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Thrilla in Antalya
r 20171011_ecc_antalya 3530 Daniele Vocaturo Ding Liren PADOVA - ALKALOID
Such a thrilling day full of chess! Well done to all players, for keeping us on the edge of our seats for hours. Just plain, human chess; the kind we all love!

Unfortunately only two rounds left but with the standings as they are it’s sure that even more excitement is awaiting us!


Let’s save the match of the day, Odlar Yurdu-Globus to the end and look at what other favourites did first.

Second and third seeds Alkaloid and Mednyi Vsadnik both won their matches easily, against Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova and LSG Leiden respectively. Seventh and eighth seeds Csm Baia Mare and and Beer Sheva also won with high scores such as 5-1 and 6-0. Except Beer Sheva who has 7 pts, all of these teams reached 8 points with their match wins today, all within striking distance of the two teams sharing the lead, Odlar Yurdu and Globus.

The match between fourth seed AVE Novy Bor and fifth seed SHSM Legacy Square Capital promised a tough fight and the match was very hard-fought, although the way the match has progressed it was always clear the Czech club would win. In the end the sole win came from David Navara who won against Malakhov in a very well-played game. A few inaccuracies by the Russian was enough for Navara to get a winning position which he converted very efficiently. Even if he failed Harikrishna could always play for a win instead of forcing a draw because of the match situation.

Finally the Odlar Yurdu-Globus match, which had many ups and downs. The strategy of Odlar Yurdu, the underdogs, was clear: not to lose on any boards. Thus third board Guseinov and fifth board Abasov didn’t play very ambitiously with white and chose quiet openings. Neither did the Russians object to draws by trying to mix up or risk as any surprising loss could destroy the winning chances of Globus. Safarli and Mirzoev were also very well prepared and didn’t let Giri or Khismatullin to obtain a significant advantage which they could work with. Perhaps resting the sharpest player of the team, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was a mistake, against lesser rated opponents he might be a good choice stylistically.

That has left the top two boards fighting, Naiditsch-Kramnik and Grischuk-Mamedov. Both games were incredibly exciting and topsy-turvy. Let’s have a look at some important moments in the game Naiditsch-Kramnik first:



Kramnik sacrificed a pawn earlier with an obvious compensation as with the f-file open and threatening knights black has a nice play in the kingside. Anyway, with the rook on d3 white has good chances to organize a defence and can slowly try to realize his pawn advantage.

Naiditsch has played 23.Bb4?! here and allowed Kramnik to play the beautiful 23…Nxg2! Instead 23.Ne5 was more accurate, avoiding the tactical trick in the game and together with the bishop on d2 covering critical squares such as g6 and g5.

A lesser player could lose his head in the ensuing complications but Naiditsch kept his cool and played the best moves to reach a dynamically balanced position with two minor pieces for white against rook and pawn. Normally that would give an advantage to white but the shattered king position of white presented black good chances. But then a very unexpected thing happened! As pointed out by Giri Kramnik has been missing simple tactics lately and today he missed a not so difficult intermediate move:


Actually it started with Kh7 in the previous move allowing Ne5 but in this position still there were better options than Kramnik’s
35…Rxf4? Now Naiditsch made the obvious move 36. Qc7 threatening both mate and Nd3 fork. After the forced sequence 36…Rg8 37. Nd3 Qe4 38. Nxf4 Qxd4 in the resulting position black has momentarily three pawns for piece but mainly his passive rook made the situation a  losing one for Kramnik. The final twist in the game came on 41st move:


Here Naiditsch played the incredible move 41. Qxb7?? and threw away the win. Now 41…Qe5 and not to lose the knight white has to play 42. Ng3 and now black rook can enter the game with 42…Rb8. An amazing mistake by Arkadij Naiditsch. The endgame after 43. Qf7 Rxb2 44. Qf5 Qxf5 45. Nxf5 c3 is not clear at all with chances for black as well. It’s hard to say that Naiditsch has played in the best fashion afterwards but probably even against the best play the endgame is drawn.

