Thessaloniki R03: Ivanchuk's Tragedy

5/24/2013 – Mercy was the name of the game today in Greece. Kasimdzhanov sacrificed an exchange against Morozevich but couldn't win. Kamsky had a winning advantage but didn't deliver a killing blow. Topalov also had his chances but was unable to convert. The highlight however was Ivanchuk losing a completely winning position against Dominguez. GM Analysis, standings and pictures.

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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 three report

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

Nakamura, Hikaru - Bacrot, Etienne ½-½
Hikaru is always a fighter, and after two losses it was clear that he wanted very badly to beat Bacrot. However he was never given any real chance to fight for the advantage, and using a very solid set-up Bacrot was able to fend of every threat and lock up the position. The American eventually had to be happy with a draw.

Ponomariov, Ruslan - Topalov, Veselin ½-½
In a very modern way of treating the Sicilian Topalov shattered his own pawn structure for open lines for his rooks and bishops while at the same time taking away some key central squares from the white knights. Topalov held the advantage for the majority of the game but was unable to convert in the end.

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (above) - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½
Kasimdzhanov played an enterprising exchange sacrifice against Morozevich which yielded strong positional pressure and a clear target on d6. Morozevich very quickly returned the material and although he was worse and facing the pair of bishops, he didn't have that much trouble holding on to the half point.

Svidler, Peter - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½
A very sharp line in the Gruenfeld simply forced too many piece exchanges from both sides, and the game ended in a repetition which neither side could really avoid.

Caps are in in America, as both Hikaru and Gata have used them in this tournament.
The new proposal to FIDE on dress code could potentially ban them, however.

Kamsky, Gata - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½
Kamsky always has his 'systems' that he likes to employ. With white he plays off-beat d4 setups that have given him good results. This time by move 19 he already had a decisive advantage against Grischuk, and instead of playing 24.e6 which would have given him a crushing attack he decided to play it safe and it gave enough time for Grischuk to regroup and stop some of the threats. Kamsky's last mistake was 27.f4? which gave away all his initiative.

Genius and unpredictable: Vassily Ivanchuk

Ivanchuk, Vassily - Dominguez Perez, Leinier 0-1
In this version of the Gruenfeld, Ivanchuk made Dominguez seem like a barely master level player. Every move Ivanchuk played put more pressure on Dominguez and kept improving his advantage. By move 23 Dominguez could have resigned with a clear conscience. And yet, if there is one player that it might be acceptable not to resign against, that is Ivanchuk. Inexplicably he kept missing chances to finish off the Cuban, and eventually even blundered a knight and the game. A true tragedy for Vassily, who had a +14 (!) advantage against Leinier according to Houdini 3.0.

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