Wesley So talked of “revenge” as he beat Alireza Firouzja with the black items to attain the one win on Day 1 of the Superbet Chess Basic, the primary occasion on the 2023 Grand Chess Tour. Ding Liren was in the end completely satisfied to open with a strong draw towards Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, whereas the world champion’s second Richard Rapport felt Ian Nepomniachtchi was susceptible within the French Defence, although he couldn’t show it.
The Superbet Chess Basic started in Bucharest with the chess world’s ideas nonetheless very a lot on the World Championship match. The watching Garry Kasparov felt that Ding Liren hadn’t acquired used to his new standing.
I feel Ding nonetheless doesn’t imagine he’s world champion, as a result of the second you say “world champion” he appears round!
Garry would go on to make the primary transfer of the sport for Ding.
Ding mentioned he was exhausted instantly after the match, however felt okay after flying to Europe. He confronted a problem on the chessboard when Maxime Vachier-Lagrave stunned him with the Queen’s Gambit Accepted and never the Grünfeld he’d anticipated. If Ding had been enjoying a match towards Maxime, questions would have been requested, since he clearly didn’t realise his opponent had performed the place within the sport earlier than.
Ding mentioned of the brand new transfer 15…h6:
Perhaps he’s nonetheless in preparation as he performed this transfer inside 10 minutes… I used to be stunned about this transfer, to do nothing on the queenside and to make a ready transfer on the kingside.
With 16.Rc1 Rc8 17.b4 Ding confessed he “determined to make a fast draw”, which is simply what occurred.
He wasn’t complaining:
At present I really feel significantly better than within the earlier match. Usually I play very dangerous with the primary white video games, I misplaced many white video games within the earlier tournaments. At present at the least I acquired a draw.
Ding Liren’s second Richard Rapport was additionally in motion, and he commented about his expertise of the match, “Astana, it was candy on the finish, however it wasn’t actually enjoyable!” In Spherical 1 he was going through the person he’d spent months getting ready another person for, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and he tried to make use of that have.
I used to be very stunned by his method. I used to be considering to take some small expertise with me from the match, and I felt like he’s really fairly susceptible within the French. [1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5] 3.Ne2 is just not after all essentially the most harmful line.
Richard conceded, nevertheless, that he ended up with a tough place from the opening, with Ian the one doing Richie issues.
It was an fascinating battle, however as soon as once more fizzled out, with Rapport noting, “he form of let me off the hook very simply”.
The sport you would possibly most have anticipated to supply a decisive outcome, Caruana-Deac, was near doing so, however Fabiano Caruana missed his greatest likelihood within the run-up to the time management.
34.g4! beneficial properties house, counting on the little tactic 34…Bxg4? 35.Rg1, whereas after 34…Bg6 35.Bxc5! Bxc5 36.Bd5! Bogdan-Daniel Deac would have a really dangerous bishop and battle to maintain maintain of each the b7 and the e5-pawns.
As a substitute within the sport 34.Rc1!? b6! got here to nothing.
Duda-Giri featured some of the uncommon positions of the day, with Jan-Krzysztof giving up a rook solely to win it again with 17.b7.
Anish Giri mentioned “the match was very inspiring” of Ding-Nepomniachtchi, however this sport was one thing we didn’t see a lot of within the match: “It was a type of computer-generated variations”.
Each gamers knew what they have been doing and Giri comfortably held a draw a pawn down. He afterwards defined how opening specialists reminiscent of himself now have much less of an edge.
These days it’s very laborious to regulate the sport. It wasn’t the case earlier than. The well-prepared gamers, they managed the sport, however the nature of the sport is such these days that you just’ve acquired to get on the market and combat, since you don’t actually have the benefit of being well-prepared, as a result of it’s really easy to organize now. Anyone with out understanding or expertise simply appears on the engine. And earlier than the engine would provide you with, let’s say, 5 choices, and for those who had some higher understanding you’ll see that the primary possibility is just not good, the second possibility is just not good and the third possibility is nice, or essentially the most sound one, however now the engines are a lot superior and so they immediately put that the fitting one is the third, so anyone simply appears and writes down the identical traces, and so I don’t have that edge anymore.
The one sport that did finish decisively had an echo of final 12 months’s Sinquefield Cup. Again then Wesley So was successful with the black items towards Alireza Firouzja within the penultimate spherical, and with that win might have gained each the Sinquefield Cup and the Grand Chess Tour, with its $100,000 prime prize. As a substitute he blundered and misplaced and Alireza took the titles and cash.
Wesley commented of beating Alireza this time spherical:
He’s very harmful. I’m very completely satisfied to get revenge for that vital sport within the Sinquefield Cup, and once more, all glory to Jesus for the win. He was enjoying very ambitiously…
The sport was tense, with Alireza for alternative till as late as transfer 36. Solely 37…g5! by Wesley started to show the tables.
After 38.hxg5 hxg5 39.Qd2 g4 40.Nh4 Qe4+ Alireza abruptly wanted to play very exactly, however his 41.Kh2?!, leaving the f2-pawn undefended, was a mistake. After 41.Kg1 it appears 41…Qxd4 is only a draw, however within the sport the identical transfer was choosing up an important pawn.
Alireza’s greatest hope was maybe that Wesley would see some ghosts and determine simply to make a draw. He didn’t, nevertheless, and as a substitute of repeating strikes he accurately evacuated his king, first to f8……after which shortly afterwards to e8.
…after which shortly afterwards to e8.
When queens left the board issues briefly seemed extra optimistic for White.
However once more, Firouzja wanted to point out excessive precision. After 54…Rd7! the perfect attempt was 55.Ng2, however Alireza as a substitute went for the plan of 55.Kg2?! and going after the g4-pawn together with his king, however it solely left him with a foul place. He was unable to place up a lot resistance as Wesley wrapped up a 72-move win.
It was comprehensible that Alireza was rusty after not enjoying a classical sport since that earlier Sinquefield Cup, but when he wants a cause for hope it’s that he additionally began badly on the Grand Chess Tour in 2022, dropping to Ian Nepomniachtchi in Spherical 2. That didn’t cease him successful the tour.
In Sunday’s Spherical 2 the chief might be challenged with the black items towards Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, whereas Ding-Caruana is probably the opposite standout sport. There aren’t any boring ties, nevertheless, and Giri-Firouzja, Rapport-Duda and Deac-Nepomniachtchi would possibly effectively produce fireworks.
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