Nalchik R11: Ivanchuk, Bacrot, Gelfand win

4/27/2009 – At the top Levon Aronian and Peter Leko drew their games, to remain in first and second place respectively. Vassily Ivanchuk beat Alexander Grischuk, winning his first game in this tournament – he has lost three and is at the end of the table. Boris Gelfand ground down Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and a clean-shaven Etienne Bacrot beat Sergey Karjakin. Commentary by GM Sergey Shipov.

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Fourth FIDE Grand Prix
in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria

The fourth FIDE Grand Prix Series Tournament is being held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, during 14th -29th April 2009 at the Intour Hotel "Sindica". The games start at 3 p.m. local time = 15:00h CEST. After five rounds there is a free day (on Monday, April 20) and another after round nine (on Saturday, April 25).

Results of today's round

Round 11: Monday, April 27, 2009

Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Ivanchuk Vassily
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Bacrot Etienne
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Gelfand Boris
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Leko Peter
  Kasimdzhanov Rustam
½-½
Aronian Levon

Round eleven review by GM Sergey Shipov

The following game notes were provided by FIDE and are translated (by Misha Savinov) from the comments of Sergey Shipov. We are grateful for permission to reproduce his commentary here. All photos by courtesy of FIDE.

The main story of the 11th round is heroic survival of Levon Aronian in the game against Rustam Kasimdzhanov. A lot of work and a bit of luck brought the desired result that allowed Levon to maintain his first place. Resurrection of Ivanchuk is another headline. Today he disappointed Grischuk. Give Vassily ten more rounds, and he will get closer to the leaders...

Vassily Ivanchuk-Alexander Grischuk
Habitual time troubles of Grischuk had to work against the player; Ivanchuk’s creative play required some reward. This is exactly what happened in today’s encounter. Grischuk handled well the first part of the game. I think the exchange sacrifice 17.Qxf4 does not give White a real advantage. Black could quickly create good counterplay by, for instance, 21…Nf6! The decisive events occurred in the time trouble. Grischuk’s sharp 29…Nxc6 could be justified if Alexander found 31…Qd7! – in this case it would be everyone’s game. Taking on g4 was a clear mistake. Ivanchuk cynically captured everything he was offered, easily parried all the one-move threats and launched the decisive counterattack.

Ivanchuk,V (2746) - Grischuk,A (2748) [E97]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (11), 27.04.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 Nf4 11.Bxf4 exf4 12.Rc1 h6 13.Nd4 a6 14.h3 Kh8 15.Qd2 Ng8 16.Rfd1 h5 17.Qxf4 Bh6 18.Qg3 h4 19.Qd3 Bxc1 20.Rxc1 Qg5 21.Re1 Bd7 22.c6 bxc6 23.dxc6 Be6 24.Bg4 Bxg4 25.hxg4 Ne7 26.Qd1 Rab8 27.a3 Kg7 28.Re3 Qf6 29.Nf3 Nxc6 30.Nd5 Qe6 31.Nxc7

31...Qxg4? [31…Qd7!] 32.Qxd6 Rbd8 33.Qxc6 Rd1+ 34.Ne1 h3 35.Qc3+ f6 36.Rxh3 Rc8 37.e5 1-0.

Evgeny Alekseev-Gata Kamsky
The opening was a very original Hedgehog with the bishop on d3. White’s standard kingside attack was adequately met by a good novelty 14…Rae8!? Simplifying exchanges started after 15…exf5. Later Kamsky had many chances to secure the equality, however, it seems he really wanted to play for a win! And... he overpressed. Evgeny defended accurately, and after the reckless 35…Nf5? simply took the pawn. To be honest, I have no clue about the rest of the game. Why Alekseev refused to play for a win and forced the move repetition? He could play 41.h4, put the pawn to h5, remove the knight from g3 and start looking for a breakthrough. Apparently, they both are extremely tired.

Alekseev,Evgeny (2716) - Kamsky,G (2720) [B42]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (11), 27.04.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0-0 d6 7.c4 b6 8.Nc3 Bb7 9.f4 g6 10.Qe2 Bg7 11.f5 Qe7 12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.Rae1 0-0 14.Qd2 Rae8 15.Nf3 exf5 16.exf5 Qd8 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Bh6 Qc7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qf2 Bxf3 21.Rxe8 Rxe8 22.Qxf3 Qc5+ 23.Qf2 Ng4 24.Qxc5 bxc5 25.Rd1 Ne3 26.Re1 Re5 27.Re2 f5 28.h3 f4 29.Kf2 g5 30.Rd2 Nb6 31.b3 d5 32.cxd5 Nbxd5 33.Ne4 a5 34.Kf3 Nb4 35.g3

35...Nf5 36.gxf4 Nd4+ 37.Kg4 gxf4 38.Kxf4 Rf5+ 39.Kg4 Nd5 40.Rf2 Re5 41.Ng5 Re7 42.Ne4 Re5 43.Ng5 Re7 44.Ne4 ½-½.

