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Tashkent R8: Leko beats Kamsky, Karjakin and Caruana lead

11/30/2012 – "It's pretty weird," said Gata Kamsky. "In spite of superior development I could not find an advantage. It took me almost an hour to realize that Black is just better. Amazing, but this is chess!" His opponent, Peter Leko, was able to score a first win after seven draws. No other game was decisive, Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana continue to lead. Full report with GM commentary.
 

The second stage of the 2012-2013 FIDE Grand Prix Series is taking place from November 21 to December 5th in the Gallery of Fine Art in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The games start at 14:00h local time (= 10:00h CET, 13:00h Moscow, 04:00 a.m. New York). The tournament has a prize fund of 240,000 Euros.

Round eight report

Round 8 on Friday 30.11.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
0-1
Leko Peter 2732
Svidler Peter 2747
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Morozevich Alexander 2748
½-½
Wang Hao 2737
Caruana Fabiano 2786
½-½
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Gelfand Boris 2751
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741

Kamsky-Leko 0-1: In a Nimzo Indian with 4.e3 Peter Leko (above) went for a solid line. Gata Kamsky appeared to be very well prepared, as he played his next few moves quite quickly. Peter tried to avoid forced lines and seemed to have solved his opening problems after 13...Bxd4 14.exd5 Ng6. Kamsky didn't feel the critical moment, continued to play in ambitious way. Black got a huge advantage in the endgame, which he converted after avioding any stalemate traps.

Commentary by GM Alejandro Ramirez

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix-Tashkent 2012"] [Site "Tashkent"] [Date "2012.11.30"] [Round "8"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "Leko, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E55"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2732"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "UZB"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 {The Las Palmas Variation of the Nimzo Indian has always been a solid choice for Black. The Karpov variation with cxd4 and b6 remains more popular, but it's possible that Black has several choices that lead into equality.} 9. Bd2 {I've never seen this move before, and it looks quite strange.} (9. Qb3 { is an interesting sideline, and was my choice against Charbonneau, Pogorelov and Carlsen.} Qe7 10. Rd1 Nb6 11. Be2 cxd4 12. exd4 Bd7 13. Ne5 {and maybe I had a little pull in Ramirez Alvarez-Carlsen, Wijk Aan Zee (b) 2005. The game was eventually drawn.}) 9... cxd4 10. Nxd4 Ne5 11. Be2 Bc5 {White has a very solid position but his pieces are mighty clumsy. How he would love to teleport that bishop out of the e3 pawn block.} 12. Rc1 b6 (12... Bxd4 13. exd4 Qxd4 14. Nb5 $5 {is just no fun for Black, and all he got was a pawn. The pair of bishops seems very strong.}) 13. b4 {"This is pretty weird. Superior development, so I'm looking for an advantage, but after Bd4 and Ng6, it took me almost an hour to realize that Black is just better :) ~ 13. b4 was a crucial mistake. Again, amazing, but this is chess!" - Kamsky} Bxd4 (13... Bxb4 $2 14. f4 $36) 14. exd4 Ng6 {It's hard to believe Black is better in this position, but if he for some reason blockades on d5 then it is hard to see White's plan.} 15. Bf3 Rb8 16. Re1 h6 17. Nb5 (17. d5 $5 Bb7 $1 {is proof that in this position that d-pawn is so bad Black isn't even going to take it for free.}) 17... a6 18. Na7 (18. Nc7 {trapping his own knight was the last chance for equality. The point is to control some key squares, namely d5, while pressuring a6 and binding Black's position. Of course it looks insanely risky.} ) 18... Bb7 19. b5 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Ra8 21. Nc6 Qd5 22. Qxd5 Nxd5 23. Nb4 Nxb4 24. Bxb4 Rfd8 25. bxa6 {White lets go of the pawn, but the alternatives were not much better} (25. Red1 axb5 $17) (25. Re4 a5 $1 (25... axb5 26. a3 $15) 26. Bd2 Rac8 $17) 25... Rxd4 26. a3 Nf4 27. Rc6 Nd5 {The knight finally cements itself on d5, and a pawn is a pawn.} 28. g3 Rxa6 29. Bd6 Raa4 30. Rc8+ Kh7 31. Rf8 Ra7 32. Rc1 Rd7 33. Be5 Re4 34. Ba1 Re2 35. h4 h5 36. Bd4 Rd2 37. Be5 f6 38. Bc3 Ra2 39. Bb4 Nxb4 40. axb4 Rdd2 {After White having no choice but to uselessly maneouver his bishop while his opponent improved his position, we have reached move 40. The situation is very grim for White: he is down a pawn and about to lose another.} 41. Rf1 Rab2 42. Rf7 Kg6 43. Rb7 Rxb4 44. Rc1 Rbb2 45. Rcc7 Rxf2 46. Rxg7+ Kf5 47. Rxb6 Rg2+ 48. Kh1 Rxg3 $1 {A final tactical stroke that seals the game. This retains the two pawn advantage and even more importantly it forces a pair of rooks off the board. The rest is cake, so Kamsky resigned. This game just shows how tricky isolated pawn positions can be, even for positional geniuses such as Gata.} 0-1


