Zug R04: all games drawn again

4/21/2013 – Despite the hard fights exhibited by the players, Zug ended in many peaceful results. Nakamura and Radjabov had an extra pawn against Kamsky and Leko but couldn't do anything with it. Morozevich got a great advantage against Karjakin, Kasimdzhanov and Topalov played a wild game, Caruana's king marched to d4 with queens still on the board, and yet all of these games were drawn.

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From April 14 to April 30, 2013, the third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 is taking place in Zug, Switzerland. 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 four report

For the second day in a row all games finished in draws, leaving Alexander Morozevich, Veselin Topalov and Ruslan Ponomariov on the top with 2.5/4 points. With the exception of Ruslan Ponomoriov, who didn’t get any advantage against Anish Giri, all other players with the white pieces managed to create problems for their opponents. Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov played a thrilling game, which started with a piece sacrifice by Kasimdzhanov on the 13th move. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov managed to get a very dynamic position and was hoping to use the activity of his pieces but Fabiano Caruana defended precisely. Sergey Karjakin went for a worse bishop endgame but manage to hold it against Alexander Morozevich. Teymur Radjabov had good winning chances against Peter Leko but the Hungarian player managed to defend. Hikaru Nakamura tried to convert his extra pawn in a rook endgame into a full point, but Gata Kamsky was also not in the mood to lose today.

Round 04 – April 21 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2772

Rustam Kasimdzhanov - Veselin Topalov ½-½
The two former FIDE world champions played a very interesting line of the Classic King’s Indian, which Topalov (above left) had previously played with white! Undoubtedly, Kasimdzhanov had analyzed this line, as it has been played by a number of tops grandmasters, including Boris Gelfand. “Unfortunately I didn’t check this idea with a computer, and it was a pity to play 13.Nf5 without real preparation,” said Rustam during the press conference. Topalov gave back the piece and then played the very daring 20…Kh7. However, Kasimdzhanov’s sacrifice paid off as he recovered the exchange. But Topalov had very active pieces, and his defence was quite impressive despite the position looking very difficult for him.

Hikaru Nakamura - Gata Kamsky ½-½
The American derby saw White (Nakamura) adopting a line which gave Kamsky few problems. After Kamsky adopted his favorite opening structure we got an e3 variation of the Grunfeld. Black had no problem in equalizing with 10…c5 and White remained saddled with a backward b-pawn. “I forgot what I’ve prepared against 10…c5. I checked the line with e4 but I think I confused the order. Today it was the day when I could not remember anything or calculate clearly at all. Almost every move Gata played took me by surprise,” said Hikaru Nakamura with smile. Eventually White unraveled his pieces and Black made an error with 23…Rxc5. Once again Kamsky got into time trouble and eventually decided to enter an endgame a pawn down in a rook endgame, which he managed to save.

Teimour Radjabov - Peter Leko ½-½
Radjabov (above right) has not had a great start in this event and today chose a solid, rarely played line the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation. It seems the Azeri player was more familiar with the position after the opening than Peter Leko, who hadn’t “checked the rare line deep enough”. Peter said he decided to play quickly today, but still spent a huge amount of time in the middle game and around move 17 he had left himself with 18 minutes for 23 moves. Teimur Radjabov found a very strong move, 17.Rb1, with many threats, and it was not easy for Black to find the right way. The Hungarian player went for Rc7 and after more or less force line White got the better endgame. Leko defended very well but could have finished the game earlier with stalemate: 58…Rg1 + 59…Rg5.

