Maxim Notkin. April best: NAJER – NEVEROV
April best twenty almost fully consisted of games from European Championship in Dresden. Sergey Zagrebelny, Konstantin Landa, Igor Lysyj, Vladimir Barskij, Andrey Zontakh, Evgeny Gleizerov, Michal Krasenkow and Emil Sutovsky took part in discussions.
There was no clear leader this time, but to the end of voting two games dashed forward. I wonder would it be a big commonplace to say that one of them took the fist place in the end and the other – the second place, yet it is mere truth. I must remark that Ivan Smikovski, Mikhail Golubev and Vladimir Belov (at e3e5, ChessPro and russiachess sites accordingly) worked much on creative achievements of the European Championship, so readers can get exhaustive information about majority of the games mentioned below. And the first prize winner of April has been commented by laureate himself – Evgeniy Najer.
His victory over Neverov was placed 1st by Barskij and Zagrebelny and also by Sutovsky who got tangled in his sympathies and begged permission of your columnist to share the 1st place between four candidates. Taking into account numerous deserts of the applicant in creating as well as in expert evaluating of pieces of chess art, the needed permission has been given to him. Najer has one 2nd place too, overall sum being 63 points.
Artem Iljin is 6 points behind, his game against Nepomniachtchi got top place from Lysyj plus one 2nd and two 3rd places. No doubt, delight would be full and universal, independent play starting somewhat earlier. However, Radjabov and Aronian trampled the road much, and it was hard to step aside. Seriously, I wonder about further development of the theory of this line. Conditionally speaking, if Anand happens to play against Iljin, would he admit the position after 17.¥f3 or would turn aside earlier?
Jaracz – Nielsen occupies the 3rd position (Zontakh - 1st place, 1/4 of the 1st place by Sutovsky, one 2nd, but half of experts ignored the game, the sum being 39 points). The game seems untouched by commentators, so it will be included into a review.
4th-5th places (37 points) share Orlov – Asrian and Najditsch – Gustafsson. In the first game (another favourite of Sutovsky, one 2nd and one 3rd) White carried out an elegant endgame combination, in the latter (one 2nd, one 3rd) there is nothing elegant, only crunch of major pieces. Considerations about Iljin – Nepomniachtchi are even more applicable here. If Marshall happened to beat Capablanca in such style in the primary-source game, sensitive Cuban might never have become World Champion. Jan Gustafsson still needed to make only six independent moves which he, clearly, knew in advance. However, two rooks sacrifice makes deep aesthetic impression.
6th-7th places shared again. The only foreign inclusion in the top ten – an epic game of the last round of Bundesliga Laznicka – McShane (1st place by Gleizerov) and a continued story Moiseenko – Pavasovic (1st place by Krasenkow, two 3rd). If Dusko Pavasovic would ask me to sum points for this win and for the one over van Wely two rounds earlier (27 identical moves!), I could not have refused him and he would take the third place. Luke got checkmated with his king in the open air, Alexander reached queen endgame and then even pawn one, but there happened a fine and instructive shouldering. Both games will be keeping in the same cell of chess beauty treasury.
8th-9th places: Shomoev – Potkin and Orlov – Halkias (one 3rd). Avrukh – Neverov brings up the rear, liked by Sutovsky (and some others but to much less degree).
I must note that Landa gave the 1st place to Werle – Najditsch but almost without adherents.
The last two games of Top 10 seem to have avoided commentators' attention up to now. I shall correct this misunderstanding in the future review. See you later.