2008 MTel Masters (Sofia, Bulgaria)

2008 MTel Masters (Sofia, Bulgaria)

The MTel Masters had kicked off! The double round-robin is an attraction for six of the world’s top players. Over the years it has been a venue for Veselin Topalov’s amazing performances. The players participating are: Topalov (Bulgaria), Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Bu Xiangzhi (China), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan).

Official website (English): https://www.mtelmasters.com/en/


  1. Bu Xiangzhi fell asleep at the wheel in the game against Vassily Ivanchuk. That should be a bitter lesson.

    Ivanchuk,V (2740) – Bu Xiangzhi (2708) [A11]
    4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (3), 10.05.2008

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 a6 5.Qc2 b5 6.b3 Bg4 7.Ne5 Bh5?? 8.cxb5 cxb5 9.Bxb5+ axb5 10.Nxb5 e6 11.Nc7+ Ke7 12.Nxa8 Nfd7 13.Ba3+ Kf6 14.Bb2 Nxe5 15.f4 Nbd7 16.Nc7 Bg6 17.Bxe5+ Nxe5 18.fxe5+ Kxe5 19.Qc3+ Kf5 20.0-0+ Kg5 21.a4 Kh6 22.Rf3 Bf5 23.Raf1 Bd6 24.Nb5 Bb8 25.Nd4 Be4 26.Rh3+ Kg6 27.d3 Bf5 28.Rhf3 Be5 29.Qe1 Bxd4 30.Rg3+ Kh6 31.exd4 g6 32.Rgf3 1-0 (See Game)

  2. Ivanchuk wins again! This is unreal. I’m sure Cheparinov is better somewhere in this game. Black was pressing the entire game.

    Ivanchuk,V (2740) – Cheparinov,I (2696) [E99]
    4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (4), 11.05.2008

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.c5 g5 14.Rc1 Ng6 15.cxd6 cxd6 16.Nb5 Rf7 17.Qc2 Ne8 18.Nf2 h5 19.a4 Bf8 20.h3 Rg7 21.Qb3 Nh4 22.Rc2 g4 23.fxg4 Nf6 24.Be1 hxg4 25.hxg4 Nh5 26.Nh1 f3 27.Bxf3 Nf4 28.Ng3 Bxg4 29.Bxg4 Rxg4 30.Nc7 Rc8 31.Ne6 Rxc2 32.Qxc2 Qb6+ 33.Kh1 Nhxg2 34.Nf5 Qa6 35.Rg1 Qd3 36.Qxd3 Nxd3 37.Bh4 Rxe4 38.Rxg2+ Kf7 39.Nxd6+ Bxd6 40.Ng5+ 1-0 (See Game)

  3. Ivanchuk!!
    he is capable of doing this to anyone, the only problem is he is too unstable. i think black blundered with f3 and maybe should have inserted a6 at some point but it looked like his attack didnt need such moves. it looked like he was going to steam roll Ivanchuk

  4. Going 4-0 is unheard of at this level. I believe Ivanchuk has been fortunate. His time pressure win over Topalov was fascinating as well. His time pressure issues actually make the games exciting. I will begin inserting the videos, but they are slow to load into the buffer.

    Video by europe-echecs.com

  5. Bu Xiangzhi has hit a rough patch in this tournament. He lost to Teimour Radjabov when the Chinese GM miss the strong 23.Bg4 followed by the shot 25.Bf6! Of course 25…Bf8 doesn’t work because Radjabov gives check 26.Qf6+ and after 26…Bg7, then plays 27.Qe7 when black will end up in zugzwang. He then tried to set up a fortress, but the Azeri GM marched his king all the way from g1-f2-e1-d2-c3-b4-a5-b6-c7-d7 in ten moves time. Radjabov broke the fortress with a nice zugzwang manuever (anyway). The consensus is that Bu made need a second to help him with his opening prep. He is 2700-level and any error will be punished as the Ivanchuk game showed.

    Radjabov,T (2751) – Bu,X (2708) [D15]
    4th M-Tel Masters Sofia BUL (7.2), 15.05.2008

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Nf3 b5 6.c5 g6 7.Ne5 Bg7 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 Nfd7 10.f4 a5 11.a3 f6 12.Nf3 f5 13.Bd2 Nf6 14.Be1 Kh8 15.Bh4 Be6 16.Ne5 Qc7 17.Qe1 Nbd7 18.Bg5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 Ne4 20.Nxe4 fxe4 21.Qh4 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Re8 23.Bg4 Qd7 24.Rf7 Bxg4 25.Bf6 exf6 26.Rxd7 Bxd7 27.exf6 a4 28.fxg7+ Kxg7 29.Kf2 h6 30.Ke1 Re6 31.Qg3 Be8 32.Kd2 g5 33.Kc3 Kf8 34.Kb4 Bf7 35.Ka5 Kg7 36.Kb6 Kf8 37.Kc7 Kg7 38.Kd7 Kf8 39.Qf2 Rg6 40.Qf5 h5 41.g3 1-0



    Cheparinov resigns to Ivanchuk before being mated.

    Cheparinov resigns to Ivanchuk before being mated.
    Photo by Europe-Echecs.com.

    Vassily Ivanchuk closed out a fantastic showing at the MTel Masters with a nice win over Ivan Cheparinov. The game ended in a nice minor piece mate. The Ukranian superGM darted off to a 5-0 start and coasted to a 1-1/2 point victory and ended 8-2.

    Ivanchuk’s score overshadowed Veslin Topalov’s perenniel strong showing at the MTel Master. Topalov put together a string of victories and ended on +3 which is usually good enough to vie for 1st place.

    Teimour Radjabov had is second mediocre tournament in a row on +1 and Cheparinov was on -2. Both Bu Xiangzhi and Levon Aronian was miserable results, but Bu’s tournament was brightened by a win over Topalov. Aronian must certainly suffering from fatique.


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