Reports | June 17, 2009 17:22

Three draws in Bazna

King's TournamentAll games in the third round of the Kings Tournament in Bazna ended in a draw and so Shirov, Ivanchuk and Gelfand kept their shared lead. Only Radjabov had serious winning chances, in his game against Shirov.

The 3rd Kings Tournament, a six-player round-robin with Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Gelfand, Kamsky and Nisipeaniu, takes place June 14-25 in Bazna, Romania.

Round 3

The third round started with a remarkably short game between Nisipeanu and Kamsky, who started repeating moves already at move 11. After two unfortunate games the Romanian wasn't in the mood for new creativity, and after the game he said “I needed to stop it and want to start the tournament anew tomorrow."

White went for the theoretically harmless 4.c3 line in the Giuoco Piano and where 10...Nce7 used to be the main move in the position, Kamsky's 10...Na5 actually got an exclamation mark in Nunn's Chess Openings from 1999 (which has the delightful "computer-checked for accuracy" on the back cover). It also gives the option 12.Bb5 to avoid the repetition, but 12...Bd7 13.0-0 0-0 is just dead equal.

King's Tournament

In this respect it's important to mention that also in Bazna there are some regulations against short draws:

No draw agreement by the players are allowed before move 30. Any such draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter in the following cases:

  • a triple-repetition of the position;
  • a perpetual check;
  • in theoretically drawn position.

And so Nisipeanu-Kamsky was another game which questions the use of such regulations, since players will always find a way to draw quickly if they want to.

Ivanchuk tried hard to get something with White against Gelfand's Petroff by pushing both his a- and h-pawns but Black held is own relatively easy. In fact if anyone is better in the final position it's Black.

King's Tournament

Shirov's new move 16...Nd7 doesn't appear to be equalizing. After the game he said he "considered it to be the only way for Black to fight", as 16...Nc6 leads after 17.Nxc6 bxc6 to a "strategically lost position for Black". In the game Black gave up his fianchetto bishop to create an isolated queen's pawn in the white camp but with 20.a4! Radjabov proved that he was still on top.

However, after some very strong moves the grandmaster from Azerbaijan had to make a difficult choice at move 25, and 25.e7 Rfe8 26.Rxb7 was probably stronger there - in fact close to winning. Another strong alternative was 30.Rb2 when according to GM Rogozenco 31...Nb1+ seems best, "although after 32.Kd3 Rd7+ 33.Ke3 Black is on verge of losing, since in opposite to the game the knight is worse place on b1 than on a2."

King's Tournament

Hopefully Nisipeanu gathered some new energy as his White game against Shirov today could be a nice clash between two fantastic players!

Game viewer

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work. Silverlight works on all browsers and platforms except for Linux, but this should be fixed soon. Contact us for questions, not in the comments section, please.



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Marten's picture

@Peter In the beginning I liked the new way of showing the games. Now, again, I have to move up and down the page to read the comments on the game and to see the moves underneeth. Also because all the moves are printed on one file I cannot even follow the moves without having scroll to the right in the viewer. In the beginning the moves were printed from the top to bellow and also in a seperate window so one could follow the moves, the comments and see the game in one blink of the eye. I hope something can be done again to make everything easy to see.

Peter Doggers's picture

This is how we're going to do it for the time being, since a) the perfect game viewer doesn't exist and b) other methods cost too much time, unfortunately.

Thomas's picture

An interesting question, though (everyone may have his own answer[s]): When does a player have the "moral" right to offer a draw:
- in a slightly worse position? [assuming that Ivanchuk agreed with the assessments by Peter Doggersand GM Rogozenko _during the game_]
- in one's own time trouble?
- in the opponent's time trouble?
- in mutual time trouble? [Radjabov-Shirov]

With Sofia rules enforced, both games would have continued, but the results would probably have been the same - if the players had made it to the time control. And Ivanchuk-Gelfand may well have continued for another 50 moves or so !?

Thomas's picture

Back on thread ... :
"it was an act of courtesy to offer a draw by Gelfand, with his opponent also being in severe time trouble."
Wasn't it Ivanchuk who offered the draw? White made the last move in the game. And, if the live viewer (still available on the tournament site) is correct, he had 9:29 left for the last three moves [no time trouble, certainly not on the Chucky scale] vs. Gelfand's 22 seconds for four moves.
For Radjabov-Shirov, Rogozenko mentions 37.-Nb4 38.Rb4: Ke6: as completely equal. What about 38.Bg8!? Both players then get a passed pawn, black on the a-file, white eventually on the h-file - I can offer no other evaluation but "unclear" ... .

Peter Doggers's picture

As I don't know who offered the draw, I changed the sentence slightly.

Thomas's picture

I don't mean to be nitpicking too much .... but I think the revised sentence is still wrong concerning who was in time trouble. Or do you have information which contradicts the official site?
Otherwise, you may be (subconciously) falling into a trap thinking "Ivanchuk is always in time trouble", but maybe there are exceptions to this rule :) .

Peter Doggers's picture

You're right, I was mistaken. Better to leave it out althogether.

moonnie's picture

For people who cannot run the silverlight app. chessbase has the games with commentary as well (that is where i try to follow most chess games now)

Castro's picture

Sofia adds to the absurd of it's draw (outlaw) rules the absurd time control.
The two combined make the (for me) worse tournament around, with a lot more of oportunities (and eventualities) of non-chess, especialy when the games go to that infame last-period.

As for the "moral" profile of a draw offer: I think the only posible way such an offer could be "unkind" or "immoral" is the one forbided by the FIDE rules: If it is one of many, or persistently, just to annoy the opponent.
Even if my opponent is getting mated, he can offer me a draw without me taking it as an insult. It will even put a smile in my face ;-)
As for the time trouble, I feel the same. It is MY responsability to have time enough to maybe be "destabilised" by the regular draw offers he has THE RIGHT to offer.

ggstarling's picture

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Andreas Andreou's picture

wrt the silverlight app - i'm also on linux & mainly using FF, so i wrote a small greasemonkey script that replaces the app with a java viewer.

Perhaps it's useful to others - or

moonnie's picture

Script works (looks a bit weird but i can replay the games atleast)

I suggest putting the link somewhere so all people who do not want to or can use silverlight can use it

moonnie's picture

Forgot to mention .... great work andreas !!

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