M.Notkin. August Best: Alekseev – Wang Yue
This time number of experts was nearly equal to that of competing games. Igor Zaitsev, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Nikita Vitiugov, Artyom Timofeev, Igor Lysyj, Vladimir Barskij, Andrey Zontakh, Evgeny Gleizerov and Mikhail Kobalia took part in the voting.
Opinions of the collection differ: somebody considered it scanty and stunted, somebody was pleased by diversity and freshness of ideas. Only two games were claiming for victory, and the more bulletins I received, the more clear became the advantage of Evgeny Alekseev over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
As the result, the game Alekseev – Wang Yue (Russia – China match) became a laureate in August: six 1st places (Zaitsev, Kobalia, Zontakh, Vitiugov, Barskij, Kovalevskaya), two 2nds, one 3rd, 114 points.
"A strong home-made opening novelty 12.Nf7 does not diminish the beauty of the game and the high technique in the endgame" (Timofeev).
"Perhaps, the game itself was not very persistent, but a novelty in an actual variation literally turning over the estimate from a forced draw to a hard position for Black is of high value" (Vitiugov).
The creative achievement by the new champion of France Fontaine – Vachier-Lagrave took the second place (closer to the 1st one than to the 3rd one): two 1st places (Timofeev, Kosteniuk) five 2nds, 95 points.
Atryom Timofeev explains his choice: "A beautiful romantic game returning us far to the past. A rare composition of pieces. A very nice finale worthy of a study".
Nikita Vitiugov is ironic as usual: "I did not understand at all what has happened in the game, that is why I rank it so high. In other words, a victory of spirit over material, so rare nowadays".
The third place is occupied by Artyom Timofeev's victory over Ni Hua. It caused gastronomic associations by special reporter Ilya Odessky because of white mush... pieces stringed appetizingly on the big dark-squared diagonal. Lysyj ranked it 1st; one 2nd and many 4ths and 5ths gave 65 points in sum.
The fourth position: Ivanisevic – Miladinovic, Serbian team championship (one 2nd place, three 3rds, 58 points).
"Fine and powerful play by White. Black surely might resist more stubbornly, but it does not diminish White's deserts" (Vitiugov).
"Energetic making use of a development advantage" (Timofeev).
Taking into account White's surname, gained advantage in development can be compared with a powerful service.
Gleizerov placed 1st in his list the fighting draw by I.Sokolov and Van Wely (Staunton Memorial) with an original move repetition in the end. The game took one 2nd place more, but alas, almost half of our experts did not include it in their top tens. So 39 points, sharing 5th place with the duel Wang Yue – Timofeev which nobody included in his top three but contains in all top tens.
The seventh place is also shared by Negi – Beliavsky and Jussupov – Karjakin from the Rising Stars vs Experience competition in Amsterdam (young bullies against mature players). Both gained two 3rd places and 34 points.
Atryom Timofeev wrote about the latter duel: "Simply very strong. I hesitate to say 'high class' but it seems so".
Another youth vs experience duel is only one point behind: Beliavsky – Cheparinov (one 3rd place). Our young experts are unanimous:
"For will to win and complicated play! " (Timofeev).
"A clear candidate for a 'will to win' prize. I was impressed by Black's desire to win the game at any cost and to continue races for a place in the Amber tournament. A superfluous aspiration for complications must turn against Black himself, but Ivan could to break down his experienced opponent resistance by energetic play". (Vitiugov).
Werle – I.Sokolov completes the ten (one 3rd place, 31 point). "Black's indomitable fantasy drew the white monarch to a deadlock" (Timofeev). I remind you the exact address of the deadlock: the e8 square where the crowned person was actually checkmated.
In the beginning of October we will intently consider games of the September World Championship and of other tournaments. A review of August games will appear right after finishing of the historic event.