about 54 federations. This is a record and the 231 in the Masters comes close to the maximum 240 the two halls can hold.

Round 6

Akobian,Varuzhan (2618) - Mikhalevski,Victor (2579)


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 0–0 7.Bg5 h6 8.Be3 e6 9.Qd2 exd5 10.cxd5 Re8 11.Nge2 Nbd7 12.Ng3 h5 13.Be2 a6 14.0–0 b5 15.Bh6

A new move and possibly questionable.

15...h4 16.Nh1

16.Nf5!? was a possibility as taking the knight would allow 16...gxf5 17.Qg5 and after 17...Nh5 18.Qxh5 Black would have a shattered kingside structure. The knight has an unhappy life on h1.

16...Nh5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.a4 b4 19.Nd1 f5 20.exf5 Nb6!?

Victor Mikhalevski


Varuzhan Akobian

Position after 20...Nb6

Very bold play by Black, which is richly rewarded.

21.fxg6 Rxe2!

More of the same. White is strangely impotent in this position.

22.Qxe2 Nf4 23.Qe4

White has to be careful where he puts the queen. For example, 23.Qf2?? Qg5 and the best White can do is to play the gruesome 24.Ng3 losing a piece.

23...Qg5 24.g4

Black was threatening mate in two ways (Nh3 and Qxg2) so this was forced.

24...Nh3+ 25.Kg2 Nf4+ 26.Kg1 Bd7

The problem now is that the black rook infiltrates the white position, more or less whatever White plays.


27.Nhf2 Re8

27...Nh3+ 28.Kg2 Nf4+ 29.Kg1 Re8 30.Nf5+ Kg8 31.Qb1

White is now wide open to threats and it is hardly surprising that Black finds a quick finish. First, though, he gains a little time on the clock.

31...Nh3+ 32.Kg2 Nf4+ 33.Kg1 Nh3+ 34.Kg2 Nxd5! 35.Nf2

35.Kxh3 Nf4 mate is optically pleasing.

35...Re2 36.Nxd6 Bxg4 0–1

White resigns because his opponent is having far too much fun.

Round 6

Dzagnidze,Nana (2550) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2698)

King’s Indian Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0–0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0–0 a6 8.e4 Rb8 9.h3 b5 10.e5 Ne8 11.Ng5

An enterprising try. 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Ng5 Na5 13.e6 has also been played in some quite elderly games.

11...Na5 12.e6!?

A familiar move in several openings. White intends to disrupt the black position and prevent the co-ordination of his pieces. One GM commented that the Spanish GM had made an error when selecting his opening.


12...fxe6 is also possible but Black prefers to be rid of the pesky knight.

13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.c5 e5 15.dxe5 Bxe5 16.Bg5 Nc4 17.Nd5 Nf6 18.b3!

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Nana Dzagnidze

Position after 18.b3

Nana decides to bank on the strength of the a1–h8 long diagonal. It proves to be an inspirational decision.

18...Bxa1 19.Qxa1 Ne5 20.f4 Nd3?!

20...Ned7 21.c6 Nb6 looks a better try.

21.c6 Rf7 22.Rd1 Nc5 23.Re1!

Suddenly Black is wide open to major threats and there seems to be no good way to defend. The game ends in a flurry of tactics.


Francisco Vallejo Pons


Nana Dzagnidze

Position after 23...Qf8

24.Rxe7! Rxe7 25.Nxf6+ Kf7 26.Bd5+ Ne6

26...Re6 27.Nd7 Nxd7 28.cxd7 Qh8 29.Qxh8 Rxh8 30.d8N+ Rxd8 31.Bxd8 wins.

