FIDE Grand Prix London R1: Gelfand beats Nakamura with black

9/22/2012 – All of the black players can leave satisfied today. Some of them held easy draws, while most of them were pushing for a win! Only through cleverness and resourcefulness were the white players able to hold to most of those half points. Nakamura, however, was not so lucky against Gelfand. Illustrated report with summary and game of the day analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez.

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The First FIDE Grand Prix is taking place from September 21 to October 3rd in Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London. The games start at 14:00h local time (= 15:00h CEST, 17:00h Moscow, 09:00 a.m. New York). The tournament has a prize fund of 240,000 Euros.


Congratulations: AGON CEO and organiser Andrew Paulson and FIDE President
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov before the start of round one


The playing hall in in Simpson's-in-the-Strand

Round one report

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

Round 1 on 2012/09/21 at 14:00
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Gelfand Boris 2738
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769


Topalov pretends to be shocked at Ilyumzhinov's choice of first move for him in his
game against Grischuk at the ceremonial opening of round one (he did play 1.Nf3)

Topalov-Grischuk: Two of the craziest players of the tournament played a pretty cool game. A Maroczy Bind that seemed it was going to be long and torturously boring quickly turned into a tactical melee. Topalov sacrificed a pawn to open up lines and take advantage of a misplaced knight on a6. Grischuk sacrificed this knight to obtain a bunch of pawns, and at the end held without difficulties since Topalov only had one pawn left. Draw.

Kasimdzhanov-Leko: Two of the most solid players of the tournament played a (gasp) surprisingly solid game. As with many of Leko’s games, most of the interesting part lies in the analysis and preparation, which could potentially be very wild and crazy and interesting. But the opponents don’t want to go for this when they are not in familiar water. Indeed against Kasimdzhanov Leko had great prep and uncorked the novelty 14… c6!, which creates mayhem in some lines. But Kasimdzhanov settled for the slightest of edges and Leko held without difficulties. Draw.

Dominguez-Giri: After getting into severe and unnecessary time pressure Dominguez was forced to relinquish a couple of pawns. However Giri’s structure was so terrible that even down two pawns Dominguez seemed like he could hold, which in the end he did. Draw.

Wang Hao-Adams: Wang Hao got the worse end of a Nimzo-Indian, in which Adams showed great knowledge. After obtaining a better endgame in which White was saddled with weaknesses, Adams pressed and pressed and pressed... but the advantage was just not great enough, and the Chinese scraped a draw. The game came down to a nice stalemate resource, which every strong player should know. Draw.

Mamedyarov-Ivanchuk: Mamedyarov failed to develop and achieve some positional pressure. Ivanchuk sacrificed a pawn to open the position. He soon regained it and got another one on top of that. However the position by then was very simplified, and although he tried for many moves, the knight and two pawns endgame against knight and one pawn was simply impossible to win. The Azeri held. Draw.

