The ”chess war” taking place at the rock of Gibraltar is treating us with some highly instructive and entertaining games. The top favourites keep losing and yesterday it was Ivan Cheparinov’s (2681) turn, as he blundered a pawn in an equal position against M.R Babu Lalith (2537). Richard Rapport (2716) also lost to his lower rated opponent Wenjun Ju (2547).
It’s curious how after 3 rounds, only 2 of the elite players rated above 2700 have managed to win all their games. The remaining 6 have dropped one or half a point against players rated 200 points lower (or more). It shows the global strenght and the high level of today’s chess where anything can happen.
It’s worth mentioning that Badrakh Galmandakh (2240) who beat Alexader Motylev (2665) in the first round, lost against IM Donchenko (2511) in the second round. However he bounced back and held the strong GM Mateuz Bartel (2631) to a draw. So after 3 games against players rated above 2500 he, has a 2602 performance.
One of the most attractive games of the third round was played by Pentala Harikrishna who conducted an attack against black’s open king in a very instructive way:
Harikrishna,P (2723) – Chirila,C (2548)
In the diagram position Harikrishna played the strong 19.Re3!. A beautiful exchange sacrifice that black is forced to accept 19…Bxe3 20.fxe3 Qg7 21.Qxh5 c6 22.Rf4 Bd7 23.Bf5! (Rg4 ideas) 23…Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Qh6 25.Rg4+ Kh8 26.Rg5 1-0
Position after 26.Rg5 black resigns