Peter Svidler was the first to score a victory in Thessaloniki. His game with Etienne Bacrot started as Semi-Tarrasch and for awhile it looked like black is doing fine. But later he started to err and Svidler used the opportunity to invade the seventh rank with the rooks. Bacrot admitted that he “lost control some time around 19…h6.”. Svidler pointed that 21…Ba3 was unnecessary and that 21…Rc8 was to be preferred. He also criticized the retreat on 22nd move and suggested 22…Qa5 as possible improvement. White quickly mopped up and finished the game in 27 moves. Svidler also mentioned that he looked at 13. Ba3, but eventually black is on time to equalize since white doesn’t have the winning move because of his own back rank weakness. Read a full round report on Chess Blog.

Svidler, Peter (2769) – Bacrot, Etienne (2725)

Result: 1-0
Site: Thessaloniki GRE
Date: 2013.05.22
[…] 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.¤c3 ¤f6 4.cxd5 ¤xd5 5.e4 ¤xc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.¦b1 cxd4 8.cxd4 ¤c6 9.¥b5 a6 10.¥xc6+ bxc6 11.¤f3 c5 12.O-O ¥e7 13.¥e3 cxd4 14.¤xd4 ¥d7 15.£g4 O-O 16.¦fd1 £e8 17.e5 ¢h8 18.h3 ¦b8 19.£e4 h6 20.¦dc1 £d8 21.¦b7 ¥a3 22.¦c3 ¥e7 23.¦cc7 ¥c8 24.¦a7 ¥a3 25.¦xf7 ¦xf7 26.¦xf7 £g8 27.£f3 ¥b2