Nakamura-Gelfand

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix - London 2012"] [Site "London"] [Date "2012.09.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2738"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {Hikaru was a little upset by my last treatment of his game published here on ChessBase - apparently one variation was less than accurate. He convincingly showed me how a position I thought was -/+ was probably just unclear. This just makes me want to annotate his games with a closer attention to detail!} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 {Once upon a time, about ten years ago, playing the Sveshnikov was the cool thing to do. Everyone did it and had all these crazy awesome games. Even Leko had crazy awesome games and won with black and everything! Nowadays, the Sveshnikov isn't played because of the 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 variation, which is arguably solid for Black, but very boring with minimal winning chances. It's the new Petroff, unless White deviates.} 7. Nd5 {Not that commonly seen nowadays, but it's not a bad variation. The battle of the structures is interesting and I have to say I've played this variation a lot.} Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 {It has been known for a while that this move offers better chances than Ne7.} 9. a4 (9. c4 {much more common, but doesn't score as well.}) 9... Be7 10. Be2 O-O 11. O-O Nd7 12. Kh1 f5 13. f4 a6 14. Na3 {It's funny how little computers understand this position. Their immediate idea is to push the pawn on to e4, creating a passed protected pawn. However this is strategically terrible as it gives White a completely free hand on the queenside. It's been also known for a while that Black's main idea in this position is to swap pawns on f4, giving him access to e5 and many important dark squares.} exf4 15. Bxf4 Ne5 16. Qd2 {Technically the game's novelty, though I'm sure neither player knew about the existence of the other games. The position is very typical: Black looks underdeveloped but has good central control, thanks to his knight on e5. White would love to push c4, b4, c5 but that is not so easy. The white bishops don't have any good targets, but neither do the black bishops. It's not unusual to see Black expand with g5.} Bd7 17. Qb4 Rb8 18. c4 {Locking the structure looks strange, but it's hard to find a useful plan.} (18. Nc4 b5 $1 {causes a lot of counterplay.}) 18... a5 19. Qb3 Ng6 20. Be3 b6 21. Nb5 (21. Nc2 {with the idea of Nd4 without giving Black any time to trade, would've been my choice. However the position should still be equal.}) 21... Bxb5 {In this position White has many ways to retake, but none of them are quite comfortable. Gareev's suggestion of taking with the queen has the problem that the queen is relatively stuck on the queenside.} 22. axb5 Bg5 {Trading dark squared bishops favors Black, no mystery here. White would be left with an atrocious bishop on e2.} 23. Bg1 Ne5 24. Qa3 Bd2 25. Rad1 Bb4 26. Qh3 Qg5 27. Be3 Qf6 {It's hard to come with a plan for White. This is the issue with this variation - how does White improve his position? He always has to be worried about the dark squared bishops getting traded, and there is only so many weaknesses he can try to put pressure on.} 28. Bd4 Bc5 {Computers suggest Bxc5, allowing Black to potentially plant a knight on d6 and win comfortably.} 29. Bc3 Qg5 30. Bxe5 dxe5 {White's position has worsened and it is him who has to think about equality. But he is not that far from that either.} 31. g4 fxg4 (31... f4 32. Bf3 Bd4 33. b3 Ra8 34. Be4 g6 35. Rd2 Ra7 { Might give Black some real chances, slowly preparing a4 or a break on h5. White has no plan.}) 32. Qxg4 Qxg4 33. Bxg4 Bd6 34. Be6+ Kh8 35. Kg2 g6 36. b3 Kg7 37. h3 {When broswing through this game, it would seem hard to pinpoint where White went wrong. In my opinion Hikaru is playing a little careless right around now. Preventing e4 with Rde1 seems easily drawn, as there is nothing better than to trade off both pair of rooks with an easy draw.} (37. Rde1 $11) (37. Rxf8 Rxf8 38. Rf1 Rxf1 39. Kxf1 e4 40. h3 Kf6 {seems unnecessarily dangerous.}) 37... e4 38. Bg4 h5 39. Be2 $6 {I wouldn't have considered putting the bishop back on e6, since I don't know what it is doing there. The fact is, controlling f5 was very important - we will see why soon.} Rf6 $5 {An interesting idea, but not the strongest. Gelfand fixes that on the next move.} 40. Rde1 Rf5 $1 {Time control is reached and White is suddenly in a lot of danger. Taking on f5 gives Black two passed pawns that seem hard to block, and not taking on f5 gives Black the open file. Maybe White can still hold, but it is no long easy.} 41. Bd1 Rbf8 42. Rxf5 gxf5 43. Bxh5 {White is up a pawn, but they are worthless. In endgames, the importance of the quality of your pawns far surpasses the quantity.} Kf6 44. Rh1 Kg5 (44... Rg8+ 45. Kf2 Bc5+ 46. Ke1 Ke5 $19) 45. Bd1 Kh4 {This penetration of the king seems decisive, but going through e5 was more natural.} 46. Rf1 Rg8+ 47. Kh1 Rg5 {Gelfand is taking his time since he cannot be rushed. Pushing f4 was winning as well.} 48. Bc2 Kxh3 {The worthless pawn on h3 is taken, and White is obviously lost. Gelfand has several ways to finish off Nakamura soon, but he takes the slow route.} 49. Rf2 Kg3 50. Rh2 Rg4 51. Rg2+ Kf4 52. Rf2+ Kg5 53. Rd2 Rg3 (53... Rh4+ 54. Kg1 Bc5+ 55. Kf1 Rf4+ 56. Ke2 e3 57. Rd1 Rf2+ 58. Kd3 Kf4 {is a funny Zugzwang}) 54. Re2 Rh3+ (54... f4 $1 55. Bxe4 f3 $19) 55. Kg1 Kf4 (55... f4 $1 56. Bxe4 f3 $19) 56. Kg2 Rh2+ $1 {The rook is taboo, and trading the rooks gives Black an easily winning endgame.} 57. Kf1 Rxe2 58. Kxe2 Ke5 {Hikaru resigned in a completely hopeless situations, as his pawns are blockaded and there is no way he can stop the e and f-pawns. This was an interesting strategic struggle in which the American might have thought he had an easy draw. But it suddenly turned into a very complicated issue. An ugly surprise for him, but once Gelfand was given the advantage he showed very accurate technique, never letting him off the hook.} 0-1

All photos by Ray Morris-Hill

Daniel King: Round 1 Play of the Day: Nakamura vs Gelfand

Schedule and results

Round 1 on 2012/09/21 at 14:00
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
½-½
Leko Peter 2737
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Gelfand Boris 2738
Topalov Veselin 2752
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Wang Hao 2742
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Round 2 on 2012/09/22 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Adams Michael 2722
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Giri Anish 2730
-
Wang Hao 2742
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Round 3 on 2012/09/23 at 14:00
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Leko Peter 2737
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Wang Hao 2742
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Giri Anish 2730
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Adams Michael 2722
Round 4 on 2012/09/24 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Adams Michael 2722
Giri Anish 2730
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Wang Hao 2742
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Round 5 on 2012/09/25 at 14:00
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Leko Peter 2737
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Wang Hao 2742
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Adams Michael 2722
-
Giri Anish 2730
Round 6 on 2012/09/27 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Giri Anish 2730
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Adams Michael 2722
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Wang Hao 2742
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Round 7 on 2012/09/28 at 14:00
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Leko Peter 2737
Wang Hao 2742
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Adams Michael 2722
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Giri Anish 2730
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Round 8 on 2012/09/29 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Giri Anish 2730
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Adams Michael 2722
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Wang Hao 2742
Round 9 on 2012/10/01 at 14:00
Wang Hao 2742
-
Leko Peter 2737
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Adams Michael 2722
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Giri Anish 2730
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Round 10 on 2012/10/02 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
-
Gelfand Boris 2738
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
-
Grischuk Alexander 2754
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
-
Giri Anish 2730
Topalov Veselin 2752
-
Adams Michael 2722
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
-
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Wang Hao 2742
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Round 11 on 2012/10/03 at 11:00
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
-
Leko Peter 2737
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
-
Wang Hao 2742
Adams Michael 2722
-
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725
Giri Anish 2730
-
Topalov Veselin 2752
Grischuk Alexander 2754
-
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
Gelfand Boris 2738
-
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684

Video Reports

  • Round 1 Video Reports: Macauley Peterson has produced a number of short video reports based on quick interviews held immediately after each games with the players.

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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