Thessaloniki R04: Dominguez strikes again

5/25/2013 – Showing that yesterday wasn't just a fluke, Dominguez played an enterprising game against Svidler, got a slight advantage and severely punished his opponent's mistakes. Morozevich and Nakamura played the wildest game of the tournament (of the year?) which ended in a crazy perpetual. Topalov demolished Ivanchuk and the other games were drawn. GM Analysis, standings and pictures.

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From May 22 to June 03, 2013, the fourth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 is taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece. Twelve players are competing in a round robin tournament with time controls of 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes and an increment of 30 seconds per move for each player. The Grand Prix Series consists of six tournaments to be held over two years, with 18 top players, each participating in four of the six tournaments. The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014.

Round four report

Round 04 – May 25 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2725
Morozevich Alexander 2760 ½-½ Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Caruana Fabiano 2774 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Topalov Veselin 2793 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Kamsky Gata 2741 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742

Topalov, Veselin - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0
Topalov again showed that he values piece activity far more than pawn structure. His kingside was shattered early in the game, exposing his king, but his superior development prevented Black from being able to take advantage of this. Ivanchuk kept finding ways to activate his own position, but at a crucial tactical juncture he failed to eliminate the menacing pawn on e6, and he paid dearly for it. Interestingly a few yeas ago a 2300 player reached the same juncture and was able to find the correct continuation to equalize.

A prelude.

[Event "FIDE GP Thessaloniki 2013"] [Site "Thessaloniki"] [Date "2013.05.25"] [Round "4"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2755"] [PlyCount "41"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "GRE"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. O-O Bd7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. c3 a6 7. Bf1 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. d4 $5 {White can't keep his kingside structure and his center intact after this move, but he will be able to establish central control and obtain the pair of bishops.} Bxf3 10. gxf3 cxd4 11. cxd4 d5 12. Nc3 e6 13. Bg5 Be7 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. exd5 Nxd4 16. Re4 Qb6 17. dxe6 Qc5 (17... Nxe6 {was absolutely forced.} 18. Nd5 Qd8 19. Qa4+ $6 b5 20. Nxf6+ gxf6 21. Qb4 f5 $1 $15 {Sadykov - Savina, 2010}) 18. e7 $1 {A surprisingly strong push. Now Black's pieces are paralyzed while the pawn is completely taboo. For now, it can't be taken because the knight on d4 needs support. Ivanchuk tries bringing his rook out through the h-file but it is too slow.} h5 19. Rc1 Rh6 20. Kh1 $1 {Wonderful prophylaxis. Now White has some very destructive threats and Black has no answer.} Rg6 21. Ne2 (21. Ne2 Nxf3 22. Rxc5 {is no problem for White since g1 is covered.}) *

Morozevich, Alexander - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½
An unbelievably wild game was not a disappointment! Morozevich went for a quick pawn-storm on the kingside, which was quickly met with a break on the center: a typical Sicilian situation. Every move played was razor sharp, and even the computers had time fully understanding the position. Morozevich sacrificed a piece, but Black's king ended up exposed on e7. The Russian gave up even more material, a queen for a rook and a piece, to bring his opponent's king further up the board to e5! Nakamura saw his position was become too dangerous, so he gave back some material and forced a perpetual. Thrilling game.

"The Sicilian? Sure the Sicilian will do." Hikaru Nakamura in round four.

[Event "FIDE GP Thessaloniki 2013"] [Site "Thessaloniki"] [Date "2013.05.25"] [Round "4"] [White "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B80"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2775"] [Annotator "Robot 6"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "GRE"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be3 a6 7. f3 b5 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. g4 h6 10. a3 {Unusual, but can people expect the main lines from Morozevich?} Bb7 11. O-O-O Rc8 12. h4 d5 13. Rg1 dxe4 (13... e5 $5 14. g5 hxg5 15. hxg5 exd4 16. Bxd4 Nh5 17. Rh1 $1 {gives White plenty of compensation for the piece.}) 14. g5 hxg5 15. hxg5 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. g6 f5 18. fxe4 fxe4 ( 18... Bxe4 19. Nxe6 Bxc2 20. Nxd8 Be4+ 21. Qc3 Rxc3+ 22. bxc3 Bxa3+ 23. Kd2 Kxd8 {is very complicated.}) 19. Kb1 Ne5 20. Nxb5 $5 Nf3 $1 (20... axb5 21. Bxb5+ Bc6 22. Bxc6+ Nxc6 23. Qg2 $5 {again gives White compensation. His attack is strong and Black's pieces aren't coordinated yet.}) 21. Qf2 Qf6 ( 21... Rh2 22. Rg2 Rxg2 23. Qxg2 Ba2+ 24. Kxa2 $1 (24. Kc1 Qa5 {gives Black a strong attack.}) 24... Qxd1 25. Nc3 $1 Rxc3 26. bxc3 {and the position is again very hard to evaluate.}) 22. Qg3 axb5 23. Bxb5+ Ke7 24. c4 Rh2 25. Qxh2 $1 {Forced} Nxh2 26. cxd5 Qf5 $1 {The best move, anything else would give White a very strong attack.} 27. Bg5+ Kd6 $1 28. dxe6+ Ke5 $1 {The king finally is protected from the checks on e5.} 29. Bd7 (29. e7 Bxe7 30. Bxe7 Qf2 31. Rg5+ Kf4 {and there doesn't seem to be any way of finishing Black off.}) 29... e3+ 30. Ka1 Bxa3 {Hikaru puts an end to the game before more crazy stuff happens.} (30... e2 31. Rge1 Qf2 $5 32. Bh4 $1 Qe3 $1 {and the game would have continued, with an unclear result.}) 31. Bxc8 Qc2 {now the draw is forced.} 32. bxa3 Qc3+ 33. Ka2 Qxc8 34. e7 Qc2+ 35. Ka1 Qc3+ 36. Ka2 Qc2+ 37. Ka1 Qc3+ 38. Ka2 Qc2+ {an amazing game!} 1/2-1/2

