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    Entries in Vladimir Fedoseev (5)

    Tuesday
    May292018

    Poikovsky, Round 3: Wins for Gelfand, Fedoseev, and New Co-Leader Jakovenko

    Ian Nepomniachtchi failed to win for the first time in the tournament, but that's a somewhat artificial way of putting it, as he was surely satisfied with an easy draw with Black against Gujrathi Vidit. He's now at 2.5/3, as is Dmitry Jakovenko, who won with Black against Emil Sutovsky. Sutovsky's 27.Ref2 allowed his kingside to be weakened after 27...Bxg2+, and once Jakovenko played 34...h3 defeat was inevitable though not immediate.

    Vidit, with 2 points, is tied for 3rd-4th with Anton Korobov. Korobov was winning at one point against Vladislav Kovalev, though not trivially. Had he played 29.d6 he would have had very good chances to join the tie for first, but after trading queens a whole series of exchanges soon followed, and the value of White's extra pawn was negated by the opposite-colored bishops.

    In the next score group, at 1.5/3, are two players who won to get back to 50%. Boris Gelfand won a very good positional game against Vladislav Artemiev, while Vladimir Fedoseev won speedily against Victor Bologan when the latter was unable to cope with White's kingside attack. (17...Nc6! 18.hxg6 Nd4! would have kept the game alive; after 17...Qf6 18.Rd2 Black was already lost.)

    In round 4 the 2.5s battle the 2s: the leading pairings are Nepomniachtchi vs. Korobov and Jakovenko vs. Vidit.

    Thursday
    Dec282017

    Anand Wins the 2017 World Rapid Championship

    Well done, Viswanathan Anand! His success was a bit surprising, in that he took short draws in four of the five games. But it all worked out: he won the right game, got into a playoff, and emerged victorious.

    Along the way there were many challenges. First and foremost, there's the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who quickly earned board 1 rather than receiving it as an endowed chair. He won in round 11, and then faced then-leader Vladimir Fedoseev. The game seemed headed for a draw for a very long time, but Carlsen worked his endgame magic and amazingly found himself in clear first. He was still in clear first after a draw in round 13, but after drawing in round 14 he entered the last round tied for first with Anand.

    Carlsen's last-round opponent was Alexander Grischuk, who started the day with three straight wins. That put him in a big tie for second when facing Anand in round 14, but Anand won a very good game to put an end to Grischuk's chances for first place. But Grischuk bounced back with an excellent win - with Black - against Carlsen to knock the latter out of first and off the medal stand. The most surprising aspect of Carlsen's performance is that he was absolutely brutal on his opponents when playing Black: an undefeated 6-1 score. But with White his performance was absymal (by his standards): 4-4, including three losses.

    What about Fedoseev? He started the day in first by half a point, but after a draw and the loss to Carlsen he was half a point behind. He drew in rounds 13 and 14, and bounced back into a tie for first by beating fellow Russian youngster Vladislav Artemiev in the final round to tie Anand for first.

    But wait, there's more: Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nepo started the day a point and a half behind Fedoseev, but won in round 11 (against Yuriy Kuzubov), drew Anand in round 12, beat Aleksandr Rakhmanov in round 13, drew Peter Svidler in round 14, and beat Wang Hao in round 15. The result was that he joined the three-way tie for first at 10.5/15.

    Svidler could have joined them with a win over Boris Savchenko, but he lost that game. Bu Xiangzhi could have made it to 10.5 instead of Anand if he had beaten him, but despite having the white pieces he was content to draw in just 11 moves. Surprising, but overall he had a great tournament - don't forget that he defeated Carlsen in round 1.

    The tie for first was settled like this: the players with the best tiebreak scores would play a two-game blitz match (3'+2"), with an Armageddon game if necessary. Not surprisingly, given Nepomniachtchi's comeback on the last day, he had the worst tiebreakers and received the bronze medal. So it was Anand-Fedoseev, and the former world champion won convincingly in the first game. In the second game, Anand was better throughout and often winning (despite an impressively tricky idea by Fedoseev midway through the game) but allowed Fedoseev a draw in the end. (The arbiter misunderstood both the position and Fedoseev's handshake offer and marked it as 0-1, but the correct result is up on the official site.) Thus Anand won the playoff and the title. (I don't know if Carlsen was given the gold medal on Norwegian TV, but for the rest of the world Anand was the victor.)

    Here are the final standings for the top three score groups:

    • 1-3. Anand, Fedoseev, Nepomniachtchi 10.5
    • 4-9. Bu, Carlsen, Grischuk, Savchenko, Mamedov, Guseinov 10
    • 10-18. Svidler, Wang Hao, Yu Yangyi, Artemiev, V. Onischuk, Ding Liren, Harikrishna, Grigoriants, Zhao Jun 9.5

    A selection of games from the final day, here.

    Finally, while I didn't bother to cover it, the concurrent women's world rapid championship was won by Ju Wenjun with an impressive 11.5/15, half a point clear of her countrywoman Lei Tingjie. Elisabeth Paehtz was the surprise bronze medalist, clear third another half a point behind.

