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Nalchik R6: Grischuk loses, Aronian wins to take lead

4/22/2009 – Forget Sunday's table. In round six Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat the leader Alexander Grischuk, while Levon Aronian beat a completely out-of-form Vassily Ivanchuk. Peter Svidler won with black against Pavel Eljanov and Vladimir Akopian moved up the ladder with a victory over Sergey Karjakin. Now Aronian leads, with four players behind him. Full report with commentary.
 

Fourth FIDE Grand Prix
in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria

The fourth FIDE Grand Prix Series Tournament is being held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, during 14th -29th April 2009 at the Intour Hotel "Sindica". The games start at 3 p.m. local time = 15:00h CEST. After five rounds there is a free day (on Monday, April 20) and another after round nine (on Saturday, April 25).

Results of today's round

Round 6: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Eljanov Pavel
0-1
Svidler Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rustam
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Aronian Levon
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Leko Peter
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
  Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Grischuk Alexander  
Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Karjakin Sergey

Round six review by GM Sergey Shipov

The following game notes were provided by FIDE and are translated (by Misha Savinov) from the comments of Sergey Shipov. We are grateful for permission to reproduce his commentary here. All photos by courtesy of FIDE.

Levon Aronian-Vassily Ivanchuk
Vassily, looking for winning chances, called fire upon him, and perished. The game was very one-sided. Black made a mistake, allowing Nc3-d5 by 12…Bxc6?! Of course, he should have taken with the queen, securing an equal game. Maybe Ivanchuk thought that he can pick up the h2-pawn, but later discovered that it is impossible. Consequently, he had to defend a slightly worse position. The opposite-colored bishops did not guarantee a draw. With the queens on the board, pawn weaknesses on b6 and f7 as well as poor king’s safety played an important role. Black held the balance for quite a while, however, Aronian’s spectacular 36.e5! was too much for Ivanchuk. By 36…Qg7! 37.Qe6 Qg6! Vassily could defend stubbornly, but he captured on e5, and White quickly developed the mating attack.


In the sole lead after six rounds: Armenian GM Levon Aronian

Aronian,L (2754) - Ivanchuk,V (2746) [A31]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (6), 21.04.2009
1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 Qc7 7.e3 b6 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Rc1 Rc8 11.Be2 Be7 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Nd5 exd5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.cxd5 Bxb2 16.Rc2 Be5 17.dxc6 dxc6 18.Bxa6 Rd8 19.Qf3 c5 20.Bb5+ Kf8 21.g3 g6 22.Rd1 Kg7 23.Rcd2 Rxd2 24.Rxd2 Rd8 25.Rxd8 Qxd8 26.Kg2 h5 27.Qe4 Bc3 28.Qb7 Bf6 29.Bc4 Qe7 30.Qd5 h4 31.e4 hxg3 32.hxg3 Bd4 33.f4 f6 34.Kf3 Kh6 35.Qg8 g5 36.e5

36...fxe5 37.Bd3 e4+ 38.Bxe4 Qg7 39.Qe6+ Qf6 40.Qd7 1-0.


At his wits' end: Vassily Ivanchuk at 1.5/6

Sakhriyar Mamedyarov-Alexander Grischuk
White created powerful pressure in a seemingly harmless position. Mamedyarov’s innocent-looking play was actually very poisonous. Black was close to equality all the time, but never could reach it. It all started with a tricky novelty 13.Bd2 in the Chebanenko Slav. Knowing the future events, one can question the 14…d4 break (14…Be6 looked good) or recommend the following line on the next move: 15…Qxc2!? 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Rxc2 Bf5! – here Black manages to develop his queenside at a relatively small cost of doubling the f-pawn. After the exchanges Black was left with the only problem – weak b7-pawn. However, Grischuk failed to find the solution to it, and possibly there was no such solution. One can only point at the more tenacious continuations with more chances to survive, for instance, 24…Bf6!? 25.Bd6 Rd8 26.Bc7 Rd2 27.Bxb7 Rf8, and Black attacks White’s pawns. After Mamedyarov relocated his rook to b5, Black’s situation became really difficult. White won a pawn and energetically ended the game in his favour.


A fine positional win for Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Mamedyarov,S (2725) - Grischuk,A (2748) [D10]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (6), 21.04.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Qc2 e6 6.Nf3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Ne5 Qc7 10.Nxc6 Qxc6 11.0-0 Bd6 12.dxc5 Qxc5 13.Bd2 0-0 14.Rac1 d4

15.Ne4 Nxe4 [15...Qxc2!? 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Rxc2 Bf5!] 16.Qxe4 Qe5 17.Qxe5 Bxe5 18.b3 dxe3 19.Bxe3 Be6 20.Bf3 Rab8 21.Ba7 Ra8 22.Bc5 Rfb8 23.g3 a5 24.Rfe1

24...Bc7 [24...Bf6! 25.Bd6 Rd8 26.Bc7 Rd2 27.Bxb7 Rf8] 25.Be3 Bd6 26.Red1 Be5 27.Rc5 f6 28.Rb5 a4 29.Bxb7 axb3 30.axb3 Ra3 31.b4 Ra4 32.Bc5 Kf7 33.h4 Ra2 34.Rb6 Rb2 35.Re1 Ba2 36.f4 Bc3 37.Re7+ Kg6 38.Be4+ 1-0.


