Wednesday 25 January 2017

2017 Gibraltar Masters - Day 1

Day 1 of the 2017 Gibraltar Masters got underway with very few surprises. A couple of higher rated players were held to draws (Gelfand, Short, Ganguly among them) and there were a couple of GM's dropping the full point. Having said that, the very top players won in a way that showed the difference between 2700+ GM's and 2300+ players. Fabiano Caruana had a very nice win, and the commentators praised Nakamrua's play. There were a couple of quick wins on the top boards, including a 16 move win by Topalov.
I started on Board 91, and to show how strong this event is, I still ended up with a 2420 rated GM. Doing a bit of pre-grame prep, I settled on a line where I was a pawn up, but with an exposed king in the centre. Turns out my idea wasn't that great as GM Sundararajan just ripped open my position and I resigned on move 25. My next round's opponent is hardly any easier, as I get a 2260+ FM to try my best against. Nonetheless I'm finding the tournament very enjoyable, and if you are able to stay up for the start I highly recommend following the online coverage.

Topalov,Veselin - Paehtz,Thomas [A80]
2017 Gibraltar Masters (1), 19.01.2017


Mr Tomato said...

It's not everyday I see a player locking up their own bishop, could you please explain what this opening is about, Shaun? I'm sure black has some reason to play this

Shaun Press said...

To be honest I don't think Black intended to end up with that pawn structure, but when you face players significantly stronger than you, your mind can go into 'over-think' mode and you play moves that prevent imaginary threats. This may have been the case here, although Nd7 was the real lemon in this game.

Mr Tomato said...

Ok, thanks