Levski Surprises

I was wrong. Much to my surprise PFC “Levski” managed to win against Chess United. 3-2. Despite of the fact that they almost broke all the negative records in the history of the club. Despite of the additional support that “Chess United” had in the names of Zurab Azmajparashvili and Petar Stoychev-Bulgaria’s best marathon swimmer ever. And even despite of the brilliant Ivanchuk as a goalkeeper! “We need to arrest Ivanchuk”, joked Danailov for radio Gong after the match. “He was a discovery as a goalkeeper. He plays strongly both chess and football. So far he is ingenious!”
Round six started with a minute of silence for the victims of earthquake in China. Thousands of people died in the disaster. We all sympathize with the Chinese people.

Some positive news came from Sofia with the arrival of Boris Spassky. Legendary GM went straight into the commentary studio and started to entertain the public. “The best tournament that I have ever played was in 1950”, “it was great- a waiter was coming during the game, and you could order anything you want to drink (even some vodka if you like) during the game. Pity, there are no longer tournaments organized in this manner…””But did not anyone protest against this”-asked someone from the public. “Oh, yes, and it was the strongest player of the event-Vasily Smislov.” Spassky kept on pleasing the audience with his colorful memories, excellent chess and witty remarks with short pauses. You may follow his comments in internet. Today the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov will officially receive Boris Spassky at 13:00 local time. Great champion will play a simultaneous exhibition against journalists and Krasimir Kushev from National TV is already asking me how to face 1.e4. “Sicilian-I advise him, play a long battle against his favorite Closed system”. We shall see if this will work well

One other legendary player paid attention to the tournament as well-Ivan Radulov. Many-times Bulgarian champion and one of our best players ever Ivan still plays chess actively if a chance arise.
Among the audience I saw current Bulgarian female champion-Elitza Raeva.
Gm Vladimir Dimitrov is here as well. He is a long-time trainer of Ivan Cheparinov, and was with him in Baku for the Grand-Prix. “I have some rest now”, and in the meantime annotates life the game Ivanchuk-Radjabov for chessdom.com.
In the meantime Ivanchuk opted for open game against Radjabov, and had to face the Sveshnikov line. Ukrainian looked confident and spend something like six minutes in the opening but when Radjabov introduced the novelty 20…Rbe8 sank into deep thought, and decided to keep it save with 21.Nc6. Critical were both 21.Na6 or 21.Qd6, but I guess that Ivanchuk’s sense of danger prevented him from capturing any of the pawn. 21.Nc6 led to mass exchanges, and with accurate play the game ended peacefully. The leader dropped his first half point!
For the audience’s enormous pleasure he did not leave the tournament hall immediately, but joined Spassky, and they both started a deep exploring of the game Bu-Cheparinov. Ukrainian’s devotion to chess is simply exceptional.

Ivan Cheparinov tried to explore his opponent’s passive play in the opening. On move 8 he jumped with his knight on e4, and later supported it with f5. A kind of favorable Stonewall arisen and in the doubled-edged game Bulgarian felt better. Little by little he managed to create an attack on the King’s flank, and on move 40 effectively sacrificed a whole rook that netted him a full point (40…Rg3-h3!)
At the press-conference after the game journalists ask Bu what is the reason for his passive play, on which the Chinese replied that although he may play passive sometimes, but today he felt that at some moment he even had the upper hand.
With his win Cheparinov went on 50% average, which gives him clear third for the moment.

Veselin Topalov had a long battle against Levon Aronian. He got some slight edge out of the opening, but the Armenian defended well, and it looks like that he could easily share the point with 33…Rd3. Instead he went for a wrong plan, lost a pawn, and even his witty tricks could not safe the day. “What is this, is it some joke?” asked Paco Vallejo when seeing Aronian’s 49…Rd6. And then quoted a long forced line that wins for white. Topalov did not make use of his second’s suggestion but won in a safer way, and now the distance between him and Ivanchuk is one point.
Today their game was drawn after a long battle.

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