Beijing GP: Grischuk & Mamedyarov Maintain Lead, Karjakin Loses Again
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Going into the second and last rest day, Alexander Grischuk and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov are still in shared first place at the FIDE Grand Prix in Beijing. Both players drew their games in round 8, against Anish Giri and Wang Yue respectively. Sergey Karjakin suffered his third straight loss, with White against Veselin Topalov. In the game between the 40-year-olds, Boris Gelfand defeated Vassily Ivanchuk.
These are tough times for Sergey Karjakin, who made such a strong impression during the first half of the tournament. The 23-year-old Russian grandmaster lost yet again, this time with the white pieces to Veselin Topalov. The game started as a Taimanov Sicilian where White played the English Attack, the main line against so many Sicilians these days. By putting his king's bishop on e7, Topalov managed to steer the game into a Scheveningen/Najdorf type of position where White's Qd2-f2 and Nc2-e3-g2 are less useful than e.g. h2-h4 and g4-g5. The ending that appeared on the board was slightly better for Black, but Karjakin might have kept things within the drawing zone until move 40, which was just a blunder. An excellent game by the Bulgarian, who has good chances now to finish either first or second in the overall Grand Prix standings (which qualify for the next Candidates tournament).
The only other decisive game was Boris Gelfand versus Vassily Ivanchuk, a Bayonet King's Indian with the old move 10.g3. (In the 1990s players like Vladimir Kramnik and Ivan Sokolov started to popularize 10.Re1 until it became the absolute main line.) The closed middlegame position required lots of piece maneuvering from both sides, and at some point the queens were traded. Just before the time control Gelfand missed the tactic 36. Nxe5! which would have decided the game immediately, but many hours later the Israeli grandmaster won anyway. In the final position 72...Nh7 73.Rh5 Rg7 74.Ke2 Ng5 75.Rh6 Nh3 was perhaps worth trying for Black.
Tournament leaders Alexander Grischuk and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov both drew their games with the black pieces. Grischuk played against Anish Giri, who started with 1.Nf3 but then transposed into a Sicilian, possibly in order to avoid the Berlin. It became a Classical Scheveningen where White's f4-f5 led to a massive series of exchanges.
Alexander Morozevich played the interesting and relatively new concept 4.c4!? in the 3.Bb5+ Sicilian. Wang Hao's moves looked healthy but 12...a5 weakened his queenside. The Russian GM demonstrated this with the surprising 14.Nc6!? and 15.Ne7!? and got some advantage, but the Chinese was never in serious danger.
Peter Leko and Gata Kamsky drew a Caro-Kann with 3...g6; a typical kind of opening for the American who likes solid, playable positions without too much theory. White seemed to be developing a dangerous initiative, but the queen trade 19...Qh4! and Kamsky's next few moves were very strong. Black's activity was just enough compensation for the pawn deficit.
Beijing GP 2013 | Scores
|Round 1||15:00 CST||04.07.13||Round 2||15:00 CST||05.07.13|
|Round 3||15:00 CST||06.07.13||Round 4||15:00 CST||07.07.13|
|Round 5||15:00 CST||09.07.13||Round 6||15:00 CST||10.07.13|
|Kamsky||0-1||Giri||Wang Yue||1-0||Wang Hao|
|Round 7||15:00 CST||11.07.13||Round 8||15:00 CST||12.07.13|
|Wang Hao||1-0||Giri||Morozevich||½-½||Wang Hao|
|Round 9||15:00 CST||14.07.13||Round 10||15:00 CST||15.07.13|
|Round 11||13:00 CST||16.07.13|
Beijing GP 2013 | Round 8 standings
The 5th Grand Prix takes place 4-16 July, 2013 in Beijing, China. The games start 15:00 CST (09:00 CET, 03:00 EDT); the final round starts two hours earlier. Tournament website: http://beijing2013.fide.com. Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE. Games via TWIC.