Nalchik R2: Svidler and Aronian score

4/16/2009 – Peter Svidler profited from an over-optimistic combination that didn't work, unleashed by Vassily Ivanchuk. Levon Aronian nursed a small advantage into a promising knight endgame in which he won in 94 moves ("a perfect endgame, a textbook example of converting the advantage" – Shipov). It was Aronian's second win in two rounds. All other games were drawn. Pictures and GM commentary.

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Fourth FIDE Grand Prix
in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria

Press release

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).

The fourteen participants are: Vladimir Akopian (Armenia), Evgeny Alekseev (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Etienne Bacrot (France), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Gata Kamsky (USA), Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Peter Leko (Hungary), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Peter Svidler (Russia).

Results of today's round

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 Rustam
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Aronian Levon
1-0-
Akopian Vladimir
Leko Peter
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Round two review

The following game notes were provided by FIDE and are translated from the comments of GM Sergey Shipov. We are grateful for permission to reproduce them here. All photos by courtesy of FIDE.

Peter Svidler-Vassily Ivanchuk
This is without a doubt the best game of the round. A titanic struggle! The players’ tasks surpassed human abilities, but for a long time both grandmasters produces the moves of the highest quality. The outcome of the game was decided by the clock. Svidler did everything a little bit quicker and more practically. Ivanchuk got into the horrible time trouble, blew his advantage, and fell apart. There were many interesting moments to point out. I will note Peter’s daring novelty 13.g4!? and a number of exceptionally strong moves by Vassily, who managed to refute White’s wing activity with the powerful central counterplay. The deciding moment of the game was quite dramatic. Both players overlooked the 23…Qa4! resource, which could give Black an edge (therefore White had to put the pawn on g5 without taking on e6 first), and then Ivanchuk incorrectly rushed taking on f2. He could maintain the tension by 25…Qf8! After the text-move White came up with a fantastic resource – 27.gxh6!!, and Black had no checks to seriously bother the White’s king. Black’s flag fell at the same time when Vassily resigned the game.


Peter Svidler

Svidler,Peter - Ivanchuk,Vassily [C78]
4th FIDE GP Nakchik RUS (2), 16.04.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7 7.d3 Be7 8.a4 0-0 9.Re1 d6 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Nf1 h6 12.Ne3 Bf8

13.g4!?N Nd4 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Nf5 d5 16.axb5 dxe4 17.dxe4 axb5 18.Rxa8 Qxa8 19.e5 Ne4 20.e6 fxe6 21.Nxd4 Rd8 22.Bxe6+ Kh8 23.g5

23...Rxd4 [23...Qa4!] 24.Qxd4 Bc5 25.Qe5 Bxf2+ 26.Kf1 Qf8 27.gxh6 Bxe1+ 28.Bf4 Nd2+ 29.Ke2 1-0.


Frustrated: Vassily Ivanchuk in the press conference after the game


... and explaining it to his opponent in a private session in the corridor

Rustam Kasimdzhanov-Sergey Karjakin
Black easily solved the opening problems. The 6.g3 variation of the Slav Defense, selected by the former world champion, is considered harmless, and this game did not shake the conclusion. By 7…c5! the Wijk aan Zee winner transposed the game into a Catalan-like structure, and initiated major simplifications. His energetic rook maneuvers (17…Rd5!, 20…Re5+!) forced the opponent to repeat the moves. The game ended in a friendly way without much trouble.


Sergey Karjakin and Rustam Kasimdzhanov after the game

Pavel Eljanov-Alexander Grischuk
Pavel did not dare risking a large scale battle against an uncomfortable opponent. In the Meran Slav he allowed Grischuk to carry out the freeing c6-c5, and the subsequent simplifications clarified the following assessment: total equality. A just and fair draw.


