The 2000 FIDE Championships
by GM Alexander Baburin from New Delhi
Round 2 - 30 November -1 December
Here I would like to share my impressions of the
two first days of round 2. As I am working with Alexander Morozevich
here, I will leave his match out (Morozevich won 2-0 against Milos) and
concentrate on other duels.
At right: Milos-Morozevich
||Some of the favourites went into the next round
with relative ease (for example, Gelfand, who beat Dizdarevich 2-0),
while others had to work hard and would face play-offs now. But let's
review everything in order.
At Left: Gelfand
|Anand drew comfortably with Black and outplayed
Bologan with White. Vishy looks very confident and is regarded as the
main favourite by many. In round 3 he
will meet with Smbat Lputian. Lputian was the underdog in his match
against Rublevsky, but won rather quickly with White and then held a
draw with Black. In the first game Rublevsky's sense of danger let him
down, as he played some 'positional' moves on the queenside, while his
king was coming under mating attack on the opposite wing.
Leko beat Volkov with White and went through as well.
Now he will face the winner of the Lutz-Khalifman match, which will emerge in
the playoff tomorrow. Another play-off expects Michael Adams, who drew both
games against Thien Dao. Mickey pressed hard in the second game (with White),
but probably did not have enough for a win.
Alex Yermolinsky beat Jun Xu from China. They played the
same line, where Volkov beat Sakaev in the decisive game, but this time White (Yermo)
emerged victorious. So far American players are doing well here, as Grigory
Serper went into round 3 after beating Alexander Ivanov 2-0. Serper used a
clever tactics as he played the Hedgehog as Black. Ivanov is known for his
permanent time-troubles and to give him a position, where he had a great choice
and could think of so many plans, was almost inhuman! :-) Another player from US
- Boris Gulko will play tomorrow again after both his games against Chernin
eneded in a draw. Joel Benjamin leaves the event after losing to Rafael Leitao
Playoffs are awaiting many players, for example: Svidler
and Bacrot, Shirov and Onischuk, Ivanchuk and Ehlvest, Short and Nataf, Malakhov
and Dreev, Almasi and Vladimirov, Smirin and Grischuk. Bareev and Movsesian won
their first games with White against Vaganian and Iordachescu respectively, but
could not hold with Black. Now these paid will enter play-offs too. The same
story happened in the match Kasimdzhanov-Tregubov. Kasimdzhanov won the first
game easily, but failed to hold with Black. Another tough match is M. Gurevich
vs. Artashes Minasian and the score is also 1-1.
The main surprise so far in round 2 is departure of
Vladimir Akopian, who lost to Alexei Alexandrov 1/2-11/2. Vladimir had some
problems recently and did not look in New Delhi. Hopefully this talented player
will recover soon! Another favourite - Veselin Topalov had a very rough time in
game 1 against Andrei Kharlov (one of Kasparov's seconds during the match in
London). Kharlov was a pawn up and a better position, but misplayed his
position. The old rule saying that if you don't score, your opponent will, was
confirmed yet again in game 2:
Veselin Topalov (2707) - Andrei Kharlov
FIDE World Championship, New Delhi (2.2),
Notes by GM Alexander Baburin
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 Nf6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 Nc6
This is a rare line - usually Black plays 6...a6 here.
GM Andrei Kharlov is a well-known expert on the QGA though and surely he had
reasons to play this obscure line.
7.Qe2 cxd4 8.Rd1 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.exd4
This is rather unusual - White normally does not
exchange knights here, instead taking on d4 with the pawn first. However, Akiba
Rubinstein took on d4 with the knight and he knew something about strategy!
I can't believe that this move can be good. OK, Black is
preparing himself for d4-d5, but White has other possibilities too.
12.Nb5 Qd8 13.Nc3 Offering
Black to change his mind...
13...Qe8 Not a chance!
14.Nb5 Qd8 15.Bf4 Bd7 16.Nc7 Rc8 17.d5!
I guess Black under-estimated this move and the
subsequent White's play:
17...Rxc7 18.d6 Rc6 19.dxe7 Qxe7 20.Bb5 Rb6 21.Bxd7 Nxd7
Now White starts a long forced variation, which wins him
22.Qd2! e5 23.Be3 Nc5 24.b4! Ne4 25.Qc2 Rxb4 26.a3!
The rest is a matter of technique: 26...Rd4
27.Bxd4 exd4 28.Re1 d3 29.Qc4 Nd6 30.Qxd3 Qf6 31.Rad1 Nf5 32.Qd7 g6 33.Qxb7 a6
34.Rc1 Nd4 35.Rc8 Rxc8 36.Qxc8+ Kg7 37.Qc5 Nc6 38.h3 h5 39.Rd1 Ne5 40.Rd5 Nc6
If you like my reports, then stay tuned - more are
Yours in chess,