Etienne Bacrot-Sergey Karjakin
It seems Karjakin experiences chronic problems in his favorite Najdorf Sicilian. A hopeless loss from Akopian was followed by an even more hopeless and depressing one. Maybe Karjakin had practical chances to survive in the endgame after 36…e5! (instead of the losing 36…a3?), but this does not excurse the preceding torture. Black made a new move 16…Bf5, but failed to equalize. He had the inferior structure and absolutely no counterplay. White’s advantage grew steadily while Bacrot was making all the natural moves and increased pressure on the c6-pawn. Maybe he could win without giving the opponent any chances, but let us not ask for too much. He won the game – well done!


As predicted Etienne Bacrot shaved (after losing a game). It worked – he won!

Peter Svidler-Vladimir Akopian
This game does not inspire the commentator. A very quiet line of the Ruy Lopez led to a symmetrical pawn structure. Black completely equalized by the timely 14…a5!, after which White no longer had any targets. Soon the game was drawn officially.

Boris Gelfand-Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
In every tournament someone loses a drawn rook ending. Even simple positions are often difficult to defend, when the player is tired and experiences time trouble. Mamedyarov defended well for quite a while, but then began to lose ground. His defense method 48…Rb3+ was too creative. A draw could be reached by the simple 48…Kxe5 49.Rxg7 Rb3+ 50.Kd2 (50.Ke2 Rc3!) 50…Kd5 51.Rxh7 Kxc5 52.Rf7 Kd4! Shakhriyar’s move allowed the opponent to keep the passed pawns. However, then it was Boris’ turn to err! Instead of 53.c6 he could win by 53.Rxg7 Rxh2 54.c6. And yet, the last man to make a mistake was Mamedyarov. Black could survive by 53…Rc2+! 54.Kb5 g5! – the passed f-pawn distracts the White’s rook. After he missed this chance, Gelfand finished the game by 56.Kb3! It turned out that taking the c7-pawn gets Black to a lost pawn ending.

Gelfand,B (2733) - Mamedyarov,S (2725) [E10]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (11), 27.04.2009
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Bf4 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Nh5 10.Bc1 Nhf6 11.Bf4 Nh5 12.Bc1 Nhf6 13.b3 b6 14.Nd2 Ba6 15.Bb2 b5 16.cxd5 cxd5 17.a3 Nb6 18.Nf3 Rc8 19.Ne5 Bd6 20.Nd3 Qd7 21.Qd2 Bb7 22.Rfc1 a6 23.Na2 Qe7 24.Qa5 Bc7 25.Nc5 Nbd7 26.Qd2 Nxc5 27.dxc5 Bb8 28.Bxf6 Qxf6 29.b4 Bc6 30.Nc3 Rfd8 31.e3 Be5 32.Rab1 Bxc3 33.Rxc3 d4 34.exd4 Bxg2 35.Kxg2 Rxd4 36.Rd3 Rcd8 37.Rxd4 Qxd4 38.Qxd4 Rxd4 39.Rc1 Kf8 40.Kf3 Ke7 41.Ke3 Rd8 42.a4 bxa4 43.Ra1 e5 44.Rxa4 Rd4 45.f4 f6 46.Rxa6 Rxb4 47.Ra7+ Ke6 48.fxe5

48...Rb3+? [48...Kxe5 49.Rxg7 Rb3+ 50.Kd2 (50.Ke2 Rc3) 50...Kd5 51.Rxh7 Kxc5 52.Rf7 Kd4!] 49.Ke4 f5+ 50.Kd4 Rb4+ 51.Kc3 Rb5 52.Kc4 Rb2

53.c6? [53.Rxg7 Rxh2 54.c6] 53...Kxe5? [53...Rc2+! 54.Kb5 g5!] 54.Rxg7 Rxh2 55.c7 Rc2+ 56.Kb3! 1-0.


