Maxim Notkin. Two February laureates
Evgeny Gleizerov, Sergey Ivanov, Alexander Motylev, Vladimir Potkin, Sergey Soloviov, Sergey Klimov, Ilya Odessky and Vladimir Barsky participated in the February debates. Brief comments to the best games were given by Sergey Klimov.
There had been only two games claiming to be the best, but look at the names! Svidler-Topalov (“the most convincing of all games claiming for domination”) and Bacrot-Aronian (“A game is really typical of the Armenian grandmaster!”; Sergey Ivanov considers this encounter to be the 22nd century chess). Motylev, Barsky and Klimov gave the first place to Svidler’s win, and it was on the second place in the lists of other two judges. As you see, there are two lists, in which neither game is among the top three. Under the established counting system, Svidler got a slight advantage, however I would give an olive-branch to both encounters by the royal permission of the editorial. It is even more reasonable since we do not give any material prizes to our winners and that’s why we won’t be troubled by sawing in half an emerald pendant. For quite a long time I’ve been running these competitions it is quite a rare case when both games got such an equal degree of sympathy.
Ivanchuk-Svidler encounter was unconditionally put on the third place (“Peter made a mistake in the analysis, but Ivanchuk’s capture on c4 nevertheless looks attractive) – this game got one second and two third place, and it was in all top tens.
As we proceed further, and Morelia gives way to other tournaments. Sorokin-Kazhgaleyev (“A non-standard variation of a standard attack, very sensible play and precise calculation by Black”) is on the fourth place, it also got three third places.
Another game from the Aeroflot, Petrosian-Volkov is on the fifth place (“a classic positional game, which cries out to be published in a textbook, though it was clouded by about 22-move torture of the losing side”). This game is on the first place in Gleizerov’s list and was also given the third place by another judge.
A game that was played in the French team championship is on the sixth place. I flatter myself with the hope of a pioneer that no one of our readers had seen this game before it appeared in our top twenty, this game is Pelletier-Dourerassou (this game got one second and one third place). This encounter, in which no commentator (at least Russian-speaking) has trod, will certainly be given the place of honor in the coming review.
Win of Leko against Radjabov in Mexico and combative draw Vallejo-Dominguez, which was played in the second round of the same tournament in Mexico, tied for the seventh-eighth places. Viva tequila! The latter encounter also got one second place and will be thoroughly annotated.
Tigran Petrosian is again on the ninth place. Most of our experts placed his win against Smirnov in the top ten.
A game Luther-Szelag that was played in the open tournament in Cappelle la Grande, which can be found in almost all lists, though not on the highest places, tails the top ten.
Sergey Klimov included it in his top ten for “the theoretical value, though I’m not an expert in this variation. I analyzed this game a bit with the computer and came to a conclusion that White gave up the queen on h7 too early. It seems that this position should be examined after 20.¤g5 Јxh1+ (20...¤e3+ 21.fxe3 Ґb5+ 22.ўf2 Јxf5+ 23.Јf3) 21.ўe2 Ґb5+ 22.ўd2 ¦d8+ 23.Ґxd8 Јd5+ 24.ўc1 Јxf5 25.¦a2 ¤d4- funny though it may seem, Black’s position is not that bad without a rook”.
Well, we have outlined the main issues for a more precise analysis. See you in the review.