Leinier Dominguez Wins The 2013 Thessaloniki Grand Prix

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/3/13, 9:00 AM.


The Thessaloniki Grand Prix ended with a final round of high drama, as befitting a tournament which has brought so much excitement and so many hard-fought games for chess fans!

Leinier Dominguez pulled off the greatest tournament victory of his life by beating Veselin Topalov with a great display of endgame skill.  The Cuban #1 ended the tournament with an excellent 8/11 score. His only loss was to Gata Kamsky in the very first round!

Kamsky had led by half a point going undefeated into the final round, but the prospect of a tournament victory blew up in his face after a dramatic blunder with 35...Kh7?? against Fabiano Caruana.

US Champion Gata Kamsky's first loss of the event proved very costly...



...allowing Fabiano Caruana to catch him in the standings



Dominguez's victory against Topalov earned him first place!



Nakamura ended a poor tournament on a high by beating Svidler



A smile at last from Ivanchuk, presaging his first and only win of the event



Morozevich ended a disastrous sequence of four losses with a final round draw



Kasimdzhanov drew his final game with Grischuk




The Final Standings

Name Fed Elo Pts
Dominguez Perez, Leinier  CUB  2723 8
Kamsky, Gata  USA  2741
Caruana, Fabiano  ITA  2774
Grischuk, Alexander  RUS  2779 6
Ponomariov, Ruslan  UKR  2742 6
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam  UZB  2699
Nakamura, Hikaru  USA  2775 5
Topalov, Veselin  BUL  2793
Svidler, Peter  RUS  2769
Bacrot, Etienne  FRA  2725 4
Morozevich, Alexander  RUS  2760 4
Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2755


The winner Leinier Dominguez receives his trophy



The Grand Prix 2012/13 Standings

 Player London Tashkent  Zug  Thess. Pts
1  Veselin Topalov (BUL)  140 –  170 45 355
2  Fabiano Caruana (ITA)  –  80 100 125 305
3  Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE)  140 80 20 –  240
4  Alexander Morozevich (RUS)  –  140 75 25 240
5  Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR)  –  50 100 85 235
6  Leinier Domínguez (CUB)  35 20 –  170 225
7  Hikaru Nakamura (USA)  15 –  140 60 215
8  Wang Hao (CHN)  70 140 –  –  210
9  Gata Kamsky (USA) –  10 75 125 210
10  Sergey Karjakin (RUS)  –  140 50 –  190
11  Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB)  35 80 20 70 185
12  Peter Leko (HUN)  80 50 50 –  180
13  Alexander Grischuk (RUS)  90 –  –  85 175
14  Boris Gelfand (ISR)  140 30 –  –  170
15  Peter Svidler (RUS) –  50 –  45 95
16  Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)  55 –  –  10 65
17  Anish Giri (NED)  15 –  50 –  65
18  Michael Adams (ENG) 55 –  –  –  55
19  Étienne Bacrot (FRA) –  –  –  25 25
20  Teimour Radjabov (AZE) –  –  20 –  20


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.

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.

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. Games via TWIC. Grand Prix standings via Wikipedia.

13612 reads 44 comments
5 votes


  • 3 years ago


    That was a huge win. Congratz to our latin winner.

    if someone does not like him due to his nationality, oh well you have to be more civilized and learn that in this world opportunities are among everyones reach.

    We all have to be respectul no matter where you come from.

  • 3 years ago


    You need some luck too folks... especially at this level. Like a Kenyan marathoner once said "you can be in top form coming to the race, but the differences between the top runners are so subtle that you need to be lucky enough to maintain your peak form up to the race. Thats the difference between running 2:06 and running 2:10."

    Probably the same with the brain, maybe every so often the neurons are firing a little faster, just out of sheer biological cycles, and you need to be lucky enough for that to coincide with a tournament.

    Luck is important too. Also when your opponent blunders thats good luck to you too.

  • 3 years ago


    Yes,I'm with my friend Calafell,great win for the Cuban.

  • 3 years ago


    I wasnt expecting this outcome. I thought Kamsky had this, and nice game from Ivanchuk.

  • 3 years ago


    I'm tired of hearing about conspiracies, sorry if Kamsky loosened at the end, Leinier win this tournament.

  • 3 years ago


    Valentin,that was a very strong field,and anybody could win it,just Leinier took the best and hold to the end,and beating the strongest one !!!

  • 3 years ago


    Valentin, first of all caruana lost to lenier playing white and lenier beat most of their opponents not only topalov, even nakamura was really close of getting defeated by lenier. If you check the games played by lenier youll see that he just had a great tournament despite of what you may think.

