Paris Grand Prix Takes Off, Gelfand Starts With a Win
The sixth and last Grand Prix of the 2012-2013 series started on Sunday in Paris, France with five draws and a win for Boris Gelfand, who beat Anish Giri. The tournament is mostly about the big fight between Fabiano Caruana and Alexander Grischuk, who can still finish second in the overall GP by winning alone in Paris. Don't miss Jason Stoneking's video report below!
The Grand Prix in Paris is the last leg of the FIDE Grand Prix series 2012-2013 and takes place September 21st-October 5th at the Chapelle de la Villedieu, ten miles west of Versailles. FIDE had to find replacements for three players who withdrew from the tournament for personal reasons: Peter Svidler, Sergey Karjakin and Teimour Radjabov. They were replaced by Laurent Fressinet, Etienne Bacrot and Evgeny Tomashevsky.
These are all twelve players: Etienne Bacrot, Fabiano Caruana, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Laurent Fressinet, Boris Gelfand, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Vassily Ivanchuk, Hikaru Nakamura, Ruslan Ponomariov, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Wang Hao.
The players at the opening ceremony (Ivanchuk is missing here due to late arrival)
As press officer Alina l'Ami writes in her report, the five draws and one decisive game of the first round do not reflect the course of the games and the fighting spirit among the players. It looks like we'll be seeing another very interesting top tournament in the coming days!
Gelfand defeated Giri in a 4.e3 Slav where the Dutchman played an excellent game, including a positional exchange sacrifice. Then he started to drift a little and Gelfand got the advantage, but it looks like Black might still be able to hold it at move 34.
Against the Sicilian, 3.Bb5 systems remain popular at the highest level, perhaps especially when Najdorf players face their own opening! Leinier Dominguez and Ruslan Ponomariov got a typical Hedgehog position where Black had the bishop pair and an ideal setup of his pieces. 21...Kh8! and 23...Nc6! were very accurate and 28...b5! was the final touch to level the game completely.
In a Steinitz French, Wang Hao missed the thematic equalizer ...e6-e5! and then faced a strong attack full of sacrifices. But then Grischuk should have followed the rule of letting all your pieces join the party; the developing move 22.Rac1! was stronger than 22.Ng4 and at the press conference this looked rather dangerous (but Houdini still gives 0.00).
Nakamura vs Tomashevsky was a spectacular game that started as a Marshall Gambit (the one in the Slav, not the Ruy Lopez). Nakamura missed a chance to reach a promising ending. The official report mentions that the game was completely studied before, in one of the books written by Tomashevsky! During the game he only had to remember his analysis, which is always a challenging task, even for the most experienced players! After all, they do play everything...
Unfortunately it is not mentioned which book this is about. Tomashevsky's name as an author does not appear on this list by New in Chess or at Amazon, so perhaps it's something only available in Russian? In that case, perhaps Nakamura should follow Bobby Fischer's example and learn to read that language!
Ivanchuk-Dominguez reached a Queen's Indian from an original move-order (or was it a Colle?). The critical moment was reached on move 11 when a knight jump to e5 could have yielded White an advantage. Moving the queen's knight to g3 was easily met by g7-g6 and Black was fine.
The Mieses Variation of the Scotch is topical at the moment; Caruana and Bacrot continued their discussion and White deviated on move 14 from their game at the Thessaloniki GP. Black looks OK in the middlegame; the bishop on a1 wasn't doing much more than protecting the passed pawn on e5 that was easily blocked.
Jason Stoneking reports from Paris:
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 1 standings