Eljanov and Grischuk face the journalists in the press room after the game

Levon Aronian-Vladimir Akopian
The younger player of the Armenian Olympic team painfully squeezed a victory in the game against the older one. Vladimir, in my opinion, played too passively. In the Slav Defense the board was quickly crossed by the pawn chains, and the game entered the slow maneuvering stage. I am not sure in Black’s 12th move, which gave White freedom on the queenside. Perhaps Black should have maintained the tension. Later in the game White methodically attacked Black’s weakness on c6, while his opponent for some reason did not look for countermeasures. I think Black could try e6-e5 on 23rd or 26th move, in order to get some hopes of equalizing. However, Akopian played passive and was eventually smothered to death. Starting from the move 31 and till the end, Aronian played a perfect endgame and created a textbook example of converting the advantage.


Levon Aronian: writing down the moves with his right hand while playing with his left
(artificial scandal – but a word of advice to Lev: do not do it against Epishin!)

Aronian,Levon - Akopian,Vladimir [D45]
4th FIDE GP Nakchik RUS (2), 16.04.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.c5 Nbd7 7.b4 b6 8.Bb2 a5 9.a3 Be7 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 Qc7 12.Qe2 axb4 13.axb4 Bb7 14.h3 bxc5 15.bxc5 Rxa1 16.Rxa1 Ra8 17.Qd1 Rxa1 18.Qxa1 h6 19.Qa4 Bd8 20.Na2 Qa5 21.Qxa5 Bxa5 22.Bc3 Bc7 23.Nd2 Kf8 24.Nb3 Ke7 25.Ba5 Kd8 26.Nb4 Nb8 27.Kf1 Bxa5 28.Nxa5 Kc7 29.Ke2 Bc8 30.Nb3 Ng8 31.f3 Ne7 32.e4 dxe4 33.fxe4 Nd7 34.Ke3 Bb7 35.Bc4 Nf6 36.Nd2 Nd7 37.Ba2 Kd8 38.Nc4 Nc8 39.Bb3 Kc7 40.e5 f6 41.Nd3 Ba6 42.Nf4 Nf8 43.Nd6 Kd7 44.Nh5 fxe5 45.dxe5 Ne7 46.g3 g5 47.Nf6+ Kc7 48.Nf7 Bf1 49.Nxh6 Bxh3 50.Ne4 g4 51.Kd4 Bg2 52.Nf6 Bd5 53.Bd1 Bf3 54.Bc2 Kd8 55.Ne4 Nd5 56.Nf2 Ne7 57.Bd3 Kc7 58.Be4 Bxe4 59.Kxe4 Nd7 60.Nd3 Nd5 61.Nxg4 Kd8 62.Nh2 Nc3+ 63.Ke3 Nd5+ 64.Kd4 Ne7 65.Ke4 Ng6 66.Nf3 Ke7 67.Nd4 Nb8 68.Kf3 Kf7 69.Kg4 Ne7 70.Kh5 Nf5 71.Ne2 Ne3 72.g4 Nd5 73.g5 Nd7 74.g6+ Kg7 75.Kg5 Kg8 76.Nef4 Nxf4 77.Kxf4 Kf8 78.Kg4 Kg8 79.Kh5 Kh8 80.Kh6 Kg8 81.Kg5 Kg7 82.Nf4 Nxe5 83.Nxe6+ Kg8 84.Kf6 Nd7+ 85.Kf5 Kh8 86.Kg5 Kg8 87.Kh6 Ne5 88.Nd4 Ng4+ 89.Kg5 Ne5 90.Nf5 Kh8 91.Kf6 Ng4+ 92.Ke6 Kg8 93.Ne7+ Kg7 94.Nxc6 1-0.

Boris Gelfand-Evgeny Alekseev
This game is full of fine nuances. Evgeny tried to use an unusual opening move order in his favor. If he had played 13…0-0, White could seize the control over the e4-square by 14.Rfe1!, obtaining a well-known position with an advantage. Black’s 13…Ne4!? provoked immediate crisis. Boris accepted the challenge and struck in the center. He managed to keep the enemy king in the center, but failed to create a dangerous attack, because of the exchange of the queens. Having realized that he may end up in a worse ending, Gelfand sacrificed an exchange (25.Rxa7!), and it all started to look dire for Black. However, Alekseev cleverly returned the material (26…Rxe5!), which led to an easy draw.