Setback with a loss in round six: GM Alexander Grischuk, Russia

Vladimir Akopian-Sergey Karjakin
The representative of the older generation (who had also been a young star someday) gave a perfect lesson to the young and brilliant opponent. Maybe Karjakin simply underestimated Akopian and decided to play against him beyond the acceptable risk. Perhaps judging Sergey’s novelty 16…b5 by a single game is irresponsible, especially considering that ‘Karjakin-made’ opening ideas are usually of the highest quality. However, Akopian used simple and logical means to parry Black’s threats, and obtained a lasting advantage. Vladimir converted this advantage in a classic way. The excellent 31.Qc7! deserves special attention. In the endgame White sacrificed a bishop (51.Qb5!) and advanced his passed a-pawn. Here began the most interesting part! Usually players always queen their pawns without giving a proper thought to underpromotion. However, in this case the automatic 71.a8Q? only led to a perpetual check. By promoting his pawn to the knight, Akopian defended his king and created irresistible threats to the opponent’s monarch! An excellent victory!


Start of the game Vladimir Akopian (right) vs Sergey Karjakin

Akopian,Vl (2696) - Karjakin,Sergey (2721) [B90]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (6), 21.04.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7 10.h3 Nf6 11.Qf3 Qb6 12.0-0-0 Nc6 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Be2 Nd7 15.Nd5 Ne5 16.Qa3 b5 17.h4 Be6 18.hxg5 Rc8 19.Rd2 hxg5 20.Rxh8+ Bxh8 21.Qe3 Nc4 22.Bxc4 bxc4 23.c3 f6 24.Qa7 Bd7 25.f3 Bg7 26.Nb6 Rd8 27.Qxa6 Be6 28.Qa7 Kf7 29.Nd5 Bxd5 30.exd5 Qa8 31.Qc7 Rc8 32.Qd7 Rh8 33.Qe6+ Kf8 34.a3 Rh1+ 35.Rd1 Rxd1+ 36.Kxd1 Qa4+ 37.Kd2 Qb3 38.Kc1 Qb6 39.Be1 Qg1 40.g4 Qf1 41.Qe4 Ke8 42.Kd2 Kd8 43.Qe2 Qh1 44.Kc2 f5 45.gxf5 Qh3 46.Qxc4 Qxf3 47.Qd3 Qg2+ 48.Kb3 g4 49.a4 Be5 50.a5 Qg1

51.Qb5! Qxe1 52.a6 Qa1 53.Qb8+ Kd7 54.Qb5+ Kd8 55.Qb6+ Kc8 56.Qc6+ Kd8 57.Qa8+ Kd7 58.Qc6+ Kd8 59.Qa8+ Kd7 60.Qb7+ Kd8 61.Qb8+ Kd7 62.a7 Qd1+ 63.Kb4 Bxc3+ 64.Kxc3 Qc1+ 65.Kb3 Qd1+ 66.Kb4 Qe1+ 67.Kb5 Qf1+ 68.Kb6 Qg1+ 69.Ka6 Qa1+ 70.Kb7 Qc1

71.a8N! [71.a8Q? Qxb2+ 72.Ka6 Qa3+ 73.Kb5 Qb3+ 74.Ka5 Qa3+] 1-0.


Akopian and Karjakin in the press conference after the game

Pavel Eljanov-Peter Svidler
A quiet outline of a position can often be misleading, and deep positional considerations are useless, when a sharp and unexpected combination can change everything. In a well-known variation of the Gruenfeld, Eljanov obtained a slight pressure in the endgame. White’s main trump was his super-solid d4-pawn, which completely locked Black’s dark-squared bishop. It seems Pavel overestimated this factor. The careless 21.Ne4? (after 21.Nf3! White is at least not worse) allowed Black to deliver the devastating 21…Bxd4! His heroic bishop crushed the White’s center. Soon Black regained the piece and ended up with an extra pawn. Svidler conducted the converting stage perfectly.


Peter Svidler with an heroic victory in round six, now in second place

Gata Kamsky-Boris Gelfand
The amount of blank spots in the theory is simply amazing. Take the Catalan – a highly popular opening! Everybody played in recently, completely exhausting certain variations. However, Kamsky’s natural strengthening 8th move led the game to a whole new territory. And Gelfand was unable to solve the new set of problems. When it turned out that Black cannot hold the c4-pawn, Boris decided to simplify the game with a dubious central break – 14…e5? Gata could probably punish the opponent by 17.Nc5! with a crushing attack after 17…dxe3 18.Bxc6+! bxc6 19.Qe4+! However, the spectacular 17.Nd6+ also gave him the initiative. The Black’s king remained in the center and barely survived. I am sure Kamsky could handle his advantage better. For instance, one can suggest 26.Be4, and the threat of Be4-h7 provokes the weakening g7-g6, after which White’s queen can land on f6. In the game White played a little too slow and Black managed to regroup. Gata preferred to avoid problems, and transposed the game into an equal ending.


