Zug GP R08: Topalov wins, leads alone

4/27/2013 – Alexander Morozevich played a Symmetrical English against Veselin Topalov, using a line he had played unsuccessfully against Grischuk earlier this month. In a long, complicated struggle his opponent Veselin Topalov gained an advantage and drove it home for the full point. All other games were drawn, which puts the Bulgarian GM in the sole lead. Full illustrated report with GM analysis.

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From April 14 to April 30, 2013, the third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 is taking place in Zug, Switzerland. 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 eight report

Whilst the weather in Switzerland is still relatively cold, things were heating up over the chess boards in Zug! After eight rounds of play former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov became the sole leader in the tournament. He defeated the Russian player Alexander Morozevich who today lost his second game in a row after such a great start to the tournament. All other games finished in draws. Ruslan Ponomariov managed to defend a worse endgame against Hikaru Nakamura, and is in second place, half a point behind Topalov. Tomorrow is a free day and the ninth round is scheduled for April 28.

Round 08 – April 26 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2709
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Ruslan Ponomariov
2733
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Alexander Morozevich
2758
0-1
Veselin Topalov 2771
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2766
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Fabiano Caruana
2772
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Sergey Karjakin
2786
½-½
Anish Giri 2727

Rustam Kasimdzhanov - Teimour Radjabov ½-½
The two tail enders seemed peacefully inclined before the next rest day, and after Kasimdzhanov chose the Bf4 variation against the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Radjabov did not wish to get involved in any of the long theoretical lines with an immediate c5 and opted instead for the Nbd7 line. White preferred the quieter 11.Be2 to the main line with 11.Be5 and the first “new” move came with 20…Rac8 in a position which was already quite equal and the final result was never in doubt for either player. Clock Times 1:33 - 1:11

What's he trying to remember? Veselin Topalov kibitzes Nakamura's play

Ruslan Ponomariov - Hikaru Nakamura ½-½
Nakamura returned to his favourite Najdorf Variation in the Sicilian. Previously these two had played a Najdorf, but that time Ponomariov was Black! Both players know the theory in this variation extremely well, and Ruslan was the first to try and deviate from the main path with 12.Qd2, in lieu of the main lines 12.h3 or 12.Be2. The first new move on the board came with 17.f4, but this seemed to allow Black to take the initiative, and after 20..a4! Black was controlling the game. During the press conference the American player pointed out that he could have tried to play 27...Qh5 instead of 27...d5, and this was a critical moment in the game. But even after the text move the position looked difficult for White. However Ruslan defended very well and it ended a draw.

"Pono" – who does not like to be called that – relinquished the lead in this round

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - Gata Kamsky ½-½
Kamsky got his favourite Chebanenko-Grunfeld setup with c6-a6-g6, and the players trotted out the theory relatively quickly. Mamedyarov adopted a lesser played line with 10.b3 instead of the main line 10.c5, but Black was prepared and he chose 15…Qd5 instead of the previously played 15…Qd7, which also ended in a draw. During the press conference it became obvious how good the preparation of the Azeri player was. After the exchange of queens Shakhriyar got a slight edge, but Gata seemed comfortable with the position and there was very little play and pieces were exchanged at a steady pace. The point was shared on move 42.

Former child prodigies Peter Leko, Hungary, and Fabiano Caruana, Italy

Fabiano Caruana - Peter Leko ½-½
Again we had another delayed Ruy Lopez in Zug. Maybe Peter wanted to go for the Marshall’s Gambit but hardly any players at this level allow it today since it offers too many drawing lines for Black. Fabiano continued his quiet approach in the opening with the rare 9.a3 whereas the main line is 9.c3. Black’s 12…Nd4 was the first new move on the board but according to Peter Leko he’s seen the similar idea before with h3 Be6 on the board. Fabiano could not prove he has any edge and It was enough to keep equality fro Black. White really had nothing much in the game with Houdini floating from a maximum of +0.22 to -0.23 throughout the game!

Sergey Karjakin - Anish Giri ½-½
Giri (above) threw off his positional style with which he has been playing in the first part of the event, and a wild game resulten from a King’s Indian Saemisch Variation. Anish preferred to play 12…Bd7 instead of the more common 12..h5.

