Thessaloniki Grand Prix Round 2

Thessaloniki Grand Prix Round 2

SonofPearl
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In terms of results, the second round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece, was a carbon-copy of the first; 3 decisive games, all won by players with the white pieces.

Peter Svidler had crushed Etienne Bacrot on the opening day in just 27 moves, but he lost even more quickly against his compatriot Alexander Morozevich today. Svidler's ill-advised sortie with 16...e4, 17...Rh6 and 18...Nh4 backfired spectacularly and he resigned after Morozevich promoted a pawn to a queen on move 22.

Fabiano Caruana sacrificed the exchange for a pawn against Vassily Ivanchuk in a Ruy Lopez, eventually winning another pawn to establish connected passed pawns on the a- and b-files.  Once the passed pawns rolled up the board, the young Italian GM secured a fine victory.

In the last game to finish, Alexander Grischuk gradually wore down Hikaru Nakamura's stubborn defence in a long bishop endgame.  The American conceded his second tournament loss after fighting in vain for 121 moves.

Alexander Morozevich scored a quick kill against Peter Svidler in round two

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Fabiano Caruana defeated Vassily Ivanchuk

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Alexander Grischuk finally overcame Hikaru Nakamura's resistance after 121 moves

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It's a bad start for Hikaru Nakamura, losing his first two games

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Veselin Topalov survived in an inferior endgame against Gata Kamsky

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Leinier Perez Dominguez and Ruslan Ponomariov drew after just 19 moves

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Etienne Bacrot recovered from his first round drubbing to draw with Rustam Kasimdzhanov

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The standings after 2 rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Kamsky, Gata  USA  2741
Caruana, Fabiano  ITA  2774
Morozevich, Alexander  RUS  2760
Grischuk, Alexander  RUS  2779
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam  UZB  2699
Topalov, Veselin  BUL  2793 1
Svidler, Peter  RUS  2769 1
Ponomariov, Ruslan  UKR  2742 1
Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2755 ½ 
Bacrot, Etienne  FRA  2725 ½
Dominguez Perez, Leinier  CUB  2723 ½
Nakamura, Hikaru  USA  2775 0

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The schedule for the 2013 Thessaloniki Grand Prix

21st May 2013 Arrival & Opening Ceremony
22nd May 2013 Round 1 
23rd May 2013 Round 2 
24th May 2013 Round 3 
25th May 2013 Round 4 
26th May 2013 Free Day 
27th May 2013 Round 5 
28th May 2013 Round 6 
29th May 2013 Round 7 
30th May 2013 Round 8 
31st May 2013 Free Day 
1st June 2013 Round 9 
2nd June 2013  Round 10 
3rd June 2013  Round 11 & Closing Ceremony
4th June 2013  Departure 

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The fourth Grand Prix of the 2012/13 series runs from 21 May - 4 June in Thessaloniki, Greece. The full pairings are available here.

The overall winner and runner-up of the 2012/13 Grand Prix series will qualify for the next Candidates Tournament, expected to be held in March 2014. The first three events were held in London, Tashkent and Zug. The current standings are shown here.

Each tournament is a single round-robin featuring 12 out of the 18 players in the Grand Prix, and each player competes in four of the six events. The best 3 scores of each player count towards their overall score. The official regulations for the 2012/13 FIDE Grand Prix can be found here.

All rounds start at 14:00 local time (11:00 UTC) except the final round which starts 2 hours earlier. The time control used is 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 20 moves in 1 hour, then 15 minutes plus a 30 second increment after move 60.

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich at the official website, which has live games, analysis and video.

Games via TWIC.

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