Apart from the title and prize-money, the players will also be aiming to finish in the top 22 which is synonymous with qualification for the next World Cup, an even more lucrative tournament.
This may induce some players to play cautiously to avoid dropping out of the top 22 which may well occur with any late unfortunate losses.
|1||GM||Ian Nepomniachtchi (6.5)||RUS||2656||1-0||GM||Baadur Jobava (7)||GEO||2695|
|2||GM||Ivan Sokolov (6.5)||BIH||2638||0.5-0.5||GM||Zahar Efimenko (6.5)||UKR||2640|
|3||GM||Vladimir Akopian (6)||ARM||2688||1-0||GM||Bojan Vuckovic (6)||SRB||2630|
|4||GM||Igor Lysyj (6)||RUS||2615||0.5-0.5||GM||Fressinet Laurent (6)||FRA||2670|
|5||GM||Ferenc Berkes (6)||HUN||2659||0.5-0.5||GM||Bartlomiej Macieja (6)||POL||2625|
|6||GM||Denis Khismatullin (6)||RUS||2657||1-0||GM||Valerij Popov (6)||RUS||2585|
|7||GM||Artyom Timofeev (6)||RUS||2655||1-0||GM||Hrant Melkumyan (6)||ARM||2582|
|8||GM||Maxim Rodshtein (6)||ISR||2609||0-1||GM||Rauf Mamedov (6)||AZE||2639|
|9||GM||Vladimir Potkin (6)||RUS||2606||0.5-0.5||GM||Alexander Motylev (5.5)||RUS||2705|
|10||GM||Zoltan Almasi (5.5)||HUN||2720||0.5-0.5||GM||Pavel Tregubov (5.5)||RUS||2625|
|11||GM||Sergei Movsesian (5.5)||SVK||2709||1-0||GM||Nidjat Mamedov (5.5)||AZE||2623|
|12||GM||David Navara (5.5)||CZE||2708||0.5-0.5||GM||Csaba Balogh (5.5)||HUN||2622|
|13||GM||Anish Giri (5.5)||NED||2624||0.5-0.5||GM||Francisco Vallejo Pons (5.5)||ESP||2708|
|14||GM||Michael Adams (5.5)||ENG||2704||0.5-0.5||GM||Romain Edouard (5.5)||FRA||2617|
|15||GM||Evgeny Tomashevsky (5.5)||RUS||2701||0.5-0.5||GM||Robert Markus (5.5)||SRB||2618|
|16||GM||Viorel Iordachescu (5.5)||MDA||2621||0-1||GM||Evgeny Alekseev (5)||RUS||2700|
Baadur Jobava would probably prefer to remember his eighth round game where he won with an excellent technical display against top seed Zoltan Almasi from Hungary.
Baadur Jobava (2695) - Zoltan Almasi (2720)
Rijeka (European Individual championship for Men 8th round) 14.03.2010
Queen's Indian Defence (E12)
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘f3 b6 4.a3
The Petrosian System where White invests a tempo to avoid ...Bb4.
4...♗b7 5.♘c3 d5 6.cxd5 ♘xd5 7.♗d2 ♘d7 8.♕c2
White's slow build-up is met logically with a vigorous response.
8...c5 9.♘xd5 exd5
It's possible to recapture with the bishop in order to keep the pawn structure as solid as possible i.e. 9...♗xd5 when the critical reaction would be 10.e4 ♗b7 11.d5!? exd5 12.exd5 ♗d6! (it's too dangerous to snatch the pawn as Black would have problems along the central files with his retarded development) 13.0-0-0 0-0 14.♗b5 with complicated play, Pert,R-Kjartansson, Hastings 2005.
Again Black has a choice as to his desired pawn structure, for example 10...bxc5 would instead give Black hanging pawns, a controversial structure which can offer a strong pawn front if well supported. Then 11.e4!? (breaking up the pawns early) 11...♗e7 12.exd5 0-0 13.0-0-0 c4 14.♗c3 ♘b6 15.h4 ♗xd5 was murky but ultimately favoured Black in Sherbakov,R-Riazantsev,A Satka 2008.
11.e3 0-0 12.♗d3 ♘f6 13.0-0
Black has an isolated central pawn, but can hope for active piece play in return.
13...♘e4 14.♗b4 ♕e7 15.♗xc5 bxc5
So we have hanging pawns after all! Jobava decides to break these up forthwith before black can support them with his heavy pieces.
Instead the anti-positional 16...c4? 17.♗xe4 ♕xe4 18.♕xe4 dxe4 19.♘d4 would give Black a miserable endgame as the centralized knight cannot be shifted.
17.axb4 ♕xb4 18.♖fb1 ♕e7 19.♘d4
For his pawn White has excellent deployment. There is little risk in this strategy as Black is unlikely to ever be in a position to exploit his extra pawn, indeed Jobava's pawn sacrifice turns out to be a good practical way of maintaining winning chances deep into the game.
19...g6 20.♗xe4 dxe4 21.♕b3 ♖fc8 22.h4!
