Nalchik R4: Kamsky beats Svidler, Grischuk leads

4/18/2009 – Just before the time control Peter Svidler sacrificed an exchange and messed up his position. He defended tenaciously, but his opponent Gata Kamsky ground him down in 74 moves. All other games were drawn, Alexander Grischuk leads the event with 3.0/4 points. Full report with pictures and commentary – and excerpts from an interesting interview with Boris Spassky.

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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).

Results of today's round

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 Rustam
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Aronian Levon
½-½
Grischuk Alexander  
Leko Peter
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Akopian Vladimir

Round four review

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

Gata Kamsky-Peter Svidler

What looked like a coincidence now seems to be a consistent pattern in Kamsky’s play! Once again Gata produced a painfully long and tense game. By the end, his opponent was dying of exhaustion, while Gata remained fresh and firm.
Peter played very creatively after the opening. His ‘knight mill’ 24…Nd8!, relocating the knight from c6 to c5, deserves the highest praise. Black lost a pawn, but created strong pressure on e4. Later, however, he incorrectly traded the light-squared bishop. Instead of 27…Bxf5?! Black could continue playing on equal terms by 27…Qb7 or 27…Ncxe4.
The text-move gave Black some freedom in the center, but allowed dangerous advance of White’s b-pawns. Soon Peter had to give up an exchange.

A very interesting spot occurred on the 38th move. Trading the queens on b4 led to a difficult ending. Black could get more saving chances if he dared to sacrifice a knight by 38…Nxf2! I do not say it guaranteed a draw, but the struggle would be a lot tenser. The game could continue 39.Kxf2 e4 40.Qc7! Qxb4, and here, in order to play for a win, White is obliged to find the refined 41.Rb1!, brining the rook to b7 or b8. However I seriously doubt that grandmasters would play all the computer moves exactly – in human chess everything is possible.

After Black missed this chance, Kamsky methodically converted his endgame advantage. Svidler built up a solid position with the pawns on e3, g5 and h4, which looked like a fortress, but Kamsky’s mating threats dispersed this illusion. However, in the post mortem it turned out that Gata missed the neat 65...Nf2!, which could indeed construct an unbreakable fortress, but Peter was too tired to resist. Overall, Kamsky’s victory in this game was quite logical.


Kamsky vs Svidler at the start of the game

Kamsky,G (2720) - Svidler,P (2726) [C91]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (4), 18.04.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.d4 Bg4 10.d5 Na5 11.Bc2 Qc8 12.h3 Bd7 13.Nbd2 c6 14.dxc6 Qxc6 15.Nf1 Nc4 16.Ng3 Rfe8 17.a4 h6 18.b3 Na5 19.Bd2 Qc7 20.axb5 axb5 21.Nh4 Nc6 22.Nhf5 Rxa1 23.Qxa1 Bf8 24.Bd3 Nd8 25.c4 Ne6 26.cxb5 Nc5 27.Bc4 Bxf5 28.Nxf5 Ncxe4 29.Bb4 Qb6 30.Ne3 d5 31.Ba5 Qc5 32.b4 Qa7 33.b6 Qb7 34.Bb5 Re6 35.Rc1 Rxb6 36.Bxb6 Qxb6 37.Qa5 Qb8 38.Bd3

38...Qxb4 [38...Nxf2! 39.Kxf2 e4 40.Qc7! Qxb4 41.Rb1!] 39.Qxb4 Bxb4 40.Rc8+ Bf8 41.Nxd5 Nxd5 42.Bxe4 Ne7 43.Rc5 f6 44.Bc2 g6 45.Kf1 h5 46.Rc7 f5 47.Ke2 Kf7 48.Rb7 Bh6 49.Bb3+ Kf8 50.Kd3 h4 51.f3 Bf4 52.Kc4 e4 53.fxe4 fxe4 54.Kc3 Be5+ 55.Kd2 Bf4+ 56.Ke2 Nf5 57.Bd5 Ng3+ 58.Kd1 g5 59.Rb6 Ke7 60.Rb4 e3 61.Bf3 Kd6 62.Rb5 Ke6 63.Ra5 Kf6 64.Bg4 Ne4 65.Ke2

65...Nd6 [65...Nf2!] 66.Kd3 Ke7 67.Kd4 Kf6 68.Kd5 Ke7 69.Ra7+ Kf6 70.Ra6 Ke7 71.Ra7+ Kf6 72.Bh5 Be5 73.Ra6 Kf5 74.Bg4+ 1-0.


