IM Anna Zatonskih is married to Daniel Fridman, German Chess Champion
This round we solved the problem we were having with a “cramped” layout by using a clever new arrangement of the tables in the main room that allowed all the players to play in there and have the desired space. Everyone seemed happy with the new setup.
Tournament leader Sergey Kudrin was pressed by Alex Onischuk. Kudrin repeated his fairly unusual 4… g6 in the c3 Sicilian he used against Galant in round 1. Onischuk looked to be developing an attack, but his maneuver Bg5-f4-d6 seemed a dead end and it was Kudrin who avoided a repetition. Alex was able to direct the heavy piece ending into a drawable rook ending.
Shulman joined Kudrin on the lead at 4 points by beating Kaidanov with some accurate defense after Gregory sacrificed a rook for what looked like a dangerous attack at first, but soon sizzled out into an exchange-down position that was hopeless.
Yermolinksy played the surprising 6…Bf5 in a QGD exchange variation against Akobian, a move which leads directly to an ending that is considered nice for white. Soon black’s QB became a “Tall Pawn” on g6. Yet Yermo developed pressure down his open files and managed to stymie white’s play, leading to early peace talks.
Daniel Ludwig broke two streaks. Both he and Jesse Kraai had only draws so far. Both were playing for a win. Kraai was starting to get a serious edge with black in a Tarrasch French when he achieved the thematic exchange sac with 32… Rxf3. However, he followed with 33… Qxf3 too hastily, overlooking 34. Bf5! which consolidates with the bishop for defense. 34 … Bf7 would have been a better try then for black, according to their postmortems comments. In time trouble white converted a win.
Shabalov, greatly in need of a win if he is to compete for the championship, played provocatively against Fedorowicz. The Fed had a positional edge by move 20 when Shabba sacked a couple of pawns for the piece activity he was looking for. “I thought anything would win,” Fedorowicz said after the game, but that is a dangerous attitude and black’s bishops soon broke out with 35…Bd3, winning the exchange.
In the women’s event, leaders Krush and Zatonskih continued their race for first place, both going 5-0.
Zatonskih won a tough advanced French against Tatev Abrahamyan by somehow managing to attack on the kingside where white initially seemed strongest. This game featured the amusing bishop manouver Bc8-d7-a4-c2-h7-g8.
Krush went into a complex Four Pawns Attack against Battsetseg’s King’s Indian, cleverly winning a piece with an exchanging combination topped by 21.d6!
Tuvshintugs had a heartbreaker. She was winning the whole game against Iryna Z, and had a technical exchange up ending. However in some time trouble she chose to transpose to a king and pawn ending which perhaps turned out to be tougher to win than she thought. After some manouvering a draw was agreed, but it appears that white could win by giving up her extra pawn to gain the opposition on f5, as pointed out by Krush. i.e. in the final position 87… Ke8 88. f7+, Kf8 89. Ke5! Kxf7 (89…Ke7 90. f8+) 90. Kf5, Kg7 91. Ke6, Kg8 92. Kf6, Kf8 93. Kg6, Ke7 94. Kxh6, Kf6 95. Kh7, Kf7 96. h6 and wins.