Naiditsch edges Efimenko in Mukachevo

Mukachevo, in the far west of the Ukraine, was the venue for a six-game classical match, from the 12th-18th of August, between two similar strength players: Arkadij Naiditsch and Zahar Efimenko, with the German taking it 3.5-2.5.

Match play is rather different from tournament play as the fact that the players meet several times requires them to be particularly cunning in their use of opening ploys. It's always preferable to get your own prepared lines on the board rather than having to cope with your opponent's!

In fact the players had such a healthy respect for their opponent's home preparation that six different opening schemas were employed in the match.

The overall match result:

Arkadij Naiditsch2684GER3.5-2.5Zahar Efimenko2689UKR

Naiditsch took the lead in the second game, but was perhaps rather fortunate to stay ahead throughout as Efimenko missed some wins in their fourth match.

In both of the fifth and sixth games the Ukrainian was a pawn up but couldn't break down Naiditsch's defences.

Here are the details, game-by-game:

Game No.White playerResultBlack playeropeningECO codeNo.Moves
1Zahar Efimenko0.5-0.5Arkadij NaiditschCatalanE0453
2Arkadij Naiditsch1-0Zahar EfimenkoSpanish BerlinC6753
3Zahar Efimenko0.5-0.5Arkadij NaiditschNimzoindian with g3E2034
4Arkadij Naiditsch0.5-0.5Zahar EfimenkoSpanish ChigorinC9797
5Zahar Efimenko0.5-0.5Arkadij NaiditschSpanish SchliemannC6326
6Arkadij Naiditsch0.5-0.5Zahar EfimenkoThree KnightsC4654

The Transcarpathian cup chess festival featured various other events including a simultaneous display by Ruslan Ponomariov, but the hard-fought match featuring six interesting games was naturally the blue riband event.

For more information (and statistics!) see the Official site

Naiditsch managed to avoid defeat @ official site
Efimenko couldn't quite win a game @ official site

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