27.Nd7 Qh8 28.Bf6 Qg8 29.Bxe7 Kxe7 30.Qf6+ 1–0

Gibraltar Masters Caleta ENG Mon 24th Jan 2011 - Thu 3rd Feb 2011
Leading Round 6 (of 10) Standings:
1Ivanchuk VassilyGMUKR27645.52969
2Short Nigel DGMENG26585.02831
3Fridman DanielGMGER26555.02822
4Mikhalevski VictorGMISR25795.02622
5Sengupta DeepGMIND25304.52758
6Adams MichaelGMENG27234.52741
7Kulaots KaidoGMEST25774.52714
8Dzagnidze NanaGMGEO25504.52712
9Roiz MichaelGMISR26494.52702
10Kosintseva NadezhdaIMRUS25524.52690
11Caruana FabianoGMITA27214.52674
12Gopal Geetha NarayananGMIND25974.52667
13Kacheishvili GiorgiGMGEO25854.52650
14Nisipeanu Liviu-DieterGMROU26784.52636
15Ikonnikov VyacheslavGMRUS25804.52623
16Edouard RomainGMFRA26344.52589
17Bellaiche AnthonyIMFRA24584.52549
18Melia SalomeIMGEO24494.52521
19Fier AlexandrGMBRA25714.52461
20Szuper PaulUSA21744.52445
21Rapport RichardGMHUN25314.02735
22Korchnoi ViktorGMSUI25444.02733
23Buhmann RainerGMGER25724.02655
24Sasikiran KrishnanGMIND26904.02651
25Zhu ChenGMQAT24954.02642
26Akobian VaruzhanGMUSA26184.02625
27Harikrishna PentalaGMIND26674.02620
28Sandipan ChandaGMIND26414.02610
29Bologan ViktorGMMDA26934.02592
30Georgiev KirilGMBUL26694.02586
31Onischuk AlexanderGMUSA26894.02574
32Krush IrinaIMUSA24834.02556
33Erdos ViktorGMHUN25934.02555
34Speelman Jon SGMENG25244.02540
35Forsaa EspenFMNOR23064.02528
36El Debs Felipe De CresceGMBRA24994.02527
37Harika DronavalliIMIND25204.02516
38Zatonskih AnnaIMUSA24934.02515
39Soffer RamGMISR24894.02501
40Fernandez Romero ErnestoIMESP24534.02485
41Zaremba AndrieFMUSA23394.02468
42Nezad Husein AzizIMQAT24204.02461
43Gallagher Joseph GGMSUI25014.02455
44Robson RayGMUSA25324.02452
45Iordachescu ViorelGMMDA26344.02446
46Al-Sayed MohammedGMQAT24904.02425
47Andersen MadsFMDEN24104.02412
48Battaglini GabrielIMFRA24374.02406
49Karim IsmaelIMMAR23754.02401
50Jones Gawain C BGMENG25934.02399
Nuri KambezSUI23004.02399
52Wohl Aleksandar HIMAUS24094.02381
53Gaponenko InnaIMUKR24664.02378
54Le Roux Jean-PierreGMFRA25514.02365
55Kotronias VasiliosGMGRE25993.52632
56Lafuente PabloGMARG25513.52583
57Vallejo Pons FranciscoGMESP26983.52581
58Bellon Lopez Juan ManuelGMESP24043.52517
59Weber TomFMLUX23103.52501
60Berg EmanuelGMSWE26273.52500
61Valgmae ToomasEST21903.52463
62Kanep MeelisGMEST25313.52455
63Vaarala EricSWE21523.52432
64Tscharotschkin MichaelGER21813.52431
65Thomassen JoachimIMNOR24043.52414
66Mullon Jean-BaptisteIMFRA24203.52407
67Karavade EeshaIMIND23533.52403
68Hoffmann MichaelGMGER25063.52399
69Das ArghyadipIMIND24793.52394
Vaibhav SuriIMIND24213.52394
Jones Richard SFMWLS23613.52394
72Oberhofer AndreGER22703.52392
73Aerni AndiSUI21823.52389
74Getz NicolaiFMNOR23343.52386
75Stokke KjetilFMNOR24133.52382
Peek MarcelIMNED23423.52382
77Lemos DamianGMARG25533.52378
78Nikolaidis KonstantinosFMGRE22843.52345
79Boskovic DraskoIMSRB24123.52340
80Cabrera AlexisGMESP25183.52339
81Vernay ClovisIMFRA24463.52335
82Sipila VilkaFIN22693.52312
83Zhukova NataliaGMUKR24413.52310
84Pogonina NatalijaWGMRUS24723.52298
85Kolbus DietmarIMGER23323.52296
86Slavin AlexeiIMRUS24173.52280
87Dittmar PeterFMGER23283.52269
88Monroy CharlesIMFRA24213.52267
89Itkis HanaWFMUSA20843.52242
90Malmdin Nils-AkeSWE22723.52209
91Wheldon PhilipENG21063.52170
92Felgaer RubenGMARG25853.02502
Cmilyte ViktorijaGMLTU25263.02502
94Calzetta Ruiz MonicaWGMESP22843.02457
95Kosintseva TatianaGMRUS25703.02421
96Piasetski LeonIMCAN23033.02374
97Cummings David HIMCAN23663.02356
98Andreasen PerFMDEN22393.02342
99Sanchez LouisFMFRA22623.02340
100Garcia Jimenez Francisco JavieFMESP22743.02333
101Bellin RobertIMENG23673.02324
102Illner Achim DrFMGER23453.02319
Estrada Nieto JulianIMMEX23093.02319
104Stefanova AntoanetaGMBUL25463.02266
105Cramling PiaGMSWE25163.02264
106Daurelle HerveFRA22433.02259
107Avalos Parra JoaoFMCHI22523.02258
108Lacrosse MarcFMBEL21813.02253
109Seyfried ClausGER21733.02251
110Tabatt HendrikGER23423.02250
111Tate AlanSCO22923.02245
Zygouris HristosGRE22153.02245
113Wahlbom MagnusSWE23053.02217
114Meskovs NikitaLAT22433.02215
