London Rd6: Gelfand leads, four players follow

9/28/2012 – Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria both won their games to climb into the follow-up slot of 3.5/6 points, half a point behind the leader Boris Gelfand of Israel. Top US grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura lost his second game in this event, this time to Chinese GM Wang Hao. This game is analysed in today's round six report.

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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.

Round six report

By GM Robert Fontaine

Round 6 on 2012/09/27 at 14:00
Leko Peter 2737
½-½
Giri Anish 2730
Grischuk Alexander 2754
½-½
Adams Michael 2722
Gelfand Boris 2738
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
0-1
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
Nakamura Hikaru 2783
0-1
Wang Hao 2742
Topalov Veselin 2752
1-0
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725


The start of round six in Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London

Round six saw a fight of continents between Hikaru Nakamura and Wang Hao: Surprisingly, Hikaru chose a quiet line with double fianchetto 2.g3 and 4.b3. Wang Hao had a pretty safe position and waited for the time control before benfiting from a big blunder (45.Nxa4??) from the American player. The game is analysed by GM Alejandro Ramirez below.

Alexander Grischuk and Peter Leko, both pursuing Grand Prix leader Boris Gelfand, had the white pieces today to try to reduce the gap. Alexander (above left) avoided the main weapon of Michael Adams, the Marshall Gambit, and went for 6.d3. White quickly opened the centre forcing black to give away a pawn. In compensation, Adams had pair of bishops. It was enough to secure the draw in the endgame.

The longest game of the day saw Veselin Topalov facing Dominguez. Topalov faced the 4…a6 Slav Defence and decided to gain space immediately with 7.Ne5 and 8.f4. He gradually took the advantage, sacrificing a piece to win beautifully in the endgame.

Back to business with the sole leader of the tournament, Boris Gelfand (3.5/5), playing against Vasily Ivanchuk. The Israeli GM went for an aggressive line against the Queen’s Indian, sacrificing a pawn very early in the game. Both players admitted later that it was a complicated affair and finally the draw was agreed before time trouble, on move 25.

The Uzbek GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov played Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in one of the latest lines of the Meran. The position became very sharp when Mamedyarov decided to develop his initiative on the kingside, pushing his f and h-pawns. The 38th move was a terrible blunder from the Uzbek player and “Shak” jumped on the opportunity to score a full point.

Peter Leko played Anish Giri in a very fashionable line of the Sicilian Najdorf. Peter gave a pawn away quickly in order to have the initiative and two bishops. Anish started the counter-attack on the a-file and managed to equalize. Both players decided to quickly repeat the moves and agreed a draw.

All photos by Ray Morris-Hill

Hikaru Nakamura-Wang Hao

[Event "FIDE Grand Prix - London 2012"] [Site "London"] [Date "2012.09.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Wang, Hao"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A05"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2742"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {I asked an open question on Facebook - why does Wang Hao do so well against Hikaru? "He is tactically opportunistic and can really put the heat on. Nobody likes having to find super accurate defenses against sudden attacks." was the reply of IM Mark Ginsburg. It's hard to conceive that Hikaru is the type of player that gives his opponents too many opportunities, but in this game, he definitely allowed this 'opportunist' to do whatever he wanted with the dark squares.} 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. b3 {Unorthodox, but when you are 2783 you can do whatever you want and people will think something good of it.} Bg7 5. Bb2 c5 6. c4 d4 7. b4 O-O 8. d3 Nc6 9. b5 Nb8 10. O-O {Basically in this position we have an off-beat variation of the Benko Gambit, with reversed colors, in which White (who is usually Black) has a bunch of extra tempos - mainly the knight c6-b8 tempo loss. I fancy said variation for Black under normal circumstances, so White has to be more than fine here!} Ne8 11. Nbd2 Nd6 12. Nb3 Nd7 13. Qc2 a5 14. Rae1 e5 15. e3 dxe3 {White is faced with a typical Benoni-ish choice: take on e3 with the rook or the pawn? They both come with their own pros and cons. White's lead in development and strong control over d4 makes it seem instinctively that taking with the pawn and trying to push d4 might be a good idea.} 16. fxe3 Qc7 17. Nfd2 $6 {Personally I don't like this move.} (17. Nbd2 f6 (17... Re8 18. Ng5 {with the idea of Ne3-c3 looks dangerous for Black.}) 18. d4 $1 {Leads to complications that should favor White. In either case, even without d4, the knight on d2 is fine and in the game it is very awkward.}) 17... Re8 18. Bc3 (18. Nb1 $5 {Students of IM Greg Shahade - an advocate of backward rerouting knight maneouvers - should instantly find this move. The knight will eventually find its way to d5!}) 18... a4 19. Nc1 Nb6 {After some innacuracies by Hikaru I'd say that Black has equalized. White has an awkward time trying to make use of that knight on c1, but at least he is solid for now.} 20. a3 Be6 21. e4 {This pawn push changes the character of the position by closing the center shut. Now White has a strong control over d5, though no pieces can reach it just yet, and Black has a permanent strong hold over d4, though no pieces can reach it just yet. But eventually they will.} Red8 22. Rf2 Qd7 23. Nf3 f6 24. Bf1 Ne8 25. Bd2 Nc7 26. Be3 Qd6 27. Na2 Bf7 28. Nc3 Ne6 29. Nd2 Nd4 30. Qd1 Be6 31. Nd5 {Many maneouvers later, the knight on c1 is strongly placed on d5, and the knight on d6 managed to get to d4. So both sides improved their knights - now the real game begins.} Rf8 32. Bg2 Rf7 33. Ref1 Nd7 34. Nb1 Bxd5 35. exd5 (35. cxd5 $5 { is an interesting suggestion. The point is to vacate c4, while at the same time suppressing f5. The pawn on b5 falls, but White does get some pressure because of it.}) 35... f5 36. g4 $6 Raf8 37. Bc1 $6 {I don't fully understand White's last two moves.} e4 $1 {A thematic and very instructive break. In some ways, the structure should remind you of the Nakamura-Gelfand game from a couple of days ago. Here Black sacrifices his e-pawn to shut down White's pieces and allow him a blockade. The immediate f4 would've spoiled everything.} 38. dxe4 f4 {Black's knight wants to hop into e5 - his position just kind of plays itself. It's hard to find a constructive plan for White, even though he (technically) has two passed pawns.} 39. g5 f3 $1 {Very forceful. Black didn't have to do this, but before White sets up a counter blockade, he sacrifices his pawns to give life to his pieces.} 40. Bxf3 Be5 {White is in a near zugzwang state.} 41. Kh1 (41. Be3 Bxh2+ $1 42. Kh1 Bg3 $19) 41... Bxh2 {As obvious as it is strong.} 42. Rxh2 {With Bg3 looming, White had no choice.} Nxf3 43. Rh3 Nde5 44. Nc3 Ng4 {Logical.} (44... Nd3 $5 {has the tactical trick of} 45. Qxd3 Ne5 46. Rxf7 Nxd3 47. Rxf8+ Qxf8 48. Rxd3 Qf1+ {and Black wins.}) 45. Nxa4 {It was very hard to come up with a move, and almost everything lost.} Nfh2 46. Rxf7 Rxf7 47. Qe2 Rf2 {The game is obviously over and Hikaru finally resigned - despite being up two pawns for a few moves his position deteriorated very rapidly. With this Wang Hao moves to an impressive 4-0 against Nakamura in tournament games (disregarding draws).} 0-1


Video stream of the whole game


Daniel King analyses the game Topalov - Dominguez

Standings after six rounds

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

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