Reports | August 03, 2008 18:05

Sochi R3: Cheparinov takes the lead

Three months ago, it was also Cheparinov who was making the headlines at the first Grand Prix in Baku. There he started with 0 out of 4, but here in Sochi he's doing much better: with 2.5 points he's the sole leader after three rounds! First seeded Ivanchuk recovered from his loss against Kamsky by beating Aronian.

The way Kamsky was playing in the second round against Ivanchuk was very impressive, and things were looking bright for the American grandmaster in the third round as well. He was outplaying Cheparinov with the Black pieces in a Gr?ɬºnfeld Defence, and around move thirty he had a strategically winning position. But then the young Bulgarian started to defend creatively, sacrificing a knight to go for Kamsky's king. In slight timetrouble, the American made two mistakes in a row and had to throw in the towel.

The way the Ivanchuk left the stage and the playing hall yesterday, suggested that he had suffered another loss, but in reality he had scored a fine win against Aronian. A very subtle theoretical novelty, which at first sight didn't seem very dangerous, actually yielded a small but sustaining plus for White, and after just one inaccuracy by Aronian, Ivanchuk won a pawn and the game.

The other five games were drawn, of which only Radjabov-Gashimov was not very interesting. The Petroff Defence seems to be immune for the Sofia rule, because you get a boring position anyway on move fifteen, and then players just start to repeat moves to get it over with. In the photo below, Wang Yue already seems to know what kind of show the players will give!

Svidler couldn't convert a plus pawn in a opposite-coloured-bishops-plus-rooks ending, Grischuk couldn't do it either with queens plus rooks and in Wang Yue-Modiahki and Navara-Karjakin it was about equal all the time.

Round 3 results
Cheparinov - Kamsky 1-0
Ivanchuk - Aronian 1-0
Gelfand - Svidler ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Radjabov - Gashimov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Grischuk - Jakovenko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Wang Yue - Al-Modiahki ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Navara - Karjakin ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


All photos ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky. Below you'll find the games of the second round (with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov and myself), followed by videos by Robert Fontaine and G?ɬ©rard Demuydt of Europe-Echecs.


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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.


shah's picture

Great luck by Cheparinov but Kamsky deserved to lose - serious mistakes in the wild tactics at the end...

endji's picture

the voice of cheparinov @ 4:00 ...... .............
....... it has zero relevance but I think he can lower his voice a little bit.

Good player and deserved win. To have that kind of luck means you have to play good.

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