The game A. Grischuk - A. Dreev becomes February's laureate!
Giving up the bad habit of deceiving and without a spectacular pause I report: victory of Alexander Grischuk over Alexey Dreev in the Poikovsky tournament was recognized by a jury of the experts as the February's best game. This time there were 6 judges - Evgeny Gleizerov, Sergey Ivanov, Alexey Bezgodov, Denis Yevseev, Vladimir Barsky and Ilia Odessky. There
could have been more jury members, but unfortunately several people I appealed to were not able to participate in voting for different reasons. I don’t think that resulting standing is impartial, but still it would be great to have a game that would win the first place in more than one chart! On the other hand such lack of unanimity among professionals is the evidence of the great number of equal encounters, and the high quality of this set of the games is acknowledged by one and all. No wonder: in Linares, Poikovsky and the Aeroflot open we had a right to expect really interesting games.
Yevseev awarded the first place to Grischuk, and Gleizerov, who placed Alexander on the 4th spot, said the following: 'External easiness of White victory shouldn't deceive us. Actually using the humble tools to defeat a strong grandmaster is the most difficult task.' This game won also a
3rd place and three 4th places.
The second score has the game Aronian - Popov. Sergey Ivanov, who appreciated this encounter mostly, commented: White's play reminds of the avalanche rushing down the mountain and sweeping everything away."
The game Topalov – Leko is on the 3rd place. Nobody found it that outstanding to overshadow everything else, but a second place, a 3rd place and two 4th places made up a decent score.
The problem of Emil Sutovsky consists in baffling complexity of his combinations which are difficult even for grandmasters. Read what he's telling in the 3rd issue of 64" (that is just about to be published) about the first reaction of Kotsur to the defeat and then you'll understand why some judges didn't qualify this game for the top ten. This game makes an impression of a successful bluff, as well as the victory of Sutovsky over Gormalli in January, but actually the
analysis shows that positional piece sacrifice was correct. Here is the opinion of Gleizerov who awarded the first place to this encounter: 'If Emil could foresee all the consequences playing 17.c4!, we can boldly call this game ingenious. In any case the unique end-game, when apparently a blocked passed pawn turns out to be stronger than a knight, leaves a huge
impression.' Also two second places and a 3rd, but unfortunately, Emil, we have democracy.
The game Bologan – Rublevsky is on the 5th place. It’s dangerous to give the exhaustive characteristic of this game without a detailed analysis, but at first glance… 'Extra technique!'(Yevseev). This encounter didn’t become a favorite, but got two second and a 3rd place.
The victory of Anand over Topalov is on the 6th place owing to the pronounced sympathy of Bezgodov, another game of the Aeroflot winner – Sutovsky – Filippov is on the 7th place.
My colleagues Barsky and Odessky relished the gigantomania of Konstantin Sakaev. Vladimir awarded the first place to the game Sakaev - Lugovoi, while Ilja to Sakaev - Fedorov. I express my gratitude to all jury members for examining all this 80-moves games till the end. The victory over Lugovoi stands higher in the chart because rapturous Odessky gave Sakaev the second place in his list.
Finally the 10th place belongs to the game Radjabov - Schlosser, only one point less has another splendid attack of Sutovsky in encounter with Areschenko played in the very beginning of the month in Gibraltar (afterwards Emil once again defeated the Ukrainian junior in Moscow but not so spectacular).
Within the next few days I'll decide which achievements will be sent to the survey and which to commentator's box. As it has already been mentioned, Sutovsky’s comments on his game against Kotsur you can read in the forthcoming issue of '64', in the same issue I cover the encounter Aronian - Popov, using the information given by Valerij Popov during the Aeroflot. Masterpieces of the Poikovsky have already been mentioned in publications, and are going to be headlined. All events in Linares were scrutinized by the hero of labour Sergey Shipov… But don't let the author's sorrows disturb you. A more detailed review will be published in the last decade of March.