The open championship of Quebec took place in Montreal 18th-25th July. For the first price of 5000 Canadian dollars competed only twenty players. Thus the tournament was closer to the round-robin event, rather than an open.
I also had to take part in the event. However, the strange attitude of the organizers made my participation impossible. After agreeing the conditions, they simply “forgot to” send me the promised VIZA, and did not bother to reply to my emails.
How Vladimir Georgiev claimed the title, you can see from the annotations of his final effort:
Kasparov,S (2487) - Georgiev,Vl (2530) [C68]
Quebec Open Montreal CAN (9), 25.07.2009
Before this game that was played in last round I had half point more than my opponent, however he had the white pieces. I was happy that my opponent is exploiting only one line against 1...e5- the Exchange line of the Ryu Lopez that is solid but not dangerous line for black. My preparation was quite easy because of this fact. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0–0 Qf6! I decided that it is better to surprise my opponent first. From psychological point this is very important. Previously I only played 5...f6 instead. This was the first time I opted for 5...Qf6. 6.d4 exd4 7.Bg5 Qd6 8.Nxd4 [8.Qxd4 Qxd4 9.Nxd4 Bd7 10.Nc3 is the other main line here.] 8...Bd7 I prefer this move. It's more playable than 8...Be7. [8...Be7 9.Bxe7 Nxe7 10.Nc3 Bd7 11.Nde2 0–0–0 12.Qc1 Ng6 13.Qe3 Kb8 14.Rad1 Qe7 15.Rd2 Ne5= Ѕ–Ѕ Radjabov,T (2751)-Adams,M (2729)/Baku AZE 2008 (39)] 9.Nc3
9...Ne7! This is the critical position for the whole line. Here White had tried few moves and because of this I had to spend a lot of time in my home preparation. 10.Qd2 With the idea 11.Bf4! Here I understood that my oponent is playing for a win since: [10.Bh4!? is leading to totaly drawish positions- 10...0–0–0 11.Bg3 Qf6 12.Qh5! (12.Qd2 was tried in the game Rozentalis,E (2588)-Ivanchuk,V (2703)/Kallithea GRE 2009) 12...Qxd4 13.Qa5 Qb6 14.Qxb6 cxb6 15.Na4 Nd5 only move 16.exd5 Bc5 17.Nxc5 bxc5 18.Rad1 Rhe8=; 10.Be3 c5 11.Nde2 Qxd1 12.Raxd1 b6 13.Nf4 0–0–0 14.Nfd5 Ng6 15.f4 f6= Tan,M (2321)-Negi,P (2597)/Hoogeveen NED 2008; 10.Nb3 Qxd1 11.Raxd1 Ng6 12.Be3 b6 13.f4 0–0–0 14.a3 f6 15.Nd4 Bd6 16.g3 h5 and Black was better in Volokitin,A (2671)-Caruana,F (2646)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2009/] 10...c5! The only move in my opinion! 11.Nb3 Qxd2 12.Bxd2 b6= 13.a4 0–0–0 14.Be3 [14.a5 better is Be6 rather than(14...c4 15.Nd4) 15.Bf4 Kb7 and I prefer black here. After the exchange ab6-cb6 black will get rid of his doubled pawn.] 14...a5
Probably better is 14...Be6 but I wanted to fix the pawn on a4. 15.Rfd1N A new move but not the best one. I believe it was better to place the other rook on the d-file. I can understand why my opponent chose Rfd1–the reason is to protect the pawn on a4. [15.Bf4 f6 16.Rfd1 g5 17.Bg3 Bg7 18.f4 gxf4 19.Bxf4 f5 20.e5 Ng6 21.Bg5 Rde8 22.Bf6 Rhg8 23.Nd5 Bc6 24.c4 Nxe5 25.Bxe5 Bxe5 26.Ra2 Rg4 27.Nd2 Rd4 28.b3 Bxd5 29.cxd5 Bf4 0–1 Iuldachev,S (2520)-Sethuraman,S (2415)/New Delhi IND 2009/The Week in Chess 741] 15...Re8?! Like usual after a novelty it is always difficult to find the best reply. My idea was not to exchange the rook on the d-file and to keep it working on the e-file-(for example f7-f5 , followed by e4xf5 Bxf5 with the idea Nc6,Nb4 with an attack on c2) and I placed the rook on e8 almost instantly. However better was [15...Nc6 where black's position should be preferable.The idea is Nc6-e5-c4.] 16.Bf4 With the idea Nd5. After this move I spend a lot of time choosing between the moves f5,g6,Ng6 and Rg8 -the move that I played in the end. [16.Nb5!? was interesting, and probably this is the best move for white here.Anyway I think black should be fine after- 16...Bxb5 17.axb5 Kb7
followed by Ne7-c8-d6 and attack against the weak pawn on b5.] 16...Rg8 I believe Black is already better, since I will open the position with f7-f5 and than my bishops will be really strong. I can also first play g7-g5 and if the bishop retreats to g3 than after f7-f5, e4xf5- Ne7xf5 I will attack the Bg3. This might be important since my only weakness is the pawn on c7. Also now it is really hard for my opponent to decide how to continue because he does not really has targets for his pieces. He had the white pieces and went on for a solid line in the opening but failed to prove any advantage and now he has to fight for equality. This was probably quite frustrating for him. 17.Bg3 I believe this is the best move. 17...g5!?
I am still not showing my cards. Now I will have a choise between f5-f5 and Bf8-g7. [of cource the immediate f7-f5 was possible and maby even better. 17...f5 ] 18.Rxd7 My first reaction after this move was shock because I didn't see it. I was mentally prepared for a long battle with small, but durable advantage and no risk at all. Now I needed few minuts to calm down. I guess that my opponent was not happy with the course of the game and decided to change it rapidly. This could have been a good practical decision. [18.Nb5 I expexted this move and I guess it is objectively the best move for White but after: 18...Bxb5 19.axb5 f5 (19...h5!?) 20.exf5 Nxf5 with idea h7-h5-h4 Black is better.] 18...Kxd7 19.Nb5 Nc8! [I calculated first: 19...Rc8 20.Rd1+ Kc6 21.Na7+ Kb7 22.Nxc8 Kxc8 23.c3 But this gives a clear edge for White. So I forced myself to keep on searching for alternatives and happily I found the only move 19...Nc8. This was in fact the move that my opponent had missed in his calculations as he admitted after the game.] 20.Nxc7 Rxe4 the only move 21.f3 Re2 22.Rd1+ Bd6 23.Nd5 Kc6 24.Nxb6 Bxg3 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Nxa5+ Kc7 27.hxg3 Rxc2 28.b3 Re8 29.Kh2 Ree2 30.Rg1 Re3 31.Kh3 f5 32.g4 f4 33.Rd1 Ree2 34.Rg1 Re6
White resigned. With this win I secured at least a tie for the first place. Later on, after all the games have finished I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in fact that final effort was enough for a clear first.