Baku 10: Caruana and Gelfand retake lead

by Albert Silver
10/13/2014 – Once more four out of six games ended in decisive results, but the highlights were the wins scored by Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand respectively, after both had suffered losses in the previous round. It is a credit to their fighting spirit and resilience that they bounced back when it matters the most and it all comes down to the wire for the last round. Report and analysis.

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The first stage of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix is taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan. The tournament will run from October 1st to October 15, 2014. Some of the strongest players in the world will compete in a Round Robin event. The winner and runner-up of the Grand Prix series will earn their spot at the 2016 Candidate's Tournament.

Round Ten

Round 10 – October 13 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
1-0
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764

With half the players tied for ‘first’ going into the final rounds, and two more just a half-point behind, the tournament had effectively become a two-round event. For Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand this was an especially hard pill to swallow as they have been on and off at the forefront since the beginning, but then lightning struck in round nine, and they both lost, effectively allowing all their rivals to catch up.

The start of a tense round

After reaching a historical pinnacle of 2851 on the live ratings, Caruana is actually losing a few points after the two losses. Still, his status is undeniable and he has been the hottest player of the last couple of months. This is probably why the Cuban Dominguez Leinier chose to play an offbeat line in the English to sidestep any super preparation.

After leading for much of the tournament and suffering a setback in round nine, Fabiano Caruana
struck back, and struck back hard

[Event "Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2014.10.13"] [Round "10.5"] [White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2844"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2014.10.02"] 1. c4 c5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Rb1 b6 6. a3 Bb7 7. b4 d6 8. Bb2 e6 9. Nb5 $6 {A curious move that doesnt actually threaten or accomplish anything. Finishing his development would seem a better course.} Bxb2 10. Rxb2 Nge7 11. e3 $6 {Presumably White wants to prevent Nd4, but in exchange gives away free weaknesses on the light squares.} O-O 12. Nf3 Ne5 13. d3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 d5 $1 { Black stands clearly better. He creates pressure on c4, and has better piece coordination (note White's poorly placed Rb2, Nb5 and uncastled king)} 15. Be2 d4 16. exd4 cxd4 17. a4 a6 18. Na3 a5 19. O-O axb4 20. Rxb4 Qd6 21. Nc2 Nd7 22. Qa1 e5 23. f4 f6 24. Rb5 Nc5 25. fxe5 fxe5 26. Rxf8+ $2 {Although already worse, this is a serious mistake. White's second rook is on b5 right now, and will require two tempi to get back into the game. This effectively gives Black the f-file for the moment.} Rxf8 27. a5 bxa5 28. Qxa5 Nc6 {Suddenly White's king is looking mighty exposed.} 29. Qe1 ({In order to illustrate the danger White is in. If he were to play} 29. Qb6 $2 {he would run right into} Qf6 $1 30. Qxc5 Qf2+ 31. Kh1 Qxe2 {followed by mate.}) 29... e4 30. Nb4 (30. dxe4 d3 31. Qd2 Nd4 $1 {and now if} 32. Bxd3 Nf3+ {wins the queen.}) 30... Ne5 31. dxe4 d3 32. Bd1 Qd4+ 33. Kg2 d2 34. Qe2 Nxe4 0-1

Boris Gelfand also had a comfortable and quick game as his opponent Teimour Radjabov failed to solve his development issues and found himself down material after nineteen moves.

Gelfand was also not to be denied as he rejoined Caruana in the lead

[Event "Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2014.10.13"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2748"] [BlackElo "2726"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2014.10.02"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 Be4 11. Qc1 Bb7 12. Bf4 Nd5 13. Rd1 Nxf4 14. Qxf4 Qd6 15. Nbd2 Nd7 16. Rac1 Rad8 17. Nb3 Bd5 18. Nfd2 Nb6 {Diagram [#]} 19. Rxc7 $1 {and suddenly Black is fighting for his life.} Bxb3 20. Nxb3 Nc4 21. Qxd6 Bxd6 22. Ra7 a5 23. Rb1 Bb4 24. a3 Nd2 25. axb4 $1 {A trap that the Azeri falls into.} ( 25. Nxd2 Bxd2 {offered better chances.}) 25... Nxb1 26. bxa5 f5 27. Rc7 $1 { Black's knight is caught on b1. All White needs to do is go and pick him up.} e5 28. Rc1 $1 {White wins the knight and the game.} 1-0

With these wins, the two former leaders were once more in the front of the pack and will be the only ones with 6.0/10 in the last round.

Two more players left their boards victoriously,  Alexander Grischuk, who inflicted a second straight loss on the likable Rusam Kasimdzhanov, and Evgeny Tomashevsky who beat Dmitri Andreikin.

Grischuk (right) beat Kasimdzhanov for an important victory

Caruana and Dominguez wait their turn for the press conference

In the final round, Caruana and Gelfand will both be the favorites, though since the Italian will play White against the tournament’s lowest rated player, he must be given the edge. Gelfand will face Svidler with black.

Round Ten Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings

Schedule

Round 01 – October 02 2014, 15:00h
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Round 02 – October 03 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Svidler, Peter 2732
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Round 03 – October 04 2014, 15:00h
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
1-0
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Round 04 – October 05 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Round 05 – October 07 2014, 15:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Gelfand, Boris 2748
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Svidler, Peter 2732
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Round 06 – October 08 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
1-0
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2732
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
0-1
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Round 07 – October 09 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
0-1
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Svidler, Peter 2732
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
1-0
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Round 08 – October 10 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
0-1
Svidler, Peter 2732
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Gelfand, Boris 2748
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Round 09 – October 12 2014, 15:00h
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
1-0
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
1-0
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Svidler, Peter 2732
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
1-0
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Round 10 – October 13 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
1-0
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Round 11 – October 14 2014, 13:00h
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Svidler, Peter 2732   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Grischuk, Alexander 2797   Dominguez, Leinier 2751

Links

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Topics: Baku, Grand Prix

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 10/14/2014 11:14
I think we will watch Caruana outplay Tomashevsky in this last game. Can gelfand win with black?
algorithmy algorithmy 10/14/2014 08:42
Incredibly talanted young man , I'm looking for Carlsen vs Caruana match, he is realy the rival for magnus the great!
algorithmy algorithmy 10/14/2014 08:39
Go Caruana !! Go
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