Thessaloniki 09: Dominguez wins, ties for first

6/1/2013 – The Cuban star continues surprising in Greece by dispatching Caruana. A positional exchange sacrifice put the Italian in an uncomfortable situation and was unable to deal with all his problems adequately. Topalov swiftly punished Morozevich's awkward handling of the Caro-Kann while the rest of the games were drawn without any real winning chances. Games, analysis and standings.

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From May 22 to June 03, 2013, the fourth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 is taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece. Twelve players are competing in a round robin tournament with time controls of 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes and an increment of 30 seconds per move for each player. The Grand Prix Series consists of six tournaments to be held over two years, with 18 top players, each participating in four of the six tournaments. The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014.

Round nine report

Round 09 – June 01 2013, 14:00h
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 ½-½ Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Kamsky Gata 2741
Morozevich Alexander 2760 0-1 Topalov Veselin 2793
Caruana Fabiano 2774 0-1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½
Black was able to obtain near-equality from the opening. Kasimdzhanov tried to play on for quite a few moves but there was simply no way to make progress in this rook endgame.

Ivanchuk has not had his best tournament in Thessaloniki, but he held a comfortable draw today.

Bacrot, Etienne - Kamsky, Gata ½-½
Kamsky's a6 Slav remains extremely solid. Bacrot seemed at a loss for a plan, and was unable to create anything. Soon after the opening it was Black that had some minor pressure, but it was never anything serious and Bacrot held the half point without getting into hot water.

Kamsky makes the a6 Slav look unbeatable.

Nakamura, Hikaru - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½
The Veresov attack is a rare guest in top grandmaster chess, but Nakamura was able to at least obtain a slight pull from the opening in virtue of his better pawn structure. The Ukrainian defended well and was able to set up a perpetual check immediately after Hikaru capitalized on his structural advantage and won a pawn.

Morozevich, Alexander - Topalov, Veselin 0-1
This Caro-Kann turned into an ugly situation for Morozevich straight from the opening. Black's pieces on the queenside were active and putting consistent pressure on White's center, while not being hindered by any 'bad bishop' in this structure. Topalov soon won a pawn and, to avoid losing without a fight, Morozevich sacrificed a piece for three pawns. Topalov's play after that was spot on and he used his extra material to create a mating attack.

Morozevich has now lost three in a row and will face Kamsky tomorrow.

Svidler, Peter - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½
In this Kings Indian Defense that transposed into a Benoni structure, White found himself with initiative and opportunities on the queenside. However with every trade, and he had to massively trade to obtain his extra pawn, Svidler found his position more and more exposed. White's bishop was terrible, his king unsafe and Black's rook was active which allowed him to retain at least equality. The game went on for many moves but it could have stopped much earlier without any regrets.

Caruana fought to catch up with Kamsky, but now finds himself in third place a point behind the American and the Cuban with two rounds to go.

Caruana, Fabiano - Dominguez Perez, Leinier 0-1
The 8...h5 English Attack Najdorf has been a common guest at the highest level of chess, but there are always new ideas to be found in this variation. Dominguez's position out of the opening was not ideal but he did have strong counterplay and due to the early queen trade he didn't have to worry about Caruana launching an all-out attack against his king. After reaching the endgame Domingueuz took the courageous decision to sacrifice an exchange, which crippled White's pawns but more importantly gave the Cuban control of the only open file and of many key dark squares. White remained up the exchange for a long time but there was too much compensation as Black's central pawns kept rolling down the board. A series of mistakes by both sides in a complicated position kept the result of the game unclear, until Caruana erred with 56.Rd7+? and with Black's king penetration the mating nets and the rolling pawns were too much for White to handle.

