Elista R4: Bacrot, Alekseev and Wang Yue win

12/18/2008 – The game of the day was a 31-mover between top French GM Etienne Bacrot and top Hungarian Peter Leko. The latter played a Caro-Kann, had a good position but fell to the amazingly complex tactics that the game produced. Wang Yue won a nice light-piece ending against Pavel Eljanov, and Evgeny Alekseev outplayed the luckless Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Illustrated report from Elista.

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FIDE Grand Prix in Elista 2008

The Third FIDE Grand Prix tournament is taking place in Elista from December 13 to 29, 2008. Despite the recent withdrawals (Carlsen, Adams) and the absence of players like Anand, Kramnik and Topalov the tournament is very strong (category 19). The venue, originally to be Doha, is now "City Chess" in Elista, Kalmykia.

Results

Round 4: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
0-1
Evgeny Alekseev
Wang Yue
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Vladimir Akopian
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Etienne Bacrot
1-0
Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov

The game of the day was Etienne Bacrot vs Peter Leko. The Hungarian tried a classical Caro-Kann against the top French grandmaster, and was looking quite good around move 20. But the position was a tactical minefield with hideous complications looming at every move.

Bacrot,E (2705) - Leko,P (2747) [B19]
FIDE Grand Prix Elista RUS (4), 17.12.2008
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Bb4 13.c3 Be7 14.c4 Qc7 15.0-0-0 Ngf6 16.Ne4 0-0 17.g4 Nxg4 18.Qe2 f5 19.Rdg1 Rae8 20.Ne1 e5 21.Ng3 exd4

Black certainly stands better (he is two pawns up), and White is forced to take drastic steps: 22.Nxf5 Rxf5 23.Qxg4 Rf7. 23...Rg5 24.Bxg5 Bxg5+ 25.Kb1 Ne5 26.Qf5 Nxc4 was an alternative to consider. 24.Bxh6 Bf6 25.Bd2 Ne5 26.Qe2 d3 27.Qe4 Qb6 28.b3 Qc5 29.h6 Qa3+ 30.Kd1. The tides have turned and White's position is now better. Black's next move is a blunder: 30...Qxa2??

We leave it to you to find the move Bacrot played to force Leko's immediate resignation. You can find the solution elsewhere in this report.


A beautiful and tactically very exciting game between the top French GM Etienne Bacrot...


... and the former World Championship challenger Peter Leko of Hungary


Evgeny Alekseev won an interesting game with black against Rustam Kasimdzhanov...


... and Wang Yue demonstrated how to win a light-piece endgame (knight + four pawns
vs bishop and three) against Pavel Eljanov. The marathon game lasted 75 moves.

Standings after four rounds


Andrey Zontakh: "I believe Sanan will be a World Champion"

Yesterday we mentioned Sanan Sjugirov, a 15-year-old player from Elista, who has just received his GM title. His coach, GM Andrey Zontakh, 38, is from Ukraine and was interviewed on the FIDE Grand Prix web site. Here are some excerpts:

Question: Andrey Rudolfovich, for how long have you been working as a coach?

Zontakh: For ten years already. Because of this, I very seldom play in tournaments.


15-year-old chess prodigy Sanan with his trainer GM Andrey Zontakh

In your opinion, when will Sanan Syugirov start to play in strong tournaments?

It is difficult to say, he is only 15. Rarely can one succeed to become a GM at this age. Sanan has a talent and I have no doubt that he will keep doing well. Now every year is very important for him. It depends on his willingness to work hard and other factors. I believe that Sanan can manage to break into the elite world of chess and get the highest title.

In what way are you training him?


Sanan playing an informal game against Boris Spassky

Between Sanan's tournaments we have meetings of 10-12 days or two weeks. During this time I come to his place every day and we spend plenty of time analyzing opening theory, the games we have played, some concrete or typical positions. While preparing for the next tournaments we are training with a computer and learning chess literature. Sometimes Sanan goes to Samara or Tolyati where the famous coach and GM, Yury Yakovich’s games are taking place.

During recent years the Ukrainian town – Kramatorsk – gave to the world a lot of talented chess players, for example, Sergey Karjakin, Katerina Lahno, Yuri Kuzubov etc. Is the chess school still functioning there?