Israeli GM Boris Gelfand


Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan

Pavel Eljanov-Peter Leko
In a fashionable line of the Meran (9...Bd6) the grandmasters opened the center, and White got better chances due to the fact that Black’s minor pieces were restricted by the e4-pawn. I didn’t like Eljanov’s 19.Qc2 – I think 19.Nf5! Qc5 20.Qe3 would give him dangerous initiative in the endgame. Perhaps Pavel wanted to get the same kind of position with the queens on the board, but Peter cleverly used the tempi he was granted. After the knight was transferred to c5, Black played 23…f6! and solved opening problems.
Eljanov continued to play for a win and at some point overstepped the limit of risk. After 33.Nd5? Leko could win a pawn by 33…Bxg4!, but somehow missed this simple tactics. Self-pinning by 36.Qc5 (it was better to bring the knight to d4) was also a brave decision. In order to survive, the Ukrainian grandmaster had to find a number of strong moves – 37.e5!, 39.Kh1! – which he did and eventually achieved the desired draw.


Peter Leko, Zaher Efimenko (second of Eljanov) and Pavel Eljanov

Rustam Kasimdzhanov-Levon Aronian
The leader survived the epic battle! Kasimdzhanov played an impressive game and was very close to a victory, but finding the solution even in the analysis was not an easy task. In a well-known and deeply analyzed line of the Anti-Meran Rustam employed a very tricky queen maneuver 14.Qd3! exd4 17.Qxd4 Be7 18.Qf4!, transposing to the endgame that looked harmless for Black – but was actually very poisonous. Black could complete the development only by making serious positional concessions. The needling moves of Kasimdzhanov 27.a4! and 29.a5! created dangerous threats. The a5-pawn was extremely powerful. At this point Aronian’s situation looked critical. The survival operation began with 29…b4! and continued by 31…h5! However, I am not sure whether Black could survive if White found 36.Ra7! He could sacrifice the f4-pawn in many lines, and it would be difficult for Black to simplify the game.
After the exchange of the minor pieces Levon saved his skin without much trouble.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Levon Aronian discuss the game with the press


Former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov


Tournament leader with two rounds to go

Current standings


FIDE Grand Prix Nalchik 2009 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Mamedyarov Shak.
0-1
Aronian Levon
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Gelfand Boris
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Svidler Peter
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Bacrot Etienne

Round 2: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Svidler Peter
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Aronian Levon
1-0-
Akopian Vladimir
Leko Peter
½-½
Mamedyarov Shak.

Round 3: Friday, April 17, 2009

Mamedyarov Shak.
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Akopian Vladimir
0-1
Leko Peter
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Aronian Levon
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Eljanov Pavel
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Svidler Peter

Round 4: Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kamsky Gata
1-0
Svidler Peter
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Aronian Levon
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Leko Peter
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shak.
½-½
Akopian Vladimir

Round 5: Sunday, April 19, 2009

Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Mamedyarov Shak.
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Leko Peter
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Aronian Levon
Ivanchuk Vassily
0-1
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Svidler Peter
½-½
Gelfand Boris

Round 6: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Eljanov Pavel
0-1
Svidler Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Aronian Levon
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Leko Peter
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Mamedyarov Shak.
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Karjakin Sergey

Round 7: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Mamedyarov Shak.
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Leko Peter
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Gelfand Boris
0-1
Eljanov Pavel

Round 8: Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kamsky Gata
0-1
Eljanov Pavel
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
0-1
Gelfand Boris
Aronian Levon
½-½
Svidler Peter
Leko Peter
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Mamedyarov Shak.
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Grischuk Alexander

Round 9: Friday, April 24, 2009

Grischuk Alexander
0-1
Kamsky Gata
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Bacrot Etienne
1-0
Mamedyarov Shak.
Svidler Peter
½-½
Leko Peter
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Aronian Levon
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.

Round 10: Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Aronian Levon
1-0
Eljanov Pavel
Leko Peter
1-0
Gelfand Boris
Mamedyarov Shak.
1-0
Svidler Peter
Akopian Vladimir
1-0
Bacrot Etienne
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Alekseev Evgeny

Round 11: Monday, April 27, 2009

Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Ivanchuk Vassily
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Bacrot Etienne
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Gelfand Boris
1-0
Mamedyarov Shak.
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Leko Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Aronian Levon

Round 12: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kamsky Gata
-
Aronian Levon
Leko Peter
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Mamedyarov Shak.
-
Eljanov Pavel
Akopian Vladimir
-
Gelfand Boris
Karjakin Sergey
-
Svidler Peter
Grischuk Alexander
-
Bacrot Etienne
Alekseev Evgeny
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
GamesReport

Round 13: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Kamsky Gata
Bacrot Etienne
-
Alekseev Evgeny
Svidler Peter
-
Grischuk Alexander
Gelfand Boris
-
Karjakin Sergey
Eljanov Pavel
-
Akopian Vladimir
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
-
Mamedyarov Shak.
Aronian Levon
-
Leko Peter
GamesReport

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Departure


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