Grand Prix: Caruana Beats Ivanchuk, Catches Gelfand in First Place
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As the only winner of the sixth round, Fabiano Caruana caught Boris Gelfand in first place at the Grand Prix in Élancourt (near Paris) on Saturday. The Italian grandmaster beat Vassily Ivanchuk with White in a Classical French, while Gelfand drew with Black against Laurent Fressinet in a 3.Bb5+ Sicilian. The other games also ended in draws and so Hikaru Nakamura is trailing the leaders by half a point.
It's not always the case, but in this Grand Prix leg the drawing percentage is quite high: 69.5% after six rounds. On Saturday there was only one decisive game: Fabiano Caruana beat Vassily Ivanchuk. The way that went was typical for the often emotional Chuky. In her report, Alina l'Ami explains what happened:
“Ivanchuk expressed his bewilderment in the press conference, saying he was calculating 16...f6 but than his "hands moved 16...Bd7"! He could not cope with the shock and quickly lost the game afterwards. (...) Vassily seemed to be excessively [emotional] and his resignation certainly looked premature. His opponent was visibly surprized, but Ivanchuk explained that he simply "could not stand his awful position"!”
“Luckily” for him the position was indeed lost.
And so Caruana is again a full point ahead of Alexander Grischuk, but this is only relevant for the final GP standings if the Italian actually manages to finish in sole first place.
Tail-ender Anish Giri boosted his confidence a bit with a solid draw with Black against Wang Hao, an opponent he had lost several times to before. In a 4...Bf5 Slav the Dutchman got a solid position where White's only trump was his bishop pair. Soon all minor pieces and the queens left the board, and the double rook ending was about equal. In fact, if anyone was better in the final position it was Giri.
Leinier Dominguez managed to surprise his opponent, Ruslan Ponomariov, by playing the Petroff. The former FIDE World Champion wasn't well prepared and played the opening more or less "out of book". As he said at the press conference, this didn't disturb him:
“Maybe it did not work out well today, but in practical play one can always hope to outplay his opponent, despite complete equality after the opening.”
White got some initiative on the kingside, but Black could easily parry the threats and then Ponomariov decided to force the draw.
Grischuk-Nakamura started as a Queen's Gambit Declined but quickly became a Closed Catalan. After the queens were traded Nakamura played very accurately and quickly got a slight advantage. At the press conference the players looked at the position after 17.Kxc4, as it's there where Black might have had an improvement. In the game, the position quickly became (very) equal.
Bacrot-Tomashevsky was an Anti-Marshall where Black's novelty 12...d5! equalized the position immediately. There's not much more to be said about this game; a lot of pieces were traded and it was only the anti-draw rule that prevented the players from shaking hands earlier.
Fressinet-Gelfand was also a very correct draw. At move 14 an interesting tactical sequence started, but with accurate play Gelfand held the balance.
Live video with press conferences
Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 CET||22.09.13||Round 2||15:00 CET||23.09.13|
|Round 3||15:00 CET||24.09.13||Round 4||15:00 CET||25.09.13|
|Round 5||15:00 CET||27.09.13||Round 6||15:00 CET||28.09.13|
|Round 7||15:00 CET||29.09.13||Round 8||15:00 CET||30.09.13|
|Round 9||15:00 CET||02.10.13||Round 10||15:00 CET||03.10.13|
|Round 11||14:00 CET||04.10.13|
Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Round 6 standings