Nepomniaschi leads World Rapid with 9.0/10

6/8/2013 – The FIDE World Rapid Championship 2013 in Khanty-Mansiysk takes place in fifteen rounds over three day. After the first two the Russian GM Ian Nepomniachi is the lead, two point ahead of his nearest rivals (Ildar Khairullin and Ivan Cheparinov). Ian is in great shape and displaying a very harmonious chess. Report after day two with instructive analysis by GM Efstratios Grivas.

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The FIDE World Rapid Championship 2013 and FIDE World Blitz Championship 2013 are being held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) from June 06 to 10, 2013. The total prize fund of the championship is US $400,000, which also shows the high status of the tournament. The event is being held in the Ugra Chess Academy, which is located in the city center. This unique three-level building, which has no sharp edges, was designed by the famous Dutch architect Erick Van Egeraat and constructed using modern energy conserving technologies. The games will be held in the tournament hall on the first floor.

58 players from 18 countries are competing in the Fide World Rapid & Blitz Championships, including representatives from chess powers such as Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Israel, India, the United States and Armenia. There are also players from Iran, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Spain and other countries. More than thirty players are from Russia, among them the clear favorites of the tournament: the current world champion in blitz Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachi and Sergey Rublevsky. An interesting participant: the 14-year-old prodigy from Omsk, international master, chess rising star Vladislav Artemyev.

1st day review: Nepomniaschi and Dreev tied for first

The first symbolic move on the first table was made by Alexey Putin, the Vice Governor of Ugra, in the game between Alexander Grischuk, the current world champion, and Ivan Popov, the champion of Moscow 2012.

After three rounds of play on the first day of the Fide World Rapid Championship three grandmasters, Ian Nepomniaschi and Alexey Dreev from Russia, and Francisco Vallejo from Spain, were leading on field with 3.0/3 points. Nepomniaschi became the sold leader after the fourth round after his victory over Vallejo, and Dreev drew Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan. In the fifth round Nepomniaschi and Ildar Khairullin agreed to a draw on the 16th move, whild Dreev outplayed Victor Bologan from Moldavia and caught the leader.

The situation at the end of the first day was as follows: 1st-2nd Nepomniaschi (above), Dreev (both from Russia) with 4.5/5 points, 3rd-4th Mamedyarov, Khairullin, 4.0/5, 5-12 Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Andreikin and Vladimir Potkin (all three from Russia), Victor Bologan (Moldavia), Francisco Vallejo (Spain), Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria), Gata Kamsky (USA), Eltaj Safarli (Azerbaijan), all with 3.5/5 points.

Here are a couple of interesting game from the first day, with notes by tournament annotator and well-known chess trainer GM Efstratios Grivas from Greece.

[Event "WRBC 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.06.06"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Le Quang, Liem"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A31"] [WhiteElo "2712"] [BlackElo "2753"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [Source "FIDE"] [WhiteClock "0:00:45"] [BlackClock "0:00:19"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qxd5 6. Nc3 Qa5 7. Nb3 Qc7 8. e4 Nc6 9. Be2 e6 10. O-O Bb4 11. Nb5 Qb8 12. a3 Be7 13. Nc3 O-O 14. Be3 Rd8 15. Qc2 e5 16. Rad1 Be6 17. Rxd8+ Qxd8 18. Rd1 Qe8 19. Nc5 Bxc5 20. Bxc5 Rc8 21. h3 Na5 22. Bb5 Bb3 23. Qc1 Nc6 24. Rd6 a6 25. Be2 Nd4 26. Bxd4 Nxe4 27. Rb6 exd4 28. Rxb3 Nxc3 29. bxc3 Qxe2 30. Rxb7 f6 31. Qb1 dxc3 32. Qb3+ Qc4 33. Qc2 Qd5 34. Rb1 Qd2 35. Rc1 Qd5 36. Rd1 Qe6 37. Rd3 h6 38. Re3 Qc4 39. Rg3 a5 40. Rg4 Qe6 41. Rg3 a4 42. Re3 Qb3 43. Qf5 Qc4 44. Qc2 Qb3 45. Qf5 {It seems that Black is about to bring the bacon home, but his weakend king allows White some tactical resources...} Qd1+ $1 46. Kh2 Qd6+ 47. g3 Qc7 $2 (47... Qc6 $1 {would do the job:} 48. Re7 Kf8 49. Re1 c2 50. Rc1 Qc4 $19 {.}) 48. Re7 $1 {And White found the saving continuation!} c2 $1 (48... Qxe7 49. Qxc8+ Kh7 50. Qxc3 {was too simple, so Black plays his last card.}) 49. Qd5+ (49. Qg4 $1 {forcing} Qxe7 50. Qxc8+ Kf7 51. Qc4+ $1 Kf8 52. Qc8+ {was best.}) 49... Kh7 {Another critical position.} (49... Kh8 $2 50. Rxc7 Rxc7 51. Qd8+ Kh7 52. Qxc7 $18 {.}) 50. Qd3+ $2 ({And White bites the decoy! He had to opt for} 50. Qf5+ Kh8 51. Qg4 g5 52. Qe6 Qxe7 53. Qxe7 c1=Q 54. Qxf6+ {which would lead to a draw by perpetual check.}) 50... f5 $1 51. Qxf5+ (51. Rxc7 Rxc7 52. Qxf5+ g6 {it's curtains.}) 51... Kh8 52. Qg4 Qc3 $1 {Again the only move but one that ends White's hopes.} 53. Rxg7 c1=Q 54. Rf7 Qg5 (54... Q3a1 {was a quicker win.}) 55. Qe4 Qg8 56. Qf4 Qg6 0-1

