After an opening day with three exciting draws, we enjoyed three decisive results in the second round. Two of these games finished with wins for the player that was leading the black pieces. Etienne Bacrot, Alexander Moiseenko and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are now the early leaders of the event. With such a fighting spirit, they will need to keep their winning ways if they want to take home the winner’s trophy.
In today’s games we saw both tactical struggle and great technique. It is very refreshing to see the variety of styles shown by these players: from Moiseenko’s cold-blooded play to Vachier-Lagrave’s aggressive repertoire with black.
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The first decisive result of the tournament was Alexander Moiseenko’s win with black over Richard Rapport. The Ukrainian took advantage of his rival’s mistakes in time trouble to get the full point after 38 moves of play. The Hungarian got in trouble right after the opening and could not handle the pressure with the clock ticking down dangerously.
Rapport answered to Moiseenko’s Sicilian with a quick Bb5, giving up the pair of bishops in exchange of quick activity against the black king. This was enough to prevent the monarch from castling. Moiseenko did not remain passive and replied with strong actions on the kingside. His pair of bishops was the key factor later when he got to totally dominate the board and force Rapport to resign.
Etienne Bacrot has always been a principled player that goes for small advantages from the opening in order to show his great technique to defeat his opponents. The young Chinese Ding Liren was not patient enough today and ended up falling against Bacrot’s style.
Ding Liren played the second King’s Indian Defense at this event, but this was not a very lucky decision for him today. Bacrot played positionally keeping a healthy pawn structure throughout the game. It seemed like the struggle would go for the long haul with the closed central position, but the Chinese blundered on move 30 and allowed his opponent to get a winning advantage. The French GM showed his class and converted the full point until move 43.
A very long fight was seen in the game Ian Nepomniachtchi – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French got his first point with his pet defense, the Gruenfeld. This point is very important for the standings because it was achieved with the black pieces. This also might be good news for the chess fans because Nepomniachtchi is known for his fighting style with both colors; he will probably go all-in in the next rounds.
As soon as move 10, the computer disagrees with the Russian’s decision to play e3. This might be because he was not prepared for this line, or that he wanted to dazzle his opponent with a strange choice. From then on, Vachier-Lagrave handled the initiative masterfully, increasing the pressure gradually until getting to an endgame with a pawn up. Nepomniachtchi gave up on move 62 when the French is about to exchange bishops and convert his advantage easily.
|24.07.2013 14:00: Round 3|
|Maxime Vachier-Lagrave||–||Etienne Bacrot|
|Alexander Moiseenko||–||Ian Nepomniachtchi|
|Ding Liren||–||Richard Rapport|