Mind Games Day 1: Leko, Gunina lead

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/12/2013 – Leko leads the Men's section with an impressive 3.5/4 after he patiently ground down Karjakin in what should have been a drawn endgame. He is pursued by Karjakin and Wang Hao who have 3.0/4. In the Women's section Gunina has a spectacular 4.0/4 with dubious wins over Stefanova, Ju Wenjun, Paehtz and a gift from Kosteniuk. She plays Yifan tomorrow. Day one impressions and analysis.

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SportAccord Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China between the 12th of December and 20th December 2012. The World Mind Games was held for the first time in 2008 and consisted of 5 disciplines: chess, bridge, draughts (checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese chess). SportAccord, the organizer of the Mind Games, is the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as for major organizers of conferences and sporting events.

Day 1: Rapid - Men

China's number one/two (Wang Hao has the exact same live rating as Wang Yue) took out Aronian in round one

Round 1

Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED
Aronian Levon ARM
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Wang Hao CHN
Giri Anish NED
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS
Wang Yue CHN
0.0
1 - 0
0.0
Ponomariov Ruslan UKR
Kamsky Gata USA
0.0
1 - 0
0.0
Radjabov Teimour AZE
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Le Quang Liem VIE
Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Karjakin Sergey RUS
Grischuk Alexander RUS
0.0
1 - 0
0.0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE
Leko Peter HUN
0.0
1 - 0
0.0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA

Round one started with a mountain of decisive results. Aronian fell victim to a powerful Wang Hao who converted a better position from the opening with impressive technique (albeit being a little sloppy when the game was already essentially over).

Kamsky's handling of the Sveshnikov against Radjabov was rather weird but it paid off at the end

Giri's over aggression against Nepomniachtchi did not pay off and the Gruenfeld scored a victory. The other Chinese player, Wang Yue, demolished Ponomariov's set up with a well calculated sequence. Some of the games were rather strange but all of them were exciting to the very end.

Round 2

Bo. Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED
1 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS
1.0
1 - 0
1.0
Grischuk Alexander RUS
2 Wang Hao CHN
1.0
½​ - ½​
1.0
Wang Yue CHN
3 Karjakin Sergey RUS
1.0
1 - 0
1.0
Kamsky Gata USA
4 Le Quang Liem VIE
0.5
0 - 1
1.0
Leko Peter HUN
5 Radjabov Teimour AZE
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.5
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR
6 Ponomariov Ruslan UKR
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Aronian Levon ARM
7 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB
8 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Giri Anish NED

Things cooled off a little bit in the second round but with that a few leaders emerged. Leko, Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi were the only ones to score 2.0/2. Nepo outplayed Grischuk in a long Scotch game. Karjakin took advantage of Kamsky's dubious opening:

