Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quick draw in Reykjavik

Adarsh Jayakumar had a quick draw today as black against living legend Fridrik Olafsson (or Friðrik Ólafsson, as the tournament website has it). Olafsson, 78, played in the 1959 Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates Tournament (won by Tal ahead of Keres, Petrosian, Smyslov, Fischer, Gligoric, Olafsson, and Benko), and was President of FIDE from 1978 to 1982. (That was back in the olden days, when FIDE presidents were sane and well-respected people).

Olafsson's 3.cxd5?! is considered an inaccurate way of entering the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined because Black has an easy time developing his queen's bishop. The databases give Black a significant plus score after both 5...Bf5 and 5...Bd6. But Adarsh was content to allow transposition to a main line of the Exchange Variation. Olafsson's 11.Ne5 was unambitious, allowing Black to simplify with 11...Ng4. More common, and better-scoring for White, are 11.Rab1, Karpov's 11.h3, 11.Bxf6, and 11.Rae1. After seven more moves the players agreed to a draw.

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