This surprised Sergey Karjakin (above), who replied with 13.h3?! rather than 13.Be2. The resulting fray saw a new idea with 16…Nh5, and it was already clear that Black was looking to sacrifice this knight, as after 17.g4 he played the complicated 17…Qh4! The move 17..Ng3 was also worth considering, but Giri had doubts during the press conference. White seemed a bit unsettled by Black’s aggressive play and opted for 23.f5 when 23.e5 may have posed some serious problems, given the poor position of the black queen. After the game move, Black equalised immediately and the exposed position of the white king allowed Giri to obtain a relatively straightforward perpetual check. Our guest commentator GM Giorgi Margvelashvili has analysed this game:

[Event "Zug"] [Site "Zug"] [Date "2013.04.26"] [Round "?"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Annotator "Margvelashvili, Giorgi"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "SUI"] 1. d4 {Usually short draws between two grandmasters are pretty uneventful. This game was definitely an exception.} Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 {Giri chooses the King's Indian defense, very aggressive but risky choice of opening against Karjakin.} 4. e4 d6 5. f3 {Strengthening the center and e4 pawn. This is called the Saemisch system.} (5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 {is the classical line and has been played thousands of times.}) 5... O-O 6. Be3 c5 {Lately the most popular choice against 5.f3.} 7. d5 (7. dxc5 dxc5 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Bxc5 Nc6 {is another main line, but due to good development and active pieces black seem to have enough compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) (7. Nge2 {is also possible.}) 7... e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 Nbd7 {Now the game has transferred to the Benoni type of positions that arise after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3.d5 e6. In these type of positions, black's main idea is to push b5 and develop an initiative on the queensside, where they have a pawn majority. White tries to attack in the center and the kingside.} 10. Nh3 a6 11. a4 {preventing b5.} Ne5 12. Nf2 Bd7 13. h3 {Karjakin threatens f4 that would trap e5 knight.} b5 $1 {The only move, otherwise Giri's position would be just bad.} 14. f4 (14. axb5 $6 {accepting pawn sacrifice is not good for Karjakin, since after} axb5 15. Rxa8 Qxa8 16. Bxb5 $2 Bxb5 17. Nxb5 Qa6 18. Na3 Rb8 {White would fall behind in development too much, giving black an almost winning position.}) 14... Nc4 15. Bxc4 bxc4 16. O-O Nh5 {Giri's idea is to play f5 and stop Karjakin's advance on the kingsside.} 17. g4 Qh4 $1 {sacrificing a piece.} (17... Ng3 $6 18. Rfe1 h5 19. f5 {and Giri's knight on g3 is in danger.}) 18. gxh5 Qg3+ 19. Kh1 Bxh3 20. Rg1 Qh4 21. Rg2 (21. Rge1 {is another move recommended by engines.} Rab8 22. Kh2 Bg4+ 23. Kg2 Bxh5 {leads to very unbalanced position. This line needs further deep analysis.}) (21. Nxh3 $4 {on the other hand, would be just bad} Qxh3+ 22. Qh2 Qxe3) 21... Bg4+ $1 {transferring the bishop to the dominant f3 square.} 22. Kg1 Bf3 23. f5 {The most natural move, but it only leads to a draw.} (23. e5 $5 {is the only way to fight for an advantage.} dxe5 24. h6 $1 Bxh6 25. fxe5 Bxe3 26. Qxe3 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 {with unclear play, but here I would prefer white's position.}) 23... Be5 24. Bg5 Bh2+ $1 {maybe Karjakin missed this resource.} 25. Kf1 (25. Rxh2 $2 Qg3+ 26. Kf1 Qxh2 {leads white to disaster.}) 25... Bxg2+ 26. Kxg2 Qg3+ 27. Kh1 f6 28. Bh6 Qh4 $1 29. Kg2 Qg3+ 30. Kh1 Qh4 31. Kg2 {Karjakin has no choice but to repeat the position.} (31. Nh3 Be5 32. Qg2 Rfb8 {is too dangerous for white.}) 31... Qg3+ 32. Kh1 1/2-1/2

Before the start of Topalov vs Morozevich (with some Italian kid in the background)

Alexander Morozevich - Veselin Topalov 0-1
The most critical game was obviously Morozevich-Topalov, and it was clear that Alexander Morozevich had to make up for the lost ground of the previous day. The players went for a Symmetrical English and White immediately sprung a novelty on the ninth move with c5 instead of the normal 9.Qe2.