[Event "Makedonia Palace GP"]
[Site "Thessaloniki GRE"]
[Date "2013.06.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Caruana, F."]
[Black "Dominguez Perez, L."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2774"]
[BlackElo "2723"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2013.05.22"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3
h5 9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. Be2 Qc7 13. c4 a5 {Dominguez
deviates first. He had already played 13...Bg7 against Arenas a couple of
years ago, so it was clear that Caruana had cooked something at home and was
waiting to unleash it.} 14. Rd1 a4 15. Na1 {White's knight looks rather
awkward here, but it will hastily come back to life via c2-a3-b5 and become a
good piece in White's army.} Qa5 {Since Black is behind in development he
doesn't want to risk the possibility of White opening up the center or the
kingside while the queens are still on the board.} (15... Ng8 $5 {is an
itneresting computer move, trying quite hard to exchange those dark squared
bishops.}) 16. Qxa5 Rxa5 17. Nc2 Bh6 18. Bf2 {Of course, exchanging the pair
of bishops and losing control over the darksquares is not a good idea for
White.} Ke7 {The king in the center is just as safe as in the kingside, and it
is protecting d6 against the future knight maneuver.} 19. g3 Ne8 20. O-O f5 21.
Rfe1 Nef6 22. Bf1 Kf7 23. Na3 e4 24. f4 g5 25. fxg5 Bxg5 26. Bd4 Ne5 27. Be2 (
27. Bxe5 dxe5 28. h4 Bh6 29. Bh3 {would've been very murky. Caruana's
continuation makes more sense.}) 27... h4 28. Rf1 Kg6 29. Nb5 Rxb5 $1 {An
important move. Black sacrifices his out of place rook on a5 for a knight that
would have become very troublesome. Further, the opening of the c-file favors
Black due to the g5 bishop's control over c1. Lastly the c5 pawn has been
greatly weakened.} 30. cxb5 hxg3 31. hxg3 Rc8 32. Rf2 Nfg4 33. Bxg4 Nxg4 34.
Re2 Rc4 35. a3 Bf6 36. Ba7 Be5 37. Kg2 Nf6 38. Rdd2 Rc8 39. Bd4 Re8 40. Re1 Kg5
41. Bxe5 Rxe5 42. Rd4 f4 43. gxf4+ Kxf4 44. Rxa4 Rxd5 {White is still up the
exchange, but Black now has powerful central pawns and White's king can
sometimes become tangled in mating nets. Not to mention, the a4 and d1 rooks
are anything but coordinated. White is certainly not lost, but it definitely
is the first player that is looking for the draw.} 45. Re2 Rxb5 46. b4 $6 {A
little strange as White's rook is out of play on a4.} (46. Kf1 d5 47. Rf2+ Ke5
48. Rg2 Rb3 49. Ke1 d4 50. Rg5+ Kf4 51. Rg2 d3 52. Rf2+ Ke5 53. Rxf6 Kxf6 54.
Rxe4 {was a simple draw.}) 46... Rg5+ 47. Kf1 Ng4 48. Ke1 Ne3 49. Rf2+ Ke5 50.
Ra7 Rg7 51. a4 d5 52. a5 $6 {Again Caruana places too much value in his
queenside pawns instead of preventing Black from advancing the d-pawn as soon
as possible.} d4 53. a6 Rg1+ $6 (53... d3 $1 54. axb7 Rg1+ 55. Kd2 Kd4 {is a
beautiful checkmate.}) 54. Ke2 bxa6 $2 {very nearly throwing the game away.
Caruana's rook now comes back to the defense.} (54... Ng4 $1 {difficult to see,
but this was immediately winning and a much better move.} 55. Rf5+ $1 (55. axb7
d3+ 56. Kd2 Kd4 $1 {with unavoidable checkmate.}) 55... Kxf5 56. axb7 Rg2+ 57.
Ke1 d3 $19) (54... Nd5 $1 {won in similar fashion.}) 55. Re7+ Kd5 56. Rd7+ $2 {
returning the favor.} (56. Rh2 $1 {poses very tough questions to Black, mainly
how will he make progress now that his pawns are stuck.} Rg2+ (56... Ng4 57.
Rh5+ Kc4 58. Rxe4 Nf6 59. Rxd4+ Kxd4 60. Ra5 $11) (56... Rg3 {simply doesn't
work because of Rh5+.}) 57. Rxg2 Nxg2 58. Ra7 Nf4+ 59. Kd1 Kc4 60. Rxa6 Nd5 61.
Rd6 e3 62. b5 Nc3+ 63. Ke1 Nxb5 64. Re6 $1 {and it's hard to find a way for
Black to make progress.}) 56... Kc4 57. Rc7+ Kb3 {Black's king is helping
corral thet White king, so now White is lost as he cannot prevent a decisive
loss of material.} 58. Rh2 Rg3 $1 {now d3+ is unstoppable.} 59. Rd7 d3+ 60. Ke1
Rf3 61. Rh1 Nc4 62. Rd4 Re3+ 63. Kf2 Re2+ 64. Kg3 Kc3 65. Rd8 d2 {e3 and Re1
is unstoppable. Dominguez is back in a tie for first place with Kamsky.} 0-1

 

 

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All pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich

Schedule and results

Round 01 –May 22 2013, 14:00h
Topalov Veselin 2793 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Kamsky Gata 2741 1-0 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Svidler Peter 2769 1-0 Bacrot Etienne 2725
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Round 02 – May 23 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Morozevich Alexander 2760 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Caruana Fabiano 2774 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Topalov Veselin 2793 ½-½ Kamsky Gata 2741
Round 03 – May 24 2013, 14:00h
Kamsky Gata 2741 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 ½-½ Topalov Veselin 2793
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 0-1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2725
Round 04 – May 25 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2725
Morozevich Alexander 2760 ½-½ Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Caruana Fabiano 2774 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Topalov Veselin 2793 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Kamsky Gata 2741 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Round 05 – May 27 2013, 14:00h
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 ½-½ Kamsky Gata 2741
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Topalov Veselin 2793
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 0-1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Round 06 – May 28 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Caruana Fabiano 2774 1-0 Bacrot Etienne 2725
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 ½-½ Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Topalov Veselin 2793 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Kamsky Gata 2741 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Round 07 – May 29 2013, 14:00h
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 0-1 Kamsky Gata 2741
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 1-0 Topalov Veselin 2793
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Morozevich Alexander 2760 0-1 Caruana Fabiano 2774
Round 08 – May 30 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 1-0 Morozevich Alexander 2760
Topalov Veselin 2793 0-1 Bacrot Etienne 2725
Kamsky Gata 2741 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 0-1 Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 0-1 Svidler Peter 2769
Round 09 – June 01 2013, 14:00h
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 ½-½ Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Kamsky Gata 2741
Morozevich Alexander 2760 0-1 Topalov Veselin 2793
Caruana Fabiano 2774 0-1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Round 10 – June 02 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 - Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Topalov Veselin 2793 - Caruana Fabiano 2774
Kamsky Gata 2741 - Morozevich Alexander 2760
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 - Bacrot Etienne 2725
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 - Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Svidler Peter 2769 - Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Round 11 – June 03 2013, 12:00h
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 - Grischuk Alexander 2779
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 - Svidler Peter 2769
Bacrot Etienne 2725 - Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Morozevich Alexander 2760 - Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Caruana Fabiano 2774 - Kamsky Gata 2741
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 - Topalov Veselin 2793

The games start at 14:00h Eastern European Summer time, 15:00h Moscow, 7 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time hereThe commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

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