Thessaloniki R05: Dominguez takes the Lead

5/27/2013 – Winning three consecutive games has catapulted Dominguez to the top of the leaderboard. The Cuban outplayed Kasimdzhanov to cleanly collect a full point. Bacrot missed a win against Morozevich in a complex endgame, Caruana wasn't able to win against Nakamura with two extra pawns while the other games were uneventful draws. 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 five express report

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

Ponomariov, Ruslan - Grischuk, Alexander 1-0
Ponomariov was able to win a pawn in this Berlin Wall, however due to the presence of opposite colored bishops there never was any hope for winning.

Svidler, Peter - Topalov, Veselin ½-½
This very long theoretical line has given white victories here and there but almost always ends in a draw. The first twenty moves of this game had been played before, and the resulting position in which White had an extra exchange for two pawns was not significantly better for Svidler.

"No one's going to outprepare me." - Veselin Topalov holding a solid draw with black.

Ivanchuk, Vassily - Kamsky, Gata ½-½
Perhaps still trying to recuperate, Ivanchuk played as solidly as possible, exchanged as many pieces as he could and the opposite colored bishop endgame was dead drawn by move 25.

Kamsky didn't wear his usual cap today, but his formal attire might have been
wasted as his was the shortest game of the day.

The man of the day, Dominguez is the surprise leader in Thessaloniki after losing round one.

Kasimzdhanov, Rustam - Dominguez Perez, Leinier 0-1
Dominguez takes a slightly surprising lead, as he has now won three games in a row. Kasimdzhanov could not have been too displeased with the result of the opening, as he seemed to have a minor but comfortable edge out of the opening, an early exchange Bogo-Indian. However from that point on Dominguez started outplaying him, until they reached an endgame in which White was simply worse. The move 31.Rb3?! was not the best defense, and afterwards the Cuban showed great technique and collected the full point.

A rollercoaster endgame ended in a draw for Bacrot and Morozevich.

Bacrot, Etienne - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½
Morozevich had a dream structure: a passed pawn on the c-file, no weaknesses, facing a shattered and exposed White center. However Bacrot ahd the initiative and the open lines against Black's kingside. This battle forced Morozevich to sacrificed an exchange for a pawn, and the resulting endgame was still far from clear. After refusing to finish the game with a threefold repetition, the Russian made the strange decision to trade rooks and landed in an endgame only he could lose. He blundered 64...gxh5? which simply gave Bacrot the passed pawn he needed to win the game. White had to find the accurate 66.Kd4! to bring the king closer to the pawn, catching the passed h-pawn with the rook. Luckily for Morozevich this is not what Bacrot did and the game ended in a draw.

