On the 4th of January two semifinal matches were played in A-group – Leinier Dominguez faced Andrei Volokitin and Alexander Moiseenko played against Viktor Laznichka.. The first game of the match Volokitin-Dominguez was drawn. Cuban player got quite comfortable position with Black in the second one but after few mistakes Dominguez had to defend worse rook endgame. Andrei Volokitin played precisely and won the game and the match,
In the first classical game Alexander Moiseenko, who had white, sacrificed a piece but made a mistake in a complicated position. As a result he had to give up the second piece for some contra play but the compensation was not enough. Even so Moiseenko managed to equalize a score by winning the second classical game. The match was decided in rapid. Viktor Laznichka won comfortably with white and managed to fix the general victory by giving perpetual check in the second game.
Andrei Volokitin and Viktor Laznichka will meet in the final tomorrow on the 5th of January.
Players who were eliminated from the B-group continue playing in normal open tournament (C-group). Former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova, who defeated IM Mikel Huerga Leache, shares the first place together with Vera Gonzalez-Quevedo Reynaldo. 10 players share the third place half a point behind. The last round of C-group will be held on 5th of January.
Viktor Laznichka shared his emotions after the match with Alexander Moiseenko:
I think the first classical game, where my opponent sacrificed a piece, was completely winning for me. He might have some compensation but I think it’s not enough. I didn’t see how he can even equalize a position. I think I’m at least better. So my opponent could have better chose Bf4, Bg3 but still my position seemed to me slightly better. The second game was just incredible! It was totally equal but I saw I was winning with black and I’ve got nervous a little bit. I started to play for a draw, changed some pieces but its nonsense of course – I should have continued to play normal chess.
Q. What did you feel before the rapid? How did you manage to calm down after those tough games?I just knew that I was completely idiot and I had to play again! (Laughing) I knew I had to perform well. Of course I was angry but with such a mood you can resign immediately. I should have recovered fast. In rapid I’ve got comfortable edge with white and initiative, so it was quite easy to win after f5. In the game with black pieces I had a better position all the time. Even so I’ve got a bit nervous again because the situation reminded me the previous classical games. Fortunately I managed to make a draw in this game.
Q. What do you think about new Basque system?
It’s fun to play here and I like the idea. I don’t need to count elo points, so I can just simply play chess. I think preparation doesn’t play that crucial role here if we compare with normal chess. So I think this format fits my style.