The Dubai Open is heading towards its close, and the home fans unfortunately have nothing to boast about, especially after the demise of national team leader Saleh, who started well in teh first three rounds. The other home players have not shone, so one can understand the excitement of the locals over the performance of the former Bosnian, currently Dutchman, but working on a training contract in the Emirates, Ivan Sokolov. In round 5, the "playing captain" scored a nice win over Rauf Mamedov:
Mamedov - Sokolov
Black has been on his opponent's back for the whole game and the white player eventually collapsed: 26…Bd4 27.Bxf5 Qe2 28.Be4?! – After the strongest move 28.Rf1 Bxd3 the white king also has little to cheer about 28…Bxf2 29.Kh1 Bg4 30.Ne3 Bxe3 White resigned (0:1).
This was not enough for Ivan, who already could feel the blood pulsing! Two hours later (this was a double-round day) he won a tough game against Alexander Fier. 2 out of 2! Who wants to speak about age after this?
Vladimir Akopian also won brilliantly in round 5:
12…Bb4 – «Finger slip»? A deep positional sacrifice? Neither. Vladimir Eduardovich simply decided to play big chess!
13.exd5 exd5 14.a3 Re8 15.Be2 Bxc3 16.Bxc3 Bh3
Black's idea could now have been placed in doubt with 17.Qd4 followed by Kd1, although it is still too early to speak of a quiet life, as there are many hidden rocks and reefs to get past. David moved the queen one square less far with 17. Qd3 and the black pawns advanced, whilst the white king has not found a safe refuge…
27…Qf3 28.Kc1 Qxa3 29.Kb1 h6 30.Be5 Qf3 31.Qc3 Qg4 32.f3 Qg6 33.Ka1 Qc6 34.Kb1 Qg6 35.Kc1 a5 36.Bd4 a4 37.Rxe8 Rxe8
38.Qc2? – The English GM was slightly stunned by such an onslaught.
38…a3! – David had been concentrating on the central pawn pair and forget about their colleague on the wing. The British shiop founders on the rocks… 39.Ra2 Re1 40.Kd2 Qe6 41.Kc3 Qa6 42.Kd2 Rh1 43.Bf2 d4
How pleased Andre Danican would have been by this position! 44.Qe4 c3 45.Kc2 Qa4 46.Kd3 Rd1 47.Ke2 d3 48.Ke3 Qxe4 49.Kxe4 d2
Quite a picture! White resigns (0:1) Of course, such masterpieces are better followed live, and one can only imagine teh feelings of the spectators and otehr players! The game creates a very strong impression. Bravo, Vladimir.
In round 7, the top board game Sokolov-Akopian was drawn and the leaders were joined by Boris Savchenko and Gawain Jones. To do so, the Moscow Champion had to beat of a not fully correct, but imaginative assault from Adkhiban, which Boris successfully accomplished. Gawain in his turn also won against the Indian GM Thejkumar-а, in a long bishop ending (the Indian delegatiuon here is the largest of all, even bigger than the home contingent).
The Moscow Champion joiuns the leading quertet
The women's prize is currently led by Bulgaria's Antoanetta Stefanova. In the last four round, the ex-world champion has scored 3.5 and is not looking to stop at that. But Padmini Rout (India) has matched her score. The two will both have black in the 8th round, against Gabriel Sargissian and David Anton respectively.
The main contenders for the 15 prizes, totally 13 000$:
20 players are half a point further back, among them the undefeated Ivan Cheparinov,, the great figher Yuri Kuzubov, (who has not drawn a single game!) Mikhail Antipov and many others, who have already been mentioned in this report.
«Dubai Open Chess Tournament 2016». Big chess