    The blitz tournament starts tomorrow, and the only thing we can count on is that Magnus Carlsen will be on board 1. (I wonder if that will continue even after Fabiano Caruana or Wesley So defeats him in next year's classical world championship.)

    Wednesday
    Dec272017

    2017 World Rapid Championships, Day 2: Fedoseev Leads; Anand, Svidler, and Wang Hao Half a Point Back

    Ten rounds down, five to go. Vladimir Fedoseev has led all the way, and although he has drawn his last three games he's still half a point ahead of Viswanathan Anand (who defeated Magnus Carlsen in round 9), Peter Svidler, and Wang Hao. Fedoseev has 8 points, Anand et al have 7.5, and Carlsen is in the group of five players with 7 points apiece.

    Lots of interesting games have been played, and I have included a bunch here, mostly from round 2. (If other games caught or catch your eye, please let me know and I'll add them either to this list or to a new one.) Enjoy!

    The website is here, and here are the top pairings for round 11 (in real board order, not fake Norwegian TV order):

    • Mamedov (7) - Fedoseev (8)
    • Svidler (7.5) - Anand (7.5)
    • Wang Hao (7.5) - Safarli (7)
    • Pantsulaia (7) - Carlsen (7)
    • Mamedyarov (6.5) - Yu Yangyi (7)

    Tuesday
    Sep122017

    World Cup, Round 4, Day 1: Ivanchuk and Fedoseev Start with Wins

    The last couple of rounds have seen lots of draws in the classical games, with players preferring to try their luck in the rapid and blitz tiebreaks. In today's action, at least, this was not the case: everyone playing White tried to make something of it, though only one player succeeded.

    That player was Vassily Ivanchuk, who defeated Anish Giri, though the connection of his win to his possession of the white pieces was tenuous. He did obtain an advantage against Giri's Petroff, but his weird 15th and 17th moves flipped the evaluation, and he was in serious trouble. But then Giri started doing strange things, and frankly both players made lots of errors, possibly due to time trouble. The last serious error was 34...Qf4+, allowing Ivanchuk to trade queens and reach an easily won rook endgame. After Ivanchuk's 41st move, the players had time to take stock, and Giri gave up.

    The day's other winner was Vladimir Fedoseev, who defeated Maxim Rodshtein (who may have been a little rusty and emotionally out of sorts after receiving a de facto walkover thanks to "Shortsgate". As with Ivanchuk-Giri, there was no logical line between the opening and the first player to achieve an advantage and the game's result. After Fedoseev's dubious pawn sac on move 22 Rodshtein was better, but White's repeated decision not to initiate the exchange of rooks eventually let his advantage slip away. Even after that the game remained in a precarious balance until Rodshtein's 35.Nc4? missed a nice tactic that had been looming for a while. Fedoseev spotted it, and that clinched it. Again as in Ivanchuk-Giri, once the winner had made his 41st move and time trouble was no longer a factor, it was time to resign.

    The other six games were drawn, but all were interesting. Peter Svidler played the Bishop's Opening against Bu Xiangzhi (to avoid the Petroff), but couldn't achieve an advantage and the game was eventually drawn; if anything, Black was a little better through a fair chunk of the middlegame.

    Wesley So vs. Baadur Jobava was a Petroff, and Jobava was well-prepared. So's 11.h4 was a rare move, and it was well-met by Jobava's new move, 11...Bc5. It's not clear if there's any advantage to be had for White; if so, it's not with 12.Bd3. Jobava had no problems, and while both players fought well and tried to make something happen, the game never got out of balance.

    Richard Rapport and Evgeniy Najer played the longest game of the round. When there were chances, Najer had them, and after Rapport's 44.Nf1 Najer's winning chances were very good. Perhaps 45...Bd3 would have led to a win, and 46...Kf6 would also have given him good chances for the full point. By White's 49th move, however, the draw was an inevitability, provided Rapport stayed alert - and he did.

    In all the draws thus far, Black has done very well, and that was also the case in Daniil Dubov - Levon Aronian. Dubov's 20.d5 was too optimistic, and had Aronian played 22....Bd5, or later 30...Qd7, or especially 34...Rxb2, it's quite likely that he would have won. Luckily for Dubov, Aronian played 34...Qf6??, and two moves later the game was drawn.

    Wang Hao and Ding Liren played a "correct" draw. Ding was well-prepared on the black side of a Meran, and made a comfortable draw.

    Finally, the draw between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk was anything but comfortable. Vachier-Lagrave went all-out for the attack, sacrificing a rook. The idea was sound, but his 28th move was objectively an error, though not one that was easy to refute. Grischuk very understandably looked for a way to achieve safety, and he found it. He returned the material, with a little interest thrown in, to achieve an easily drawn rook and two pawns vs. rook and three pawns ending, with all the pawns on the same side of the board.

    Here are the games, with my comments.

    Tuesday
    Aug012017

    Fedoseev on his Recent Successes and Aspirations

    Here's a nice, short interview with one of the year's most successful players, 22-year-old Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev. It's not too deep, but helps introduce him to those of us in the West who don't yet know very much about him.