IM Pavel Ponkratov - GM Wesley So
One more time the Aeroflot game chosen by the voting in the forum is to feature the young Filipino talent GM Wesley So. He will play against one of the highest rated international masters Pavel Ponkratov. Ponkratov toppled yesterday the imprecise play of GM Li Chao B and today will surely go for a win again seeking his GM norm. Ponkratov is young, yet very experience player, who has participated in the Russian team championships, the world youth championship, and many strong opens. His last tournament was the Moscow Open, where he scored 6,5/9 and finished 14th with TPR 2700, showing that he is currently in top form and that his rating does not reflect his strength. Talking about his opponent today, GM Wesley So's rating is also higher as he has virtually crossed the 2650 mark. Winning today will send Wesley So in the virtual top 100 of the world. It is clear, a good chess battle with fighting chess expects us today at Aeroflot.
7... a6 forces White's knight back
9.Nd5 Be7 moves are flying in the opening of the game, both players seem comfortable and respond immediately. Today we see Sicilian defence, Pelikan and Sveshnikov variation, as already mentioned. It was was pioneered by Evgeny Sveshnikov and Gennadi Timoshchenko in the 1970s. In this variation the move 9. Nd5 by white leads to a quiter variation and the standart continuation for black is 9...Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6
13... Bg5 Wesley So has calculated the Ncxb4 move mentioned above and invites white to play it. Better for them will be Bd3.
16.Nxf4 Qa5 or exf4 are possible continuations. The first result of the day is fact as Vaganian and Aleksandrov sign the draw.
16... exf4 Qxf4 seems forced, although it leads to an equal game with dangerous black activity. IM Ponkratov realizes this and is looking for alternatives.
18.Be2 18... Bxg4! if 19.Bxg4, then Wesley So wins the queen with 19... Nd3. White's idea with this move is give the pawn back for an open g file.
20... f6 Rg1 and Qg3 are in white's ideas
21.Rg1 Rc8 can be counterplay for black, Qe7 or Ra7 are the defensive plans. Do not forget at the same time you can follow live Kamsky - Topalov where an interesting opening choice is being made. Note: the move transmission from Aeroflot is down.
22... Rae8 Inaccuracy by Wesley So, allowing f4
23.f4 a possible line leading to winning continuation for Ponkratov is 23... Nf7 24.f5 Bc8 25.Nd5 Qe5 26.Nxf6+ and if 23... Qa7 24.c5 Qxc5 25.Qg3 Re7 26.fxe5
30.Qg3 Kh8 31.f5 Rg8 32.Qh4 Rg5 33.fxe6 Very interesting game, where Wesley So tried again his specialty, unconventional traps in the middlegame. This time Ponkratov refused to enter in the complications and followed a steady plan on the open g file to reach the final victory. See you again tomorrow with the live commentary from Aeroflot on Chessdom.com! 1-0