The King of the starts leads in Novosibirsk


In recent times, Dmitry Jakovenko has gained a reputation as the real king of the starts. First the Olympiad, then Poikovsky, and now the rapid event in Novosibirsk, where the prizes are being put up by Sberbank. Everywhere, he puts up such a result in the first 4-5 rounds! In Novosibirsk, Jakovenko started like the first prize winner, and after 6 rounds, he has 4.5 points. 


In the first two rounds, the Muscovite beat his two strongest rivals, Andreikin and Nepomnyashy. He beat Dmitry with opening preparation and exploited his advantage in the transition to the middlegame. Yan he beat thanks to speed of hand - in a position a whole rook up, his opponent could not cope with Mity's knight and lost on time. Jakovenko also stood hopelessly against Maletin in round 3, and Sjugirov in round 4, but emerged unscathed both times. And in round 5, Bareev, in a slightly worse endgame, gave him a piece in one move...

Outright blunders, and illogical outcomes to games were rife in the Sberbank Cup. The commentators are the players themselves, one of whom is free each round, and who spend the time mocking one another. The quintessential game of the first day was Andreikin-Nepomnyashy, in which the players exchanged dozens of terrible blunders, and the assessment of the position changed fundamentally three times. It is no surprise that neither is among the leaders at the end of day one. 

The main rival of Jakovenko is Dmitry Bocharov. He has to his account victories over Nepomnyashy and Sjugirov, and a score of 3.5/6. Half a point behind, but with a game in hand, are three players - Inarkiev, Malakhov and Rublevsky. It is interesting that, with the exception of Jakovenko, nobody else has managed to avoid the bitterness of defeat! 

Tomorrow sees the final four rounds, when the leader must play all his rivals.  We can only hope we see more such rousing play...


(Text by Evgeny Atarov)