Veselin Topalov (above) side-stepped, but Morozevich was determined to get a complicated position on the board, and there were innumerable thrusts and parries in the game. Topalov never seemed in any great difficulties, however, and kept good control over the position. White was in time trouble when he could have tried to create more problems for Black by playing 41. Be5 or 52.c4. This is the second game analysed by our guest commentator Giorgi Margvelashvili.

[Event "Renova Group Grand Prix 2013"] [Site "Zug"] [Date "2013.04.26"] [Round "?"] [White "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A33"] [Annotator "Margvelashvili, Giorgi"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "SUI"] 1. Nf3 {The match-up between Morozevich and Topalov was very highly anticipated, since their aggressive styles always promise an exciting game.} c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e6 6. g3 {This line is in fashion right now, top players playing it for both sides.} Qb6 {the main line.} (6... Bc5 7. Nb3 Be7 {was played in round six of this tournament in the Morozevich-Leko game. Morozevich was not able to get any advantage from the opening in that game, but I am sure he prepared some improvement for this game. }) 7. Nb3 Ne5 8. e4 Bb4 9. c5 $6 {A novelty on move nine in a position that has been played numerous times previously! However, knowing Morozevich's creativity, this is something that one naturally expects from him.} (9. Qe2 { is the most common move.}) 9... Qc6 $1 {An instant reply by Topalov, showing his opponent that he is well prepared against 9.c5. The opening preparation by both opponents is very impressive!} (9... Bxc5 10. Nxc5 Qxc5 11. Be2 O-O 12. Bf4 {White dominates on the dark squares and has more than enough compensation for the sacrificed pawn.}) 10. f3 $1 (10. Bg2 Qb5 $1 11. Bf1 Qc6 12. Bg2 Qb5 { forces White to repeat the position and settle for a draw. This is definitely not something that Morozevich wanted when playing the novelty on move nine.}) 10... b6 $1 11. Bf4 $5 {Morozevich sacrifices the c-pawn.} Ng6 12. Bd6 bxc5 ( 12... Nxe4 $2 {is tempting but bad} 13. fxe4 Qxe4+ 14. Kf2 Qxh1 15. Bg2 $1 Qxd1 16. Rxd1 {and black rook on a8 is trapped.}) 13. a3 Bxc3+ 14. bxc3 a5 $1 { Preparing a4 or Ba6 at some point. Here both Morozevich and Topalov were still playing very quickly, suggesting that it is still their opening preparation.} 15. e5 Nd5 16. Bd3 f6 $1 {Necessary move. Morozevich's bishop on d6 is too strong, so Topalov tries to get rid of it by exchanging the e5 pawn.} 17. Bxg6+ hxg6 18. Qd3 Kf7 {The opening part of the game is over. We can conclude that Topalov was better prepared than Morozevich, since his position is slightly preferable. This calls into question whole 9.c5 idea.} 19. Nd2 { Good move.} (19. Nxc5 fxe5 20. Ne4 Ba6 {with strong initiative for Black.}) 19... c4 $1 {Topalov does not let Morozevich play c4, which would defend the a6-f1 diagonal and get rid of the knight from d5.} 20. Qd4 (20. Qxc4 Qxc4 21. Nxc4 Ba6 22. Nxa5 Rac8 {gives Black a big advantage in the endgame.}) 20... Qb6 $1 {Topalov transfers the game into an endgame that is very unpleasant for White.} 21. Qxb6 Nxb6 22. Rb1 Nd5 23. Ne4 g5 $1 {now Morozevich can never play h4 or f4.} 24. Kd2 Rh3 $1 25. Nf2 Rh5 26. Rb5 a4 {Topalov has a healthy extra pawn, but now he has to develop his passive bishop on c8. The following moves serve this idea.} 27. h3 Ba6 28. Rc5 Bb7 $1 29. Rb1 Bc6 30. Rxc4 $1 {Another strong move by Topalov. As we see, he sacrificed back the c4 pawn, but has developed his bishop to the ideal c6 square, from where the bishop defends the a4 pawn and as well exerts pressure on the long diagonal.} Ne7 $1 {Another strong move by Topalov.} 31. g4 Rhh8 32. Ke3 Ra5 $1 {forcing Morozevich to exchange the e5 pawn, which gives Topalov total domination in the center.} 33. exf6 Nd5+ 34. Kd2 gxf6 35. f4 gxf4 36. Bxf4 Rb5 $1 37. Rxb5 Bxb5 38. Rd4 Bc6 39. Bg3 e5 40. Rc4 Rb8 {Morozevich's pawn structure is very weakened, his bishop on g3 is very passive, and all the pieces are very uncoordinated. This translates into a strategically winning position for Topalov.} 41. Nd3 Rb3 42. g5 $2 {The final mistake by Morozevich.} (42. Bxe5 Rxa3 (42... fxe5 $1 43. Nxe5+ Ke6 44. Nxc6 dxc6 45. Rxc6+ Ke5 46. Rc5 Kd6 47. Ra5 Rxa3 48. g5 {gives White good drawing chances.}) 43. Bd4 Ra2+ 44. Kc1 Bb5 45. Rc5 Bxd3 46. Rxd5 Ke6 47. Ra5 a3 {White's position is bad, but still defendable.}) 42... e4 $1 43. Nf4 (43. Rxe4 Nxc3 44. Re3 Ne4+ 45. Kc1 Nxg5 {is hopeless for White.}) 43... Nxf4 44. Bxf4 Rxa3 45. Rc5 fxg5 46. Bxg5 Ra2+ 47. Ke3 a3 {Morozevich has no defense against Ra1 with the following a2.} 48. Bf4 Ra1 49. Rf5+ Ke6 50. Re5+ Kf6 51. Ra5 d5 52. Kd4 a2 53. Bd2 Bb5 54. Kxd5 Rd1 55. Kxe4 a1=Q {An excellent game by Topalov, showing amazing opening preparation and then perfect execution. After this win, Topalov is the sole leader in the tournament.} 0-1

