Young German star Vincent Keymer has joined the leading pack after a fantastically resilient win against Czech top GM David Navara. In a way, Keymer had to win the game twice after missing a relatively straightforward win in time trouble.
Keymer’s win was for sure the most exciting game of the round. After a great struggle Keymer was able to outplay his more experienced opponent in the middlegame.On move 40, all Vincent had to do was give a check on h5.
The check would reach the time control and black is in fact completely winning. Instead 40…Qa1?? should have given the win away. Navara correctly played 41.Qd6 which seems like it should lead to a draw by perpetual check because of the mate threat on f8. Then it was Navara’s turn, he chose the wrong square for his king after 41…Qd1+ 42.Ke3?? when 42.Kf4 should hold.
The game was still tense despite Keymer mostly holding the upper hand. The final mistake came when in a tough position and in timetrouble, Navara played 54.Qd1??
Keymer instantly replied 54…Qxc4+! and the rest was easy!
The round was opened by Dana Reizniece-Ozola who is visiting the tournament. She is the managing director of FIDE and we might add a WGM and former member of parliament in Latvia! Impressive achievements and she might have added another one. She played the first move on two boards! The tournament is played in two playing halls so she made the first move on board 1 for Rauf Mamedov as well as the first move on board 41 in the other playing hall!
Rauf Mamedov and Anton Demchenko had a relatively short day at the office on the top board. Their draw means they still lead but they now share the lead with Keymer on 6.5 out of 8. An avalanche of draws hit most of the top boards with only 3 decisive results on the top 10 boards.
Mustafa Yilmaz showed good preparation in the poisoned pawn.
To the untrained eye, white’s last move 25.Kh2 looks like it sets black concrete problems. The mate threat on c7 is big and the Queen doesn’t have a lot of squares. Most likely this was all in Yilmaz’s files…..25…Qg1! equalizes completely.
Incidentally, Yilmaz wasn’t the only one displaying good preparation…
— Matej Šebenik (@MSebenik) September 2, 2021
Alexey Sarana launched a successful kingside attack against Vahap Sanal. At some the attack looked irresistible.
Here white seems to be spoilt with good choices. Both 26.Bf6 (as played) and 26.f5 look completely winning. Perhaps f5 was more clinical, introducing the other rook onto the h-file at some stage. Sarana faltered however.
Here his played move 29.e6 looks tempting but 29…Qa2 let black back into the game! Instead 29.Rd7 is basically decisive with Rxh5 as a huge threat!
Sanap still could have defended here by “eating and running” 33…Kxf6 34.Qc3+ Ke6 35.Rxg6+ Kxd7 leads to a perpetual. Instead 33..Ke6?? left chances on the board for white which he took but only after a further blunder 38…f4?
Up and down game but a huge win for Sarana who moves into the pack of players trailing the top three.
A flurry of white wins pushed several contenders on 4,5 points up to 5,5 points. One of them was Velimir Ivic who showed fantastic preparation against the French to take down German #1 Matthias Bluebaum. Incidentally, these two met in a match at the World Cup, where Ivic also came out on top!
Pairings for the 9th round: