facts and figures from a chess career

Archive for September, 2008

Bilbao 2008

Posted by Stefan on September 22, 2008

In the very strong Grand Slam Final Radjabov had a comparatively weak start, failing to win from a promising position against Ivanchuk, and losing in spite of having a clear advantage with black against Carlsen. He also went wrong in mutual time trouble in his second game against Ivanchuk. In the final round Radjabov turned around what seemed to be a totally lost position against Aronian, in the most amazing comeback of the event. On the whole a -1 result in 10 games is no catastrophe in these surroundings and Radjabov had a rating just over 2750, ranked 8th in the world, after the tournament.

Position after 44. … Qd3 in Aronian-Radjabov:

Some annotators meant that 45. Rbe1 was an easy win for white, missing among other things the line 45. Rbe1 Rxb3 46. Rxe8+ Kc7 47. Qh7+ Kb6 48. c5+ dxc5 49. Bxb3 and black is winning because of Rf2+ followed by Qf3. Aronian failed to find the line that could have secured him a draw and played the quickly losing 45. Reb2 with less than 20 minutes left for the rest of the game. The tournament used a scoring system where wins gave 3 points and draws 1, and Topalov won ahead of Carlsen and Aronian. Table with the traditional scoring system given below.

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Sochi 2008

Posted by Stefan on September 21, 2008

Radjabov had a good tournament in Sochi’s Grand Prix series event, where he was unshared second, 0.5 from first place. He was well ahead of players like Ivanchuk, Svidler and Karjakin, and behind only Aronian after the latter’s win against Grischuk in the final round. Radjabov played Carlsen’s a6 Dragon against Karjakin and scored a beautiful win after a double exchange sacrifice.

Position after 30. … Nxd5 in Karjakin-Radjabov. White has no good way to defend against Nxc3+ since Rh3 is followed by Nf4:

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Posted by Stefan on September 20, 2008

Radjabov has been involved in some interesting draws lately, just in 2008 there’s for example

Radjabov-Leko (Linares 2008)

Cheparinov-Radjabov (Sofia 2008)

Topalov-Radjabov (Sofia 2008)

Jakovenko-Radjabov (Sochi 2008)

Ivanchuk-Radjabov (Sochi 2008)

Position in the last mentioned game after 35. … Qa5. Radjabov has sacrificed a pawn in a King’s Indian, with good compensation:

Ivanchuk now has the chance to lose brilliantly with 36. b3 Nbxc4 37. Nxc4 (bxc4 would be followed by Rb2+) Nxc4 38. bxc4 Rb2+ 39. Kxb2 and even though white is rook and knight up black has a mate in six beginning with Qd2+:

In spite of mutual time trouble Ivanchuk saw the danger and went for white’s strongest option, that secured a repetition draw (36. Nc3 Qb4 37. Na2 Qa5 and so on).

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The Schliemann Defense

Posted by Stefan on September 20, 2008

In 2007 Radjabov made the Schliemann Defense his standard response against the Ruy Lopez. He drew a couple of rapid games against Kramnik and Carlsen, while he won against Shirov. Just in 2008 he has played it six times in top tournaments without being defeated, against Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, Svidler, Mamedyarov and Polgar.

Anand-Radjabov (Linares 2008) after 22. … c6. Black has equalised after playing the Schliemann Defense and the game is drawn without further moves (one possible continuation being 23. Qxd5+ cxd5 24. Nxc5 Be3 25. Nd7 Bxc1 26. Nxf8 Bxf4 27. Nd7 Rb7 28. Nc5 Rc7):

Radjabov’s six games with the Schliemann in 2008:

Polgar-Radjabov (Corus 2008)

Topalov-Radjabov (Linares 2008)

Anand-Radjabov (Linares 2008)

Carlsen-Radjabov (Linares 2008)

Mamedyarov-Radjabov (Baku 2008)

Svidler-Radjabov (Baku 2008)

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White repertoire

Posted by Stefan on September 20, 2008

Radjabov has scored many wins after opening with 1. d4 over the latest years, some examples of wins with the Queen’s Gambit:

Radjabov-Svidler (Linares 2006)

Radjabov-Bacrot (Linares 2006)

Radjabov-Zvjaginsev (Russian Club Cup 2006)

Radjabov-Bruzon (Biel 2006)

Radjabov-Cheparinov (Sochi 2008)

Radjabov-Bu Xiangzhi (Sofia 2008)

Radjabov-Anand (Corus 2008)

After playing 1. e4 Radjabov has chosen the Scotch quite often lately, but without much success. All his six games with the opening have been drawn in 2008. The opposition has been strong though, Topalov and Aronian in four of the five games. Also earlier the Scotch has been rather drawish, in sixteen games with all time controls Radjabov has scored +1 -0 =15, the only win being

Radjabov-Karjakin (Dos Hermanas 2005)

Radjabov’s results on the white side of the Sicilian have been better, +14 counting from year 2004, even if most opponents have been comparatively weak, like Babula, Miton, Tiviakov, Avrukh, Grachev, Flores, Navara, Schlosser and Rowson. Some of the wins have come against quite strong opposition though:

Radjabov-Morozevich (European Team Championship 2006)

Radjabov-Shirov (Linares 2008)

Radjabov-Kamsky (Baku 2008)

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