The opening ceremony of the Montreal International was short and to the point. After a brief introduction in French and English from organizer Andre Langlois, and an explanation of the rules to the players by chief arbiter Yves Casaubon, the games began (note that games will start at 5pm local time, as per request of the players, from Sunday onward).
First to finish was Tiviakov-Ivanchuk. A 3.Bb5 sicilian, the players decided to share the point at move 22. The final position:
looked worthy of playing out, but the chess fans were delighted nonetheless by the chance to witness the fascinating post mortum afterwards.
Tiviakov v Ivanchuk. Montreal International rd. 1. July 19th 2007.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5 Nd7 4.d4 Ngf6 5.O-O cxd4 6.Qxd4 a6 7.Bxd7 Bxd7 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Re1 O-O 11.Qd3 Be6 12.Bd2 Nd7 13.b3 b5 14.cxb5 Nc5 15.Qe2 axb5 16.Qxb5 Ra3 17.e5 Qa8 18.Rac1 Rb8 19.Qf1 Bf5 20.Re3 dxe5 21.Qc4 Nd3 22.Rxd3 1/2-1/2
Miton v Short was a pretty smooth victory for Kamil. A Bogo Indian, Kamil showed black's isolated d pawn to be more of a liability than a weapon, and ground down short in 49 moves.
Miton v Short Montreal International rd. 1. July 19th 2007.
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 Bb4 4.Bd2 Bxd2 5.Qxd2 O-O 6.g3 d5 7.Bg2 Nbd7 8.O-O Re8 9.Qc2 c6 10.Nbd2 e5 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Rxe5 14.Nf3 Bf5 15.Qb3 Re7 16.Rfd1 Rc8 17.Nd4 Bg6 18.Bh3 Rc5 19.Qa3 Qb6 20.Rac1 Rec7 21.Rxc5 Rxc5 22.Qb3 Qc7 23.Qe3 h6 24.Bf5 Bxf5 25.Nxf5 Kh7 26.Qd3 g6 27.Ne3 Qe5 28.Qd4 Qxd4 29.Rxd4 a5 30.Kg2 Rb5 31.b3 Kg7 32.g4 Rc5 33.h4 g5 34.h5 b5 35.f3 b4 36.Kf2 Kf8 37.Rd2 Kg7 38.Nf5 Kh7 39.Ne3 Kg7 40.Rd3 Rc1 41.Nxd5 Rc2 42.Ne3 Rxa2 43.Nf5 Kh7 44.Rd6 Ne8 45.Rxh6 Kg8 46.Rc6 Ng7 47.Nh6 Kf8 48.Rc8 Ke7 49.Ng8 1-0
Bluvshtein v Kamsky was an a6 slav, and looked like a game that white was playing not to lose - fair enough given the 200 point rating gap. The players played on till the draw was in little doubt, with the pawn structure symmetrical and the queens about to come off.
Bluvshtein v Kamsky Montreal International rd. 1. July 19th 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 g6 6.e3 Bg7 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O Be6 9.b3 Bg4 10.Ba3 Re8 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 e6 13.g3 a5 14.Bg2 Na6 15.Qd2 Bf8 16.Bb2 Qb6 17.Rab1 Red8 18.Ba1 Nb4 19.Qe2 Rd7 20.Kh2 Bg7 21.Na2 Nxa2 22.Qxa2 h5 23.Qc2 Qc7 24.Kg1 Ne8 25.f4 b6 26.Rbc1 Qd8 27.g4 hxg4 28.hxg4 Nd6 29.cxd5 cxd5 30.Bb2 Rc8 31.Qd3 Rdc7 32.Rxc7 Rxc7 33.g5 Qc8 34.Rf2 Bf8 35.Bf3 Nf5 36.Bd1 Bb4 37.Re2 Qf8 38.Rc2 Rxc2 39.Bxc2 Ba3 40.Qd2 Nh4 41.Bxa3 Qxa3 42.Kf2 Qb2 43.Qd1 Nf5 44.Qb1 1/2-1/2
Harikrishna v Sutovsky was a Gruenfeld, and an impressive victory for the Indian. The final position:
is quite cute, given that in this bare king and pawn end game white is a pawn down with no passers, but black is helpless.
Harikrishna v Sutovsky Montreal International rd. 1. July 19th 2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O Na5 11.Bd3 b6 12.Rc1 e5 13.dxc5 Be6 14.c4 bxc5 15.Bxc5 Bh6 16.f4 Re8 17.f5 Qc7 18.Bf2 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Nxc4 20.Nc3 Nb2 21.Nd5 Qxc1 22.Nf6 Kg7 23.Nxe8 Rxe8 24.f6 Kg8 25.Qxc1 Bxc1 26.Rxc1 Nd3 27.Rc3 Nxf2 28.Kxf2 h5 29.Rc6 Re6 30.Rxe6 fxe6 31.g4 hxg4 32.Kg3 Kf7 33.Kxg4 Kxf6 34.Kh4 a5 35.a4 Ke7 36.Kg5 Kf7 37.Kh6 Kf6 38.h4 Kf7 39.Kh7 Kf6 40.Kg8 1-0
Last years winner, Pavel Elyanov won against local favourite Pascal Charbonneau.
Elyanov v. Charbonneau Montreal International rd. 1. July 19th 2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Be7 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.Nf3 O-O 8.h3 a6 9.g4 Re8 10.Be3 Nf8 11.g5 N6d7 12.h4 f6 13.Qd2 fxg5 14.hxg5 Ng6 15.O-O-O Ndf8 16.Rdg1 Bd7 17.Ne2 b5 18.Ng3 Rb8 19.Nf5 bxc4 20.Bxc4 Bb5 21.Bb3 Qd7 22.Qc3 c4 23.Bc2 Bd8 24.Qa3 Bc7 25.Nh2 a5 26.Ng4 Ba6 27.Ba4 Bb5 28.Bc2 Ba6 29.Bd2 c3 30.Qxc3 Rec8 31.Qc6 Be2 32.Kb1 Qd8 33.Rh3 a4 34.Qxa4 Ra8 35.Qb3 Bb6 36.Bd3 Bxg4 37.Rxg4 Rab8 38.Bb5 Bxf2 39.a4 Ne7 40.Qf3 Bd4 41.Ba5 Bb6 42.Bc3 Neg6 43.Rh1 Bc5 44.b4 Ba7 45.Bc6 Qa5 46.Rg2 Bc5 47.Bb5 Bxb4 48.Bxb4 Qxb4 49.Rb2 Qc5 50.Qe3 Qc7 51.Rc1 Qd8 52.Qa7 Rxc1 53.Kxc1 Rc8 54.Rc2 1-0
Some pictures from the opening ceremony and the beginning of the round 1:
Gata Kamsky and Sergey Tiviakov are all smiles before round 1
Ivanchuk trying to get concentrated
foreground: Pavel Elyanov and Pascal Charbonneau
background: Kamil Miton and Nigel Short
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All images copyright Robin Lindsay 2007.