115Mckenna Jason PENG20623.02214
116Navarrete Espi SamuelESP20953.02210
117Sreeves ClementSCO20933.02206
118Scholzen WolfgangGER20573.02199
119Kandic MilanSRB21433.02180
Carlsten PeterSWE21103.02180
121Henriksson JohanSWE22433.02179
122Daoudi KamalMAR21553.02178
123Lipecki AlexanderSUI21263.02164
124Montero Melendez RafaelESP22653.02163
125Hauge Lars OskarNOR19423.02153
126Montabord ManuelFRA20633.02151
127Tozer Philip A AENG21403.02150
128Osuna Vega EnriqueCMESP21403.02132
129Suez-Panama GillesFRA20963.02107
130Messam-Sparks LateefahENG19043.02072
131Fairbairn StephenCAN20583.02066
132Chapman Terry P DENG22503.02037
133Helin MikaelSWE19143.01931
134Sarkar JustinIMUSA24182.52508
135Vogel JaapFMNED22072.52268
136Urbina Perez Juan AntonioCMESP21892.52258
137Kantans TomsFMLAT23422.52254
138Jaunooby Ali RENG22072.52246
139Dougherty MichaelFMCAN21832.52239
140Vinas Guerrero Carlos AESP21212.52237
141Bergstrom RolfFMSWE23072.52192
Stebbings Anthony JENG22852.52192
Lasinskas PovilasFMLTU21642.52192
144Spence David JENG22312.52178
145Hamer MartynENG20412.52120
146Lochte ThomasGER21732.52115
147Daumen MichaelGER21302.52110
148Connor Stephen JENG20422.52106
149Hvenekilde JorgenFMDEN21212.52096
150Sommerhalder EricSUI20002.52082
151Arnott Jonathan WENG21762.52078
152Collier David OENG21082.52072
153Hegvik Leif TrygveNOR18142.52062
154Groffen HansNED21692.52059
155Tari AryanNOR20972.52056
156Brown DavidENG19232.52030
157Freuler RomanSUI20922.52026
158Costello Colin AENG19752.52025
159Salomon JohanNOR18362.52009
160Gholami ArminNOR17792.52008
161Steil-Antoni FionaWIMLUX21182.52007
162Jameson DavidWLS20542.52003
163Memarian MiladIRI20282.52000
164Obiamiwe PaulNGR20152.51993
Marder SimonSWE19902.51993
166Fomani MehdiESP20132.51991
167Bous FlorianGER20882.51989
168Lee Kai Jie EdwardSIN18332.51969
169Boesch HeinzGER18992.51968
170Havik VictorNOR21072.51964
171Martinez Gonzalez Francisco IiESP18702.51942
172Sigamoney Cyril SUSA19782.51930
173Fogg MartinENG18902.51925
174Kuenitz KlausGER16952.51920
175Wilson AlexandraWFMSUI20372.51908
176Zanetti BrunoSUI20172.51888
177Becker ThomasGER21572.51865
178Garcia de Lomas Guerrero CarloESP19402.51860
179Vea Odin BlikraNOR22142.02162
180Compton AlistairNZL20462.02073
181Knudsen Jes WestDEN20002.02070
182Becking Franz JosefGER20292.02058
183Byron Alan MENG21922.02037
184Dasaolu AdeoyeENG21072.02013
185Kelly PaulWLS19462.01990
186Schweizer ManfredGER20752.01982
187Valhondo Morales RubenESP19482.01974
188Spanton Tim RENG20072.01969
189Eman LennartSWE02.01963
190Perez Reisler JosePUR18932.01959
191Shepherd MichaelSCO19992.01958
192Cebada Benitez FernandoESP19972.01956
193Neumanova MonikaCZE17122.01937
194Henrichsen JensDEN19252.01924
Georgieva EmiliaBUL19072.01924
196Henderikse BertNED20582.01907
197Winkler StefanGER18672.01898
198Ungureanu SanduROU20002.01895
199Phillips Owen SENG19922.01888
200Bihi MehdiFRA19362.01825
201Moreno Cervera Jose LuisESP19032.01812
202Kuehnast VolkerGER18992.01804
203Bishop PeterLUX17842.01786
204Khachatourian YerazikNOR19962.01759
205Wright JonathanENG18952.01726
206Gonzalez Amaya MillanESP18172.01693
207Stene VegardNOR16081.51946
208Gillespie GarySCO18481.51888
209De Lillo MicheleITA19641.51868
210Haga HalvorNOR20241.51850
211Flores Chico JorgeESP19991.51844
212Leimeister WinfriedGER19061.51837
213Berggren KlasSWE14631.51830
214Zaky TamirFRA18611.51823
215Lundback KarlSWE19691.51786
216Kympergr VojtechCZE16311.51773
217Birkestrand OddNOR18941.51764
218Reid VanessWFMAUS18411.51758
219Grainger BenjaminENG18021.51739
220Matto ManuelGIB18381.51724
221Jorgensen Line JinNOR18921.51699
222Forsa EliseNOR17261.51671
223Bauder HerbertGER20051.51647
224Lochte SzilviaHUN20151.01717
225Christiansen Johan-SebastianNOR19551.01684
226Siddiqui NidaPAK17391.01610
227Rough Robert ESCO17421.01604
228Whatley StephenGIB15701.01509
229Andersson UlfGMSWE25791.00
230Veiga Rodriguez PabloESP15280.01049
231Rudd JackIMENG22970.00
Jaime Montalvan Luis FelipeFMESP21860.00
232 players

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