I came to this round without big expectations, knowing that I will get somebody from the very top. I got a master who didn’t play officially for 16 years. Still he beat 1760 and 1830 rated guys.

I got White and in the sharp line of Sicilian, Moscow variation – 3… Nd7 played a quiet line 4. O-O a6  5. Be2. Then there was some maneuvering with exchanges. Fritz didn’t like my 23. Rc1, not that I liked that much myself.

After he played 27… e5, I felt a relief, he closed an important diagonal. I ignored his kingside pawn movements, then saw that I have “f5” square. When I put my knight on f5, I thought I got an advantage, but then realized that I can’t break through. I started to repeat the moves, we both didn’t have much time left. On move 42 there was a 3-fold repetition, but I didn’t see it.

I thought that he will agree to a draw soon, but he decided otherwise and played 43… Qd7 and 44… Ne6. It was still a draw after 45. Qa6 Qd2, but he made a decisive mistake playing 45… Kg6. I played 46. Qxa5, he took his queen, then left it, thought for some time and took his knight. I told him that he touched his queen and has to move it. He looked a bit surprised, then played Qd2. It looked to me like him going into a bad endgame, but even Fritz has nothing better, so it was lost before, after Kg6.

When my remaining time dropped below 5 minutes I stopped to write the moves, we have a rule allowing it. I was sure I will win this endgame even having that much time, the win was just a matter of technique. I remember that eventually I had “b”, “f” and “h” passed pawns, he had none.

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