Giorgi Margvelashvili is an International Grandmaster from Georgia, born on February 9, 1990. His his current FIDE rating is 2565. He has won various international competitions.

Some of Giorgi’s most notable achievements include winning U14 European Championship in 2004; second place at the Georgian Chess Championship in 2008; and winning U.S. Masters Championship in 2012.

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Information and pictures by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich and GM Robert Fontaine

Schedule and pairings

Round 01 – April 18 2013, 14:00h
Alexander Morozevich 2758
1-0
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Fabiano Caruana 2772
1-0
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Sergey Karjakin 2786
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Anish Giri 2727
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Round 02 – April 19 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
1-0
Gata Kamsky 2741
Veselin Topalov 2771
1-0
Peter Leko 2744
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
1-0
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Round 03 – April 20 2013, 14:00h
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Fabiano Caruana 2772
½-½
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Sergey Karjakin 2786
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Anish Giri 2727
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Gata Kamsky 2741
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Round 04 – April 21 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Round 05 – April 23 2013, 14:00h
Fabiano Caruana 2772
1-0
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Sergey Karjakin 2786
1-0
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Anish Giri 2727
0-1
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Gata Kamsky 2741
1-0
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Veselin Topalov 2771
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Round 06 – April 24 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
0-1
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Teimour Radjabov 2793
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2771
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
1-0
Gata Kamsky 2741
Alexander Morozevich 2758
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Fabiano Caruana 2772
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Round 07 – April 25 2013, 14:00h
Sergey Karjakin 2786
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Anish Giri 2727
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Peter Leko 2744
½-½
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Gata Kamsky 2741
1-0
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Veselin Topalov 2771
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Round 08 – April 26 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2709
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Ruslan Ponomariov
2733
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Alexander Morozevich
2758
0-1
Veselin Topalov 2771
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2766
½-½
Gata Kamsky 2741
Fabiano Caruana
2772
½-½
Peter Leko 2744
Sergey Karjakin
2786
½-½
Anish Giri 2727
Round 09 – April 28 2013, 14:00h
Anish Giri 2727
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Peter Leko 2744
-
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758
Teimour Radjabov 2793
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Round 10 – April 29 2013, 14:00h
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
-
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
Alexander Morozevich 2758
-
Teimour Radjabov 2793
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
-
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
Fabiano Caruana 2772
-
Veselin Topalov 2771
Sergey Karjakin 2786
-
Gata Kamsky 2741
Anish Giri 2727
-
Peter Leko 2744
Round 11 – April 30 2013, 12:00h
Peter Leko 2744
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2709
Gata Kamsky 2741
-
Anish Giri 2727
Veselin Topalov 2771
-
Sergey Karjakin 2786
Hikaru Nakamura 2767
-
Fabiano Caruana 2772
Teimour Radjabov 2793
-
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
Ruslan Ponomariov 2733
-
Alexander Morozevich 2758

The games start at 14:00h European time, 16:00h Moscow, 8 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here. The commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

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