Corsica – Round One

This evening I played the opening round of the Corsica Masters. I was up against a kid from Switzerland: Alexis Skouvaklis, which sounds like he has Greek roots. I was Black and wheeled out the Dragon. This was actually my first pure Dragon since the draw with Mickey Adams at the British but I keep up to date on the theory with my ChessPublishing column, which I do with Chris Ward.

Alexis played the 9.g4 variation of the Yugoslav Attack, which has been topical recently. However, instead of choosing 10.Nxe6, which is critical, he went for the more drawish 10.0-0-0. The queens quickly came off but I managed to grind down the rook and knight vs rook and bishop ending thanks to my superior structure.
###pgn###[Event “Corsica Masters”] [Site “Bastia FRA”] [Date “2011.10.22”] [Round “1”] [White “Skouvaklis, A.”] [Black “Jones, G.”] [Result “0-1”] [ECO “B76”] [WhiteElo “2072”] [BlackElo “2624”] [PlyCount “108”] [EventDate “2011.07.25”] [EventType “swiss”] [EventRounds “11”] [EventCountry “ENG”] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. g4 Be6 10. O-O-O Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Qa5 12. a3 Rab8 13. g5 Nh5 14. Nd5 Qxd2+ 15. Rxd2 Bxd5 16. exd5 Bxd4 17. Rxd4 f6 18. f4 fxg5 19. fxg5 Rf4 20. Rxf4 Nxf4 21. h4 Rc8 22. Bh3 Rc5 23. Bg4 Rxd5 24. Rf1 Rd4 25. Bf3 d5 26. c3 Rd3 27. Kc2 e5 28. c4 dxc4 29. Bxb7 Rd7 30. Ba6 Ng2 31. Bxc4+ Kg7 32. Kc3 Nxh4 33. Rf6 Re7 34. b4 e4 35. Re6 Rxe6 36. Bxe6 Nf3 37. b5 Nxg5 38. Bc4 Kf6 39. Kd4 Ke7 40. a4 Kd6 41. a5 h5 42. Bd5 Kc7 43. Ke3 h4 44. Kf4 h3 45. Kg3 e3 46. Bh1 h2 47. Kg2 Ne4 48. Kf3 e2 49. Kxe2 Ng3+ 50. Kf3 Nxh1 51. Kg2 Nf2 52. b6+ axb6 53. axb6+ Kxb6 54. Kxh2 Ne4 0-1%%%pgn%%%

Before the game I had the pleasant surprise of bumping into Glenn Flear, an English GM who has been living in France for many years. Tomorrow morning our preparation will consist of watching the New Zealand – France Rugby World Cup Final, come of the All Blacks!

Tomorrow evening I’ll be playing American FM Teddy Coleman. You can see pairings here. The only notable upset of the first round was Ivan Cheparinov, Topalov’s second and 4th seed here, dropping a draw with White against a player almost 600 points lower rated. Plenty of time to go yet though.

Just a quick update: Sue found me the live games link.

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