Welcome to the live commentary of Essent Crown group 2007. Today we will follow the game between the local six times champion GM Loek Van Wely and the Ukranian GM Ruslan Ponomariov. The game starts at 14:00 CET.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.a3 c5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 one more game Queen gambit declined. This time Van Wely will have to play it as white. The players chose the variation with 5. Bf4, so no Botvinnik
9... exd5 10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.Be5 Bf6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Qd4 Qe7 a very open game with many options. The pawn on d5 can be taken at this moment (14.Qxd5 Rd8 15.Qg5 Qxg5 16.Nxg5 Bg4 17.Bc4 Nd3+), but Rd1 is a good idea as well
14.Rd1 Rd8 15.Bd3 b6 Ponomariov declines the bishop knight exchange that was leading to a drawish endgame.
16.h3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 a5 18.Nd4 now Ba6 will give strong diagonal for Ponomariov and sligh advantage
18... Ba6 19.Qf5 Rac8 20.Qf4 b5 Very interesting decision! The Ukranian GM will press on the kingside pawns delaying the piling up of heavy material on the c file
21.O-O b4 22.Rfe1 bxa3 23.bxa3 taking with Qxa3 will bring a pawn up for Pono in the long run. He has to first defend the d5 pawn and try to advance the a one later
23... Qxa3 24.Ra1 Qc5 25.Nb3 Van Wely opted to stop the advance of the a pawn, and then to concentrate on the d one Draw was agreed at that stage of the game. This gives Mamedyarov a chance to become clear leader if he wins his game. Stay tuned for updates! 1/2-1/2