Yerevan, Armenia
8-16 January

Andranik Margaryan Memorial. Tournament "A". 6rd round


Memorial A. Margaryan. Tournament "A". 6th round

Grebnev missed victory and a chance to catch up with Agasarov


The main battle of the day was the game between Movahed and Grebnev. The Iranian miraculously avoided defeat yesterday and then almost won against Sorensen. The Russian left no chance for Shuvalova and was determined to continue the race for Agasarov. The black color did not stop Alexey at all: from the very first moves, he was quite aggressive. The topical Open Sicilian, maximum tension, play all over the board, piece maneuvers... At some point, Sina simply didn't know what to do, which positional guideline to choose, and at the most unsuccessful moment, he went for a breakthrough, exposing the kingside to black's attack:

After 35.g4?, white pieces were soon expelled from the board and huddled around the king, not knowing how to apply themselves. The black rook took control of the h-file, and the bishop meanwhile captured the b2 pawn, while the a-file pawn briskly advanced. Movahed didn't know what to grab!

At this point, it was time to lower the curtain, but suddenly the "last check" intervened. Sina, purely by chance, tried the last chance: to create threats to the black king—and succeeded! The pawn took on f6, putting black in a dilemma:

Here, they had to boldly face the danger: 61...Kxf6! 62.Rxe5! Rb1! (the rook, of course, invulnerable due to the checkmate in one move, but in response, black themselves could create much more dangerous threats) 63.Bh2 Qh1+ 64.Kh3 Rb8! 65.Re6+ Kg7, and the king would be safe. However, Alexey couldn't calculate such a long non-forced line. He retreated with the king, which ultimately became a fatal mistake. No, black still had a significantly better position, but playing on the falling flag was not characterized by accuracy. Movahed managed to escape.


Due to this crucial draw, Agasarov managed to maintain a half-point lead over Grebnev, and now their encounter in the 8th round will undoubtedly become the decisive game of the tournament. Banik will have the white pieces in this game. Will Alexey be able to conduct it at the same high level as the first two-thirds of the game against Movahed?


Agasarov is already showing signs of fatigue after a stormy start. In the 6th round, he tried with all his might to outsmart Ohanyan but failed to gain any advantage. The whirlwind of exchanges almost wiped out all the pieces and pawns from the board, practically from the opening, and the grandmaster easily held a draw with the black pieces.


And another grandmaster, Ivanov, should have lost. Sergey acted too adventurously against Shuvalova, both in the opening and in the middlegame. First, he gave away a queen and a whole passer, then too actively started pushing pawns away from the king, and predictably fell under a stormy attack.


Unfortunately, despite the total advantage on the flanks and a potential queen, Polina couldn't win. She herself limited the mobility of the rook, after which the path for the pawn on the h-file was closed, and additionally missed creating a blockade on the dark squares. The result – a draw.


Babujian lost another game, his fifth in a row. Levon is clearly not ready to resist such a level of competition, and Davtyan literally crushed him, only when the game shifted from abstract strategy to precise calculation. Every move by Arsen was measured and precise, while his opponent made "inaccuracies" one after another.


Despite the fact that the experienced grandmaster is currently at the bottom of the Margaryan Memorial, the main underachiever of the tournament is Sorensen. The Swede is desperately unlucky in almost every game: his won positions do not turn into wins, and those in which he shouldn't have problems turn into failures. Today was a real apotheosis. Until the 56th move in the game against Shahinyan, he had no problems in the rook endgame with bishops of opposite colors— but only Campus (after David's desperate sacrifice of material) for a second lost vigilance and moved the king "the wrong way," and a white pawn immediately broke into queens.


Memorial A.Margaryan. Standings after the 6th round: 1. Agasarov – 4.5; 2-3. Grebnev and Shahinyan – 4; 4-6. Ohanyan, Movahed, and Davtyan – 3.5; 7-8. Ivanov and Shuvalova – 2.5; 8. Sorensen – 1.5; 10. Babujian – 0.5.

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