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  Yuriy Tarannikov's Blog  
Moscow Cup. Nikonov - Tarannikov2008-03-02 06:57:19
This Saturday (March 01) I played my next game of Moscow Cup against Konstantin Nikonov. Konstantin is strong and, in general, uncomfortable opponent for me, he was second at the last Russian Championship. At the last Moscow Championship I was ahead of Konstantin in a half of a point, in our game I caught Konstantin in my home preparation. So, I had reasons to be afraid that Konstantin will try to revenge me for that loss. In the present preliminary group of Moscow Cup I did not lose points yet whereas Konstantin lost to Tarasevich. So, a draw was profitable for me from the point of a tournament situation. But on the second hand, I had some advantage in the knowledge of new positions since Konstantin was forced to spend time preparing for the Russian Championship by RIF rules. Nevertheless, calm positions and new positions are not combined quite good (most effective advantage from a home preparation could be in an immediate opening win), so I was in some contradiction here.

I was the player number two in this game. In 4 of 5 opening rules in Moscow Cup the player number One puts a opening (all rules excepting Taraguchi rules). So, I must definitely keep Taraguchi rules. The real advantage of Konstantin is that he had very big experience, he played in the middle of 80ths when the openings i1 and i5 without 5th alternative moves were played very frequently. Therefore, I was afraid that Konstantin will propose i5(1) or i(1). Thus, I decided to reject Yamaguchi rules at my first step. Concerning other opening rules. I had not a clear opinion and had decided to act according circumstances.

The game has started. Konstantin rejected Taraguchi rules, I rejected Yamaguchi rules. After some thinking Konstantin rejected RIF rules. I had the choice between Jonsson and Sakata rules. I had decided that by Sakata rules I will be able to put something convenient for me in (almost) all openings. Therefore, I rejected Jonsson rules. So, the game was played by Sakata rules.

Konstantin put Indirect 3. In general, this opening is more convenient for him than for me but I saw some ways to transfer the game into other openings. After some thinking I had transferred the game into Indirect 8.
Konstantin is choosing the color in this moment.
Karen Sirategyan is interested in our game too.

Konstantin chose black. This variant was discussed at the Players Council on new rules in the beginning of 2006 when possibilities to escape d11 from i8 by Jonsson rules were dicsussed. In particular, Ando Meritee proposed the following continuation until 13. Konstantin knew this variant too. We analyzed it together one week ago until 17 in our game, only the 6th move was symmetrical. I thought that the position is quite calm but Konstantin developed dangegous attacks at the side of 17. Therefore, I decided to make the symmetrical 6th more in order to diminish a space for black attacks.  
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7-13 is weak because of 8-l10.

After 16 the position seems to be quite calm and passive but it is not easy for a playing. It is necessary to combine a defence and a development carefully. It is not proper here to be too passive whereas too active playing can create additional resources for the opponent. The 17th move of black is passive but it takes an important base. White can not effectively play in this part of the board. Therefore I was forced to develop my position in another places. 18 is an important (key) point. This point is an important for both sides.  
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If 19-g10 as it is shown at this diagram then white keep at initiative but black probably can defend. Konstantin made more greedy 19th move.
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If 21-h10 then 22-f11, 24-e12, 26-e10. If 23-i13 then 24-f12. If 23-i12 then 24-g11. The move 25-j12 is more strong than the move in the game but in this case 26-k12 follows.
At photo Konstantin is thinking in this very hard moment for him.
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After 25 white demonstrates a straight win. Black resigned because of the foul 3x3 in the point l10.

After this win I had guaranteed the first place in a preliminary group (if new participants will not be added ;)) whereas Konstantin must fight for the place in a quaterfinal. Top 4 players from a group advance to a quaterfinal. Stepan Tarasevich (you can see him at two photos) defeated sensationally Nikonov and Sirategyan and has very good chances for the second place in our group. Stepan has not a dan yet.

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