[Event "SportAccord Rapid Men 2013"] [Site "Beijing CHN"] [Date "2013.12.12"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Kamsky, Gata"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B27"] [WhiteElo "2756"] [BlackElo "2721"] [Annotator "Ramirez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2013.12.12"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 b6 {This is not the first time that Kamsky has played this move which must be dubious. But perhaps after this game it will be the last.} 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bb7 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 $1 {A strong move taking advantage of Black's lack of control over many, many squares.} g6 7. Ndb5 (7. Nxc6 Bxc6 ( 7... dxc6 $2 8. Nb5 $1 {is already completely lost for Black.}) 8. Qd4 {seems unpleasant to say the last for the second player.} (8. Nd5 {may be even stronger.})) 7... Rc8 8. Nd5 d6 9. Qd2 Bg7 $2 (9... a6 {was absolutely mandatory. Perhaps Kamsky was afraid of} 10. Qc3 e5 11. Be3 axb5 12. Bxb5 {but its not clear that this is all that strong for White.}) 10. O-O-O a6 11. Nxe7 { Now Black's position falls apart.} axb5 12. Nxc8 Qxc8 13. Bxb5 Nge7 14. Bxd6 O-O (14... Qe6 {is the computer recommendation but White should still be almost winning after} 15. Bxc6+ Bxc6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Qd6 {and White has too many pawns, despite his opponent's pair of bishops.}) 15. Bxc6 Nxc6 16. Bxf8 Qxf8 {A crazy material balance. White has two rooks for three pieces, but the fact that he also has three pawns on top of that makes all the difference.} 17. Qd6 Qa8 18. Kb1 b5 19. f4 Bc8 20. Qa3 Qb7 21. Rd5 h5 22. Rhd1 Bg4 23. R1d2 b4 24. Qe3 Qa6 25. R2d3 $2 Be6 (25... b3 $1 {was veyr strong and Black's last chance to get back in the game.} 26. cxb3 Nb4 $13) 26. Qc5 Kh7 27. b3 $2 {Very unnecessary, now Black will obtain couterplay on the dark squares.} Bxd5 28. exd5 Qa3 $1 {Creating problems.} 29. c3 Qa6 (29... Na7 30. Qxb4 {is a slow but sure death.}) 30. Qc4 Qb6 31. dxc6 Qg1+ 32. Kc2 bxc3 33. Rxc3 $2 {Eliminating the passed pawn is not what White needed at the moment.} (33. b4 $1 Qxg2+ 34. Kb3 Qb2+ 35. Ka4 c2 36. c7 c1=Q 37. c8=Q {is difficult to play with limited time on the clock, but the variation seems to work for White.}) 33... Qxg2+ 34. Kb1 Qg1+ 35. Rc1 Qf2 $1 {White has problems defending from the simple threat of checkmate, despite his huge material advantage.} 36. Rc2 Qe1+ 37. Rc1 Qd2 38. Qc2 Qd4 39. Qe2 Qa1+ 40. Kc2 Qxa2+ 41. Kd1 Qxb3+ 42. Rc2 Qb1+ $2 {Spoiling the hard work.} (42... Qd5+ $1 {is an immediate perpetual as White cannot avoid being checked on h1.}) 43. Kd2 Bh6 $2 {Very inefficient use of the bishop.} 44. Qc4 Qb8 45. c7 Qc8 46. Qxf7+ Bg7 47. Rc6 {This would be a terrible game under normal circumstances, but under rapid time controls it was simply crazy and fun!} 1-0

Round 3

Bo.   Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
  Name FED
1 GM Leko Peter HUN
2.0
½​ - ½​
2.0
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS
2 GM Wang Yue CHN
1.5
0 - 1
2.0
GM Karjakin Sergey RUS
3 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR
1.0
½​ - ½​
1.5
GM Wang Hao CHN
4 GM Grischuk Alexander RUS
1.0
1 - 0
1.0
GM Giri Anish NED
5 GM Kamsky Gata USA
1.0
½​ - ½​
0.5
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA
6 GM Aronian Levon ARM
0.5
1 - 0
0.5
GM Le Quang Liem VIE
7 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB
0.5
½​ - ½​
0.5
GM Radjabov Teimour AZE
8 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE
0.0
1 - 0
0.5
GM Ponomariov Ruslan UKR

The duel between the leaders resulted in a draw, but Karjakin took out Wang Yue with a pretty tactic:

[Event "SportAccord Rapid Men 2013"] [Site "Beijing CHN"] [Date "2013.12.12"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Wang, Yue"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2756"] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "2013.12.12"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 Bg7 8. Qh4 h6 9. Nc3 d6 10. Rd1 Nbd7 11. Nd4 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 g5 13. Qh3 g4 14. Qh4 Ne5 15. Nd5 Qc8 $1 {Black has played a very powerful opening. He has not been afraid of weakening the kingside and has obtained important space, gaining tempi for development and he has driven White's queen relatively out of play.} 16. b3 $2 {And now a convincing finish:} Nxd5 17. cxd5 Ng6 $1 18. Qh5 Bxd4 $1 19. Rxd4 Qc3 {White's rooks cannot be defended!} 20. Rc4 Qxa1 21. Qxg4 Kf8 22. Rc2 h5 23. Qd7 h4 24. Bb2 h3+ 25. Kf3 Qxb2 {Finishing it off in style; the queen cannot be taken because of Ne5+} 0-1

Tactics do not escape this man: Karjakin started with 3.0/3

This put Karjakin in the temporarily lead.

Bo. Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED
1 Karjakin Sergey RUS
3.0
0 - 1
2.5
Leko Peter HUN
2 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS
2.5
0 - 1
2.0
Wang Hao CHN
3 Aronian Levon ARM
1.5
½​ - ½​
2.0
Grischuk Alexander RUS
4 Kamsky Gata USA
1.5
1 - 0
1.5
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR
5 Radjabov Teimour AZE
1.0
0 - 1
1.5
Wang Yue CHN
6 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA
1.0
0 - 1
1.0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE
7 Giri Anish NED
1.0
0 - 1
1.0
Dominguez Perez Leinier CUB
8 Ponomariov Ruslan UKR
0.5
0 - 1
0.5
Le Quang Liem VIE

Leko won a pawn early in the game but the transition to the endgame was less than optimal. In what should have been a drawn endgame Leko danced with his knight for dozens of moves, until eventually Karjakin made a fatal mistake and allowed his opponent's king in with a decisive effect. With this Leko takes the lead of the tournament with three rounds to be played tomorrow. He will face Wang Hao with the black pieces while Karjakin will be black himself against Grischuk, who has 2.5/4 with Wang Yue, Nepo and Kamsky.