However that wasn’t the only lucky result for Globus. On second board, where things seemed to go not so bad in a Dragon game for Grischuk, the time scramble took its toll:



The last move before time control. Now white definitely needs to avoid the powerful Qe3 and play therefor 40. Nd4 to retain some winning chances. Grischuk played 40. Rb1? and now 40…Qe3 41. Rbd1 Bh5 and suddenly white knights feel very uncomfortable and loss of material is unavoidable. After 42. Nb1 d4! 43.Rxd4 Bxe2 black has regained the piece and has two pawns extra with an active queen and bishop.

For quite some time Rauf Mamedov played perfectly and managed to push his h-pawn for a completely winning position. However Grischuk tried to play actively and created problems for his opponent which he failed to solve. The final mistake of Mamedov came on this difficult position:


Now white is threatening Rfd7 Ke5 Rb5 and winning the queen. Thus d7 square should be covered. Mamedov chose the more natural looking 76…e5? but after 77.Rf6+ Kd5 78.Rb5 exd4 79.Rxc5 Kxc5 the ensuing endgame is a draw. Probably he thought of this variation as forced but using the other piece available for covering d7 with 76…Qc8! was still winning for black, however stupid it looks at the first glance.

Thus after many adventures the match was tied 3-3, leaving both Odlar Yurdu and Globus at 9 points. Tomorrow in the long awaited match Globus will take on the second seeds Alkaloid whereas Odlar Yurdu will play the third seeds Mednyi Vsadnik. Everything is still on!


The matches in women sections were also interesting. In the match Odlar Yurdu-Legacy Square Capital Mamedjarova and Voit both won nice games for their teams but Savina missed a double attack and lost the game against Balajayeva which settled the score for Odlar Yurdu: 2,5-1,5. Azeri women continue to shine and they are now sharing first place with Batumi Chess Club Nona who won against Bossa Nova from Belarus with the same score after a terribly difficult match. The only win for Georgians came from Dzagnidze on first board against Zhukova, although having not displayed the best technique ever, in the end it was enough for a win.

The other favourites Ugra Chess Club also kept their chances alive by beating Marmara team 3-1 with three wins on lower boards. The surprise of the day was the win of WFM Okuyaz against ex-champion Ushenina, a nice consolation for the hosts:


Not suspecting anything Ushenina played 31.Qc2?. After 31…Nxf4! 32. gxf4 Qh4! however it became clear that there are huge problems with the weak dark squares and deadly Qe1 is threatened. WFM Okuyaz didn’t give Ushenina any more chances and finished her opponent off.

Tomorrow Ugra will play Odlar Yurdu and Batumi Chess Club Nona will battle with Legacy Square Capital. Both matches will be very exciting and important for the championship race.

The round will start at 15.00 local time as usual. Don’t miss to follow live games and commentary!

Report by: FM Tarik Selbes    Photos by: David Llada / Başak Göktaş

r 20171011_ecc_antalya 3530 Daniele Vocaturo Ding Liren PADOVA - ALKALOID
Daniele Vocaturo - Ding Liren

r 20171011_ecc_antalya 3544 Zeinab Mamedjarova ODLAR YURDU Alina Kashlinskaya  SHSM Legacy Square Capital
 Zeinab Mamedjarova - Alina Kashlinskaya  

IMG 7986
Anna Ushenina - Duru Okuyaz

r 20171012_ecc_antalya_R5_3631 Jon Ludvig Hammer Oslo Schakselskap Aryan Tari Vålerenga Sjakklubb
 Jon Ludvig Hammer - Aryan Tari 

r 20171012_ecc_antalya_R5_3660 Harika Dronavalli Batumi Nona
Harika Dronavalli

IMG 7924                                                                                              Arkadij Naiditsch - Vladimir Kramnik 

IMG 7928
IMG 7938
Busenaz Koçyiğit – Özgün Şahin

IMG 7982
Ernesto Inarkiev

Turkish Chess Federation © 2017