Grand Prix: Ivanchuk Joins Gelfand in the Lead

Grand Prix: Ivanchuk Joins Gelfand in the Lead

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Leinier Dominguez and Vassily Ivanchuk won their games in the fourth round of the Grand Prix in Élancourt (near Paris). Dominguez beat Anish Giri in a rook ending that started as a Bc5 Ruy Lopez. In a Queen's Indian against Laurent Fressinet, Ivanchuk was lucky to survive what was probably a lost position around move 30, and even won in the end. This way the Ukrainian joined Boris Gelfand in the lead. The other games, including the big clash between Grischuk and Caruana, ended in draws. Thursday is a rest day in Élancourt.

***Update: here's Jason Stoneking's video from Paris!***

Most people believe in the advantage of the first move, and the data of millions of chess games show that White simply scores slightly better. Still, the fact that it took four rounds to have a black win in Élancourt didn't mean much. However, even that black win should have been a white win...

Fressinet was well on his way to score his second win in the tournament, as his aggressive middlegame play worked out well. Ivanchuk was basically outplayed, and the players agreed that 30.Qe2! would have been close to winning. In the endgame White was also slightly better, but a series of small mistakes even led to a loss for the Frenchman.

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Laurent Fressinet was close to a win | Photo © Leslie McAllister

The big game of the round was of course the clash between Grischuk and Caruana as each of them can still qualify for the 2014 Candidates by winning this last GP alone. The game didn't disappoint; in a reversed King's Indian Attack Grischuk played a promising pawn sac and quickly reached a better ending. The Russian GM then gave two pieces for a rook, because he saw he would end up with two extra pawns. At the press concerence it was established that either 39.g4 or 39.g3 would have resulted in a technically winning position for White; in the game Caruana escaped with a draw.

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Leinier Dominguez beat Anish Giri in a bit of a strange game. The Dutchman followed his preparation and played the first twenty moves without thinking, but then he must have mixed up the move order or something like that, because instead of 21...Rxe3 his 21...Rb6? could be answered by 22.Rf3! and White suddenly remained a pawn up. 

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Anish Giri: mixing up moves | Photo © Leslie McAllister

Wang Hao played the Réti against Nakamura and an interesting structure came on the board when White took on e4 with the d-pawn. Play became quite concrete when the Chinese GM sacrificed a pawn, but Black was fine after the accurate 21...a5!.

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Ponomariov-Tomashevsky was a Stonewall Dutch where the Russian was a solid as always. Each time a top player handles it like this and gets a relatively easy draw, one wonders why this opening isn't more popular.

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Bacrot decided to test Gelfand in "World Championship territory": the 3.Bb5 Sicilian that appeared several times between Anand and Gelfand last year in Moscow. The Frenchman deviated from one of these games on move 14 but his different setup of pieces didn't make much difference and the Israeli GM easily equalized.

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Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings

Round 1 15:00 CET 22.09.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 23.09.13
Fressinet ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Giri
Grischuk ½-½ Wang Hao   Tomashevsky ½-½ Gelfand
Caruana ½-½ Bacrot   Dominguez ½-½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk ½-½ Dominguez   Bacrot ½-½ Ivanchuk
Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky   Wang Hao ½-½ Caruana
Gelfand 1-0 Giri   Fressinet 1-0 Grischuk
Round 3 15:00 CET 24.09.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 25.09.13
Grischuk ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Tomashevsky
Caruana 1-0 Fressinet   Dominguez 1-0 Giri
Ivanchuk 1-0 Wang Hao   Bacrot ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Wang Hao ½-½ Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Dominguez   Fressinet 0-1 Ivanchuk
Giri ½-½ Tomashevsky   Grischuk ½-½ Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 27.09.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 28.09.13
Caruana - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Dominguez
Ivanchuk - Grischuk   Bacrot - Tomashevsky
Nakamura - Fressinet   Wang Hao - Giri
Gelfand - Wang Hao   Fressinet - Gelfand
Giri - Bacrot   Grischuk - Nakamura
Tomashevsky - Dominguez   Caruana - Ivanchuk
Round 7 15:00 CET 29.09.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 30.09.13
Ivanchuk - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Bacrot
Nakamura - Caruana   Wang Hao - Dominguez
Gelfand - Grischuk   Fressinet - Tomashevsky
Giri - Fressinet   Grischuk - Giri
Tomashevsky - Wang Hao   Caruana - Gelfand
Dominguez - Bacrot   Ivanchuk - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 CET 02.10.13   Round 10 15:00 CET 03.10.13
Nakamura - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Wang Hao
Gelfand - Ivanchuk   Fressinet - Bacrot
Giri - Caruana   Grischuk - Dominguez
Tomashevsky - Grischuk   Caruana - Tomashevsky
Dominguez - Fressinet   Ivanchuk - Giri
Bacrot - Wang Hao   Nakamura - Gelfand
Round 11 14:00 CET 04.10.13        
Gelfand - Ponomariov        
Giri - Nakamura        
Tomashevsky - Ivanchuk        
Dominguez - Caruana        
Bacrot - Grischuk        
Wang Hao - Fressinet        

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Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Round 4 standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Score SB
1 Gelfand,Boris 2764 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 3.0/4 4.75
2 Ivanchuk,Vassily 2731 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/4 4.75
3 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ 2.5/4 4.25
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2779 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 3.75
5 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2703 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.25
6 Dominguez Perez,Leinier 2757 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.0/4 3.75
7 Ponomariov,Ruslan 2756 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.00
8 Bacrot,Etienne 2723 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 4.25
9 Wang,Hao 2736 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.5/4 3.25
10 Grischuk,Alexander 2785 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1.5/4 3.00
11 Fressinet,Laurent 2708 0 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 2.50
12 Giri,Anish 2737 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4

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This report was cross-posted from ChessVibes with permission. Photos by Alina l'Ami courtesy of FIDE unless specified otherwise. You can follow the games live here.

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