Alexander Morozevich - Sergey Karjakin ½-½
White chose the Alekhine Variation against the Nimzo Indian. Black was well prepared and chose Romanishin’s line with 6…Qf5. Whilst Morozevich tried to keep the position complicated, Black managed to equalize in a straightforward manner with 10…e5. Black may have played for a little bit more with 15 or 16…g6, but after the exchange of queens it was very difficult for either side to create much in the resulting position. Karjakin managed however to get into serious time trouble and gave Morozevich chances in bishop endgame. It’s hard to draw final conclusions on whether it was winning for White or not, as the ending should be analyzed quite deeply. But both players said at the press conference that they didn’t see chances for White to improve his position.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - Fabiano Caruana ½-½
White played out a main line of the Be2 variation in the Exchange Grunfeld. As is the norm for Mamedyarov (above standing) he played his first 22 moves very quickly, but maybe he should have paused to consider 19.d6!? as an option. During the press conference Fabiano indicated he might have played 19.d6 Nxd6 20.Qd5 Be6?? which would have been answered by 21.Qxe6 fxe6 22.Bxe6+ Kh8 23.Ng5 winning! The position was unclear after 19.Rxf7, and Fabiano Caruana consumed a lot of time in the opening and middlegame. Black then decided to facilitate his defence with the counter exchange sacrifice 28..Rxe3!? and created enough counter play. An inaccuracy 33.Bc8?! by Mamedyarov gave Caruana the opportunity to equalize and despite a tough time control Black maintained equality.

Ruslan Ponomariov - Anish Giri ½-½
Anish Giri (above middle, analysing with Ponomariov and press chief Anastasiya Karlovich) played confidently against former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov. He chose the Archangel Variation in the Ruy Lopez with black and his moves came fast and thick. White spent a lot of time on 13.Qb1, but this posed no problems to Giri’s preparation, as he continued to play quickly and was always well ahead of Ponomariov on the clock. Maybe 16.e5 could have posed some more difficulties for black, but Anish showed in the press conference he was well prepared.

AGON CEO GM Robert Fontaine and FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg doing commentary

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Information and pictures by FIDE press chief WGM Anastasiya Karlovich

Schedule and pairings

Round 01 – April 18 2013, 14:00h
Alexander Morozevich 2758
1-0
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Fabiano Caruana 2772
1-0
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Sergey Karjakin 2786
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Anish Giri 2727
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Round 02 – April 19 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
1-0
Gata Kamsky 2741
Veselin Topalov 2771
1-0
Peter Leko 2744
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
1-0
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Round 03 – April 20 2013, 14:00h
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Fabiano Caruana 2772
½-½
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Sergey Karjakin 2786
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Anish Giri 2727
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Gata Kamsky 2741
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Round 04 – April 21 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Round 05 – April 23 2013, 14:00h
Fabiano Caruana 2772
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Sergey Karjakin 2786
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Anish Giri 2727
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Peter Leko 2744
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Round 06 – April 24 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
-
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Teimour Radjabov 2793
-
Veselin Topalov 2771
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
-
Gata Kamsky 2741
Alexander Morozevich 2758
-
Peter Leko 2744
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
-
Anish Giri 2727
Fabiano Caruana 2772
-
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Round 07 – April 25 2013, 14:00h
Sergey Karjakin 2786
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Anish Giri 2727
-
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Peter Leko 2744
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
-
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Round 08 – April 26 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2709
-
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Ruslan Ponomariov
2733
-
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Alexander Morozevich
2758
-
Veselin Topalov 2771
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2766
-
Gata Kamsky 2741
Fabiano Caruana
2772
-
Peter Leko 2744
Sergey Karjakin
2786
-
Anish Giri 2727
Round 09 – April 28 2013, 14:00h
Anish Giri 2727
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Peter Leko 2744
-
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Teimour Radjabov 2793
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Round 10 – April 29 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Alexander Morozevich 2758
-
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
-
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Fabiano Caruana 2772
-
Veselin Topalov 2771
Sergey Karjakin 2786
-
Gata Kamsky 2741
Anish Giri 2727
-
Peter Leko 2744
Round 11 – April 30 2013, 12:00h
Peter Leko 2744
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Anish Giri 2727
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
-
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Teimour Radjabov 2793
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758

The games start at 14:00h European time, 16:00h Moscow, 8 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here. The commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

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