Khanty Rd7: Three White Wins

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/21/2015 – Three important white victories in today's round change the standings of not only the tournament, but of the Grand Prix series. Nakamura grabs second, just behind Caruana, in the GP as he beat MVL (his fourth straight loss!) and Tomashevsky drops to fourth place after losing to Giri. Dominguez overtook Svidler to leapfrog him in the standings, and the Cuban is now tied for second.

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The fourth and final stage of the 2014-2015 Grand Prix Series. This tournament is specially important as it will determine the winner and runner up of this year, both of which will automatically qualify for the 2015 Candidates Tournament - the winner of that will challenge Magnus Carlsen to the World Championship Match! The tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Ugra, Russia from May 13 to May 27.

Round Seven

Round 07 – May 21 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
The ...c6 Fianchetto Grunfeld remains very solid. Despite some crazy tactics in the middlegame the duel eventually reached a completely drawn position on move 30.

Gelfand's seventh draw in this tournament. Out of seven!

Jakovenko, Dmitry ½-½ Grischuk, Alexander
The players started a repetition on move 17 and the draw was sealed.

Grischuk and Karjakin arriving last minute

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Jobava, Baadur
You can always count on an interesting game when Jobava is playing. He sacrificed a pawn, and then an exchange, and then another pawn, all in the hopes of creating active play for his pieces, specially his bishops. Black was always down a fair amount of material, but Karjakin had problems finding a safe place for his king and his coordination was not the best.

Eventually the Russian player decided to give back some material and a strange endgame with rook and two pawns vs. two bishops arose, with a bunch of other pieces. The evaluation was difficult to discern, both sides having many good and bad things. A repetition finished the game in a draw, though both sides could have played for the win (or the loss!).

Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Unbelievably, MVL's fourth straight loss:

[Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.21"] [Round "7"] [White "Nakamura, Hi"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, M."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A45"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2754"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2015.05.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 b6 3. c4 Bb7 4. Nc3 e6 5. a3 d5 6. e3 {Despite the unusual move order this position would not be unknown if the black bishop was on e7 and it was White to move, however MVL can use this tempo to go to d6 directly.} Bd6 7. Bg5 {Avoiding the bishop trade makes sense, but it does cost a tempo.} h6 (7... dxc4 {considering what happened in the game, either this or 0-0 seemed safer.}) 8. Bxf6 {Normally this trade is not desirable, but White has a specific idea in mind.} Qxf6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Qa4+ {It's surprisingly difficult to protect from this check. For example:} Kf8 (10... Bc6 11. Bb5 Bxb5 12. Nxb5 c6 13. Nxd6+ Qxd6 14. Rc1 {gives White a bit of pressure as c6 might be under attack.}) (10... c6 11. Nxd5 {doesn't work.}) 11. g3 c6 12. Bg2 g6 13. Nge2 Kg7 {Black castled artificially, but now White is ready to play e4 thanks to all the tempi he gained from this maneuver.} 14. O-O Qd8 15. e4 dxe4 16. Nxe4 Re8 17. Rad1 {White's position is more pleasant. It's difficult to develop Black's pieces. Already MVL should be on high alert to not to fall into a much worse position, though it's difficult to see how.} Na6 18. N2c3 Nc7 (18... Rb8 $1 $14 {As ugly as this move looks, it's time to start preventing all of White's threats.}) 19. Nc5 $1 {A nice tactical trick that makes White's position nearly crushing.} bxc5 20. dxc5 {The piece is regained with big dividends.} Nd5 21. cxd6 Qxd6 22. Ne4 Qe5 23. Rc1 Nb6 24. Qb4 {The smoke has cleared. White has the safer king, the better pawn structure and the better pieces.} Rad8 25. Nc5 Rd4 {A blunder in an uncomfortable position.} (25... Ba8 {would have made the game last a lot longer, at least.}) 26. Qc3 {The bishop is under attack, but Rce1 is also a threat.} Bc8 (26... Rb8 27. f4 Qf6 28. Ne4 {is also hopeless.}) 27. Rce1 {Black simply can't defend all his pieces.} 1-0

Nakamura puts himself in a good positoin to qualify fo the
Candidates, while MVL simply needs to stop bleeding in this tournament.

Giri, Anish 1-0 Tomashevsky, Evgeny
A complicated Spanish. It seemed that Tomashevsky obtained an acceptable position early on, but Giri played rather well, putting pressure all over the board before finally settling on attacking the kingside. White's beautifully anchored knight on c4 kept up the pressure on the center and the a5 pawn while White tried to break through Black's pawn structure in the center.

Giri had control over the game; Tomashevsky needs victories desperately to keep in the race

A risky but timely 38.g4!? opened up even more lines and Tomashevsky did not respond in the best way. His position did not hold together and Giri collected an important point for him, while this loss means that Tomashevsky is currently out of the Candidates.

Dominguez, Leinier 1-0 Svidler, Peter
A textbook example of how to play the modern Ruy Lopez. White's blockade on the light squares and his pair of bishops slowly took over the game. The excellent transfer of White's queen to the kingside, supporting the f4 break, gave Dominguez a sizeable advantage. He nurtured and and won in excellent style. Svidler was simply given no counterplay at any point, and it will be important for theoreticians to analyze where exactly he went wrong.

8.a4 has been a hot topic as an anti-Marshall

Standings

Round Seven Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos from the official website by Kirill Merkurev

Schedule

Round 01 – May 14 2015, 15:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jobava, Baadur 2699
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Round 02 – May 15 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Round 03 – May 16 2015, 15:00h
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
0-1
Svidler, Peter 2734
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Round 04 – May 17 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Round 05 – May 19 2015, 15:00h
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Round 06 – May 20 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Svidler, Peter 2734
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Round 07 – May 21 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734
Round 08 – May 22 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744   Svidler, Peter 2734
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749   Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754   Giri, Anish 2776
Jobava, Baadur 2699   Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Grischuk, Alexander 2780   Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Caruana, Fabiano 2803   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Round 09 – May 24 2015, 15:00h
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738   Gelfand, Boris 2744
Karjakin, Sergey 2753   Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799   Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Giri, Anish 2776   Jobava, Baadur 2699
Dominguez, Leinier 2734   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Svidler, Peter 2734   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Round 10 – May 25 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754   Svidler, Peter 2734
Jobava, Baadur 2699   Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Grischuk, Alexander 2780   Giri, Anish 2776
Caruana, Fabiano 2803   Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738   Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Round 11 – May 26 2015, 15:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2753   Gelfand, Boris 2744
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Giri, Anish 2776   Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Dominguez, Leinier 2734   Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Svidler, Peter 2734   Jobava, Baadur 2699
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Grand Prix, Khanty

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Klacsanzky Klacsanzky 5/22/2015 09:57
A 17 move draw by repetition? Fischer was right about Russians cheating. I am surprised no one gets upset about it. It's almost as bad as using a computer to win or draw against an opponent.
kayatoast kayatoast 5/22/2015 07:31
@fusoya ... It is a dropdown. The drawn game simply happens to be the first in the games' list, maybe sorted alphabetically (caruana?)
KevinC KevinC 5/22/2015 03:11
@fusoya, the only annotated game was a win, and the draw is in a drop-down box. You should be able to use that to get to EVERY game this round. If not, it is probably a browser issue.
fusoya fusoya 5/22/2015 01:47
Out of all the exciting games, why post the draw?
daftarche daftarche 5/21/2015 10:52
gelfand has made so many draws recently with no wins and no losses.
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