    If any conspiracy then you should mention the easy way of nakamura losing against kamsky

    A bunch of words wasted and you forgot to congratulate the winner.

    Are you a sore loser?

  • 3 years ago


    It seems that Dominguez redeemed some good karma in this tournament.  He earned it in the 3rd round, when he accidentally won a lost position when his opponent Ivanchuk lost on time -- yet Dominguez insisted with the arbiters then that it was a three-fold repetition and hence a draw.  (If Ivanchuk had won his won position in that game, the two might have traded places in the final standings.)

    Another conspiracy theory is about the weak-looking rook endgame play by Topalov in the last round (though this is easy to say only when looking from aside) -- once all other crucial games had ended already.  One can suspect some non-chess-related calculating on Topalov's part, whereby he could lose his game on purpose in order to deprive both Caruana and Kamsky of 20-25 extra points (for sharing 1st place) in the overall Grand Prix standings, while only sacrificing 10 points of his own and donating a bunch to Dominguez (who, however, is out of contention considering his weak previous results in the Grand Prix).  This is a plausible strategy, since both Caruana and Kamsky have been strongly improving their results in Grand Prix lately, and both could potentially overcome Topalov if he doesn't do well in his final Grand Prix tournament while at the same time they score strongly there.

    I don't think Topalov will admit this even if it's true, but it's hard to negate the possibility of this type of pre-emptive thinking on his part.  I wouldn't call it exactly 'ethical' (though it's legal).  Then again, my own suspicion of this type of "arrangement" without strong grounds isn't quite 'ethical' either (though it's legal)...

  • 3 years ago



           Correction: Frank Marshall was born in New York City, just for the record.......

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    Ivanchuk is a conspiracy king!!!!!!!!  still can't win a tournament??????

    but winning last game wow!!!!!!! mystery continuous////////////

  • 3 years ago


    @maturner you want a trophy or something?  I'm pretty sure I saw you post something similar earlier.  It's not that hard to make that prediction.  And fatigue isn't the only reason for this.  Nakamura had gotten away with slow starts in Zug and Norway, but this time he paid the price.  Topalov didn't win a single game in Norway, difficult to expect him to suddenly turn things around.

  • 3 years ago


    I predicted that Topalov, Svidler and Nakamura would finish in the bottom half at Thessaloniki and my prediction was correct. They only had about two days rest after the Norway tournament. No way they could have had the energy to get a good result. Tournament chess just takes too much out of a player.

  • 3 years ago


    @chessdogblack and your apparent hatred of America (yet you wrap the flag around you) is symptomatic of Ameri-phobia. I guess you are a first generation fleeing the ravages of a backward 3rd world dictatorship yet you bite the hand that feeds you.

    Apart from Native Americans, all Americans are immigrants or forced immigrants (slavery). Gata Kamsky chose America over backward Russia (I can say this with authority because I am half Russian) because the greatest country in the world is better than the coal fired cabins of Moscow... even a grandmaster prefers civilization to Soviet bread rations.

    As far as fischer goes, his dead beat dad was a Hungarian Jew. Steve Jobs dad was a Syrian. Obama's dad was Kenyan. All these men were raised by American single mothers when their "foreign fathers" took flight... maybe we should be celebrating the American woman. I am sure Kamsky's mother is half American too.

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura speaks with one of the thickest American accents I have ever heard, that makes him pretty damn American to me. 

  • 3 years ago


    Actually, Nakamura was born with American citizenship due to his mother being an American citizen.  I agree with your point, though.

  • 3 years ago


    America is a land of immigrants, so I have to disagree a bit with chessdogblack.

    He wrote, "Something is totally wrong with American chess educational understanding, when ever America has to import foreign chess players to win the WCC. Not since Bobby "the chess machine" Fischer has America had a natural citizen win the WCC. Other countries don't do this. Made in America used to be the heart of American pride: not any more..."


    Nakamura was born in Japan, Shmulik Reshevsky was an immigrant, Yasser Seirawan is dual-citizenship I think, Browne was dual-citizenship, Frank Marshall was born in Canada, etc. This is not unusual for America.


    However, chess education has been weak and the 'chess culture' was improved a lot by the immigrants of the 1980s and after. I have had chances to play some of them and I met Grigory Kaidanov the first year he came here and won the World Open. They're definitely benefiting American chess.

  • 3 years ago


    Great for Leinier!!! Reached the highest score with 8 points (2012-2013).

  • 3 years ago


    Despite finishing second last, Moro wins the prize for best hairstyle. Not a bad way to finish.

  • 3 years ago


    what i said. The Cuban play very well. well done. Congratulations!!!Laughing

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