The second round at the ACP Golden Classic was a wild one.
The sole tournament leader, Vasil Ivanchuk (2/2), outplayed Le Quang in a rather puzzling Slav. His novelty, 11..g5 needs further assessment, but it sure produced the effect of confusing his opponent. The Vietnamese player could not find a suitable reply, played rather passively and was finally swept out of the board after a blunder on move 20. Ivanchuk's play was very inspired after that and, just as the day before, Le Quang kept playing until the end of the session without any real chances of rehabilitating his position.
The other decisive game of the day, Jobava-Sasikiran, trailed along the path of equality for a long time as none of the opponents succeeded in outplaying the other in a rather traditional Italian Game. The game was not without thrill, however. White got overconfident with his position and his Q-side attack and allowed Black to build pressure on the K-side. Black found some imaginative counterplay with the creative 32...d5 and later White failed to find the only good queen move after the beautiful 35...Rd8 that indirectly defended the f4-bishop by exploiting the weakness of the White rooks. Basically the Georgian lost control of the game after that and eventually resigned a few minutes after the end of the session, when a quick look at the computer told him that he had no chances at all after any reasonable move by his opponent (Sasikiran sealed the ultra solid 43...Be5).
Sutovsky-Kamsky was an entertaining Ruy Lopez, with the not too common 12.h3. Black seemed to be in control throughout most of the game and White's prospects looked gloomy especially after 21...c5. The Israeli Grandmaster however chose an imaginative pawn sacrifice that complicated the game and gave him - if not an equal position - at least some counterplay. A few moves later, when computers were evaluating the position clearly in Black's favour, Kamsky failed to find the rather inhuman 30...a3 (which involved a queen sacrifice and escaping a likely perpetual) or any other convincing and settled for a draw by repetition. A rather disappointing end to an interesting fight.
So, on round one Anna Muzychuk prepared the first envelope but eventually did not need to use it, as her opponent Sasikiran resigned before sealing his move. On round two, it was again Sasikiran who sealed his move but no adjournment was necessary as his opponent resigned immediately after. Will the third round bring about the first complete adjournment of the tournament? And will Sasikiran again be involved? Stay tuned!