Opening a second front and not falling for the standard trap 22.♕xb7?? ♖c1+!
22...♖c7 23.h5 ♕g5 24.♕d1 a6 25.♖b6 ♗c8
After 25...♕xh5 26.♕xh5 gxh5 27.♖a5 Black would have two extra pawns, but it would be him who would be under pressure in the endgame.
26.♕b1 ♗f5 27.h6
This ensures that Black's back-rank will remain vulnerable for the time being.
27...♖ac8 28.♘xf5 gxf5 29.♕b2 ♖d8 30.♖bxa6
Material equality has been re-established. Now the question is: who has the more vulnerable king?
30...♖cd7 31.g3 ♕g4
After 32.♖a8 Black has perpetual check starting with 32...♖d1+ 33.♖xd1 ♕xd1+ 34.♔h2 ♕h5+ etc.
32...♖d1+ 33.♖xd1 ♕xd1+ 34.♔h2 ♕h5+ 35.♕h4
Avoiding an immediate draw.
It's often the case that rook endings with all the pawns on the same flank are drawish. Here White's king cannot be prevented from marching up the board and attacking the Black pawns, whereas Black's king is restricted. So White retains winning chances.
An interesting try but I suspect that this is an error. It's easy for a casual observer to criticize, but I prefer the more cautious 36...♔f8 37.♔g3 ♔e7 e.g. 38.♖a2 (38.♔f4 perhaps allows too much simplification: 38...♖d2 39.♔xf5 ♖xf2+ 40.♔xe4 ♖h2 41.♔f5 ♖xh4 and White's winning chances are minimal) 38...♖d5 39.♔f4 with some pressure, but I suspect not enough to win.
White's pawns are not 'pretty' however Jobava is now able to show that it's the power of his king and not aesthetics that makes all the difference.
38.♔g3 ♔e7 39.f5!
Constructing a shelter for his king.
39...♖d3+ 40.♔f4 ♖f3+ 41.♔e5!
The pawn is less important than space for his king.
41...♖xf2 42.♖a7+ ♔e8 43.♔f6
The king keeps on going!
44.♖e7?? would lead to an unfortunate end to the game: 44...♖xf5+!
44...e3 45.♖e4 e2 46.♔g7
Threatening f5-f6 followed by capturing on f7.
46...♖xf5 47.♖xe2 ♖f4
White is left with only rook's pawns, which in certain circumstances would lead to a draw, but here Black's king is cut-off from the action and so White wins.
48.♔xh7 ♖g4 49.♖e5 f6 50.♖e6 ♔d7 51.♖xf6 ♔e7 52.♖f5 ♖xh4 53.♔g6!
Instead 53.♔g7? ♖g4+ 54.♔h8 ♖h4 55.h7 ♖g4 is a book draw. Continuing the struggle after 53.♔g6 is unnecessary as 53...♔e6 54.♖g5 ♖f4 55.h7 ♖f6+ 56.♔g7 ♖f7+ 57.♔g8 is straightforward.
Cmilyte's win takes her to 7.5, whilst behind her are three players on 7, Antoaneta Stefanova, Anna Muzychuk and Pia Cramling, the first, third and fifth seeds respectively.
So the tournament is still far from over!
|1||GM||Monika Socko (6.5)||POL||2465||0-1||IM||Viktorija Cmilyte (6.5)||LTU||2485|
|2||GM||Antoaneta Stefanova (6)||BUL||2555||1-0||WGM||Natalia Zhukova (6)||UKR||2492|
|3||GM||Hoang Thanh Trang (6)||HUN||2487||0-1||IM||Anna Muzychuk (6)||SLO||2533|
|4||GM||Tatiana Kosintseva (6)||RUS||2524||0.5-0.5||IM||Yelena Dembo (6)||GRE||2457|
|5||IM||Nino Khurtsidze (6)||GEO||2434||0-1||GM||Pia Cramling (6)||SWE||2523|
|6||IM||Anna Ushenina (5.5)||UKR||2452||1-0||IM||Nadezhda Kosintseva (5.5)||RUS||2554|
|7||GM||Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (5.5)||SCO||2447||0-1||GM||Marie Sebag (5.5)||FRA||2506|
|8||IM||Lela Javakhishvili (5.5)||GEO||2500||0.5-0.5||IM||Mariya Muzychuk (5.5)||UKR||2444|
|9||WGM||Lilit Galojan (5.5)||ARM||2380||1-0||IM||Elina Danielian (5.5)||ARM||2491|
|10||GM||Nana Dzagnidze (5.5)||GEO||2479||0-1||IM||Marina Romanko (5.5)||RUS||2409|
|11||IM||Salome Melia (5.5)||GEO||2467||0-1||WGM||Jolanta Zawadzka (5.5)||POL||2404|
|12||WFM||Valentina Gunina (5.5)||RUS||2457||0.5-0.5||WFM||Nastassia Ziaziulkina (5.5)||BLR||2188|
More information on the official tournament site