Round 6: So beats Jobava to grab the sole lead

Sutovsky beats Vocaturo. Almasi-Brunello adjourned

Wesley So beat Baadur Jobava to grab the sole lead in the ACP Golden Classic. The young Phillipine created some weaknesses in Black's camp and reacted correctly when Jobava went for a pawn sacrifice. So is leading with 4 out of 5. A Draw in the final round against Sabino Brunello will secure him from tournament victory. Emil Sutovsky won his game against Daniele Vocaturo, gaining the second place with 3 points out of five, while Almasi and Brunello adjoruned their at move 40, leaving Brunello in a better position. Tomorrow all three adjourned games will be played.

After five rounds at the ACP Golden Classic, two players headed the standings of the tournament. The Phillipine Wesley So scored 3 points out of 4 games and is the sole leader. He is followed with half a point by Baadur Jobava, who has two and a half points out of four, plus a winning position in an adjourned game against Almasi. In the sixth round they are facing each other and both are really aware that the result of this game will almost decide the tournament. The other two games of the round are Vocaturo-Sutovsky and Almasi-Brunello. 

Place GamesPoints
1Wesley So 54
2Emil Sutovsky 53
3Baadur Jobava 6
4Ian Nepomniachtchi 52
5-6Sabino Brunello3
 Zoltan Almasi3
7Daniele Vocaturo4½


Tomorrow, the adjourned games will be played and the standings will clarify a bit. The day after tomorrow, on Sunday, the final round will be played and the winner of the 2nd ACP Golden Classic tournament will be decided: the first two games at 14:00 and the other at 16:00.


This 6th round wasopened by the local authorities of Bergamo, including sports councils and university rectors, who made the inaugural move in the three boards. 

Wesley So - Baadur Jobava

Wesley So - Baadur Jobava 1-0

The game between the two leaders started in a remarkable way: 1.d4 e6 2.e4 b6 In his game against Sutovsky, Jobava played a setup with 1....c5 and 2...b6. One may wonder if Wesley could be surprised by major this deviation. The play continued 3.c4 Bb7 4.Bd3 Bb4+ 5.Kf1 (D) and the game's almost in untrodden paths already.

Position after 5.Kf1

So developed his King to g2, blocked both Black's bishops and managed to put pressure on Black's d6 pawn:


Position after 12...Bf8


13.dxe6! fxe6 14.Bc2 a6 15.Bf4 Qc7 16.Rd2 Ne5 17.Rad1 Bc6? Both players agreed this is a gross mistake. Better would have been 17...Nc6. 18.Bxe5 dxe5 Black has a permanent weakness now. 19.Ba4 Bxa4 20.Nxa4

According to Ian Nepomniachtchi, from this moment on Jobava faced a long and unpleasant defense, while Wesley has good chances to siege his opponent's position. Instead of defending, Baadur decided to go all-in with 20...b5?!, giving up a pawn, which would either get some counterplay or resignation, because, as Ian pointed out, playing with less material in a bad position hurts.

Soon after, the queens were traded, So won another pawn and conferted his huge advantage in a win, which secures him for at least a shared tournament victory. With his score of 4 out of 5, So gained 13 elopoint, lifting him to the 12th place of the World Ranking.


Position after 2...b6.


Baadur Jobava

Baadur Jobava expressed the following on the press conference: "c4 was completely a not good idea. I totally missed the idea of Rc2 and Rc1 winning another pawn. b5 and c4 were the main mistakes and because of them I lost the game. At least, I am happy that I went for the win and played with initiative"


ACP Golden Classic

Daniele Vocaturo - Emil Sutovsky (0-1)

Vocaturo is not playing his most fortunate tournament of his life. In the position below the Italian tried his best with:

Position after 20...Rfb8

21.f6 gxf6 22.Rf2 Rxb5 23.Raf1 Rab8 24.Rxf6? Overlooking something. 24.Qc1 would have been preferred, but Black is better anyway. 24...Rxb2 25.Qc1 Rb1 The move Daniele missed. 26.Qc2 R8b2 27.Qd3 Qxf6 0-1
After 28.Rxb1+, black wins a piece with 28...Qf2+ 29.Kh1 Rxb1+ 30.Qxb1 Qxe3


Daniele Vocaturo

Daniele Vocaturo made a mistake in the decisive moment and lost his game against Sutovsky. "The position should be slightly better for black but from the practical point of view I hade some chances".

Emil Sutovsky

Emil Sutovsky won against Vocaturo. "



Zoltan Almasi - Sabino Brunello Adjourned

In a Berlin Wall, Almasi expected Brunello's preparation and went for the quite 4.d3.

Almasi: "I tried to survive. I think Sabino could improve before for 40, nut I am clearly worse anyway. But I hope to survive."


Sabino Brunello

Sabino Brunello. 


Zoltan Almasi

Zoltan Almasi "I think Be7 was a bad decision. I should have gone Bg3 because I should keep the pieces on the board as I had some space advantage."


Results of the 6th round: 

  • Daniele Vocaturo - Emil Sutovsky: 0-1
  • Zoltan Almasi - Sabino Brunello: adj
  • Wesley So - Baadur Jobava: 1-0
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