Jermuk, Armenia
June 9-18

Stepan Avagyan Memorial International RR 17 Category Tournament ։ Round 3


Round 3. Sevian Takes the Initiative


After the turbulent events of the first two rounds in Jermuk, an inevitable calm followed. Erigaisi couldn’t extend his winning streak, Murzin managed to halt his losing streak, and the only decisive game of the day saw Sevian defeating Martirosyan’s friend.


The Elo favorite’s early successes seemed rather routine – Erigaisi didn’t do anything extraordinary to start with 2 out of 2. He simply continued to play when many others would have started negotiating for a draw – and both Hovhannisyan and Sargsyan essentially defeated themselves. Tabatabaei, however, wasn’t easily overcome – he reached a comfortable endgame where White didn’t even have theoretical chances to put pressure on the opponent. Arjun maneuvered the position for a while and then agreed to a draw. This did not affect his leadership or desire to win.


Murzin’s game was over in just five minutes. After a nightmare start where Volodar blundered in every game, he needed a break, and Petrosyan provided it. Draw.


The Hovhannisyan – Deac game wasn’t very eventful: White gained a sterile spatial advantage, but it never led to any breakthroughs or opening of the game. However, Sargsyan tried to add some color to the stereotypical struggle against Bluebaum. The black pawn on “h” stormed towards the white kingside, and at some point, it became worrying for the German’s king. But it soon became clear that Shant had no resources to play for a win, and the opponents agreed to a draw.


Sevian’s consistent play was crowned with success. Sam managed to capitalize on seemingly minor weaknesses in the black pawn structure (two "breakwaters" in the path of the fianchettoed white bishops: b7-c6 and g7-f6). He seized space, forcing all black pieces to focus on defending the king, achieving total domination. Hayk could have bought off with a pawn, but he placed all his pieces under cross pinning and was forced to give up the exchange. Two bishops in an open position are powerful, as the American convincingly demonstrated.


Stepan Avagyan Memorial. Round 3. Sevian – Martirosyan – 1-0, Erigaisi – Tabatabaei, Bluebaum – Sargsyan, Deac – Hovhannisyan, Murzin – Petrosyan – draws. Standings after Round 3. 1. Erigaisi – 2,5; 2-3. Deac, Sevian – 2; 4-7. Tabatabaei, Martirosyan, Petrosyan, Bluebaum – 1,5; 8-9. Sargsyan, Hovhannisyan – 1; 10. Murzin – 0,5.

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