[Event "WRBC 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.06.06"] [Round "3.4"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Salem, AR Saleh"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D77"] [WhiteElo "2779"] [BlackElo "2531"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "237"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [Source "FIDE"] [WhiteClock "0:03:49"] [BlackClock "0:01:08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d5 5. c4 dxc4 6. Na3 c3 7. bxc3 c5 8. O-O O-O 9. e3 Nc6 10. Qe2 Bf5 11. Bb2 e5 12. h3 Re8 13. Rfd1 e4 14. Nd2 cxd4 15. cxd4 h5 16. Nac4 Qd7 17. Ne5 Qe6 18. Qc4 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Nd7 20. Qxe6 Rxe6 21. Nxe4 Nxe5 22. Ng5 Re7 23. Ba3 Rd7 24. Rxd7 Bxd7 25. Rb1 Bc6 26. Bxc6 bxc6 27. Rb7 Re8 28. Bb2 f6 29. Bxe5 Rxe5 30. Rb8+ Bf8 31. Nf3 Rb5 32. Ra8 Ra5 33. Nd4 Kf7 34. Nxc6 Rxa2 35. Nd8+ Ke7 36. Nc6+ Kf7 37. Rxa7+ Rxa7 38. Nxa7 {A typical ending, where White's two advantages (extra pawn and knight vs bishop with pawns on one side) should be enough to score the point.} Ke6 39. Nb5 Bc5 40. Kg2 Ke5 41. Nc3 Bb4 42. Ne2 Ke6 43. Nf4+ Kf7 44. Kf3 Bd6 45. Ke4 Bb8 46. Kd5 Bc7 47. Kc6 Ba5 48. Kd7 Be1 49. Nd3 Bd2 50. e4 g5 ({Black's options are limited, as a waiting move like} 50... Bc3 {fails to} 51. f4 Bd4 52. e5 {and the passed e-pawn decides.}) 51. g4 $1 {The most secure (although slow) winning try. The light squares in Black's camp cannot be defended anymore...} hxg4 52. hxg4 Bc3 53. f3 Bd4 54. Nb4 Bc5 55. Nc6 Bb6 56. Nd8+ Kf8 57. Nb7 Kf7 58. Nd6+ Kg6 59. Ke6 ({The winning plan was to get the white king on f7 and then collect the f6-pawn. Therefore:} 59. Nc8 Bd4 60. Ke7 Kg7 61. Nd6 Be5 ( 61... Bc5 62. Ke6) 62. Ne8+ Kg6 63. Kf8 Bb8 64. Ng7 Bd6+ 65. Kg8 Ba3 66. Ne6 Bb4 67. Nf8+ Kh6 68. Kf7 $18 {.}) 59... Bd4 60. Nf5 Bb2 61. Ke7 Ba3+ 62. Ke6 Bb2 63. Ne7+ Kg7 64. Nc6 Kg6 65. Nb4 Bc3 66. Nd3 Bd4 67. e5 $2 {Now it's a draw! White had a second winning plan (the first was mentioned above and could be carried off as well):} (67. Nb4 Be5 68. Nd5 Bd4 69. Ne7+ Kg7 70. Kf5 Bc3 71. Nd5 Bb2 72. Nb6 Bc3 73. Nd7 Kf7 74. e5 fxe5 75. Nf6 Bd4 76. Ne4 $18 {.}) 67... Bc3 68. exf6 Bxf6 69. Ne5+ Kg7 {And there is no way to win the last black pawn. White tried for many more moves, but in the end he had to call it a day...} 70. Kf5 Bd8 71. Nc4 Be7 72. Nd2 Bd8 73. Ne4 Kh6 74. Nc5 Bb6 75. Ne6 Be3 76. Kf6 Bd2 77. Kf7 Bc3 78. Nc5 Bd4 79. Ne4 Be5 80. Nf6 Bc3 81. Nd5 Ba1 82. Ne3 Bb2 83. Nf5+ Kh7 84. Ke6 Kg6 85. Ne7+ Kg7 86. Kf5 Bc1 87. Nc6 Kh6 88. Kf6 Bb2+ 89. Ne5 Bc3 90. Kf5 Kg7 91. Nc4 Bf6 92. Ne5 Bd8 93. Nd7 Be7 94. Nb6 Bd8 95. Nd5 Kf7 96. Ne3 Kg7 97. Nc4 Be7 98. Ne5 Bd8 99. Nd7 Be7 100. Nb8 Bd8 101. Na6 Bf6 102. Nc5 Be7 103. Ne4 Kh6 104. Ke6 Ba3 105. Kf6 Bb2+ 106. Kf7 Be5 107. Nc5 Bd4 108. Ne6 Bb2 109. Nc7 Be5 110. Nd5 Bd4 111. Nf6 Bb2 112. Ne4 Be5 113. Ke6 Bb2 114. Kf5 Bc1 115. Nf2 Be3 116. Nd3 Bd2 117. Ne5 Kg7 118. Nc4 Bf4 119. Ke4 1/2-1/2