Leko is now leading after grinding out Karjakin in a very long endgame

Standings

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts
1 Leko Peter 2738 Hungary 3.5
2 Karjakin Sergey 2787 Russia 3.0
3 Wang Hao 2690 China 3.0
4 Grischuk Alexander 2828 Russia 2.5
5 Wang Yue 2729 China 2.5
6 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2799 Russia 2.5
7 Kamsky Gata 2734 United States of America 2.5
8 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2795 Azerbaijan 2.0
9 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2758 Cuba 2.0
10 Aronian Levon 2797 Armenia 2.0
11 Le Quang Liem 2756 Vietnam 1.5
12 Ivanchuk Vassily 2732 Ukraine 1.5
13 Giri Anish 2700 Netherlands 1.0
14 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2761 France 1.0
15 Radjabov Teimour 2749 Azerbaijan 1.0
16 Ponomariov Ruslan 2748 Ukraine 0.5

Note: Rapid ratings used

Men Games rounds one to four

Day 1: Rapid - Women

Viktorija Cmilyte, from Lithuania, started the event with four draws!

Round 1

  Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED SNo.
1 Cramling Pia SWE
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Kosintseva Tatiana RUS 9
2 Cmilyte Viktorija LTU
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS 2
3 Sebag Marie FRA
0.0
1 - 0
0.0
Muzychuk Anna SLO 11
4 Stefanova Antoaneta BUL
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Gunina Valentina RUS 4
5 Koneru Humpy IND
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Dzagnidze Nana GEO 13
6 Zhao Xue CHN
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Hou Yifan CHN 6
7 Lagno Kateryna UKR
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Ju Wenjun CHN 15
8 Ushenina Anna UKR
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Paehtz Elisabeth GER 8

Round one started with a few draws. The Chinese players Zhao Xue and Hou Yifan took half a point away from each other, but Ju Wenjun won a pretty King's Indian against Lagno.

Round 2

  Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED
1 Paehtz Elisabeth GER
1.0
1 - 0
1.0
Sebag Marie FRA
2 Gunina Valentina RUS
1.0
1 - 0
1.0
Ju Wenjun CHN
3 Dzagnidze Nana GEO
0.5
1 - 0
0.5
Cramling Pia SWE
4 Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS
0.5
1 - 0
0.5
Zhao Xue CHN
5 Kosintseva Tatiana RUS
0.5
0 - 1
0.5
Koneru Humpy IND
6 Hou Yifan CHN
0.5
½​ - ½​
0.5
Cmilyte Viktorija LTU
7 Stefanova Antoaneta BUL
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Lagno Kateryna UKR
8 Muzychuk Anna SLO
0.0
0 - 1
0.0
Ushenina Anna UKR

Ushenina beat Muzychuk in round two. Muzychuk used to play for Ukraine, like Ushenina, but she switched federations some time ago to Slovenia.

The World Champion was held to a draw for the second time in a row, and perhaps more surprisingly Anna Muzychuk started with 0.0/2 while Paehtz, the only player not to have the GM title in the event, started with 2.0/2. This was slightly aided when Sebag, in a position where she was slightly worse, simply blundered a queen.

Gunina set a nice trap against Ju Wenjun, who fell for it squarely, and also led with 2.0/2.

Paehtz started off the event with two big wins

Round 3

  Name FED
Pts
Res.
Pts
Name FED
1 Paehtz Elisabeth GER
2.0
0 - 1
2.0
Gunina Valentina RUS
2 Koneru Humpy IND
1.5
½​ - ½​
1.5
Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS
3 Sebag Marie FRA
1.0
½​ - ½​
1.5
Dzagnidze Nana GEO
4 Ju Wenjun CHN
1.0
0 - 1
1.0
Hou Yifan CHN
5 Lagno Kateryna UKR
1.0
½​ - ½​
1.0
Cmilyte Viktorija LTU
6 Ushenina Anna UKR
1.0
½​ - ½​
0.5
Cramling Pia SWE
7 Zhao Xue CHN
0.5
0 - 1
0.5
Kosintseva Tatiana RUS
8 Muzychuk Anna SLO
0.0
½​ - ½​
0.0
Stefanova Antoaneta BUL

Paehtz started off dominating Gunina and obtained a winning position, however she got into time trouble and panicked when the Russian made a simple attack. With incorrect responses she found herself in a lost position soon after and Gunina moved to 3.0/3.

