Bazna Kings Round Three Report

Radjabov defeats Ponomariov, other two games drawn

The 2010 Bazna Kings, the strongest tournament in Romanian chess history, continued Wednesday with round three games. Pairings are Magnus Carlsen – Boris Gelfand, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu – Wang Yue and Ruslan Ponomariov – Teimour Radjabov.

Wang Yue defended with Petroff and Nisipeanu decided to try the modern 5.Nc3 which brings rapid development and open d-file to White. Once a very dangerous variation, which crushed many Petroff positions, is now deeply explored and Black have significantly improved their setups.

Wang managed to also castle queenside and then attended to carefully take piece by piece off the board. Nisipeanu couldn’t do much without pawn breaks and the game ended in draw with repetition on move 31. Replay the game with computer analysis.

Wang Nisipeanu

Wang Yue and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu

Gelfand played his favourite Semi-Slav defence against the top seeded Carlsen. White opted for relatively quiet 6. Bxf6 instead of the wild 6. Bh4 Anti-Moscow. 9…Bd6 might have been small surprise, in the position where fianchetto 9…g6 is much more common.

White responded by advancing f2-f4 and rearranging his pieces closer to the enemy King. Black pushed c5 on time, included Bc8 into play and opened files for possible counter-action on the queenside.

At one point Carlsen left b2-pawn en-price, but Gelfand preferred not to take it as he feared that White attack would be too strong. Instead, a pair of Knights was traded, followed by massive exchanges of heavy pieces, which Carlsen couldn’t avoid on account of his clumsy Queen.

The game dispersed into an interesting ending, where Black held a possibly dangerous pair of Bishops, but White was compensation with the powerfully centralised Knight. Draw was agreed immediately after the first time control. Replay the annotated game.

Teimour Radjabov square 6

Ponomariov certainly expected nothing else but the King’s Indian defence as Radjabov’s reply to 1.d4 and he prepared a Saemisch variation. After discouraging long castling, Black attempted the usual kingside counterplay, before suddenly shifting focus to the other side of the board.

This netted a pawn, but White earned some tempi to try the break on the kingside. Radjabov grabbed another pawn and wisely offered two pieces for a Rook in order to exchange the Queens and move into a very promising ending.

Cooperation of Rooks and dark-squared Bishop removed the blockade from until then irrelevant c4-pawn. But then Black got himself a valuable passed pawn close to promotion. Ponomariov’s last attempt was to redeploy the Knights establish a new barrier, but Radjabov ruthlessly converted the advantage into his first victory. Replay the game with computer analysis.

Gelfand and Nisipeanu maintain the lead with 2.0 points each, Carlsen and Radjabov are together on 50%, while Wang and Ponomariov hold one point each.

Round one report / Round two report / Photo gallery

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