M.Notkin. May best: Morozevich – Ivanchuk
Voters for the best game of May: Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Olga Alexandrova, Konstantin Landa, Sergey Solovjov, Igor Lysyj, Vladimir Barskij, Sergey Ivanov and Emil Sutovsky.
Sergey Ivanov wrote the introduction instead of me: "As expected, May became a month of the Russian Club Championship slightly diluted by Sofia, Sarajevo and the candidates matches started in Elista (by the way, I would not miss the 3rd game Gelfand – Kasimdzhanov). Dagomys 2007, to my mind, was out of competition, I have included 7 games of the tournament into my top ten, and 4 into the top five. Only the battle painting Topalov – Mamedyarov managed to wedge in".
Perfect hit! Final ranking is exactly like that "in percent" with only one correction, see below.
I would also call May a month of battle paintings because not only the mentioned duel in Sofia but all prize-winners and several games more satisfy this definition. The highest point sum has been gathered by the ardent fight Morozevich – Ivanchuk from the Russian club championship, "a game of two chess fanatics" as Konstantin Landa said. Each time when these two meet over the board, the latter becomes hot, and only the two players themselves can understand arising positions, leaving spectators with open mouths. Ivanchuk won the game but the outcome could be quite opposite, so all merits for creating the chef-d'oeuvre must be shared. I would remark that Ivanchuk took a revenge for March when the game Ivanchuk – Morozevich from Linares became the winner.
The duel is present in all lists being ranked 1st by Kovalevskaya, Lysyj and Ivanov plus one 2nd place and one 3rd (79 points altogether).
Two games scored 64 points: Topalov – Mamedyarov ("a battle over the precipice without insurance" – Landa) and Morozevich – Miton (Dagomys) where the opponents had to do without usual bearings. The draw by Topalov and Mamedyarov deserved 1st rank from Alexandrova and Landa, two 2nd and one 3rd place. The win by Morozevich was ranked 1st by Barskij and Solovjov plus one 2nd and two 3rd places.
The fourth place won one of the most important games of the Russian team championship: Smirnov – Sakaev ("a draughts theme: White sacrifices first, then captures black pawns-draughts" – Landa). The high-inspired attack by Pavel Smirnov helped much Tomsk team to win gold medals. Two 2nd places in the lists, 36 points.
Now sharing again by two games with 33 points. Another head-breaking western from Dagomys: Shomoev – Bareev (one 2nd, one 3rd) when the latter put his knight under attack on the level ground, and a "foreigner" Rodgers – Berzins from British League ("a nice two exchanges sacrifice and a realization; a flight of Ian's imagination" – Landa). The achievement by the Austalian grandmaster gained one 2nd and two 3rd places.
These six games surely may be called favourites. The rest games scored under 20 points each. The following duels fulfill the scheme by Ivanov "7 from Dagomys, 3 from other world":
7. Georgiev – Jobava. A fight ended in a draw, where Black sacrificed a pawn, exchange and a rook in succession; then White in order to avoid a draw gave away his queen for a knight, then a rook an then exchange; he got the new queen, offered to Black the remaining extra knight but Black preferred to force a draw in the ending "queen and knight versus queen and pawns". I think it sounds very attractive even in words.
8. Najer – Riazantsev. Another draw. A violent storm by White on the kingside, a timely reply by Black on the queenside, and perpetual check as the outcome. Computer hesitates to give advantage to any side.
9. Gelfand – Bocharov. Unexpected sacrifice of the f2 pawn by White in the opening accompanied with loss of castling and freezing of development of his own kingside – and full domination in 5-6 moves!
10. Grischuk – Malakhov, the third not-from-Dagomys game. A sample of positional play by major pieces (one 3rd place).
Emil Sutovsky ranked 1st a duel Movsesian – Short, but did not found adherents. However, many experts noted a high level of the collection in general, so let us believe that sympathies to the game merely remained out of sight.
See you later in a review!