By Chess Coach William Stewart
Original article along with with interactive PGN’s on Round 4 of the World Team Chess Championship available on William’s site.
Azerbaijan Beats Russia Convincingly
Grischuk’s opening preparation was clearly insufficient as he emerged from the opening down a pawn and in a clearly worse position on the black side of Ruy Lopez. Gashimov continued to actively press, won another pawn, and forced Grischuk’s resignation on move 39. Guseinov ensured his team’s success with a solid tactical win over Svidler on board 4. Svidler chose an interesting variation of the Sicilian Kan, similar to a Hedgehog formation – however he was unable to achieve any counterplay on the queenside and Guseinov was essentially left a free hand to force through in the center. Svidler’s passivity and lack of coordination allowed Guseinov to spectacularly break the black position open with 26. f5!? and 28. Nf5! – leading to a decisive win of material for white.
Hungary Topples Strong Ukrainian Team
Peter Leko made the difference with the black pieces against Vassily Ivanchuk on board 1 today, as every other game was drawn. Ivanchuk is viable to play any opening, making it extremely difficult for opponents to prepare against him. However, a downside is that sometimes he doesn’t know his own opening thoroughly enough. This seemed to happen today, as Leko rapidly achieved a crushing position with the Marshall Attack against Ivanchuk’s Ruy Lopez. The idea of sacrificing a piece with 18. …f4! was not new to Leko as he played very quickly at this point – however Ivanchuk was not prepared and spent 62 minutes on moves 18, 19, and 20. Not only did this hurt the Ukranian #1 on the clock, it landed him in an extremely difficult position due to the complicated imbalances of material and coordination. Ivanchuk tried to put up a defense, however Leko had more than ample time to accurately find and execute the win.