European Championship: Nepomniachtchi Surrenders the Lead

Время публикации: 06.03.2015 11:27 | Последнее обновление: 06.03.2015 13:02

9 rounds are already over in Jerusalem, but it's still extremely difficult to predict the outcome of the European championship, if possible at all. On the top, there is a very close race instead of a clear leader, with the situation changing each round. There are two more rounds to go; they will be separated by the second day-off on March 7th.

After the 9th round, Ian Nepomniachtchi is no longer in the lead, as he was defeated by David Navara who has played a great game except for one blunder at the end which went unnoticed by both opponents.

NAVARA - NEPOMNIACHTCHI (round 9)

White had chosen an unorthodox opening in order to avoid the Grunfeld Defence. Nepomniachtchi thought for an unusually long time in the diagram position, which resulted in an erroneous decision: 12...Bd6? Better is 12...Be7, although it should be noted that the 'equality' insisted on by the engines is not easy at all to prove in practice. Earlier, Black could have chosen another setup: 9...Nf6 followed by Be7 and 0-0, avoiding the weakening of his kingside.
13.Qc2! f5 14.Ng5 Nf8. Black is permanently worse; the main problem is that he doesn't have a safe shelter for his king.
15.f4 h6 16.Nf3 Ng6 17.h4 0-0-0 18.axb6 axb6.

19.Bxf5. In the commentary for our website, Navara admitted that he had missed Black's counterstrike 19...Nxf4. 'Fortunately, then I found a powerful resource which gives White a big advantage...'
20.Be4! Bxe4 21.Qxe4 Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nxb2 23.Rhb1 (the b2-knight is trapped) 23...Rhe8 24.Rxb2. Strictly speaking, the rest is a matter of technique.
24...Qb7 25.Qb1 Bc7 26.Rba2 Bb8 27.Ra8 Rd6 28.R1a7 Qxa7 29.Rxa7 Bxa7 30.Ne5 Red8 31.d3 Rf8 32.g4 Bb8 33.Qh1 h5 34.gxh5 Rf5 35.Ng6 Rf7 36.Qe4 Rf6 37.Ne7+ Kc7 38.Qh7 Rf7 39.Ng6 e5 40.Nxe5 Re7 41.Ng6 Red7.

42.Nf4? This is the very move mentioned in the beginning. Had Black noticed 42...g5!, White's huge advantage would suddenly have been gone: 43.Nd5+ (the best) 43...Rxd5 44.Qe4 Rxd3, and the most likely outcome is a draw. The most accurate alternative is the patient 42.Ne5 (back) 42...Re7 43.Ng4, and the knight will come to d5 anyway after e3-e4.
42...Kb7? 43.Qf5 Bc7 44.e4 b5 45.Nd5 bxc4 46.dxc4 Rd8 47.e5 Re8 48.Nxc7 Kxc7 49.Qf7+ Kd8 50.Qxe8+ Kxe8 51.exd6 Kd7 52.Kf3 Kxd6 53.Ke4. 1-0 

After the game, David decided to take a short break from chess, preferring to enjoy a tasty supper instead of analysing the game immediately. Anton Korobov and Evgeny Najer probably have also enjoyed their yesterday's supper, as both have won their games, against Ilia Smirin and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu respectively. Navara, Korobov, and Najer are now tied for the lead with 7/9 each, while 11 players, including untitled Ilia Iljiushenok of Russia who has already got his first GM norm, are half-a-point behind.

The key games of the 9th round can be found below.
European Championship in Jerusalem: all the information and reports

[Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2735"] [BlackElo "2714"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Qc7 7. Bb2 Nd7 8. Qb3 e6 9. c4 b6 10. a4 Bb7 11. a5 f6 12. Bd3 Bd6 13. Qc2 f5 14. Ng5 Nf8 15. f4 h6 16. Nf3 Ng6 17. h4 O-O-O 18. axb6 axb6 19. Bxf5 Nxf4 20. Be4 Bxe4 21. Qxe4 Nd3+ 22. Ke2 Nxb2 23. Rhb1 Rhe8 24. Rxb2 Qb7 25. Qb1 Bc7 26. Rba2 Bb8 27. Ra8 Rd6 28. R1a7 Qxa7 29. Rxa7 Bxa7 30. Ne5 Red8 31. d3 Rf8 32. g4 Bb8 33. Qh1 h5 34. gxh5 Rf5 35. Ng6 Rf7 36. Qe4 Rf6 37. Ne7+ Kc7 38. Qh7 Rf7 39. Ng6 e5 40. Nxe5 Re7 41. Ng6 Red7 42. Nf4 Kb7 43. Qf5 Bc7 44. e4 b5 45. Nd5 bxc4 46. dxc4 Rd8 47. e5 Re8 48. Nxc7 Kxc7 49. Qf7+ Kd8 50. Qxe8+ Kxe8 51. exd6 Kd7 52. Kf3 Kxd6 53. Kf4 1-0 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.2"] [White "Korobov, Anton"] [Black "Smirin, Ilia"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2687"] [BlackElo "2650"] [ECO "E73"] [Opening "King's Indian"] [Variation "Averbakh system"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qd2 a6 8. Nf3 Rb8 9. O-O b5 10. cxb5 axb5 11. e5 b4 12. exf6 exf6 13. Bh6 bxc3 14. bxc3 f5 15. a4 Nf6 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. a5 Be6 18. a6 Ne4 19. Qc2 Bb3 20. Qc1 Bd5 21. a7 Rb3 22. c4 Ba8 23. Nd2 Rc3 24. Qb2 Qg5 25. Nf3 Qf6 26. Rfd1 c5 27. dxc5 dxc5 28. Bf1 g5 29. Qb8 g4 30. Ne5 Qh4 31. Ra2 Qe7 32. Rd7 Qe6 33. Rxf7+ Rxf7 34. Qxa8 Rc1 35. Qb8 Rd7 36. Qb2 Rdd1 37. Nd3+ Nc3 38. Qxc1 Rxc1 39. Nxc1 1-0 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.3"] [White "Sargissian, Gabriel"] [Black "Popov, Ivan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2668"] [BlackElo "2639"] [ECO "A31"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "symmetrical, Benoni formation"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 b6 5. Nc3 Bb7 6. f3 d6 7. e4 e6 8. Be3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Qd2 a6 12. Rac1 Rc8 13. Rfd1 Qc7 14. Bf1 Qb8 15. b4 Ba8 16. Na4 Rfe8 17. Kh1 Bb7 18. a3 Bd8 19. Nb3 Bc7 20. Bg1 d5 21. cxd5 exd5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Qb2 Be5 1/2-1/2 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.4"] [White "Motylev, Alexander"] [Black "Bartel, Mateusz"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2631"] [ECO "C02"] [Opening "French"] [Variation "advance variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Qb6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. a3 Nh6 7. Bd3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Bxf5 exf5 10. O-O Be6 11. Nc3 Be7 12. Na4 Qd8 13. Qd3 O-O 14. Bd2 Qd7 15. Nc5 Bxc5 16. dxc5 d4 1/2-1/2 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.5"] [White "Volokitin, Andrei"] [Black "Rodshtein, Maxim"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2646"] [BlackElo "2660"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O 9. Nc3 Ne8 10. Nd5 1/2-1/2 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.6"] [White "Najer, Evgeniy"] [Black "Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2634"] [BlackElo "2654"] [ECO "C42"] [Opening "Petrov"] [Variation "classical attack, Marshall variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. bxc3 b6 14. h3 h6 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Ne5 Bxe5 17. Rxe5 Qd3 18. Rxd5 Nc6 19. c4 Qe2 20. Qc3 Rac8 21. Bb2 Rfe8 22. c5 Rb8 23. Ba3 b5 24. Rd7 Rbd8 25. Rd6 Rc8 26. d5 Ne5 27. c6 Nc4 28. Rd7 Nd2 29. h4 Re4 30. c7 Kh7 31. Rxf7 Rg4 32. Bb2 1-0 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.7"] [White "Iljiushenok, Ilia"] [Black "Khismatullin, Denis"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2450"] [BlackElo "2653"] [ECO "B94"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Najdorf, 6.Bg5"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qe2 Qa5 8. f4 e5 9. fxe5 dxe5 10. Nf5 g6 11. Nh6 Ba3 12. Qc4 Bxb2 13. Qxf7+ Kd8 14. Bxf6+ Nxf6 15. Rd1+ Nd7 16. Qf6+ Kc7 17. Qd6+ Kd8 18. Qf6+ Kc7 19. Qd6+ Kd8 20. Qf6+ Kc7 21. Qd6+ Kd8 22. Qf6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.05"] [Round "9.8"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Saric, Ivan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2661"] [ECO "D38"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "Ragozin variation"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bf4 c5 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O c4 10. Bg5 Bxc3 11. bxc3 h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Nd2 Ne7 14. e4 Be6 15. Qa4 Rfd8 16. Rab1 b6 17. Qa3 Nc6 18. exd5 Bxd5 19. Bxd5 Rxd5 20. Nxc4 Rad8 21. Qb2 b5 22. Ne3 b4 23. Nxd5 Rxd5 24. Rfd1 bxc3 25. Qxc3 Nxd4 26. Kg2 Qe5 27. Qe3 Qd6 28. Rbc1 Qd7 29. Qc3 Kh7 30. Qd3+ g6 31. Rc4 Rh5 32. Rxd4 Qh3+ 33. Kf3 Rf5+ 34. Rf4 1-0


  


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