Friday, 14 May 2010

Astrakan GP

The FIDE Grand Prix series began 2 years ago with much excitement. A series of tournaments containing most of the worlds top players looking to use it as a qualifier for the World Championship, coupled with excellent online coverage and publicity, what was not to like.
However a number of organisational misfortunes (ie venues dropping out), coupled with a change of status (not quite the fast track to the World Championship), resulted in a number of players dropping out of the series.
However the series has continued, albeit as a kind of Eastern European circuit, and is now limping towards a finish. The final event in the series is currently being held in Astrakhan. However I suspect the players themselves are feeling glad that is is almost over, with not a lot of decisive games on offer. After 4 rounds (28 games in total) there have been 22 draws, which puts in the Linares territory for split points. Round 3 saw all 7 games drawn, while round 4 saw 6 draws. Inarkiev was the only winner in that round, courtesy of an all to familiar Ivanchuk moment. After holding the advantage for almost the entire game, Ivanchuk forgot to keep an eye on Black's h pawn and found it had become uncatchable.

Ivanchuk,Vassily (UKR) - Inarkiev,Ernesto (RUS)
FIDE Grand Prix 2010 Astrakhan, Russia, 2010

1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 dxc4 7.Bxc4 e6 8.Nf3 Bd6 9.Ne5 Bxe5 10.dxe5 Qxd1+ 11.Rxd1 Nd7 12.Bb5 0-0 13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne4 c5 15.f3 c4 16.Kf2 Nb6 17.Rd2 Ba6 18.Rc1 Nd5 19.Be3 Rfc8 20.a3 h6 21.g3 Rc7 22.Bd4 Rd8 23.h4 Nb6 24.Bxb6 Rxd2+ 25.Nxd2 axb6 26.Ne4 Bb7 27.Nd6 Bd5 28.Ke3 f6 29.f4 fxe5 30.fxe5 Kh7 31.Rc3 Kg6 32.g4 h5 33.g5 Rc5 34.Kf4 Kh7 35.Rc1 Kg6 36.Rc2 Kh7 37.Ke3 Bh1 38.Kd4 Rd5+ 39.Kc3 Rd3+ 40.Kxc4 Rh3 41.Kb5 Rxh4 42.Kxb6 Kg6 43.Rc7 Rf4 44.b4 h4 45.Rc8 Bf3 0-1

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