MOSCOW, November 4, Oleg Bogatov. To Russian chess player Andrey Esipenko In the 10th round of the qualifying competition for the World Crown Candidates Tournament taking place on the Isle of Man, one must take risks and play for victory in the game with the Iranian Parham Maghsoodloo, said Vice-President of the Russian Chess Federation Sergei Smagin.
Esipenko scored 6.5 points out of 9 and shares first-sixth places with Americans Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Indian Gujrati Vidit, Romanian Bogdan-Daniel Dyak and Magsudlu. Six grandmasters are half a point behind. Athletes who take first and second places will qualify for the 2024 Candidates Tournament. The Russian will play with Maghsudlu with white pieces on Saturday. The tournament with a prize fund of 460 thousand dollars will end on November 5.
“For Andrey, the question now is acute – “to be or not to be.” Maghsudl is absolutely tough for him and it cannot be said that he is inconvenient for him. If you want to get into the Candidates Tournament, then you have no other way but to win. Andrey it is necessary to play to win and it will be important to guess with the opening. It is necessary to get a result of “+5”, “+4” may not be enough to enter the candidates tournament. And leave everything for the last round, where he will most likely play with black and with a very motivated opponent, extremely risky. By the way, I’ll remind you that in this tournament our Zhenya Nayer beat the Iranian in a very good style, with a direct frontal attack,” said Smagin.
“In previous rounds, Andrei played very well, with white he always forced a fight, and in the game with Nakamura he played an original opening and tried to gain an advantage. It is clear that he is in good shape. So far he is playing very enterprisingly with white and is gaining most of the points . If you are looking for an opportunity to score another “plus” in two rounds, then today. But this is not an easy task, because Andrey has no experience of getting into such a cruel situation. On the other hand, he is not a whipping boy and has played a lot of strong tournaments. If at 21 you don’t show super results in such tournaments, then where can you show them?” – added the expert.