[Event "WRBC 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.06.06"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Najer, Evgeniy"] [Black "Kamsky, Gata"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B43"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2741"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "145"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [Source "FIDE"] [WhiteClock "0:02:37"] [BlackClock "0:00:44"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bd3 Qb6 7. Nf3 Qc7 8. O-O d6 9. a4 b4 10. Na2 Nc6 11. Bd2 Rb8 12. Qe1 Qb7 13. c3 bxc3 14. Bxc3 Nf6 15. b4 Be7 16. b5 axb5 17. axb5 Na7 18. e5 Nd5 19. exd6 Bxd6 20. Bxg7 Rg8 21. Be5 Nf4 22. Bxf4 Bxf4 23. Be4 Qxb5 24. Nc3 Qc5 25. Bxh7 Rg7 26. Ne4 Qe7 27. Bf5 Nc6 28. Qc3 Kf8 29. Qxc6 exf5 30. Ng3 Rg6 31. Qc3 Qc7 32. Qh8+ Rg8 33. Qh5 Rb6 34. Nxf5 Rb5 35. Ra8 Qb7 36. Rxc8+ Qxc8 37. N3d4 Rc5 38. g3 Rg6 39. Qh8+ Rg8 40. Qh5 Bg5 41. h4 {After a lot of complications, where White missed more than one win, we have reached this critical position. White is still on the top, but Black found his best practical chance:} Rxf5 $5 42. Nxf5 Qxf5 43. Ra1 $3 ({Well played and probably the only way to preserve fair winning chances.} 43. hxg5 $2 Qxg5 44. Qh7 Qg6 45. Qh4 Kg7 {would allow Black to hold on, but not without suffering for another 20-30 moves at least!}) 43... Kg7 ({Under the circumstances, the best.} 43... Qd5 $6 {would lose to} 44. hxg5 Rxg5 45. Qh8+ Rg8 46. Qh6+ Rg7 47. Rb1 Qe5 48. Qh8+ Ke7 49. Rb7+ Kf6 50. Qh6+ Rg6 51. Rb6+ { Maybe Black had to simply try it and pray...}) 44. Qxg5+ (44. hxg5 $2 Rh8 45. Qe2 Qd5 46. Qb2+ Kg8 {would be fine for Black.}) 44... Qxg5 45. hxg5 {The resulting rook ending is won for White: he only has to exchange his g5 pawn for Black's f-pawn - easier said than done!} Kg6 (45... Rc8 46. Ra2 $1 {.}) 46. Ra5 (46. f4 Rd8 47. Kg2 Rd7 48. Kh3 $18 {.}) 46... Rb8 47. Kg2 Rb3 (47... Rb2 48. g4 Rc2 49. Kg3 Rb2 50. Ra6+ $1 Kg7 (50... Kxg5 51. f4#) 51. f4 $18 {.}) 48. f4 Kh5 49. Kh3 Rb1 50. Ra7 Kg6 51. Ra6+ Kg7 52. Kg4 Rb4 53. Rc6 Ra4 54. Rb6 Rc4 55. Kh5 Rc3 56. Kh4 Rc4 57. Rb7 Kg6 58. Ra7 Rb4 59. Ra6+ Kg7 60. Kg4 Rc4 61. Rd6 Ra4 62. Kf5 Ra3 63. Kg4 Ra4 64. Kh4 Rb4 65. Rd3 Kg6 66. Rf3 Rb8 67. f5+ Kg7 68. Ra3 Rb5 69. Kg4 Rb4+ 70. Kh5 Rb1 71. Ra7 Rh1+ 72. Kg4 Kg8 73. Ra6 {And as White's next move will be 74.g6, exchanging the pawns, Black called it a day.} 1-0

