Rublevsky-Mamedyarov becomes the best game of June
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Michal Krasenkow, Evgeny Gleizerov, Sergey Ivanov, Alexey Korotylev, Andrey Zontakh and Vladimir Barsky took part in discussing the June selection. Opposite opinions of the experts led to rather even results.
The game Rublevsky-Mamedyarov, which had already been awarded with the beauty prize in Foros, took the first place. Kosteniuk, Barsky and Ivanov placed it on the top spot. Shakhriyar’s brilliant victories often take part in our monthly races, and now, finally, the Azerbaijanian grandmaster hits the pot.
Quoting the victim (from his interview to e3e5): ‘Mamedyarov played a very good game, which was later selected as the best game of the tournament. Right after the game I could not realize where I made the fatal mistake. I know where I can try to improve, but I think Shakh’s excellent home preparation would have finished me off anyway... Of course, it is unpleasant to lose as White, but it is not a shame – the loss is deserved.’
The battle Volokitin-Ivanchuk came just two points short: it was awarded by first places by Korotylev and Zontakh, one second and two third places, however, it wasn’t mentioned at all in three other lists! This game is another perfect example of how brilliantly Ivanchuk handles his horses. Nisipeanu’s win over Grischuk is a point behind. Gleizerov: ‘White conduced his attack, as the saying goes, without taking a breth. The move 22.Qf2!! is especially great.’
Karjakin-Ponomariov takes the 4th. This game enchanted Kovalevskaya and Gleizerov: ‘This game is tenser than any other one in the selection. The sharpest endgame that arose after the exchange sacrifice is especially exciting. To be honest, I did not quite understand, who stood better.’
The only encounter mentioned by all experts is Harikrishna-Mamedyarov. Gleizerov: ‘A striking game! Black seemed to do everything correctly, but already by the 17th move was in trouble. The Indian grandmaster once again confirmed his reputation of top-class strategic player.’
St. Petersburg championship game Alekseev-Yevseev took the 6th place. It did not receive any podium places, but was mentioned in almost all lists. Gleizerov: ‘Evgeny conducted the game very consequently, creating a textbook example on a subject ‘converting the kingside majority in the Botvinnik system.’
Violent attack of the centralized king by Alexey Bezgodov (Bezgodov-Bakharev) took the 7th place.
Tiviakov-Timman was mentioned by all experts but one, and takes the 8th spot. ‘A very good positional exchange sacrifice, and, by the way, quite unobvious one.’ (do I have to mention I quote Evgeny Gleizerov?)
Two victories of the Foros triumphant, Sergey Rublevsky, conclude the top 10 – 9.Rublevsky-Volokitin (‘Of course, Black did not utilize all his defensive resources, but imagination and readiness to take risks must be appreciated’), and 10.Rublevsky-Ponomariov (‘Domination with limited material! But couldn’t Black just take the pawn on the 21st move?’). Sergey can console himself that the sum of points for these games and his win over Bologan would bring him to the third overall spot...
Negi-Delchev game just a point short to join the 10. A strange story happened to the game Hochstrasser-Ekstrom: Krasenkow gave it the first place, while all other experts just ignored it. I suggest the reader to examine the game in the review (which will follow shortly) and make an own judgement.