Kamsky and Svidler after 74 exhausting moves

Boris Gelfand-Etienne Bacrot
A head-spinning game. Both players deserve the highest praise. In the Queen’s Indian Defense, Black constructed a pawn ‘barb’ in the center, but fell somewhat behind in development. Gelfand decided to use the latter fact. His opening revelation 14.g4! led to enormous complications, which after incredibly precise play of both sides resulted in a complicated ending with White having three pawns for a knight. How they managed to find all the best moves, is almost inexplicable. This was a demonstration of the highest skill! In the mutual time trouble Boris missed an excellent chance. He had to play 38.Kd3! at once (without inclusion of h2-h4 and Ke5-f5), in order to win the game after the most natural 38…Nc5+ 39.Kc3 Ncxa4+? 40.Nxa4 Nxa4+ 41.Kb4 Nb6 42.Kc5 Na4+ 43.Kc6. Etienne would have to find the only defense 39…Nd5+! 40.Kc4 Nb7! with just a few seconds on the clock. In the actual game Black managed to stop all the pawns in due time.


After an intensely brilliant game: Etienne Bacrot and Boris Gelfand

Gelfand,B (2733) - Bacrot,E (2728) [E15]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (4), 18.04.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.dxc5 bxc5 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Bf4 Qb6 11.Rfd1 Rd8 12.Rd2 d6 13.Rad1 a6 14.g4 Nxg4 15.Bxd6 Rxd6 16.Qe8+ Bf8 17.Ng5 Ne5 18.Bxb7 Rxd2 19.Rxd2 Qxb7 20.Rd8 Ng6 21.Na4 Qe7 22.Qxe7 Nxe7 23.Nxh7 Kxh7 24.Rxf8 Nec6 25.Rxf7 Kg8 26.Rc7 Ra7 27.Rxa7 Nxa7 28.Nxc5 Kf7 29.b4 Ke7 30.a4 Kd6 31.Kg2 Nac6 32.Nd3 Nd7 33.b5 axb5 34.cxb5 Na5 35.Kf3 Nb6 36.Nb2 Ke5 37.Ke3 Nb3

38.h4 [38.Kd3! Nc5+ 39.Kc3 Ncxa4+? (39...Nd5+! 40.Kc4 Nb7!) 40.Nxa4 Nxa4+ 41.Kb4 Nb6 42.Kc5 Na4+ 43.Kc6] 38...Kf5 39.Kd3 Nc5+ 40.Kc3 Ncxa4+ 41.Nxa4 Nxa4+ 42.Kb4 Nb6 43.Kc5 Na4+ 44.Kb4 Nb6 45.Kc5 Na4+ 46.Kc6 Kg4 47.Kd6 Kxh4 48.Kxe6 Nc3 49.b6 Na4 50.b7 Nc5+ 51.Kf7 Nxb7 ½-½.

Pavel Eljanov-Vassily Ivanchuk
Another creative game, in which both players showed some non-orthodox ideas. Pavel stylishly solved the problem with his pinned f3-knight by 14.Qb3! Activity of White’s pieces fully compensated for structural flaws. The pressure on Black’s position began to grow... And then Vassily launched a nice saving operation. Black bravely accepted the pawn sacrifice: 20…Rxd4!, and then suddenly gave up a queen for a rook and a bishop. In the resulting position computer engines insist that White has a big advantage, but any human player immediately recognizes a fortress. Game drawn!

Peter Leko-Sergey Karjakin
The players initiated a joint research project on the Chebanenko Slav and came up with important conclusions. White’s spectacular novelty 14.Nxd5 did not surprise Karjakin. Black’s subsequent play is characterized by computer precision. I was unable to find any improvements for White in the express analysis. A bloody battle in the middlegame led to an equal ending, and Black made a draw from the position of strength.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov-Vladimir Akopian
The logical course of the game that developed around the d6-pawn was shaken by the sharp 18…f5!? This move came as a surprise for Shakhriyar, and the Azerbaijani grandmaster didn’t find the nice reaction 19.h4!, keeping Black’s minor pieces at the bay. The point is that 19…fxe4 20.Ne1! d5? doesn’t work due to multiple attacks on d5 followed by deadly pins on light-squared diagonals. After the exchange on f6 the position simplified (via complications!), and the players entered a heavy-piece ending. The draw by move repetition was logical.


