E.Sutovsky - V.Kramnik - the best game of July
Consideration and rating of the games of July was done with the help of Alexandra Kosteniuk, Evgeniy Najer, Alexei Bezgodov, Sergey Soloviov, Ilya Odessky, Vladimir Barsky and also Sergey Ivanov and Nikita Vitiugov, whose eloquence I will rest on frequently and with pleasure in suming up.
5 of 25 offered examples made no impression on me. It means I should have been more strict in choice. According to Sergey Ivanov, "there were many various tournaments in July, both team and individual and many different games, but from my point of view nothing outstanding happened like it was in previous months". These words are proved by numbers: virtually only two games pretended to get the olive-branch.
Emil Sutovsky became our winner finally. His victory over Vladimir Kramnik got the first prize: 3 first places (Kosteniuk, Ivanov, Vitiugov), 2 second places and 2 third places.
Ivanov: "Thank God, Emil Sutovsky continued active creative work according to the already established good tradition, and that's why I put his only but outstanding victory in Dortmund over Kramnik on the first place. Emil as usual made an aggressive opening and felt right at home - sacrificed a pawn, then a piece, lured the black king out of a shelter and then went on strengthening his position. And a classical champion of the world himself, with his sharp sense of danger, couldn't do anything. This victory alone outweighed his negative Dortmund experience!"
Vitiugov: "Why this game is on the first place? The answer is evident: Emil Sutovsky with his special horseman-like style defeated Vladimir Kramnik! After the Aeroflot many thought that Emil can win a game in a beautiful style against a strong opponent or even can win in a very strong tournament, but nevertheless such a style is not for Dortmund. Why so? This answer is also evident. We are so threatened by the term "elite" that we already canonized many of the certainly strong players. And we cannot imagine that an elite player can be beaten in a slightly incorrect attack, that he won't find a refutation at the board. And even more so if this elite player is Vladimir Kramnik himself. Kramnik cannot be beaten by the dashing attack. And the exception only proves the rule:
" The second prize game is also from the group "Death of the Titans". Along with the winner game, the defeat of Alexei Shirov by Mark Bluvshtein also ranks among all top tens (no other game is assessed so unanimously). The following comments were done by Nikita Vitiugov:
"A perfect home work of Mark Bluvshtein! And although Mark tried to assure me during recent junior championship that he doesn't give necessary attention to the special individual preparation, I wouldn't believe him after all that. And seriously speaking we have an extremely rare example of a player with 2700+ Elo caught in the opening."
Sergei Ivanov has an analogous opinion: "Evidently the idea of piece sacrifice (14...£h5!) is prepared at home, but it doesn't depreciate the merits of Bluvshtein: you should not only be able to find such ideas in popular variations, but also ensnare one of the strongest grandmasters into such a position". Sergey Soloviov fairly notes that it was a victory in the style of Shirov himself.
This game got 2 first places (Odessky, Soloviov), 1 second place and 3 third places.
Further at the respectful distance of enormous sizes there are two games of one player, the best of which got 2 first places in the lists (Barsky, Bezgodov). The triumphant of Dortmund Arkadij Naiditsch got the overall third place for the win over Leko and the fourth place for the defeat against Topalov (an accurate play of Veselin is marked by 1 second and 1 third place).
Ivanov: "I would like to note two combinations of the Dortmund winner Naiditsch: one done by Topalov - 23.¤e6!! (Topalov-Naiditsch) with the subsequent wreckage of the position of Black and another of Naiditsch himself - 23.¤e6!!, another variation of the endless subject of the weakness of the last horizontal".
The game Bologan-Shirov got the sixth place (Ivanov: "The pieces flied on board as moths, blows were followed by counterblows, but finally Black took over", Vitiugov: "An extremely complicated game, making a strong aesthetic impression. However, I think that from about the 20th move the exploitation of Black's advantage began".) The creative achievements of Alexei Shirov got 2 second places, but because of the more frequent appearance in the lists the fifth place was occupied by the dark horse, Rotstein- De la Paz, played in one of the numerous Spanish opens. We'll discuss it in the coming review, the queen sacrifice is worth respect.
An attentive reader would notice that one more first position in the lists is not mentioned yet, but we'll come to it. The 7th and 8th places are shared by 2 games that can be named the best examples of the high technique: Adams - Topalov (1 second place) and Eljanov - I.Sokolov. The 9th place got the lecture on the blockade and bad bishop, read by legendary Jan Timman to the young Yuriy Kuzubov. The game similar to the achievements of Michael Adams and Pavel Eljanov played by Etienne Bacrot (victory over Kramnik in the endgame with heavy pieces and better pawn structure) got the highest praise of Evgeny Najer but only the 10th place in the overall list.
Ivanov also considers that "one should mention the highly original maneuver of the rook, done by Magnus Carlsen (Carlsen-Tallaksen) - in the position with fianchettoed white bishop on g2 and the board full of pieces, he moved his rook on the square : h3! From the first glance this maneuver looked absurd, but it turned out that the young Norwegian made a sophisticated decision: in a few moves White managed to attack Black's king, and the h3-rook took an active part in this attack. So, gentlemen, look at the games of child prodigy and you'll get extremely interesting data for new books about the positional theory of chess!" I'm going to follow this advice of Sergei.
So here I suppose we'll stop. I'll end with the announcement of the review or, more precisely, with the anti-announcement (as I'll list what you won't find in it). Games Sutovsky-Kramnik and Naiditsch-Leko with the notes of the winners and Bologan-Shirov with the comments of the looser you'll find in the 9th issue of the "64" that is already published. Vladimir Belikov, the commentator of Dortmund tournament and the beginning of the European team championship in the "Chess week" will tell all and everything about the games Topalov-Naiditsch and Mamedyarov-Christiansen. He also made general notes in the games Sutovsky-Beliavsky and Adams-Topalov. Sufficient information about the games Eljanov-Sokolov and Korneev-Psakhis can be found in the marvelous report of Alexei Kuzmin for the "Chess week". In the same newspaper Andrei Deviatkin tells about one of the most outstanding and sudden moves in his whole career done in the game with Denis Yevseev, and Evgeniy Najer comments on his game with Felgaer.
It's many, but let's not forget that in the suggested list there were 25 subjects so there will be something left for me. See you soon.