Caruana Grabs Sole Lead in Baku GP Round 6

Caruana Grabs Sole Lead in Baku GP Round 6

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 8, 2014, 7:48 AM |
53 | Chess Event Coverage

Fabiano Caruana defeated Peter Svidler in round 6 of the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. With five rounds to go the Italian GM is topping the standings alone with 4.5/6. 

Boris Gelfand is trailing by half a point after drawing with Sergey Karjakin. In this round Rustam Kasimzdhanov beat Dmitry Andreikin and Teimour Radjabov won against Alexander Grischuk.

After a tremendous Sinquefield Cup and a best performance on board one at the European Club Cup, Fabiano Caruana is again doing well — very well.

Still undefeated since his loss against Carlsen at the Olympiad, on Wednesday the world number two moved to sole first place in Baku, and 11.7 rating points behind Magnus Carlsen in the live ratings

It's not going to be easy to actually close that gap this week in Baku, but don't forget that Caruana also plays the Tashkent Grand Prix which begins just five days after this one...

In round 6 Caruana won a complicated 3.f3 Grünfeld against Svidler, who played a correct piece sacrifice but then didn't follow up accurately. At the press conference it became clear that Caruana had calculated everything a bit better than his opponent.

“At the start it was a bit shaky but now I'm playing at least with less mistakes. But it's still a long way in the tournament,” said Caruana.

Caruana satisfied with his play (and probably his score too). | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

While times are good for Caruana, another player is playing well under his expected performance. Grischuk hasn't won yet, and lost his second game today as White against Radjabov. In a King's Indian-turned-Grünfeld-turned-Slav, he chose the wrong plan on move 19 and found himself in a typical middlegame position but “about five tempi down”, as he said himself.

Still a good sport, Grischuk said at the press conference: “I think Teimour played the whole game excellently.”

Not a great start for world #4 Grischuk. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

For the first time in the tournament three games ended decisively. Kasimdzhanov also scored the full point in a Philidor against Andreikin. He explained what happened in the opening: “The concept of keeping the bishop on c4 as long as possible paid off.” And indeed, that bishop could go to f1 from where it strengthened the king's position.

Andreikin's opening play lacked accuracy and as a result he had to play both ...a5 and ...c5, which is far from ideal. It was “just pretty sad for Black” according to Kasimdzhanov, who found a nice tactic and then survived a desperate attack on the other side.


A good win for Kasimdzhanov today. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Gelfand is now half a point behind Caruana after drawing an interesting Najdorf with Karjakin. The Israeli is still well on top of current opening theory; today he played a strong novelty about which Karjakin said: “I was hoping Boris didn't know this move.”

Gelfand thought he was a bit better in the resulting ending; Karjakin thought it was about equal and therefore he avoided a move repetition. On move 31 he had seen enough.


An interesting 6.h3 Najdorf in Karjakin vs Gelfand. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Dominguez and Mamedyarov drew a non-theoretical, Closed Ruy Lopez. Like yesterday, the Cuban missed an intermediate rook move (29.Qxd3? Rxf3! in the analysis) and this oversight allowed his opponent to equalize immediately.


Dominguez missed a similar tactic as yesterday but got away with a draw. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Not much can be said about Tomashevsky-Nakamura. Perhaps inspired by Radjabov-Caruana yesterday, the U.S. number one went for the solid Lasker Defence of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Tomashevsky's Qa3 move pinning the black c-pawn, which also appeared in the famous sixth match game of Fischer-Spassky in 1972, wasn't too dangerous this time and with accurate play Nakamura completely equalized the position.



2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Round 6 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Caruana,F 2844 2941 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.5/6
2 Gelfand,B 2748 2884 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.0/6
3 Radjabov,T 2726 2819 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 3.5/6 9.25
4 Nakamura,H 2764 2816 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5/6 9.00
5 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2791 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5/6 9.00
6 Tomashevsky,E 2701 2755 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 3.0/6 9.25
7 Karjakin,S 2767 2758 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 3.0/6 8.75
8 Svidler,P 2732 2754 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 3.0/6 8.00
9 Dominguez,L 2751 2684 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.5/6
10 Grischuk,A 2797 2625 0 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/6 5.75
11 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2642 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/6 4.75
12 Andreikin,D 2722 2550 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/6

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 15:00 AZST 02.10.14   Round 2 15:00 AZST 03.10.14
Dominguez ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Radjabov
Tomashevsky ½-½ Grischuk   Svidler 1-0 Mamedyarov
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Andreikin 0-1 Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Andreikin   Caruana ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura ½-½ Svidler   Grischuk ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Dominguez ½-½ Tomashevsky
Round 3 15:00 AZST 04.10.14   Round 4 15:00 AZST 05.10.14
Tomashevsky ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Svidler
Karjakin 1-0 Dominguez   Andreikin ½-½ Radjabov
Gelfand 1-0 Grischuk   Caruana 1-0 Mamedyarov
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Grischuk ½-½ Nakamura
Mamedyarov ½-½ Andreikin   Dominguez ½-½ Gelfand
Radjabov ½-½ Svidler   Tomashevsky ½-½ Karjakin
Round 5 15:00 AZST 07.10.14   Round 6 15:00 AZST 08.10.14
Karjakin ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov 1-0 Andreikin
Gelfand ½-½ Tomashevsky   Caruana 1-0 Svidler
Nakamura ½-½ Dominguez   Grischuk 0-1 Radjabov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Grischuk   Dominguez ½-½ Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Tomashevsky ½-½ Nakamura
Svidler ½-½ Andreikin   Karjakin ½-½ Gelfand
Round 7 15:00 AZST 09.10.14   Round 8 15:00 AZST 10.10.14
Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Caruana
Nakamura - Karjakin   Grischuk - Andreikin
Mamedyarov - Tomashevsky   Dominguez - Svidler
Radjabov - Dominguez   Tomashevsky - Radjabov
Svidler - Grischuk   Karjakin - Mamedyarov
Andreikin - Caruana   Gelfand - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 AZST 12.10.14   Round 10 15:00 AZST 13.10.14
Nakamura - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk
Mamedyarov - Gelfand   Dominguez - Caruana
Radjabov - Karjakin   Tomashevsky - Andreikin
Svidler - Tomashevsky   Karjakin - Svidler
Andreikin - Dominguez   Gelfand - Radjabov
Caruana - Grischuk   Nakamura - Mamedyarov
Round 11 13:00 AZST 14.10.14        
Mamedyarov - Kasimdzhanov        
Radjabov - Nakamura        
Svidler - Gelfand        
Andreikin - Karjakin        
Caruana - Tomashevsky        
Grischuk - Dominguez        

The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 12:00 in Amsterdam, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 03:00 in Los Angeles and 20:00 in Sydney. The last round starts two hours earlier. The tournament website provides live commentary by GMs Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko which can also be followed on Chess.com/TVThe winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png



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