London Rd11: Topalov, Gelfand, Mamedyarov tie for first

10/3/2012 – Boris Gelfand beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Veselin Topalov outplayed Anish Giri with black, while the previous tournament leader Shakhriyar Mamedyarov settled for a draw against Peter Leko. This left three players tied for first, with 7.0/11 points each, and although Topalov had the highest tiebreak the official tournament report calls all three winners. Video interviews and GM commentary.

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The First FIDE Grand Prix took place from September 21 to October 3rd in Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London. The tournament had a prize fund of 240,000 Euros.

Round eleven report

Round 11 on 2012/10/03 at 12:00
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
½-½
Wang Hao 2742
Adams Michael 2722
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Giri Anish 2730
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2752
Grischuk Alexander 2754
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Gelfand Boris 2738
1-0
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684

Final standings (after eleven rounds)

Three winners in the first Grand Prix in London: Boris Gelfand, Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov! Before the last round the Azeri player was leading with half a point ahead of Topalov, Grischuk and Gelfand, but a draw in the last round by Mamedyarov gave the others a chance to catch him at the top. Veselin Topalov managed to win with black against Anish Giri, and Boris Gelfand triumphed with the white pieces over Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Alexander Grischuk faltered at the end and could only draw against Nakamura.

Prize money and Grand Prix points

Three winners? The regulations – specifically section 7.2 – state that "all prizes and Grand Prix ranking points are shared equally, in cases of any tied position/s. No tie break system will be utilised for the individual Grand Prix tournaments. ... The prize money, which will be paid by AGON for each tournament, is 240,000 Euros (170,000 Euros for the tournament and 70,000 Euros towards an accumulated prize fund for the overall Series positions)." The prize money for each individual tournament is as follows:

 Place Euros
 GP Points
 1st  25,000 120 points + 40 bonus
 2nd  22,00 110 points + 20 bonus
 3rd  20,000 100 points + 10 bonus
 4th  17,500 90 points
 5th  15,000 80 points
 6th  13,000 70 points
 7th  12,000 60 points
 8th  11,000 50 points
 9th  10,000 40 points
 10th  9,000 30 points
 11th  8,000 20 points
 12th 7,000 10 points
 Total  170,000  

The final round – game by game

In the final round all the eyes were on the leader of the tournament, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (above left). With a peaceful variation of the Nimzo Indian against Peter Leko it was obvious that the Azeri was playing for a draw, to secure at least a tie for first place. Step by step both players exchanged the pieces, and the knight’s endgame was equal from the very beginning. Draw in 41 moves.

Many quick exchanges were made in the game between Anish Giri and Veselin Topalov. After twenty minutes of play, there was rook + bishop + knight endgame on the board. Everyone expected a quick draw, but Topalov started to play for the win. The 41st move by Anish was a mistake, but his position was already difficult. The two black pawns e5/f5 looked unstoppable and Giri could not hold the position. 0-1 in 52 moves.

Michael Adams decided to play it safe today, using 3.Bb5+ against the Sicilian of Dominguez, and more exactly a form of the Maroczy Bind. Dominguez found a way to equalize, by opening the centre with 14…d5! The position was symmetrical without any real perspective for any side. Pieces were exchanged and the draw was agreed after 46 moves.

Hikaru Nakamura (above right) again showed his fighting spirit, playing the Sicilian Dragon against Alexander Grischuk. The Russian player accepted the challenge, entering in the main sharp line. There was never a real danger on Black’s king and the tension was about the c-file. After exchanging rooks, the position became equal and players repeated the moves. Draw in 31 moves.

Vassily Ivanchuk (above left) probably surprised his opponent by playing the Sozin Attack. Wang Hao got a worse position after the opening and was forced to give up his pair of bishops quickly. The a6 pawn also became weak and Black couldn’t avoid a space domination. The attack seemed very promising, but Wang Hao played few accurate moves, forcing the draw repetition on move 39.

Boris Gelfand (above left) went for the Moscow Variation of the Slav Defence against Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Boris made a courageous decision with 14.b4, giving up an exchange on purpose. In compensation White had a very strong pawn centre with b4/c4/c5. Rustam had to lose some tempi with his bishop from a4 to c2, and meanwhile White was pressing. 31…Rf-a8? was the decisive mistake, which gave away the b7 pawn. The position became too difficult to defend and Boris, by winning his last game, is finally sharing the first place!

All photos are, once again, by Ray Morris-Hill, who has provided us with some wonderfully professional impressions of the games in London. We are very thankful for this and for the speed at which each batch of pictures was delivered.