Fourth loss in this tournament: Gata Kamsky, USA

Svidler-Kazimdzhanov 1/2-1/2: Peter Svidler (above) decided not to compete with Rustam Kasimdzhanov's Marshal or Anti-Marshal preparation and played 1.Nf3 instead. But even in the Reti Kazimdzanov seems to have his own opinion on what to do! Peter was blaming himself after the game for 10.Qc2, as the logical follow-up to this move, 11.e4, didn't actually happen in the game, as it seemed to be too risky. Black equalized easily after the precise 17...Bc3 and 18...d4, and the position when they started to repeat moves doesn't offer real chances to win for either side.


Theoretical master Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan)

Gelfand-Dominguez 1/2-1/2: Once again Lenier Dominguez (above) changed his opening on 1.d4 and this time he went for King's Indian. Boris Gelfand (below) played one of his main systems, 9.Nd2 in the so-called Classical Variation, and was immediately surprised by 9...c6, as the line with 9...a5 is much more common.

It's really hard to suggest anything concrete for White, as his play seemed logical, but after the precise 16...Bf6 he failed to get any advantage. Later on Black got comfortable play and could have tried to gain some initiative after 24…Rc7, proposed by Boris Gelfand during the press conference. A sequence of forced moves after 28. h4 h5 finally lead to perpetual check.

Morozevich-Wang Hao 1/2-1/2: Once again an Exchange Slav was played by Alexander Morozevich (above), as in the exciting game against Mamedyarov, which also started with this "boring" line. The Russian player managed to get an interesting position after Wang Hao's inaccurate 12...Bg6, but failed to convert White's positional pressure into something concrete. 25.Nc3 might be the one of the possible improvements of White's play. White's chances to fight for a win seem problematic, after the rooks had all left the board. Black is just in time to exchange queenside pawns with 38...b6. Right after a time control a draw was agreed.


With 50% in place nine: top Chinese GM Wang Hao

Mamedyarov-Ponomariov 1/2-1/2: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (above) and Ruslan Ponomariov were first to finish their game after roughly two hours of play. The Ukrainian grandmaster used to play Queens Gambit Accepted, so Shahriyar was ready for it and decided to play the most principal line with 3.e4. As the Azeri player explained during the press conference, he was not familiar with Ruslan's 12...Nxe3, which recently happened in the game Tomashevsky-Romanov, Eilat 2012. 16.Qb3+ was already a novelty, as the abovementioned game continued with 16.a4. White's play looked logical, but Mamedyarov did not get any advantage. In order to complicate matters he decided to sacrifice an exchange by simply leaving his rook under attack by the opponents knight after 21.Ne2. Instead of accepting the sacrifice, which looks quite dubious according to chess engines, Ponomariov (below) found a way to repeat the moves, and White had no convenient way to resist a draw.

