Round two of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Masters 2017, was played on Wednesday 25th January. It was largely business as expected and saw the top seeds taking 2/2 scores.
This did not include world #2, Fabiano Caruana (2827), however, who could only hold the much lower rated Leandro Krysa (2491) to a draw. It was quite a short game, which saw White opening very aggressively and taking an initiative. However, perhaps Krysa got a little too excited at the prospect of chances against the world number 2, his 32.f6(? Rf2!!) allowed Black to spring 32…Rd3! which must have come as a great shock. From there White was bailing with a perpetual.
By contrast, the other big names saw very little trouble. Adams, Yu, Cheparinov, Howell, Hou, Sethurman, Ju, were among those who made it 2/2. After a draw in the previous round, England’s Nigel Short got off to winning ways by beating Robert Bellin. Bellin had taken a point from Boris Gelfand in round one, but unfortunately for him could not keep the momentum going in this round.
Elsewhere, there was drama, as the experienced Vassily Ivanchuk (2752) was to blunder horribly and end up losing his game to Ori Kobo (2482). However, this was not down to any move on the board, infact Ivanchuk was winning. The disaster could well be described as an ‘error in administration’.
Vassily missed writing move twenty-four down on his scoresheet — or rather, he didnt, I believe that he just wrote it in the place for the twenty-fifth move instead. This meant that he thought he had made forty moves when he had only made thirty-nine. After filling in move forty on the scoresheet, (in reality, move thirty-nine), he then thought he had plenty of time to sit back and look for the win and ended up losing on time. It is a huge shock when such seasoned competitors make these kinds of errors, but when lost in concentration and off in one’s own little world, they can happen. We all have bad days at the office and this was the case, here.
From the 115 players who led the tournament after the first round, there are 37 all on 2/2 after the second round. Round three sees the pairings start to even out somewhat, when it comes to titles at least.