Soon this lad will be playing in the highest classes of chess

No, unfortunately, it doesn’t work any more. Of the grandmasters mentioned, I know that Karjakin lives in Simferopol, Crimea; Lahno moved to Chelyabinsk, Russia. In Ukraine the chess cities are Foros and Odessa, where every year the traditional international tournaments are taking place with participation of the leading world grandmasters. The capital of the country Kiev, unfortunately, could not boast of such chess traditions, although, men and women teams of Ukraine show good result at the Olympiads. The women’s team even won the gold in Turin, 2006. Our country , as is known, gave many brilliant chess players to the world – Vasily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomaryev, Sergey Karjakin and etc.

As they say, may be one of the tournaments of the FIDE Grand Prix series will be in Kiev…

It would be wonderful if such a tournament will be in the capital of Ukraine.


Did you find the beautiful move in the Bacrot-Leko game?

Here White played the spectacular queen sacrifice 31.Qh7+!! Leko resigned, as this is mate in four: 31...Kxh7 32.hxg7+ Bh4 33.Rxh4+ Kg8 34.Rh8 mate; or 31...Kf8 32.Bb4+ c5 33.Bxc5+ Rfe7 34.hxg7+ Kf7 35.g8Q mate.


FIDE Grand Prix Elista 2008 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Sunday December 14, 2008

Etienne Bacrot
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Ivan Cheparinov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Leko
½-½
Vladimir Akopian
Dmitry Jakovenko
1-0
Wang Yue
Ernesto Inarkiev
½-½
Evgeny Alekseev
Vugar Gashimov
1-0
Pavel Eljanov

Round 2: Monday, December 15, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
Evgeny Alekseev
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Wang Yue
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Vladimir Akopian
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Peter Leko
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Etienne Bacrot
0-1
Teimour Radjabov

Round 3: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Etienne Bacrot
Peter Leko
1-0
Ivan Cheparinov
Dmitry Jakovenko
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Ernesto Inarkiev
½-½
Vladimir Akopian
Vugar Gashimov
½-½
Wang Yue
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Evgeny Alekseev

Round 4: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
0-1
Evgeny Alekseev
Wang Yue
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Vladimir Akopian
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Etienne Bacrot
1-0
Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov

Round 5: Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
-
Teimour Radjabov
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Etienne Bacrot
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Vugar Gashimov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Pavel Eljanov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Wang Yue
GamesReport

Round 6: Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Wang Yue
Vladimir Akopian
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Alexander Grischuk
-
Pavel Eljanov
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Vugar Gashimov
Etienne Bacrot
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
Teimour Radjabov
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Peter Leko
GamesReport

Round 7: Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peter Leko
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Teimour Radjabov
Vugar Gashimov
-
Etienne Bacrot
Pavel Eljanov
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Alexander Grischuk
Wang Yue
-
Vladimir Akopian
GamesReport

Round 8: Monday, December 22, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Alexander Grischuk
-
Wang Yue
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Etienne Bacrot
-
Pavel Eljanov
Teimour Radjabov
-
Vugar Gashimov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
Peter Leko
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
GamesReport

Round 9: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Peter Leko
Vugar Gashimov
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Pavel Eljanov
-
Teimour Radjabov
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Etienne Bacrot
Wang Yue
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Vladimir Akopian
-
Alexander Grischuk
GamesReport

Round 10: Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Etienne Bacrot
-
Wang Yue
Teimour Radjabov
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Pavel Eljanov
Peter Leko
-
Vugar Gashimov
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
GamesReport

Round 11: Friday, December 26, 2008

Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Vugar Gashimov
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
Pavel Eljanov
-
Peter Leko
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Wang Yue
-
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Akopian
-
Etienne Bacrot
Alexander Grischuk
-
Ivan Cheparinov
GamesReport

Round 12: Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Etienne Bacrot
-
Alexander Grischuk
Teimour Radjabov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Wang Yue
Peter Leko
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Pavel Eljanov
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Vugar Gashimov
GamesReport

Round 13: Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vugar Gashimov
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Pavel Eljanov
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
Wang Yue
-
Peter Leko
Vladimir Akopian
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Alexander Grischuk
-
Teimour Radjabov
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport
Monday, December 29, 2008
Departure

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