Grischuk, Alexander - Bacrot, Etienne ½-½
A positional struggle in which Grischuk always had some slight pressure, but certainly never enough to really inconvenience Bacrot. The game ended in its natural peaceful result.

Kamsky, Gata - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½
Kamsky's handling of the Spanish was not optimal, and Ponomariov was even able to get a slight edge out of the opening, without it being anything special. However shortly after time control Kamsky decided to simplify the position with the use of some tactics... which simply didn't work! Luckily for him Ponomariov missed the elegant refutation: 43...Qe7 which would have forced Kamsky to resign.

Dominguez in his striking pose before the round, with the Cuban flag in the background.

Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Svidler, Peter 1-0
A tense Spanish gave both sides interesting chances. Svidler penetrated through the queenside but allowed Dominguez to create threats against his king. His decisive mistake was to allow Dominguez to also control the eight rank, which simply gave too many access points against Svidler's already weakened king. After 34.f6! it was lights out and there was no saving for Black's monarch.

Caruana, Fabiano - Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½
The Marshall Gambit is an excellent way of dealing with 1.e4. At the GM level, it means that either Black takes the initiative or White goes into an endgame with little to no advantage. Caruana chose the latter in this game, and despite having a bishop against a knight he was never able to do anything with it. The game closed in a draw that could have been sealed many moves before it happened.

"Sorry I'm late, tough day at work" - Rustam Kasimdzhanov with his wife, Firuza

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All pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich

Schedule and results

Round 01 –May 22 2013, 14:00h
Topalov Veselin 2793 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Kamsky Gata 2741 1-0 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Svidler Peter 2769 1-0 Bacrot Etienne 2725
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Round 02 – May 23 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Bacrot Etienne 2725 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Morozevich Alexander 2760 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Caruana Fabiano 2774 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Topalov Veselin 2793 ½-½ Kamsky Gata 2741
Round 03 – May 24 2013, 14:00h
Kamsky Gata 2741 ½-½ Grischuk Alexander 2779
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 ½-½ Topalov Veselin 2793
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 0-1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Svidler Peter 2769 ½-½ Caruana Fabiano 2774
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 ½-½ Morozevich Alexander 2760
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2725
Round 04 – May 25 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2725
Morozevich Alexander 2760 ½-½ Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Caruana Fabiano 2774 ½-½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 1-0 Svidler Peter 2769
Topalov Veselin 2793 1-0 Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Kamsky Gata 2741 ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Round 05 – May 27 2013, 14:00h
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 - Grischuk Alexander 2779
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 - Kamsky Gata 2741
Svidler Peter 2769 - Topalov Veselin 2793
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 - Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 - Caruana Fabiano 2774
Bacrot Etienne 2725 - Morozevich Alexander 2760
Round 06 – May 28 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 - Morozevich Alexander 2760
Caruana Fabiano 2774 - Bacrot Etienne 2725
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 - Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Topalov Veselin 2793 - Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Kamsky Gata 2741 - Svidler Peter 2769
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 - Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Round 07 – May 29 2013, 14:00h
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 - Grischuk Alexander 2779
Svidler Peter 2769 - Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 - Kamsky Gata 2741
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 - Topalov Veselin 2793
Bacrot Etienne 2725 - Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Morozevich Alexander 2760 - Caruana Fabiano 2774
Round 08 – May 30 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 - Caruana Fabiano 2774
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 - Morozevich Alexander 2760
Topalov Veselin 2793 - Bacrot Etienne 2725
Kamsky Gata 2741 - Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 - Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 - Svidler Peter 2769
Round 09 – June 01 2013, 14:00h
Svidler Peter 2769 - Grischuk Alexander 2779
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 - Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 - Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Bacrot Etienne 2725 - Kamsky Gata 2741
Morozevich Alexander 2760 - Topalov Veselin 2793
Caruana Fabiano 2774 - Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Round 10 – June 02 2013, 14:00h
Grischuk Alexander 2779 - Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723
Topalov Veselin 2793 - Caruana Fabiano 2774
Kamsky Gata 2741 - Morozevich Alexander 2760
Ponomariov Ruslan 2742 - Bacrot Etienne 2725
Ivanchuk Vassily 2755 - Nakamura Hikaru 2775
Svidler Peter 2769 - Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699
Round 11 – June 03 2013, 12:00h
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2699 - Grischuk Alexander 2779
Nakamura Hikaru 2775 - Svidler Peter 2769
Bacrot Etienne 2725 - Ivanchuk Vassily 2755
Morozevich Alexander 2760 - Ponomariov Ruslan 2742
Caruana Fabiano 2774 - Kamsky Gata 2741
Dominguez Perez Leinier 2723 - Topalov Veselin 2793

The games start at 14:00h Eastern European Summer time, 15:00h Moscow, 7 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time hereThe commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

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