Adjournment! by Yuri Garrett
Anyone waiting for an adjournment? Then, please be presented with two! The fourth round of the ACP Golden Classic was a very balanced one, and - therefore not surprisingly - one that brought forth the first two "serious" adjourned games in the tournament.
Kamsky-Ivanchuk was the most disappointing game so far (a draw in only 10 moves), but not without a reason. The former US champion claimed, immediately after the game, that he was not in a condition to play because of a serious ailment: "I could only see a black wall in front of me" where his exact words. Rumor has it that Gata spent a sleepless and bitter night over FIDE's unexpected decision to oust him from the 2013 Grand Prix, but we do not have a confirmation from the US Grandmaster. All we can add is that ACP Board Director Yuri Garrett saw the pair leaving the building together, with Vasil proposing to Gata (in Russian): "Maybe we can play a few blitz games for fun?!". Actually, the players were as disappointed as the public that the game could not be staged! They then peacefully walked towards their hotel in an actually rather chilly and rainy Amsterdam summer afternoon.
In Le Quang-Muzychuk we could see yet another effect of the "classic" time control. The Vietnamese Grandmaster outplayed his opponent in a symmetrical English and netted a pawn in the process. He did so at lightning speed so that at move 40 he had over one hour advantage on the clock. This gave him the practical chance to play the resulting rook ending with a pawn up at the board, since Muzychuk was deprived of the option to adjourn the game at a reasonable condition. Le Quang then slowed his pace and tried to get the most out of his position, but Muzychuk showcased grandmasterly endgame technique and kept the balance in sight throughout the first session of play. The game was adjourned on move 48 with White actually playing his forced move (48.Rd2) on the board and Black seemingly retaining excellent chances of a draw. Will Le Quang find a way to fight on?
Sutovsky-Sasikiran was, not unexpectedly, a Ruy Lopez. The Israeli Grandmaster chose the d3-system for this game and a rather complex play ensued in a closed position. Sutovsky again decided give away his Spanish bishop in order to push his a-pawn and disrupt Black's Queen side and seemed to the get the upper hand for quite some time in the early middlegame. He then somehow lacked the energy to convert his initiative into a tangible advantage and Black slowly equalized after move 25, and actually got what seemed to be an easier position to play. White probably felt the turn of the events and got in time trouble trying not to further spoil his position and was finally left with less than 3 minutes for his last six moves. When Sasikiran (who had nine minutes) seemingly started to exploit this factor... the fire alarm went on! All players were forced by the arbiters to leave the playing room and resumed play some ten-fifteen minutes later, by when it was clear that it had been a false alarm. Notwithstanding the interruption, Sutovsky managed to keep his sang-froid and made it safely to move forty, with the position still being balanced. The game was adjourned on move 41, when Sutovsky thought for about 12 minutes to seal his move. Though the position is balanced, it is not without play, so we are set to see the continuation of this interesting game in three days to come!
Both adjourned games can be discussed on the official website:
Feel free to leave your comments! :)
Tomorrow, at 16:45, Grandmaster Ivanchuk will be presenting his master class at the Universum Sports Center. Feel free to attend!