Gelfand,Boris - Alekseev,Evgeny [D38]
4th FIDE GP Nakchik RUS (2), 16.04.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 c5 7.Bd3 cxd4 8.exd4 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Qc7 10.Qd3 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 b6 12.0-0 Bb7 13.Bb3

13...Ne4!? 14.d5 Ndc5 15.Qb5+ Qd7 16.Qxd7+ Kxd7 17.dxe6+ fxe6 18.Ne5+ Ke8 19.Be3 Nxb3 20.axb3 Nxc3 21.Ra3 Rf8 22.Rfa1 Nb5 23.Ra4 Rf5 24.f4 Rd8 25.Rxa7 Nxa7

26.Rxa7 Rxe5 27.fxe5 Rd7 28.Bxb6 Bd5 29.b4 Rxa7 30.Bxa7 Bc6 31.Kf2 h5 32.g3 g6 33.Ke3 Bd5 34.Kd4 Kd7 35.b5 Bg2 ½-½.

Gata Kamsky-Etienne Bacrot
Almost every game of the American grandmaster can be printed in an endgame manual. This time he played for the stronger side, but the game was nevertheless drawn. In the Marshall Attack the players went for an old and well-explored line. A complex ending arose; Black’s bishop pair almost compensated for White’s extra pawn. The dispute goes on for decades. One of the recent examples is Caruana-Sargissian, Merida 2008. In order to equalize, Black must advance the kingside pawns to create weaknesses in White’s camp. However, Bacrot preferred his own way, which proved wrong. Unsuccessful maneuvers 25…Ra8 (better is 25…f6 or 25…g5) and 30…Bf8 (30…Kf8! is clearly better) allowed White to activate his pieces. The threat of exchanging the dark-squared bishops forced Etienne to enter a difficult ending with opposite-colored bishops and a minimal pawn deficit. However, the Frenchman managed to survive. Maybe White’s game while the rooks were on the board can be improved. The bishop ending (after 46.Kxc3) was not rosy for Black either. White would win if he could obtain the connected passed pawns on f- and g-file, but Black skillfully defended against this possibility and held a draw on fine nuances.

Peter Leko-Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Black made an important improvement in the Rauzer Sicilian – 14…Qc5! (earlier moves are 14…h5 and 14…Qa7), which allowed his to trade the queens, as the standard 15.Qd3 would lose a piece after 15…b4! Still, White retained certain pressure in the endgame. Leko did everything he possibly could. His skillful maneuvers (16.Bh5!, 23.a4!) weakened the opponent’s position, and then he even managed to break through in the center (26.d6!), but the drawing tendencies were too strong, and the opposite colored bishops didn’t help White either. Mamedyarov defended accurately, and the draw is in order.


Peter Leko and Shakh Mamedyarov discuss their game in the press conference

Leko,Peter - Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar [B63]
4th FIDE GP Nakchik RUS (2), 16.04.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.0-0-0 a6 9.f4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 b5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.f5 Bd7 13.Kb1 Qc7 14.Be2

14...Qc5!N 15.Qxc5 dxc5 16.Bh5 Rd8 17.fxe6 Bxe6 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Rg8 20.Bf3 Bd6 21.c3 Kd7 22.Kc2 Rde8 23.a4 b4 24.Kd3 Be5 25.Kc4 Rb8 26.d6 Bxd6 27.Rd5 Rg5 28.Rhd1 Rxd5 29.Rxd5 h6 30.Rh5 Bf8 31.h3 bxc3 32.bxc3 Rb1 33.Be4 Ra1 34.Bc2 Rg1 35.Be4 Ra1 36.Bc2 Rg1 37.Be4 Ra1 ½-½.

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

Round 4: Saturday, April 18, 2009

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

Round 5: Sunday, April 19, 2009

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

Round 6: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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

Round 7: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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

Round 8: Thursday, April 23, 2009

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

Round 9: Friday, April 24, 2009

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

Round 10: Sunday, April 26, 2009

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

Round 11: Monday, April 27, 2009

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

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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