London Rd8: Gelfand leads, Nakamura loses three in a row

9/29/2012 – “So far so good,” said the tournament leader Boris Gelfand when leaving the playing venue yesterday evening. Today he came close to increasing his half-point lead over the field, but an inaccurate move allowed his opponent Anish Giri to escape with a draw. Down in the dumps is Hikaru Nakamura, who lost his third game in a row and now is on minus three. Round eight report.

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The First FIDE Grand Prix is taking place from September 21 to October 3rd in Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London. The games start at 14:00h local time (= 15:00h CEST, 17:00h Moscow, 09:00 a.m. New York). The tournament has a prize fund of 240,000 Euros.

Round eight report

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

In round eight Boris Gelfand's opponent Anish Giri decided to go for a sharp King’s Indian. Boris had to think for a while and opted for the bayonet attack. First moves were played very fast and after 22 moves, Gelfand decided to sacrifice a piece! The two white bishops were very dangerous and Anish decided to give up an exchange with 25…dxc5?! Boris took a good advantage but 30.Rf1 was an inaccurate move and gave the opportunity for Anish to come back in the game and eventually equalized. A disappointing draw for Boris who could have increase the lead.

The first game to end today was between Topalov and Mamedyarov. In a well-known line of Caro Khan, Mamedyarov equalized right after the opening. “Shak” didn’t know 18.Be1 but it was not a big danger for Black and after one hour of play, both players decided to repeat the moves. Draw in 31 moves.

Hikaru Nakamura decided finally to play 1.e4 instead of 1.Nf3. The American played chose the Exchange Variation of the Spanish. Vasily Ivanchuk decided to go for the endgame with 5…f6. After exchanging some pieces, both players decided to double rooks on the d-file. The endgame knight + bishop looked drawn but Vasily kept on pushing on the queenside and Nakamura started to makes mistakes in time trouble. Ivanchuk jumped on that occasion to win the endgame!

With a third loss in three rounds the top US grandmaster is now alone at the bottom of the table, with a minus three score and the prospects of losing 21 rating points from this event. Won't happen, of course, as "Naka" has three rounds to go and is known for his ability to fight back in dire situations.

Leko and Grischuk were in a fighting mood today, opting for the very sharp Sicilian Najdorf. White opened and attacked on the centre, forcing Black to react by giving an exchange, counter attacking with the knights on the white king. The Hungarian had the possibility to gain a big advantage by playing the computer move 22.g6! but preferred the more human and safest 22.c3 and then let his advantage slip away with 26.Rh3. Grischuk took his chance, played very accurate moves and drew the game.

The game between Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Michael Adams was much more peaceful with the English opening. Rustam had a pleasant position to play, pressuring without any big risks. The black pawns on b4 and c5 looked slightly weak in the middlegame. Adams managed to exchange his weak pawns, and everyone could expect a quick draw. 37…h5? was a mistake and Michael had to fight in a queen endgame a clear pawn down. The position got worse and the English GM was unable to defend it. Kasimdzhanov won in 47 moves.

Wang Hao surprised Dominguez by playing a Bd7 Richter-Rauzer Sicilian Variation. The position looked more like a typical Najdorf, White attacking on the kingside and Black on the queenside. The Chinese player went for a typical exchange sacrifice with 15…Rxc3?!, complicating the position. Dominguez reacted calmly, exchanging queens, putting his bishop on d5 and got a big advantage. The rest of the game was a matter of technique for Leinier, but the 37th move was a mistake and the Cuban player had to finally draw his game. A small miracle for Wang Hao!

Daniel King: Play of the Day – Gelfand - Giri

All photos by Ray Morris-Hill

Standings after eight rounds

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
-
Leko Peter 2737
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Adams Michael 2722
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Giri Anish 2730
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Round 10 on 2012/10/02 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Giri Anish 2730
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Adams Michael 2722
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Wang Hao 2742
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Round 11 on 2012/10/03 at 11:00
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Leko Peter 2737
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Wang Hao 2742
Adams Michael 2722
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Giri Anish 2730
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684

Links

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