Gata Kamsky and Boris Gelfand discuss their game at the end of round six

Rustam Kasimdzhanov-Etienne Bacrot
The game was short and seemingly peaceful, however, it contained an interesting theoretical innovation. Bacrot’s 11…Qh3! prevented White from castling. Kasimdzhanov brought his king to the queenside, but it wasn’t safe there either. Therefore Rustam took the safe route and forced a draw by repetition.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Etienne Bacrot analyse after their game

Peter Leko-Evgeny Alekseev
In this lengthy struggle White had a small edge all the time, but it didn’t give him anything real. In the Catalan, Black correctly opened the lines on the queenside by 13…b5!, which allowed him to survive White’s attack in the center. The structure that arose resembled the French Defense. White’s only chance for the advantage was attacking on the kingside. However, Peter wasted some time, and when Evgeny started to build his counterplay on the queenside, White preferred to force a draw by 49.b4 followed by the move repetition.

Standings


FIDE Grand Prix Nalchik 2009 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Mamedyarov Shak.
0-1
Aronian Levon
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Gelfand Boris
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Svidler Peter
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Bacrot Etienne

Round 2: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Svidler Peter
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Aronian Levon
1-0-
Akopian Vladimir
Leko Peter
½-½
Mamedyarov Shak.

Round 3: Friday, April 17, 2009

Mamedyarov Shak.
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Akopian Vladimir
0-1
Leko Peter
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Aronian Levon
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Eljanov Pavel
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Svidler Peter

Round 4: Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kamsky Gata
1-0
Svidler Peter
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Aronian Levon
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Leko Peter
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shak.
½-½
Akopian Vladimir

Round 5: Sunday, April 19, 2009

Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Mamedyarov Shak.
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Leko Peter
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Aronian Levon
Ivanchuk Vassily
0-1
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Svidler Peter
½-½
Gelfand Boris

Round 6: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Eljanov Pavel
0-1
Svidler Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Aronian Levon
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Leko Peter
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Mamedyarov Shak.
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Karjakin Sergey

Round 7: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Karjakin Sergey
-
Kamsky Gata
Grischuk Alexander
-
Akopian Vladimir
Alekseev Evgeny
-
Mamedyarov Shak.
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Leko Peter
Bacrot Etienne
-
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Gelfand Boris
-
Eljanov Pavel
GamesReport

Round 8: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kamsky Gata
-
Eljanov Pavel
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
-
Gelfand Boris
Aronian Levon
-
Svidler Peter
Leko Peter
-
Bacrot Etienne
Mamedyarov Shak.
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Akopian Vladimir
-
Alekseev Evgeny
Karjakin Sergey
-
Grischuk Alexander
GamesReport

Round 9: Friday, April 24, 2009

Grischuk Alexander
-
Kamsky Gata
Alekseev Evgeny
-
Karjakin Sergey
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Akopian Vladimir
Bacrot Etienne
-
Mamedyarov Shak.
Svidler Peter
-
Leko Peter
Gelfand Boris
-
Aronian Levon
Eljanov Pavel
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
GamesReport

Round 10: Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kamsky Gata
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Aronian Levon
-
Eljanov Pavel
Leko Peter
-
Gelfand Boris
Mamedyarov Shak.
-
Svidler Peter
Akopian Vladimir
-
Bacrot Etienne
Karjakin Sergey
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Grischuk Alexander
-
Alekseev Evgeny
GamesReport

Round 11: Monday, April 27, 2009

Alekseev Evgeny
-
Kamsky Gata
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Grischuk Alexander
Bacrot Etienne
-
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
-
Akopian Vladimir
Gelfand Boris
-
Mamedyarov Shak.
Eljanov Pavel
-
Leko Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
-
Aronian Levon
GamesReport

Round 12: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kamsky Gata
-
Aronian Levon
Leko Peter
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Mamedyarov Shak.
-
Eljanov Pavel
Akopian Vladimir
-
Gelfand Boris
Karjakin Sergey
-
Svidler Peter
Grischuk Alexander
-
Bacrot Etienne
Alekseev Evgeny
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
GamesReport

Round 13: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Kamsky Gata
Bacrot Etienne
-
Alekseev Evgeny
Svidler Peter
-
Grischuk Alexander
Gelfand Boris
-
Karjakin Sergey
Eljanov Pavel
-
Akopian Vladimir
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
-
Mamedyarov Shak.
Aronian Levon
-
Leko Peter
GamesReport
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Departure

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