Nalchik R8: Gelfand, Eljanov win with black

4/23/2009 – For Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov it was the second win in succession – in two rounds he has disposed of Gelfand and Kamsky with the black pieces. On the other hand US grandmaster Gata Kamsky lost for the second time in a row, to take up residence at the bottom of the table (half a point ahead of Ivanchuk). Lev Aronian continues to lead, with 5.0/8 and a 2814 performance. Full illustrated report.

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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 8: Thursday, April 23, 2009

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

Round eight 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.

Gata Kamsky-Pavel Eljanov
Another unsuccessful game by Kamsky. He is either too tired or just did not recover after the previous round loss.
In a quiet and maneuvering game Gata applied serious pressure on the opponent’s position, but chose the wrong time to start the attack. He certainly saw the simple 31.Rab1, which kept the advantage, however, instead of it the American forced the issues by 31.Bxc5?!, missing the unexpected 35…Nd4! The idea with a fork on e2 apparently surprised him, and the situation quickly changed in Black’s favor. Clearly disappointed, Kamsky was unable to defend tenaciously.
Eljanov proved that he is an experienced hunter – patient and lethal when the time is right.


Pavel Eljanov (satisfied) and Gata Kamsky (less so) in the press conference

Kamsky,G (2720) - Eljanov,P (2693) [C91]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (8), 23.04.2009
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 c6 12.h3 Bc8 13.dxc6 Qc7 14.Nbd2 Qxc6 15.Nf1 Nc4 16.Ng3 Re8 17.a4 Bb7 18.Qe2 Bf8 19.Bg5 Nd7 20.b3 Ncb6 21.a5 Nc8 22.c4 bxc4 23.Rec1 Na7 24.Be3 Qc8 25.bxc4 Nc5 26.Rcb1 Qc7 27.Nf5 Nc6 28.Qd2 Rad8 29.Qc3 Ba8 30.Rb6 Rb8

31.Bxc5 dxc5 32.Ba4 Rxb6 33.axb6 Qxb6 34.Nxe5 Nd4 35.Nxd4 Rxe5 36.Nf5 Rxe4 37.Bc2 Re8 38.Qg3 g6 39.Ne3 Bd6 40.Qh4 Be5 41.Rb1 Qd6 42.Ba4 Rb8 43.Rd1 Bd4 44.Qg4 h5 45.Qg5 Qe6 46.Nd5 Bxd5 47.cxd5 Qe2 48.d6 Qxf2+ 49.Kh1 Qa2 50.d7 Qxa4 51.d8Q+ Rxd8 52.Qxd8+ Kg7 53.Rb1 Qa2 54.Qb6 a5 55.Qb3 Qxb3 56.Rxb3 c4 57.Ra3 c3 58.Ra4 c2 59.Rc4 a4 60.Rxc2 a3 61.Ra2 Bb2 62.Kg1 h4 63.Kf2 Kf6 64.Kf3 Kf5 65.Ke3 Ke5 66.Kf3 f5 67.Ke3 g5 0-1.


Struggling: Top US grandmaster Gata Kamsky


On the upswing: Pavel Eljanov, Ukrainian grandmaster


... with his second, GM Zahar Efimenko

Rustam Kasimdzhanov-Boris Gelfand
This epic struggle demonstrated that Gelfand is back! In the Anti-Moscow Gambit of the Slav the Israeli created an excellent new setup starting with 9…Nbd7!? Black sacrificed the c6-pawn, but got a couple of tempi for development, which allowed him to get an equal game and take part in a fight for the center. Kasimdzhanov accepted the challenge, and selected the most principled and aggressive continuations. However, the fight was uneven. Gelfand followed his home analysis, obtained a decent advantage and converted it in a very brutal manner (22…f5!, 26…c3!). White’s play can be improved only after very serious analysis, so all I can do now is assign exclamation marks to most Gelfand’s moves...

