Thessaloniki R06: Kamsky, Caruana join Dominguez

5/28/2013 – Kamsky played a superb positional game to dispatch Svidler and join Dominguez in the lead. The Cuban drew a very resilient Nakamura who was down a pawn the entire game. Caruana showed great class in his win against Bacrot. Ivanchuk continues his freefall and self-destructed against Ponomariov. Analysis, pictures 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 six report

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

Ponomariov, Ruslan - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0
Ivanchuk completely collapsed in this game. The French variation he chose was interesting, as it locked up the queenside and allowed him to begin pushing on that side of the board. However it didn't give him any protection for his king and he was instantly lost after the move 17...0-0-0? after which Ponomariov made a couple of obvious moves and took the full point.

Ponomariov on this game: "This game had nothing to do with chess. It's pure psychology. As a team partner, I want Vassily to recover as soon as possible."

[Event "Makedonia Palace GP"]
[Site "Thessaloniki GRE"]
[Date "2013.05.28"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ponomariov, R."]
[Black "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C05"]
[WhiteElo "2742"]
[BlackElo "2755"]
[PlyCount "37"]
[EventDate "2013.05.22"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Ngf3 Nc6 7. Nb3 {This move
is quite interesting. The idea is to entice Black to play c4, which would lock
down the queenside and therefore would prevent counterplay against the center.
Morozevich is known to close the queenside without provocation at times, but
it was never considered to be a theoretically sound way of playing.} c4 8. Nbd2
b5 9. Be2 Nb6 10. Nf1 h5 $6 {Black tries to prevent White from expanding early
on the kingside. Despite this it's unlikely that White would have proceeded
with g4 too quickly as he still has plenty of maneuvering before it is ready
to be executed.} (10... Be7 11. Ne3 Bd7 12. O-O O-O 13. g4 f6 $1 {is a typical
way of refuting these early g4 moves. However Ponomariov was by no means
compelled to follow this plan.}) 11. Ne3 Bd7 12. O-O Be7 13. b3 $1 {A very
nice move. Ponomariov realizes that with h5 on the board it is unlikely that
Ivanchuk will castle on the kingside. Despite the computers' preference to do
precisely that, any human should be reasonably scared of castling into a
position with such a weakness. This means that he might try to hide his king
on the queenside, in which case White is ready to open lines in that sector.}
g6 14. Bd2 a6 15. Be1 Qc7 16. h3 O-O-O $2 {A terrible move. Black is not safe
at all on the queenside and his position collapses quickly.} (16... h4 17. Ng4
{dooms the h-pawn to eventually fall. Black can't really avoid White from
playing g4 forever.}) (16... O-O {was still reasonable.} 17. g4 hxg4 18. hxg4
f6 {and Black is far from lost, as White has many more moves before he can
create serious threats on the kingside.}) 17. a4 $1 {Already problematic.
Black cannot release the tension on the queenside since too many lines would
be open against his king, but he cannot ignore the threats forever either.} Kb7
18. Qb1 {Black is already lost by this point.} Na7 19. a5 $1 {The most precise.
Ivanchuk resigned because he will at least lose a pawn and he has no
counterplay at all.} (19. a5 Na8 20. bxc4 dxc4 21. Nxc4 $18) 1-0

 

Caruana, Fabiano - Bacrot, Etienne 1-0
Caruana put early pressure on his opponent in this aggressive Scotch game. His bishops were definitely worth more than a couple of sacrificed pawns that he recuperated later in any case, and with interest, as he simplified into an endgame up one pawn. The resulting position was simply hopeless for Bacrot and Caruana's technique was spot-on.

Caruana quietly picks up his +2 in the tournament, joining Kamsky and Dominguez at the top.

Topalov, Veselin - Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½
White's opening didn't yield anything, and his overzealous push 22.f4?! allowed Kasimdzhanov to sacrifice a piece for three pawns. After getting an exchange on top of that and simplifying, he found himself in an endgame where he had a rook and two pawns against two minor pieces. The accurate 36...h6! would have landed Topalov in serious trouble. Luckily for him Kasimdzhanov didn't find it and had to be satisfied with a draw.

Grischuk, Alexander - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½
Grischuk had an annoying advantage throughout a large portion of the game as he had the better end of a middle game with opposite colored bishops. In these cases the side with the initiative and safer king holds the advantage, and that's precisely what Grischuk had. He missed his chance on move 31 as he could have sacrificed a pawn to give his bishop more scope, creating dangerous threats against Morozevich's king. After this opportunity was gone it is unclear if he could do much with his edge.

Kamsky has missed a couple of opportunities in this tournament to increase his score,
but this time he finishes his opponent off elegantly.

Kamsky, Gata - Svidler, Peter 1-0
Kamsky played basically only using his first three ranks for the majority of the game, slowly enticing Svidler to gain space but weaken his position. When everything was ready Kamsky struck with the powerful moves 26.Nd5! and 27.Qd1! Black had to find very precise replies to prevent an immediate lose, but even then White's advantage was indisputable. A really nice game by Kamsky who joins the leaders.

Nakamura played a questionable opening and then defended almost perfectly.

Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½
Nakamura's strange handling of the opening landed him in a basically lost position by move 20. Dominguez played it somewhat too carefully and allowed Nakamura to position his pieces in such a way that a win would require precise technique. In the endgame, a pawn race ensued in which both players queened. Nakamura was still down a pawn, so he was on the defensive side. A mistake with 58...b5? was unpunished as 60.h5 was not correct. After that Nakamura displayed an amazing understanding of the queen vs. queen and pawn endgame and played every precise move to draw the game.

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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 - 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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