Among the male participants there is a single female player, Kateryna Lagno from Ukraine (above), twice European champion. She made four draws but lost against Boris Grachev (Russia) in the fifth round.

Video coverage and commentary of round one

2nd day review: Yan Nepomnyaschiy is two points ahead of the nearest rivals

The second day was marked by confident play by Ian Nepomnyaschi. The Russian grandmaster scored 4.5 in five games, the same result he made during first five rounds. Therefore he is on top of the current standings, with 9.0/10 points. The closest rivals, Ildar Khayrullin (Russia) and Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria), are two points behind.

Nepomnyaschi started the second day by defeating his compatriot Alexei Dreev. He continued his victorious March, outplaying Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Boris Grachev (Russia) and Le Quang Liem (Vietnam). He just lost half a point in a game against Dmitry Andreikin.

The famous Russian commentator GM Sergey Shipov said the following on the successful start of Russian player: “Ian is lucky at the tournament to have three positive factors in his favour: he is in a great shape ; his main competitors are not showing their best performance, for different reasons; and Ian found the right balance between light and deep games. This is very important in rapid chess, where you don’t have a possibility to sink into the depth of the game. He plays very quickly and thinks deeply only in critical moments." Here's a game that shows how resourceful Ian can be.

[Event "WRBC 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.06.06"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2706"] [BlackElo "2717"] [Annotator "Efstratios Grivas"] [PlyCount "136"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [Source "FIDE"] [WhiteClock "0:02:23"] [BlackClock "0:01:23"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. g4 b5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d3 e6 6. Nh3 Nc6 7. O-O Nge7 8. f4 Ng6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. Qe1 Be7 11. Qf2 Nd4 12. Nd1 d6 13. c3 Nc6 14. d4 cxd4 15. cxd4 Bh4 16. Qd2 Nge7 17. d5 Nd8 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Rc1 Nec6 20. g5 h6 21. gxh6 gxh6 22. f5 Qe7 23. Qe2 Ne5 24. Nf4 Rg8 25. fxe6 Nxe6 26. Qh5+ Kd7 27. Nd5 Bxd5 28. exd5 Nc5 {After a Sicilian sideline White explores some innacuracies by Black and has obtained a winning position. He just has to deliver the final blow.} 29. Kh1 ({Playing it safe! The immediate} 29. b4 {was possible as well} Na4 {as now} 30. Kh1 {is curtains...}) 29... Raf8 ({Or} 29... Rxg2 30. Kxg2 Rg8+ 31. Kh1 Qh7 32. Qf5+ (32. Qxh4 Rg4) 32... Qxf5 33. Rxf5 {.}) 30. Rxf8 Rxf8 31. b4 $1 {Looks like the end, but Black is a fighter!} Ned3 (31... Na4 32. Bh3+ Kd8 33. Rc8# {.