Caruana-Karjakin 1/2-1/2: In the game of the two leaders in this event a Catalan Opening was played. Sergey Karjakin went for one of the most solid lines, 6...dxc4, where White cannot hope for more than just a slight edge. Fabiano Caruana's 11.Nh4, which seems to be a novelty, failed to prove the opposite, as after some natural moves Black got reasonable play. Both players agreed after the game that all Black’s problems were solved after 18...Ne4. However, it was never too late to fall into a trap on the 25th move...

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Standings after eight rounds

Summaries from the official web site, photos by Anastasiya Karlovich

Schedule and results

Round 1 on Thursday 22.11.2012 at 14:00
Morozevich Alexander 2748
1-0
Kamsky Gata 2762
Caruana Fabiano 2786
½-½
Svidler Peter 2747
Gelfand Boris 2751
½-½
Leko Peter 2732
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
½-½
Wang Hao 2737
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
0-1
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Round 2 on Friday, 23.11.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
½-½
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Wang Hao 2737
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
½-½
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
Leko Peter 2732
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
Svidler Peter 2747
½-½
Gelfand Boris 2751
Morozevich Alexander 2748
1-0
Caruana Fabiano 2786
Round 3 on Saturday 24.11.2012 at 14:00
Caruana Fabiano 2786
1-0
Kamsky Gata 2762
Gelfand Boris 2751
½-½
Morozevich Alexander 2748
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
1-0
Svidler Peter 2747
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
½-½
Leko Peter 2732
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Karjakin Sergey 2775
½-½
Wang Hao 2737
Round 4 on Sunday 25.11.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
0-1
Wang Hao 2737
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
½-½
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Leko Peter 2732
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Svidler Peter 2747
1-0
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
Morozevich Alexander 2748
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
Caruana Fabiano 2786
1-0
Gelfand Boris 2751
Round 5 on Tuesday 27.11.2012 at 14:00
Gelfand Boris 2751
0-1
Kamsky Gata 2762
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2786
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
1-0
Morozevich Alexander 2748
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
½-½
Svidler Peter 2747
Karjakin Sergey 2775
½-½
Leko Peter 2732
Wang Hao 2737
0-1
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Round 6 on Wednesday 28.11.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Leko Peter 2732
½-½
Wang Hao 2737
Svidler Peter 2747
½-½
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Morozevich Alexander 2748
1-0
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Caruana Fabiano 2786
½-½
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
Gelfand Boris 2751
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
Round 7 on Thursday 29.11.2012 at 14:00
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Kamsky Gata 2762
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
½-½
Gelfand Boris 2751
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
0-1
Caruana Fabiano 2786
Karjakin Sergey 2775
1-0
Morozevich Alexander 2748
Wang Hao 2737
½-½
Svidler Peter 2747
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
½-½
Leko Peter 2732
Round 8 on Friday 30.11.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
0-1
Leko Peter 2732
Svidler Peter 2747
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Morozevich Alexander 2748
½-½
Wang Hao 2737
Caruana Fabiano 2786
½-½
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Gelfand Boris 2751
½-½
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
Round 9 on Sunday 2.12.2012 at 14:00
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
-
Kamsky Gata 2762
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
Karjakin Sergey 2775
-
Gelfand Boris 2751
Wang Hao 2737
-
Caruana Fabiano 2786
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
-
Morozevich Alexander 2748
Leko Peter 2732
-
Svidler Peter 2747
Round 10 on Monday 3.12.2012 at 14:00
Kamsky Gata 2762
-
Svidler Peter 2747
Morozevich Alexander 2748
-
Leko Peter 2732
Caruana Fabiano 2786
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
Gelfand Boris 2751
-
Wang Hao 2737
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
-
Karjakin Sergey 2775
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
Round 11 on Tuesday 4.12.2012 at 12:00
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2726
-
Kamsky Gata 2762
Karjakin Sergey 2775
-
Ponomariov Ruslan 2741
Wang Hao 2737
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2696
-
Gelfand Boris 2751
Leko Peter 2732
-
Caruana Fabiano 2786
Svidler Peter 2747
-
Morozevich Alexander 2748

Video Reports

Live video coverage with English language commentary is available on the player above. There is also Russian commentary on the video page of the tournament site.

Links

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