SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Saving one’s energy for the blitz tomorrow!
Round 1 did not produce any fireworks
Gelfand, B – Jakovenko, D Round 1: 3/12/2009.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 b6 7. Bd3 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Ne5 Bf6 11. Qh5 g6 12. Qf3 Bxe5! 13. Bxe5 Nc6 14. Bf6 Qd6 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. O-O c4 17. Bc2 Bg4 18. Qf4 Qxf4 The game is completely even. Draw agreed.
Round 2 did not produce any fireworks, either!Jakovenko, D – Gelfand, B Round 2: 4/12/2009.
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 h6 5. Bxf6 Qxf6 6. Nbd2 Nd7 7. Rc1 c6 8. g3 g5 9. h3 Bg7 10. Bg2 O-O 11. O-O Qe7 12. g4 f5 13. gxf5 exf5 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Qb3 Both sides stand badly! Draw agreed!!
And so it is all up to the blitz tie-breaks tomorrow. I am certain that the loser tomorrow will regret not having tried harder in these two games…
INTERVIEW WITH B.GELFAND AND D. JAKOVENKO AFTER THE FIRST GAME
B.G.: We have played the famous Queen Gambit and I should admit that Dmitry interpreted it in a quite strange way. Taking into account how fast he was making his moves, it seemed I was caught with home preparation. I was trying to do something, but was not successful in that. At one point I had a clear vision: I need to accurately make a draw.
D.J.: I was preparing this variation for the tournament in Nanjing . (Gelfand surprisingly looked at Jakovenko) I should underline that white pieces have a lot of opportunities. In this variation it is dangerous to play with black. I think I’d better not open all secrets. It could be the situation that we will have the same position in the tie breaks. (both smiled)
What match was the most complicated for both of you?
B.G.: Against Vachier-Lagrave. Though there were problems in the previous games as well.
D.J.: Life was not easy for both of us yesterday. My match against Grischuk was also very tough.
There is a temperature drop in Khanty Mansiysk: from -30 to +1 and vice versa. Does it affect your performance?
B.G.: We cannot do anything with that. This is the profession specificity. We should work under the conditions we have. Yes, my shape in general is not that good. But it is not clear what caused it. Maybe it is because of weather. But maybe it is because of the trials and tribulations of the tie breaks.
Dmitry, you are a “host of the Cup”. Being acquainted with the freaks of the local weather, do you think you might have an advantage?
D.J.: It has become warmer and our chances have been equalized. It was minus 30 for several days lately. My opponents were sitting in the hotel and I was walking, taking breath of fresh air, – smiles Jakovenko. – It is also important n a way. Though everything is decided at the chess board, where everyone is equal.
Alexey Shirov thinks that sport trainings have a positive impact on the chess results. He used to ski every time he visits Khanty Mansiysk.
D.J.: If I finished my matches playing only classical games, I would allow myself to do the same maybe. But I have no time to rest and no time for sport. Besides, I am not a fan of cross-country skis. I can walk, but cannot cross.
B.G.: When I was a boy, I went to ski almost every week end. Now I don’t do it anymore: Israeli climate does not allow skiing. But I would like to ski. Maybe I will still have a chance to do it in Khanty Mansiysk…
The traditional question to Boris Gelfand: The chess society has the same question for already many years: what do you have in a bottle that you always take with you to your games?
B.G.: It is not a doping for sure… ( laughing ). I was checked in the latest World Chess Championship. So everything is legal.
INTERVIEW WITH B.GELFAND AFTER THE SECOND GAME
The match between Boris Gelfand and Dmitry Jakovenko is equal so far. The opponents will clarify who is stronger and luckier in the tie breaks.
In the second game we had a rare variation of Queen Gambit, – says Boris. – I was rather familiar to the position, but the move Kc3 instead of d2 is normally used. The black pieces have a standard problem – lack of space. That is why I was aggressively trying to get a counter game. At one point Dmitry offered a draw. I wanted to continue playing but having analyzed the position, I had a clear vision: there is no sense to do that. The game was very short… Yes, but very interesting and instructive. Do you consider yourself as a favorite of the Cup? I did not think about it. My target is to win this match. Who is the favorite does not matter for me. Where do you get energy to play such a long tournament? I just like to play chess. That is why I work hard; I try to improve my results. I do hope that tomorrow I will have a success as well.
When you win, do you feel pity for your opponent?
It is not a battle of gladiators. We play chess. Someone wins, someone loses. This is sport.
Before the Cup, you took part in the Tal Memorial tournament. Did it favour your success here?
It may be well so. I was playing against very strong chess players in the Tal Memorial. So, I gained a good shape.
The chess players from post Soviet generation qualified to the quarter finals of the Cup. Do you see any appropriateness in it?
Of course. Have a look at the FIDE Rating list: the top hundred consists of almost 80% of Russian speaking chess players. The teams whose members speak Russian dominate in the Olympiads. It is an objective fact. We have a good tradition, a good school. In addition, we have a high class coaches. I think that the non-Russian speaking players, like Caruana, achieve some results thanks to the work of the coaches, who were brought up in the Soviet chess schools.At the end of the press conference, Boris Gelfand praised the work of the press center of the Cup.
I would like to thank the press center of the Cup for the bright coverage of the tournament. In particular, I would like to say some compliments to your work on the bulletins which we receive after each Round. It is very colorful edition with a lot of pictures and interesting materials. I read it with great pleasure.