[Event "FIDE GP Thessaloniki 2013"]
[Site "Thessaloniki"]
[Date "2013.05.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Bacrot, Etienne"]
[Black "Morozevich, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D90"]
[WhiteElo "2725"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[PlyCount "162"]
[EventDate "2013.??.??"]
[EventCountry "GRE"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qb3 dxc4 7. Qxc4 O-O 8.
Bf4 c6 9. e4 Qa5 10. b4 Qd8 11. a4 a5 (11... Be6 {had successfully been tried
by Howell against Sokolov in the past.}) 12. b5 Be6 13. Qd3 Nbd7 14. Be2 Nh5
15. Be3 c5 16. d5 Bg4 17. Rc1 (17. Qd2 {would have prevented Morozevich from
exchanges on the kingside, but the move is a little slow and allows...} f5 $1
18. exf5 Rxf5 19. O-O Bxf3 20. Bxf3 Rxf3 $1 21. gxf3 Ne5 {after which Black
has a lot of compensation.}) 17... Bxf3 18. Bxf3 Ne5 19. Qd1 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 b6
21. g4 $5 {Putting an end to those f5 ideas. However the cost is a very
weakened set of dark squares.} (21. O-O f5 {seems a little dicey for White.})
21... Nf6 22. O-O Qd7 23. h3 h5 24. gxh5 (24. g5 {seemed more natural. Bacrot
is banking on the open lines in the kingside to create counterplay.}) 24...
Nxh5 25. Qg2 Bd4 26. Ne2 $1 {Consistency is important here. The f-file is more
useful for White than the central structure which was vulnerable regardless.}
Bxe3 27. fxe3 Rad8 28. Rcd1 Qc7 29. Rf5 {more than a cheap trick, this allows
Bacrot to bring the other rook in with a tempo.} Nf6 30. Rdf1 Kh8 31. R5f4 Qe5
32. Rh4+ Kg7 33. Ng3 Rg8 34. d6 $5 Rxd6 (34... Kf8 $5 {A very hard move to
find, this might have yielded Black some advantage since after} 35. dxe7+ Kxe7
36. Rhf4 Rd6 {Black's position is holding and the structure is clearly in his
favor. However this is very hard to play in a real game.}) 35. Nf5+ Kf8 36.
Nxd6 Qxd6 37. Qg5 Nd7 38. Rh7 Ne5 39. Qf4 f6 {Bacrot is up the exchange but it
is still Black the only one that could be better.} 40. Qf2 Ke8 41. Qe2 Qd3 42.
Qxd3 Nxd3 43. Kg2 c4 44. Kf3 Kd7 45. Ke2 Ke6 46. Kd2 Rd8 47. Kc2 Nb4+ 48. Kc3
Rd3+ 49. Kxc4 Rxe3 50. Kd4 Nc2+ 51. Kc4 Na3+ 52. Kd4 Nc2+ 53. Kc4 Nb4 {It's
unlikely that Black will win this endgame, but he is the only one pushing for
victory so declining the three fold repetition is justified.} 54. Kd4 Ra3 55.
Rc1 Rxa4 56. Ke3 Ra3+ 57. Ke2 Ra2+ 58. Ke3 Rc2 $2 {A common idea in endgames
where one side is down the exchange is to keep one rook for purposes of
activity and stopping pawns. It's very strange Morozevich decided to exchange
them in this situation.} (58... Kd6 59. Kd4 Rd2+ 60. Kc4 g5 $15) 59. Rxc2 Nxc2+
60. Kd3 Na3 61. h4 f5 $2 (61... Nxb5 62. Rg7 Nc7 63. Rxg6 Kf7 64. Rg1 b5 65. h5
Ne6 {looks scary but when the knight gets to g5 there won't be any more
problems.}) 62. Rh6 fxe4+ 63. Kxe4 Kf7 64. h5 gxh5 $2 (64... Nxb5 65. Rxg6 Nd6+
66. Ke5 a4 {is still hard to win for White.}) 65. Rxb6 h4 66. Rb8 $4 {
Returning the favor on Black's previous series of mistakes.} (66. Kd4 $1 h3 67.
Kc5 $1 Kg7 68. Re6 $1 {Would allows White to catch all of Black's pawns with
his rook, leaving the king to shoulder out the black knight which must
immediately sacrifice itself for the b-pawn, resulting in an elementary win
for White.}) 66... h3 67. Kf3 Ke6 68. b6 Kd7 69. Ra8 Kc6 70. Rxa5 Nc4 {now the
draw is obvious.} 71. Ra7 Kxb6 72. Rxe7 Kc5 73. Kg3 Kd4 74. Kxh3 Ne3 75. Re8
Kd3 76. Kg3 Kd4 77. Kf3 Nc4 78. Rd8+ Ke5 79. Re8+ Kd4 80. Kf4 Kd5 81. Re5+ Nxe5
1/2-1/2

 

Nakamura, Hikaru - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½
Caruana played an excellent Gruenfeld and slowly started outplaying Nakamura. The Italian found himself up two pawns after time control, and although it wasn't the easiest position to win due to his somewhat exposed king, everything indicated that he would take home the full point. However it was precisely from this moment on that Hikaru was the one that started outplaying Caruana. With each move the American added some pressure to his opponent's position, until he had to simplify into a bishop endgame after returning one of the pawns. Black tried as hard as he could in the resulting endgame but to no avail.

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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 - 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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