Narayanan vs. Kovalenko
Opening: E15: Queen's Indian: Nimzovich variation (exaggerated fianchetto)
Player(s): Narayanan, Kovalenko
Move over Baduur Jobava. Move over Richard Rapport. We have a new 2700 player, and he may be more unconventional than those guys. Igor Kovalenko, a 26-year-old Ukrainian native now residing in and representing Latvia, won his fourth big open tournament in a row, the Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw. In a post-tournament interview, Kovalenko said he didn't prepare for any of the games, and I believe him. After all, he won two games with 1.e4 c5 2.Be2! He said that his key strategy is he tries to feel his opponent, and if he is successful, his opponent will come under his control. In most cases this meant slow positional squeezes, but in round two Kovalenko must have felt that the best way to deal with the 21-year-old Indian Srinath Narayanan was to provoke him into launching a vicious assault. It looked like Kovalenko was going down for the count, but at the key moment, Narayanan's mind seemed to come under foreign control.