Three Black Wins in First Round Beijing Grand Prix
The first day at the Beijing Grand Prix was a good day for Black, with three games ending in draws and three '0-1' results. Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) all won and took an early lead, but there are still ten more rounds to go.
The opening ceremony of the fifth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013 took place in the New Century Grand Hotel in Beijing. The players and guests were greeted by the President of Chinese Chess Assosiation Yang Junan and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
“The generous support by the leadership of the Administrative Center of Cards of Board Games, FIDE Vice President Mr. Chu Bo, the Chinese Chess Association and its President Mr. Yang Junan, have been key in bringing this event to its realization, to which I’m deeply grateful,” said Ilyumzhinov. Yang: “We think that holding the FIDE Grand Prix Series in China is not only about the trust of FIDE to the Chinese Chess Association, but also will promote the development of chess in China.”
After the speeches, FIDE Vice President Chu Bo announced the opening of the tournament. Deputy arbiter Anastasiya Sorokina then proceeded with the drawing of lots. She called up the players to come to the table and pick one of the Chinese classical figure sculptures which had the number inside.
The opening ceremony was also attended by FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, President of the European Chess Union Silvio Danailov, Director of FIDE Office in Moscow Berik Balgabaev, former World Champions Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua, and other distinguished guests.
The players list in Beijing is impressive with former FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov trying to repeat his performance in Zug, Switzerland earlier this year and clinching one of the two places in the overall GP standings - these two players will qualify for the forthcoming Candidates Tournament in 2014.
He will be challenged by several world class players. Boris Gelfand arrived shortly after his recent epic victory at the Tal Memorial and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had a very good month of June, winning the World Rapid Championship and the Geneva Masters.
And let's not forget the top ten players Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk, as well as former Candidates Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Leko.
The top Chinese player Wang Hao, who is placed fourth in the overall Grand Prix at the moment, will also play in Beijing. GM Teimour Radjabov withdrew for personal reasons and has been replaced by China's third player, Wang Yue. On the day of the opening ceremony, Radjabov made his "personal reasons" clear on Twitter, as his wife gave birth to a daughter!
The first round was played on the 4th of July, but it was not a happy day for the American participant, Gata Kamsky. He played a strong pawn sacrifice in the opening against Russian Alexander Grischuk and got a very promising position. Kamsky then couldn't deliver the final blow (which probably wasn't there) and even lost on time in an unclear position.
Beijing will be Veselin Topalov's last Grand Prix (every player needs to play four out of six), and he is defending his lead in the overall standings. So far so good for him, with a black win against Gelfand:
The third winner was Sergey Karjakin, who had to solve some problems early on as his opponent Anish Giri quickly brought a home-prepared variation on the board. White's energetic play looked quite dangerous, but the Russian grandmaster managed to avoid getting mated and then could just start running on the queenside.
In a Sicilian, Alexander Morozevich played the rare (well, at this level!) 2.f4 and, caught by surprise, Wang Yue answered with 2...d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 where 3...Nf6 is considered to be the best move. White then castled queenside and the position remained a bit strange with that d-pawn still on d2. Wang Yue held his own with his typical positional style of play.
Peter Leko vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was a very interesting draw that started as a 6.h3 Najdorf, that little pawn move once played by Bobby Fischer and these days one of the main lines of the Najdorf. Thanks to some sharp calculation Leko won material, but the Hungarian probably missed a way to cause more problems for his opponent in the BN-R ending.
The draw between Vassily Ivanchuk and Wang Hao was in fact the first game to finish in this round, and not too interesting.
Beijing GP 2013 | Scores
|Round 1||09:00 CET||04.07.13||Round 2||09:00 CET||05.07.13|
|Round 3||09:00 CET||06.07.13||Round 4||09:00 CET||07.07.13|
|Round 5||09:00 CET||09.07.13||Round 6||09:00 CET||10.07.13|
|Kamsky||-||Giri||Wang Yue||-||Wang Hao|
|Round 7||09:00 CET||11.07.13||Round 8||09:00 CET||12.07.13|
|Wang Hao||-||Giri||Morozevich||-||Wang Hao|
|Round 9||09:00 CET||14.07.13||Round 10||09:00 CET||15.07.13|
|Round 11||07:00 CET||16.07.13|
Beijing GP 2013 | Round 1 standings
The 5th Grand Prix takes place 4-16 July, 2013 in Beijing, China. The games start 15:00 CST (09:00 CET, 03:00 EDT); the final round starts two hours earlier. Tournament website: http://beijing2013.fide.com. Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE. Games via TWIC.