Radjabov grabs lead in Elista

PeterDoggers
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Elista Grand PrixRadjabov reacted well to a new idea tried by Kasimdzhanov in a razor sharp Sicilian Dragon, and won in 35 moves. Eljanov and Leko also won, but it's the Azeri grandmaster who leads the Elista Grand Prix with 2.5/3.

The 3rd Grand Prix takes place December 13-29 in Elista, Kalmykia. The 14 participants are Radjabov, Leko, Jakovenko, Wang Yue, Mamedyarov, Eljanov, Grischuk, Alekseev, Bacrot, Gashimov, Cheparinov, Akopian, Kasimdzhanov and Inarkiev. Rounds start daily at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET; 07:00 EST); rest days December 19 & 24; live games here.


Round 3

It was a brave act by Kasimdzhanov to try the Dragon against first seed Radjabov, who played the line with both colors this year. In tournament play Black's 16...Kh7!? hadn't been done before (16...e6) and it gave Radjabov a chance to show his "feel" for these positions with the excellent 19.Nf5+! (where 19...gxf5 fails to 20.Qxg5+ Ng6 21.exf5 +-). For Dragon fans: later Black should probably try 22...d5!? because already after the accurate 26.Qf2+! Black is in trouble. Impressive queen and bishop manoeuvring by Radjabov, who played the whole game Kasparov-style.

Update: I had missed the game Dominguez-RadjabovKasimdzhanov, Dresden Olympiad 2008, mentioned by Allan in the comments, where 16...Kh7 was tried for the first time. The real novelty was 22.Ne4 (the Cuban played 22.Nd5 and the game ended in a draw.)

Eljanov also won and for the Ukrainian it seemed to go uphill right from the opening with his novelty 12.Bxf6 (Rowson played 12.Bh4 against Drasko in Montpellier earlier this year). Alekseev's king was remarkably safe in the center, until White unleashed his Delroy, to use Rowson's terminology!

Leko recovered from yesterday's loss by beating Cheparinov in a difficult ending, where 44...Nc6 was probably Black's last mistake; 44...Kf5! was still OK because 45.b7 can be answered by 45...Nc6 46.Nc5 Re5! 47.Kc4 Na5+! and Black sacrifices his knight for the pawn, after which his active king and passer will force White to do the same.

As for the draws, Inarkiev-Akopian can be recommended for defence training purposes (kudos to an amazingly stubborn Akopian) and of course Mamedyarov-Bacrot, who went for the famous piece-for-three-pawns line in the Slav.

Results Round 3, December 16



Eljanov-Alekseev 1-0

Radjabov-Kasimdzhanov 1-0

Gashimov-Wang Yue ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Mamedyarov-Bacrot ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Jakovenko-Grischuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Leko-Cheparinov 1-0

Inarkiev-Akopian ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?



[TABLE=533]

Pairings round 4, December 17

Kasimdzhanov - Alekseev Wang Yue-Eljanov Akopian-Gashimov Grischuk-Inarkiev Cheparinov-Jakovenko Bacrot-Leko Radjabov-Mamedyarov



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