The Capablanca Memorial: There Are Now Three Leaders Since Potkin Lost to Laznicka. The Russian's Wasted Chance

Время публикации: 08.05.2012 14:25 | Последнее обновление: 09.05.2012 08:01

In the fourth round of the Capablanca Memorial, held in the Cuban capital, there was no winner in the encounter of the hosts: Leinier Dominguez vs. Yuniesky Quesada. It was the Berlin endgame of the Ruy Lopez. The opponents repeated seventeen moves from the game Leko - Alekseev, Elista 2008. Dominguez's novelty allowed White, in some respects, to win two tempos that were lost by Black later, during their manoeuvre of the knight to g6, back to e7 and then to f5. However, the higher rated player couldn't prove advantages of his position anyway.

One more draw was agreed in the game between Vasily Ivanchuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi after a long and hard struggle. The complex Sicilian middlegame gave an extra pawn to Ivanchuk in the endgame, but it was hard to exploit because of the opponent's activity of the pieces.


(The position after 36...Rd8). Probably, Ivanchuk shouldn't have sent his knight to the e7 square (after 37.Rf5 Ne5!): the knight was risking not to get out of there. The position became unclear and, not long before the draw agreement, Nepomniachtchi could even claim that Black was the stronger side.

Instead of moving the king back to f7, which led to a repetition after the check from h7, it was possible to play for a win with 45...Nf7!?. Although, a draw was more than likely to happen later on.

The only decisive game was between Vladimir Potkin and Viktor Laznicka. Similarly to the encounter between Ivanchuk and Nepomniachtchi, the Najdorf System of the Sicilian Defence was played in this game. It seems that the Russian lost his advantage in the opening.


Vladimir could have chosen 14.Ndxb5 axb5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qf3!, and Black has some difficulties. For example, 16...b4 (in the variation 16...Rb8 17.Qxf6 Bg7 18.Qg6+ Kf8 19.Bxb5 Kg8 20.Rhf1 Qe7 21.h4! White's position turns out to be overwhelming; maybe Black should opt for 16...Rxa2, but it doesn't look like he has enough compensation for an exchange there) 17.Nb5, and after 17...Nb3+ (the only move) 18.Kb1! Qa5 Black is unquestionably worse.

White has a choice of three options: 19.Qxa8 Qxa8 20.Nc7+, 19.Qxb3 and 19.cxb3. And the most unpleasant for the opponent maybe the pawn's capture: if necessary, a possible transfer of the king to c2 together with the idea of Bc4 prevent all of Black's threats, while the white queen keeps its activity to the maximum.
14.Bg3 was played in the game and a double-edged middlegame ensued. After 29 moves White's position remained acceptable, but then the Russian grandmaster made two bad mistakes and lost.

Ivanchuk, Dominguez and Laznicka, who's just joined them, are leading with 2.5 points after four rounds.

[Event "47th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2012.05.07"] [Round "4"] [White "Potkin, Vladimir"] [Black "Laznicka, Viktor"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B94"] [WhiteElo "2642"] [BlackElo "2693"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2012.05.03"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qe2 h6 8. Bh4 e6 9. O-O-O b5 10. f4 Qc7 11. f5 Nc5 12. fxe6 fxe6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Bg3 b4 15. Bxe5 Qf7 16. Nb1 Bb7 17. Nd2 Be7 18. Nc4 Nfe4 19. Nf3 O-O 20. Qe3 Rad8 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. Be2 Qg6 23. Re1 Bd5 24. g3 Rf8 25. Bf4 Qe8 26. Nfd2 Nxd2 27. Qxd2 Ne4 28. Qd4 Qa4 29. Kb1 Rc8 30. Rd1 Bc5 31. Qe5 Bd6 32. b3 Bxe5 33. bxa4 Nc3+ 0-1 [Event "47th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2012.05.07"] [Round "4"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2012.05.03"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Bg7 12. Nb3 Nc6 13. h4 gxh4 14. Rxh4 h5 15. Qd2 Be6 16. f3 Nge5 17. Bf2 Bc4 18. Nd5 e6 19. Nb6 Bxf1 20. Kxf1 Rb8 21. Rd1 Qf6 22. Rh3 h4 23. Nd4 Rd8 24. Nxc6 bxc6 25. Qb4 Ng6 26. Bd4 e5 27. Be3 O-O 28. Qa4 d5 29. exd5 e4 30. c3 Rfe8 31. dxc6 Rxd1+ 32. Qxd1 Qxc6 33. Qa4 Qb5+ 34. Qxb5 axb5 35. Nd5 exf3 36. Rxf3 Rd8 37. Rf5 Ne5 38. Ne7+ Kf8 39. Bc5 Ke8 40. Ke2 f6 41. Bb4 Kf7 42. Rh5 Bf8 43. Rxh4 Re8 44. Rh7+ Ke6 45. Rh8 Kf7 46. Rh7+ Ke6 47. Rh8 Kf7 1/2-1/2 [Event "47th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2012.05.07"] [Round "4"] [White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Black "Quesada Perez, Yuniesky"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2625"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2012.05.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 h5 11. Bg5 Be6 12. Rad1 Be7 13. Rd2 Rd8 14. Rfd1 Rxd2 15. Rxd2 h4 16. Bxe7 Nxe7 17. Ng5 Bc8 18. Ne2 Ng6 19. f4 Ne7 20. Ne4 Nf5 21. Kf2 Ke7 22. Nd4 Nxd4 23. Rxd4 b6 24. Ng5 c5 25. Rd2 Bf5 26. Ke3 Rh6 27. a3 Rh8 28. Nf3 a5 29. Ng5 f6 30. Nf3 Kf7 31. Kf2 Ke7 32. Ke3 Kf7 33. Kf2 Ke7 34. Ke3 1/2-1/2 

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