Monthly Archives: Apr 2014

Karposh Open 2014 Round 6

I repeated black today and that is never easy. I was paired against Borki Predojevic, Bosnia’s number 2 player (behind Predrag Nikolic). I think (I’m not spreading gossip here, it’s just my opinion) he worked for Carlsen and I tried to prepare well for the game.

He played 1 Nf3 (Carlsen’s choice at the beggining of the Anand match, also played frequently by his “only” official second Hammer) and after my 1…c5 we went for the Symmetrical English. On move 9 he went for a rare plan, playing 9 Qb3, but I soon realised that it was the only way to put black under some sort of pressure. His idea was to play e3, Rd1 and then either push d4 or exchange dark-squared bishops by Ne2. When both sides finished development, I decided it was time for black to occupy the centre with the pawns and went for 12…d5. It was possible to play otherwise, of course, but I had a good position and decided I can be ambitious. The critical position arose two moves later, when I made a typical mistake – imprecise calculations led to wrong evaluation of the position. My initial idea was to play 14…d4, but I didn’t like 15 Qc4 and decided against it – had I calculated better, I would have seen that black is more than OK after either 15…Nf5 or 15…Qd5. Instead I went for 14…c4, creating dark-square weaknesses but I hoped that my far-advanced pawn on c4 would give me counterplay – yet another mistake of the same kind: in my calculations I missed that I can never actually take on c4 with my d-pawn. And then already on move 16 I made another mistake, admittedly in an unpleasant position for me and suddenly it was all over. This time in the tactical sequence 21…Nb4 22 Rf5 Nd3 I didn’t see 23 Qf6! I played on an exchange down, as we were low on time, but the result was clear.

Too many mistakes for one game! Let’s hope all the mistakes I was supposed to make were concentrated in this one game. And on a side note, maybe as a premonition, this morning my desktop computer for some reason couldn’t connect to my laptop, thus I couldn’t use the full power of the multi-core CPU from my desktop – during the game it also looked as if I couldn’t calculate to the best of my abilities!

Otherwise, the tournament so far is dominated by the Spanish Inquisition! The European vice-champion Anton Guijarro and Salgado Lopez are leading with 5.5/6, having drawn the game between themselves in the previous round. Anton continues with good play after Yerevan and Salgado seems to enjoy his new life in Sofia (now that’s strange, a Spaniard moving to live in Bulgaria! Usually it’s the Bulgarians who try to flee their country) and it shows in his results.

Tomorrow’s round marks the beginning of the final third of the tournament. In opens, the finish is everything so let’s hope for a good one!


Karposh Open 2014 Round 5

Today I was black against the young and talented IM Irina Bulmaga. In the topical English Attack of the Najdorf she somewhat naively repeated her game with Sebag from the European Team Championship in Warsaw last year. I introduced a completely different concept in the chosen line, my move 13…Qc7 had been played only once before, but in that game the players agreed to a draw in a few more moves, so the main idea wasn’t shown.

Usually black played 13…Nbd7 (or 13…d5, as Sebag played) and obtained good positions (this was known ever since the Leko-Svidler game from 2007), but then white’s knight on d2 gets the e4 square and white has an easy and safe game. My idea was completely different, by not playing d5 I left the knight on d2 lacking good squares and leaving white’s position disorganised. It was uncomfortable for white and when she put the hapless knight on f1 it was dominated by my pawn on f4. I also liked my move 16…Ra5, covering d5 one more time, even though the comp says it may not have been the most precise. White had problems to solve and by move 20 I was practically winning, with all my pieces in the attack. She kept posing me some problems and I didn’t choose the most efficient way on move 26, giving her a chance to put up a stiffer resistance, but she missed her chance in time-trouble with 30 Re2 after which white loses an exchange and is lost.

An interesting game, quite important for the theory of the 11 Qe1 line in the English Attack, after which I believe white should start looking elsewhere for an acceptable game.

The majority of the top boards drew, so with 4/5 I’m half a point behind the leaders. Tomorrow will be another tough game!

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