Top Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Levon Aronian-Alexander Grischuk
The Armenian grandmaster made an attempt to win the game solely on technique, without any risk. Many time he succeeded doing this, but... not against Grischuk. The Russian consumed a lot of thinking time, but found all the accurate moves that equalized the game. In the English Opening the players quickly traded the queens and several other pieces, ending up in a simple-looking ending with almost symmetrical pawn structure. White played a good novelty, suggested in Khalifman’s opening books. It looks like Grischuk was unaware of it, but he managed to find the best moves at the board. Looking for possible improvements for White, I can suggest 22.Nf3!?, for example, 22…Kg7 23.g4!, and then, if necessary, h2-h4, the pawn goes to g5, and the knight establishes on e5. After White lost a tempo by 22.a3, Black built solid defensive line and held the position.


Alexander Grischuk and Levon Aronian after their game

Rustam Kasimdzhanov-Evgeny Alekseev
This long game was surprisingly free of obvious mistakes. Apparently, the position after the opening was approximately even, but Rustam overestimated the attack started with 24.g4. This kingside aggression only created problems for White. If Alekseev played the accurate 28…Bb7!, he would get reasonable chances to succeed. However, he went for total exchanges, and soon found himself suffering in a rook ending without a pawn. Yet, he managed to defend it, and the game ended in a draw.


23-year-old Russian GM Evgeny Alekseev, rated 2716, performing at 2800!

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Standings


An interview with Boris Spassky

The tenth World Champion in chess history, Boris Spassky, has been invited to Nalchik to comment on the games of the FIDE Grand Prix tournament. Here are some excerpts from an interview on the official web site.

  • I watch with great interest how the grandmasters of the new generation compete to each other. It is very interesting to follow the style of struggle and to find out who is the dark horse. We know the white horses - they are our favorites.

  • I am 72 and what is the most difficult is to bear the tenseness of the struggle. I can’t do it anymore. I can play one-two games when I am invited to some contest but it is impossible for me to whole distance. The most necessary condition to be able to play in the tournaments is to feel like you are ready to “kill” everyone, but I am very shy and now I don’t want to win. If I win I don’t feel any joy but I don’t like to lose. And it is very boring to make draws. I have already made a lot of them. I can tell you that now old age comes to chess very early. Flourishing comes very early, at 26-28. We became champions at 32. I became the champion at 32, Bobby Fischer was a bit younger, Karpov was 24, but he didn’t play the World Championship match. Lasker was 24, and it was the 19th century time.

  • I have never thought of the ideal system [of determining the World Chess Champion]. It seems to me that the title of the champion has lost it significance. But, on the other hand, after Anand, who is the World Chess Champion now, had won the last game with Kramnik, the significance of the title became more important. And I am happy about this.

  • I think today the title of world champion has become underestimated, but it is not because the interest to chess has decreased. The thing is that now the competitors have a little disparity, and for this reason I don’t take the one who wins as the World Champion. He just gets the title. In my time you became the official champion for three years. I’d like to add that there were persons like Misha Tal, who was champion only for a year. However, he was a very bright figure in chess. I was always fond of the history of chess, and it was very interesting to learn more about the chess world, the first World Champion, the conditions which existed at that time. And what do we have now: if your phone rings you lose the game. I wish I had lived in the 19th century.

  • Does chess need a new Bobby Fischer? I think now it is Magnus Carlsen from Norway. He can play this role, because he attracts attention in the chess world by his young age and the quality of his play. He has quite an interesting and rich play, moreover he is a very brave boy; he goes forward whether he wins or looses. He also plays endgames well like Bobby Fischer in his time. But if you mean that there must be an extravagant figure, some kind of showman, I can say that we don’t see such a person for now. And possibly we won’t see him.

  • It’s very important to take into consideration that computers have changed chess. The drawback of them is that many games begin only with the 35th move, or even later. So you are immediately involved in endgame, and there is no live game. But there is also a great advantage about them. For example, Grandmaster Bondarevsky and his wife spent a month typing up the repertoire of Bobby Fischer. Now you can have everything in half a minute. It’s really a great advantage. It is very important to learn to work with the computer. It must be our servant; we should not let it become our master, otherwise we will fail.

  • I got my first chess money in 1948 when I gave a simultaneous chess display at the Officers' House in Minsk. I was eleven at the time. In game I checkmated one officer. He asked to take back his move. After two moves I was checkmated. I began to cry bitterly and the game was stopped for 15 minutes. When I calmed down I finished the simul. Since that time I never allow taking back moves. It was a very sad experience. But returning to money: I got a sum that was enough to buy a winter coat. So that was money, tears and a coat.

  • I think that my "evergreen game" is one against Bronstein in 1960. There was a very good balance between the strategy and tactics. This idea was used in one of the movies of James Bond. [Describen in this ChessBase report]


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
-
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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