}) 32. Rc3 $2 (32. Rc2 {was just winning a piece and the game:} Nxb4 33. Qg4+ {.}) 32... Be1 ({Or} 32... Nxb4 33. Qg4+ Kd8 34. Qxb4 Be1 {.}) 33. Qh3+ $6 (33. bxc5 Bxc3 34. cxd6 Kxd6 35. Qg6+ {was even better.}) 33... Kc7 34. bxc5 Bxc3 35. cxd6+ Qxd6 36. Nxc3 Nf4 $1 37. Qg3 Nxg2 38. Kxg2 $6 ({Queens should be preserved on the board, as then White can also create an attack. Therefore} 38. Qg7+ Kd8 39. Kxg2 $16 {should be preferable.}) 38... Qxg3+ 39. hxg3 h5 {Now Black has real saving chances.} 40. Bf4+ Kb6 41. d6 ({Or } 41. Ne4 Rf5 $1 (41... b4 $2 42. Bg5 Rc8 43. Be7 $18) 42. d6 Kc6 {and Black seems to hold.}) 41... Kc6 42. Kf3 b4 43. Ne4 a5 44. Ke3 a4 {Black's counterplay on the queenside is good enough for the draw.} 45. Bg5 b3 46. axb3 a3 47. Nc3 Rb8 $1 48. Kd3 Rxb3 49. Kc4 Rb2 50. Bf4 $2 (50. Bc1 Rg2 51. Bxa3 Rxg3 {was a draw.}) 50... a2 51. Nxa2 Rxa2 {Now Black's winning chances are real, as he will penetrate with his king on the kingside. The rook will keep an eye on the passed white d-pawn and the breakthrough ...h4 will decide, as the white bishop has little scope to deal with.} 52. Kd4 Re2 53. Kd3 Re8 54. Kd4 Re1 55. Be5 Kd7 56. Kd5 Rd1+ 57. Ke4 Ke6 58. Bf4 Rf1 59. Ke3 Rd1 60. Ke4 Rb1 61. Ke3 Rb5 62. Kf3 Kf5 63. Kg2 Rd5 64. Kh3 Rd1 65. Kg2 Kg4 66. Be5 Rd5 67. Bf4 h4 68. Kg1 hxg3 {And White resigned. A sad game for Vallejo...} 0-1

Video coverage and commentary of round two

Top standings after ten rounds

Rnk Name Fed. Rtng
Points
1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2762
9.0
2 Khairullin, Ildar RUS 2683
7.0
3 Cheparinov, Ivan BUL 2678
7.0
4 Dreev, Aleksey RUS 2746
6.5
5 Akopian, Vladimir ARM 2691
6.5
6 Potkin, Vladimir RUS 2663
6.5
7 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2726
6.5
8 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2825
6.5
9 Movsesian, Sergei ARM 2680
6.5
10 Le, Quang Liem VIE 2681
6.0
11 Inarkiev, Ernesto RUS 2696
6.0
12 Zvjaginsev, Vadim RUS 2671
6.0
13 Vallejo Pons, Francisco ESP 2706
6.0
14 Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 2692
6.0
15 Guseinov, Gadir AZE 2640
6.0
16 Vitiugov, Nikita RUS 2719
6.0
17 Jakovenko, Dmitry RUS 2690
6.0
18 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2743
5.5
19 Grachev, Boris RUS 2684
5.5
20 Moiseenko, Alexander UKR 2714
5.5
21 Mamedov, Rauf AZE 2712
5.5
22 Bologan, Viktor MDA 2663
5.5
23 Khismatullin, Denis RUS 2674
5.5
24 Riazantsev, Alexander RUS 2616
5.5
25 Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son VIE 2625
5.5
26 Rakhmanov, Aleksandr RUS 2564
5.5

The final five rounds of the World Rapid Chess Championship will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 3 p.m. local time.

Photos by Kirill Merkuryev, Maria Emelianova

Watch the action live on video (with commentary) here

Links

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