The strange amount of draws meant that Gunina was leading by a full point ahead of Kosteniuk, Koneru, Sebag, Dzagnidze and Hou Yifan.

Kateryna Lagno is a strong blitz and rapid player but it took her some time to get her gears started in this event

Kosintseva beat ex-World Champion Ushenina in round four to move to +1 and keep her chances of a good rapid result

Round 4

Bo. Name FED Pts Res. Pts Name FED
1 Gunina Valentina RUS 3.0 1 - 0 2.0 Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS
2 Hou Yifan CHN 2.0 1 - 0 2.0 Koneru Humpy IND
3 Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2.0 1 - 0 2.0 Paehtz Elisabeth GER
4 Cmilyte Viktorija LTU 1.5 ½​ - ½​ 1.5 Sebag Marie FRA
5 Kosintseva Tatiana RUS 1.5 1 - 0 1.5 Ushenina Anna UKR
6 Cramling Pia SWE 1.0 0 - 1 1.5 Lagno Kateryna UKR
7 Ju Wenjun CHN 1.0 ½​ - ½​ 0.5 Muzychuk Anna SLO
8 Stefanova Antoaneta BUL 0.5 ½​ - ½​ 0.5 Zhao Xue CHN

The match between the World Champion and World's number three Koneru was surely highly anticipated, but it was not a close contest as the Chinese demolished her opponent's kingside and took an easy game.

[Event "SportAccord Rapid Women 2013"] [Site "Beijing CHN"] [Date "2013.12.12"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Gunina, Valentina"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E35"] [WhiteElo "2509"] [BlackElo "2527"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r4bk1/Q4p2/p1q1b2p/1p4pB/1P2p3/P3P1BP/5PPK/3R4 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "5"] [EventDate "2013.12.12"] 31. Qd4 {The game has been leve all throughout. Here Bb3 or Rc8 would keep an approximate balance even if White's position is maybe technically more pleasant.} a5 $4 32. Qf6 {Suddenly Black is helpless against both Be5 and Bxf7+.} Bg7 33. Bxf7+ 1-0

With this victory Gunina keeps her lead and her perfect score. Tomorrow she will defend the Black pieces against Hou Yifan.

Gunina leads and will defend her position against Hou Yifan tomorrow

Standings

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts
1 Gunina Valentina 2543 Russia 4.0
2 Hou Yifan 2579 China 3.0
3 Dzagnidze Nana 2575 Georgia 3.0
4 Lagno Kateryna 2566 Ukraine 2.5
5 Kosintseva Tatiana 2503 Russia 2.5
6 Paehtz Elisabeth 2513 Germany 2.0
7 Kosteniuk Alexandra 2588 Russia 2.0
8 Koneru Humpy 2626 India 2.0
9 Sebag Marie 2502 France 2.0
10 Cmilyte Viktorija 2450 Lithuania 2.0
11 Ju Wenjun 2552 China 1.5
12 Ushenina Anna 2478 Ukraine 1.5
13 Zhao Xue 2489 China 1.0
14 Cramling Pia 2513 Sweden 1.0
15 Muzychuk Anna 2566 Slovenia 1.0
16 Stefanova Antoaneta 2582 Bulgaria 1.0

Note: Rapid ratings used

Women Games rounds one to four

Schedule

Thursday, December 12th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 1-4 rounds (men), 1-4 rounds (women)
Friday, December 13th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 5-7 rounds (men), 5-7 rounds (women)
Saturday, December 14th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 1-10 rounds (men), 1-10 rounds (women)
Sunday, December 15th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 11-20 rounds (men), 11-20 rounds (women)
Monday, December 16th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 21-30 rounds (men), 21-30 rounds (women)
Tuesday, December 17th 14:00-19:00    Basque System: 1-3 rounds (men), 1-3 rounds (women)
Wednesday, December 18th 11:00-16:00    Basque System: 4-5 rounds (men), 4-5 rounds (women) &
Closing Ceremony

Photos by WGM Gu Xiaobing, taken from the official FIDE website

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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



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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