Kasimdzhanov,R (2695) - Gelfand,B (2733) [D43]
4th FIDE GP Nalchik RUS (8), 23.04.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 Nbd7 10.Nxc6 Qb6 11.d5 Bb7 12.a4 a6 13.Be2 Bg7 14.dxe6 Bxc6 15.exd7+ Nxd7 16.axb5 axb5 17.Rxa8+ Bxa8 18.0-0 Ne5 19.Nd5 Qc5 20.Kh1 0-0 21.f4 gxf4 22.Bxf4

22...f5! 23.b4 Qd6 24.Bf3 fxe4 25.Bxe4 Rd8 26.Rf2 c3! 27.Rf3 Bxd5 28.Rd3 Nxd3 0-1

Levon Aronian-Peter Svidler
The game was decided in the opening (the Chebanenko Slav). By 11…exd4! Svidler improved his play against Alekseev. Despite arriving to Nalchik without a second, Peter finds the time to move opening theory forward, scoring a few points in the process. Aronian was unable to come up with anything serious (his 13.g3 is anything but ambitious), and Black got an excellent game. His knights were excellently placed in the center, not being inferior to the White bishops. After logical maneuvers and exchanges the players agreed to a draw in an equal endgame with opposite-colored bishops.

Peter Leko-Etienne Bacrot
In the Queen’s Indian Defense Black defended according to the standard scheme, and then launched a successful counterattack. The plan with e6-e5 and Nb8-c6-d4 is known for many years. It is surprising how easily Bacrot carried it out! Computer show his novelty 15…e5! in a second. Not sure what Leko missed in his preparation. In the final position the struggle around the d5-square (White wanted to place his rook there, while his opponent objected) led to a draw by move repetition.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov-Vassily Ivanchuk
A very tense game. Ivanchuk flashed a new opening idea (11…Na5!?) in a well-known sharp line of the Gruenfeld. He gave up a central pawn, but this was a Danae gift. White accepted the sacrifice, and then had to use all his creativity to survive. The crowd admired a number of tactical tricks by both players. For instance, everyone was surprised by 15.Bf3! with the idea e2-e4. White got rid of a nasty pin, but he didn’t have any advantage. The further simplifications could not alter the evaluation of the position as being equal. The grandmasters ceased fire in a deadly drawn ending.

Vladimir Akopian-Evgeny Alekseev
In a fashionable line of the Queen’s Gambit White grabbed a pawn and managed to place his pieces actively. Black regained the material only by weakening his kingside (15…g5!?). Akopian, realizing that he must play very energetically, carried out a spectacular blow 19.c4. Without trying to criticize his choice, I will suggest an intermediate move: 19.Rad1!, intending to meet 19…h5 by 20.f3 Rxe3 21.Nb5! with strong initiative. The text-move allowed Black to centralize all his pieces. Alekseev managed to bring his knight to d3 and fortify it there. White initiated exchanges by 32.Bxc5, but they only led to an equal ending, in which Black forced the perpetual.


Hotel Sindica in Nalchik, where the Grand Prix is being staged

Sergey Karjakin-Alexander Grischuk
Both players are very fond of the Najdorf Sicilian, and in this game they continued to explore their favorite lines. In my opinion, Black successfully solved the opening problems. 15…g4! revealed that White’s attack got stuck. Karjakin made a correct choice to enter a complicated ending. Black had a few pawn weaknesses on the kingside, and White’s bishop pair was a force to reckon with. Grischuk rejected the active 21…d4, which was probably wrong. Active piece counterplay would give him an equal game, while after the exchange of the bishops he had to defend passively. Black’s situation became worse when the opponent’s king arrived at f4. Instead of 42.b4 White had a much stronger 42.a4!, stretching Black’s defense. Karjakin missed this chance, but continued to apply pressure. Grischuk was short on time, as usual, but on this occasion he managed to hold, utilizing the opponent’s inaccuracy: Sergey missed the refined 62.Ra6!, which could give him a big edge, and after the meek 62.Ke4 Black improved the situation and survived.

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
-
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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