Thessaloniki R07: Caruana and Kamsky keep scoring

5/29/2013 – A blunder by Morozevich and consistent play by Kamsky allowed the Italians and the American to get a half point lead over Dominguez, who had to defend a long endgame against Bacrot. Nakamura scored a full point with a nice technical win against Topalov, while Ivanchuk forced another quick draw with white. Games, pictures and analysis.

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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 seven report

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

Ivanchuk, Vassily - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½
Ivanchuk forced a repetition on move 13, and Grischuk was happy to have an easy draw with black.

Svidler, Peter - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½
Ponomariov's great choice of opening must have caught Svidler off-guard, since his approach to this Queen's Gambit Accepted was not superb. Ponomariov didn't fully equalize, but Svidler's edge was symbolic at most and too many pieces came off the board. A comfortable draw for Ruslan.

Kamsky has seen 1.d4 and is in deep contemplation between his usual solid opening or gambling with a Dutch. Today, his bets paid off.

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam - Kamsky, Gata 0-1
Gata's openings are rather predictable. He almost always will choose an a6 Slav against 1. d4... unless he feels he needs to win. In this case he will choose a Dutch, which is exactly what he did today against Kasimdzhanov. Kamsky was allowed to slowly improve his position on the kingside. He advanced his f-pawn too f4, doubled on the f-file, and started creating serious pressure while Kasimdzhanov was not creating much of anything in the position. The dubious 27.gxf4?! allowed Kamsky to crash through with a beautiful little combination, granting him two pieces for a rook and a winning advantage.

Romanian grandmaster Christian Chirila has provided the analysis for today. Chirila is currently attending the University of Texas at Dallas and is part of their top team. In 2007 he won the U-16 World Championship and as he is finishing his studies he plans to get back more seriously into chess, starting this summer with a small tour of tournaments in Canada.

[Event "Grand Prix Thessaloniki "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.05.29"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"]
[Black "Kamsky, Gata"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A88"]
[Annotator "Chirila Cristian"]
[PlyCount "62"]

{Lately I have been following Kamsky's games with great interestest, he seems
to be enjoying playing unconventional positions and shows a remarkable skill
of handling them. The following game is an example of how strong Kamsky can be
in complex positions.} 1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4
d6 7. Nc3 c6 {This opening is not a major weapon in Gata's repertoire, but he
does like to throw the Dutch "card" from time to time.} 8. b3 (8. d5 e5 9. dxe6
Bxe6 10. b3 Na6 11. Bb2 Qe7 12. Ng5 Bd7 13. Qd2 h6 14. Nh3 Be6 15. Rad1 Rad8
$13 {Gelfand, B- Kamsky, G Tashkent 2012 0-1}) 8... a5 (8... Na6 9. Bb2 Qe8
10. d5 Bd7 {is another possibility}) 9. Bb2 Na6 10. d5 {I personally don't
like this move very much. I think it is better to keep the pawn on d4 in order
to control the important e5 and c5 squares.} (10. Qc2 Bd7 11. a3 b5 12. cxb5
cxb5 13. Ng5 Rb8 14. Nd5 $36) 10... Bd7 11. Nd4 cxd5 12. Nxd5 Nc5 13. Rb1 Nfe4
14. e3 Rc8 15. h4 {Maybe this is a little bit too optimistic, I think White
should try and develop some play in the center.} (15. f3 Nf6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.
Qd2 Rf7 18. Rfd1 g5 19. f4 {White has a pleasant position and it is
unclear to me where Black's counterplay is}) 15... Rf7 16. Ba1 h6 17. a4 g5 18.
hxg5 hxg5 19. g4 $2 {The beginning of the downfall. Kasimdzhanov should have
felt the danger and regroup his pieces in order to defend} (19. Nc3 $142 Nxc3
20. Bxc3 b6 (20... f4 $6 21. Qh5 $132)) 19... e6 (19... fxg4 20. Qc2 Nf6 21.
Qg6 $40 {I assume this was what White had prepared. His position looks
favorable here due to his active pieces and the dangerous position of the
black king.}) 20. Nc3 Nxc3 21. Bxc3 f4 (21... fxg4 22. Ne2 (22. Qxg4 $4 e5 $19)
22... Bxc3 23. Nxc3 Qf6 24. Ne4 Nxe4 25. Bxe4 g3 26. fxg3 Qe5 $15) 22. Re1 b6
23. Rc1 Qf8 24. Nf3 Bxc3 25. Rxc3 Qg7 26. Rc1 Bc6 27. exf4 $2 {This is a
mistake, it is highly important for White to keep the lines next to his king
closed, therefore the best move would have been} (27. e4 Rd8 28. Nd4 Bb7 $15 {
Black is still better and he can try to create a battery with his queen and
rook along the h-file, it is not clear what white's plan is in this position.
}) 27... gxf4 28. g5 e5 29. Qxd6 e4 30. Ne5 Qxg5 31. Nxf7 Kxf7 {White is an
exchange up but he has no defense against Black's attack. A wonderful
performance by Kamsky. One can feel that he is in great shape and a serious
candidate to win this tournament.} 0-1

 

Morozevich, Alexander - Caruana, Fabiano 0-1
Morozevich, not content with a draw, sacrificed an exchange in a valiant attempt to muddle the waters. He obtained some interesting light-square control in return, including powerful knights on f5 and d5. Caruana wasn't worse by any means, since his rook was rather active and his king was in no danger, despite having absolutely no pawn cover. The tragedy of this game came with 47.Nf1?? which allowed a nice tactical sequence, yielding Caruana a decisive amount of extra material.

Morozevich tried too hard, and Caruana (above) swiftly punished his mistake.

Bacrot, Etienne - Dominguez Perez, Leinier ½-½
Bacrot's advantage from the opening was minimal. Despite trying for many, many moves, Leinier simply defended accurately and passively and there was no way to break through.

Nakamura, Hikaru - Topalov, Veselin 1-0
Nakamura's quiet approach to this Najdorf gave him a passed pawn that was blockaded by an enemy knight. The main advantage of his position came in the form of swift development, which allowed him to simultaneously hit the pawns on c5 and e5, and Topalov had to part with one of them. After some mass simplifications the resulting endgame was difficult to hold for Topalov, despite the blockade. Nakamura's technique was again fabulous and he cleanly took the full point.

Nakamura played confidently and precisely, finally taking in that full point.

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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 - 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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