Three decisive results in the third round

Olympic Medalist Daniela Masseroni opens the third round

Wesley So, Baadur Jobava and Sabino Brunello are the winners of the third round of the ACP Golden Classic. In a King's Indian, Wesley So already had some advantage when his opponent Daniele Vocaturo sacrificed a knight. The Filipino never got into trouble and won his game. Sabino Brunello beat Emil Sutovsky straight from the opening. In a Grunfeld defense, Brunello opened Black's king's side with 15.g5 hxg4 16.h5. The Israeli never found a good solution and threw the towel after 25 moves. Baadur Jobava spoiled 24th Ian Nepomniachtchi's birthday today. In an irregular closed Sicilian, the Georgian sacrificed a pawn, speculation on a king's attack. With 34...gxf5, Nepomniachtchi made a big mistake, allowing Jobava to play 35.Nd6 and make profit from the open g-file and long diagonal around black's King.  
Olympic silver medalist and four-time World Champion Daniela Masseroni from Bergamo was the special guest for the third round. The retired rhythmic gymnast made the first move in the Jobava-Nepomniachtchi game. She was introduced by Yuri Garrett, the director of the tournament and received the commemorative silver bar from Mr. Oscar Olivari, representing one of the main sponsors of the tournament, "Mario Villa". 
As there are no adjourned games left over from the first three rounds, the player have a day off tomorrow.
Place GamesPoints
1Wesley So 3
2Sabino Brunello 2
3-4Emil Sutovsky 3
 Baadur Jobava 3
5Zoltan Almasi21
6Daniele Vocaturo2½
7Ian Nepomniachtchi 3½


Daniela Masseroni

Yuri Garrett introduces Olympic Medalist Daniela Masseroni 

Mr. Oscar Olivari, presenting the commemorative silver bar to Daniela Masseroni




Daniela Masseroni


Wesley So - Daniele Vocaturo

The Filipino and Italian have never met before in tournament practice.  

Wesley So

Wesley So: "Wesley So defeated Daniele Vocaturo with white in a King's Indian.

[position after 27...Ra3]

So realised he would be better if he manages to exchange some pieces, due to black's structure and the bad Bishop on g7. However, it is not easy to do so, while the knights on h5 and g6 are always threatening to jump around the white king. Because of the the complex position,  So considered offering a draw here, but afterwards was happy he decided to play on.

28.Qd2 Qe8 29.Qb2 Ra8 30.Bd2 Qf7 31.Ncd1 Nxg3

Vocaturo felt quite confident when he made this sacrifice. The plan is to play h6-h5 and g5-g4, followed by Bh6. Vocaturo regretted playing Rf8 and g4, and proposed to play h5-h4 immediately with good practical chances. When So played 36.Rg1, Vocaturo realized he couldn't keep his attack going and had to resign soon after. Wesley So confessed he was quite tired, due to both the long games and his jetlag, as he arrived from St Louis one day before the tournament.

Daniele Vocaturo

Daniele Vocaturo, who started the tournament with a draw against Zoltan Almasi. "My opponent made very strong moves in a very short time and I had no chance at all. I was really impressed by the quality of his game". 



Baadur Jobava - Ian Nepomniachtchi

Baadur Jobava - Ian Nepomniachtchi 1-0

The number 2 and 3 seeds had a false start of the tournament after losing their games yesterday. In their previous encouters in Classical chess, Nepomniachtchi scored one victory and a draw, while Jobava won their most recent encounter at the World Rapid Championships in Dubai last month.


Ian Nepomniachtchi

In the opening stage of the game, Ian Nepomniachtchi looked more focussed than his opponent, although Jovaba didn't hestiate to praise the first move Daniela Masseroni made on their board.

Ian Nepomniachtchi: "It always feels bad to lose a game when your opponent doesn't need to make any good moves to beat you. I think during most of the game, the black position was quite better, but after f4 and f5, the position got sharper with more complications. For some mystery reasons, I made some mistakes and suddently I got a lost position. I don't know why I changed my mind and went from a winning position to a lost position. 

Baadur Jobava: "Honestly said I played like this not because I wanted. I played these lines because I didn't know the principal variation. I have played 2.c3 for the first time of my life. I was hoping another answer but Ian surprised me with 2...d6, which is actually the main variation. The position suddenly got sharped and both sides had chances to win. It really reminded me of yesterday position with Sutovsky. 

After the game, both players agreed that black was quite better at some moment, but then, after some innacuracies by Ian, white's position started to improve. The next position (see diagram) is considered by both players as the critical moment, in which black should have played 31...Ne7 instead of 31...Qa6. 

Position in the game Jobava-Nepomniachtchi before 31...Qa6


Sabino Brunello

Sabino Brunello - Emil Sutovsky

Like his co-leader So, Emil Sutovsky faced an Italian opponent he never played before. 


Emil Sutovsky

Emil Sutovsky: "I played the Bg4 line because the other moves lead to more or less to simplifications if white wants. And I didn't knew what Sabino's plan was. And probably I caught the Jobava virus of playing procreative. Sabino played the strongest moves and I didn't expect 13.Ng5, which I have in my notes but I didn't checked it. The position wasn't that bad until some bad decisions from me. Maybe 15...b4 instead of 15...hxg4 is an improvement. I think Sabino Brunello played a really good game. 18.Bh3 was a good move and I simply forgot the simple idea of Rxg3. Then 21.Qh2! and it is over."


Position after 19...b4, after which white played Rxg3 and Qh2 with a winning attack.



Results of the 3rd round of the ACP Golden Classic: 

  • Wesley So - Daniele Vocaturo (1-0)
  • Baadur Jobava - Ian Nepomniachtchi (1-0)
  • Sabino Brunello - Emil Sutovsky (1-0)
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