All games of the round for replay

Game of the day analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix - London 2012"] [Site "London"] [Date "2012.10.03"] [Round "11"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2684"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 g6 8. Be2 Bg7 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Qf4 11. Qc2 O-O 12. O-O {All this had been played once before. Maybe Kasimdzhanov was not familiar with the position, as his next move is very sketchy.} c5 {Black sacrifices a pawn with the hopes that he will soon regain it.} (12... f5 $6 13. Nc5 Bxd4 14. Nd3 $1 Qd6 $2 15. c5 Qd8 16. Nf4 $18 {was Moiseenko-Korobov from 2010.}) 13. dxc5 (13. Nxc5 Nc6 $1 14. d5 exd5 15. cxd5 Nb4 $11 {the d and b pawns are too weak to hold both of them.}) 13... Bd7 14. b4 {Gelfand sacrifices the exchange in order to establish a strong pawn majority on the queenside. I don't think that this plan is good, but Black has to be careful proving why.} Bxa1 $6 (14... Bc6 $1 {It is essential to not let the white knight in d6.} 15. Nd6 (15. Nc3 $2 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Be5 $17) 15... Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Be5 17. Rfd1 Qxh2+ 18. Kf1 Bxa1 19. Bxb7 Nd7 $5 {leads to complications that should favor Black due to the exposed position of the White's king.} (19... Na6 $1 {Some computer move.})) 15. Rxa1 Bc6 16. Nd6 { With the knight in such a powerful position, White has more than enough compensation for the missing exchange. What follows is a positional nightmare for Black, who can't find a good way to utilize his rooks.} Nd7 17. Qc1 Qf6 18. Rb1 g5 19. Qe3 Rad8 20. Nd4 a6 21. Re1 Ne5 22. h3 Ba4 23. Qa3 Nc6 24. Nf3 Bc2 25. b5 axb5 26. cxb5 {The pawns finally start rolling. Black gets some activity on the a-file but it is nowhere near enough. Kasdimzhanov plays an intermediate move before protecting his knight, but not all intermediate moves are good moves.} Ra8 $6 (26... Nd4 27. Nxd4 Qxd4 28. Nxb7 Ra8 29. Qe3 Qb4 $16 { offered more of a fight, at least Black is kind of active.}) 27. Qc1 Nb4 28. Qd2 (28. a3 Bd3 $1 {surprisingly saves Black.}) 28... Qf4 29. Qxf4 gxf4 30. Nxb7 Rxa2 {In this endgame there is simply no way to stop the pawns from rolling down the board. Moreover, the knight on b4 is in kind of a bad position.} 31. c6 Rfa8 32. Nd6 Bd3 33. Bxd3 Nxd3 34. Rf1 Rc2 35. Nd4 Rc5 36. b6 Nb4 37. c7 Rf8 38. Rb1 Na6 39. N4b5 Rc6 40. b7 Nxc7 41. Nxc7 (41. Nc8 $1 {was a much cleaner win, since Ne7+ is a threat. However it has been clear throughout the game that fatigue has finally gotten to the players.}) 41... Rxd6 42. b8=Q Rxb8 43. Rxb8+ Kh7 44. Rb4 Rd1+ 45. Kh2 e5 46. Ne8 f5 47. Rb7+ Kg6 48. Rg7+ {Gelfand finishes off Kasimdzhanov with an unusual checkmate. The game is far from precise or accurate, and, as mentioned in my comments, the tiredness from the event is reflecting on the players. Luckily for them, it's over. Gelfand catches Mamedyarov in the very last game in a relatively dramatic GP finish.} 1-0


Video stream of the whole game


Commentary by Boris Gelfand on his game against Kasimdzhanov, provided by Macauley Peterson

Daniel King: Play of the Day – Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov

Interview with Boris Gelfand

Interview with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Schedule and results

Round 1 on 2012/09/21 at 14:00
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Gelfand Boris 2738
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Round 2 on 2012/09/22 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Adams Michael 2722
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Giri Anish 2730
½-½
Wang Hao 2742
Grischuk Alexander 2754
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Gelfand Boris 2738
½-½
Topalov Veselin 2752
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
0-1
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Round 3 on 2012/09/23 at 14:00
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Gelfand Boris 2738
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
1-0
Giri Anish 2730
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Round 4 on 2012/09/24 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Giri Anish 2730
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Grischuk Alexander 2754
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Gelfand Boris 2738
1-0
Wang Hao 2742
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
½-½
Topalov Veselin 2752
Round 5 on 2012/09/25 at 14:00
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Gelfand Boris 2738
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Adams Michael 2722
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Round 6 on 2012/09/27 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Grischuk Alexander 2754
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Gelfand Boris 2738
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
0-1
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Wang Hao 2742
Topalov Veselin 2752
1-0
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Round 7 on 2012/09/28 at 14:00
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Topalov Veselin 2752
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
1-0
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Adams Michael 2722
0-1
Gelfand Boris 2738
Giri Anish 2730
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Round 8 on 2012/09/29 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Gelfand Boris 2738
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
1-0
Adams Michael 2722
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Wang Hao 2742
Round 9 on 2012/10/01 at 14:00
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
1-0
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2752
Adams Michael 2722
1-0
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Giri Anish 2730
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Grischuk Alexander 2754
1-0
Gelfand Boris 2738
Round 10 on 2012/10/02 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
½-½
Gelfand Boris 2738
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
1-0
Giri Anish 2730
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Round 11 on 2012/10/03 at 12:00
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
½-½
Wang Hao 2742
Adams Michael 2722
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Giri Anish 2730
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2752
Grischuk Alexander 2754
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Gelfand Boris 2738
1-0
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684

Links

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