Hansen draws Ftacnik in Rd. 3
Only one decisive game in round 3, and even that was because the Catalan grandmaster Lopez was stubborn and wanted to win a drawn Queen ending against the American grandmaster Shankland. Eric drew with Ftacnik, after missing several chances. The tournament is just getting started and tomorrow will be the middle round, when things should pick up.
Hansen and Hambleton have both taken up the 3.Bb4+ Rossolimo/Moscow variation with good results. Here Hansen tried to repeat his round one success, playing the same line, and it must be admitted that the experienced grandmaster Ftacnik did not come out of the opening with a fully satisfactory position. Hansen built up interesting play on the kingside and at one point could have gotten what seems like a clear edge. Instead, he chose a faulty plan that slowly allowed Black to sort out his problems and get a fully satisfactory game. At one point Black was even a bit better, but the draw was a fair result.
Hansen, E vs Ftacnik, L
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+
3…Nd7 4.O-O a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 Ne5 7.Nxe5 dxe5 8.a4 Bg4 9.Be2 Bxe2 10.Qxe2 e6 11.Na3 b6 12.Nc4 Nd7 13.b3 Be7 14.Bb2 Qc7 15.Qg4 Bf6 16.f4 Ra7
Here Eric can get a big edge with 17.Qh5! when Black must defend very well: 17… O-O! (Much worse is 17…g6 18.Qh6 b5 19.axb5 axb5 20.fxe5 Nxe5? 21.Rxa7; or 17…exf4 18.e5! Be7 19.Nd6+! Bxd6 20.exd6 Qxd6 21.Bxg7 Rg8 22.Qxh7 ) 18.fxe5 g6 19.Qf3 Bg7 20.Qf4 and White is on top.
17.f5!? exf5 18.exf5 (18.Qxf5! looks better) 18… O-O 19.Qg3 Re8 20.Re2 b5! 21.Ne3 c4 22.bxc4 bxc4 23.Bc3 Qc5 24.Qf2 e4
Now 25.Nd5! assures Eric of atleast an equal game, and probably a slight plus.
25.Nxc4?! Qxc4! 26.Qxa7 Bxc3 27.dxc3 Qxe2 Now Black is a bit better, but nothing serious. 28.Qxd7 Rf8 29.Qd4 e3 30.Rf1 Qxc2 31.Qxe3 Rc8 32.a5 Qxc3 33.Qxc3 Rxc3 34.Rb1 h5 35.Rb6 Rc5 36.Rxa6 Rxf5 37.Ra8+ Kh7 38.a6 Ra5
The draw is inevitable. Neither side can make progress
39.Kf2 Ra2+ 40.Kf3 Kg6 41.a7 1/2-1/2