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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Renova Chess Grand Prix 2013 R7: Ponomariov, Topalov in Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hi everyone, 

At the seventh round of the third stage Grand Prix in Zug only one game was decisive while all others finished in draws. Gata Kamsky defeated one of the leaders Alexander Morozevich. The central game of the round between two other leaders Veselin Topalov (White) and Ruslan Ponomariov (Black) finished peacefully after long and precise defence of White in a worse endgame. After 7 rounds Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov share the first place with 4, 5 points. Two Russian players Alexander Morozevich, Sergey Karjakin and Italian Fabiano Caruana are half a point behind. 

Kamsky – Morozevich 1-0
Gata Kamsky got the position with a small space advantage out of the opening but was not sure how to fight for more, as he estimated the position as equal. The help suddenly came from his opponent, who chose the wrong plan with 19…Nf6 – 20…Nh5. During the press-conference Alexander Morozevich pointed out that the game was completely lost for Black after Nf6. American player could have got advantage after an accurate 22.Bh4 but played Rae1 instead, allowing Black to protect h4 square by playing Qd8. However, Black continued making mistakes and Gata Kamsky, despite the fact he was in time trouble, found the exact way to win. 

Leko-Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov chose to play quite rare line in Ruy Lopez with 4...Nge7. Peter Leko was expecting Caro-Kann. He mentioned during the press-conference that his preparation started relatively late because he could not miss the football match Real-Borussia. Hungarian player tried to find the way to get an edge with White but it seems Shakhriyar had better preparation and was following his analyzes at least till the 15th move. Azeri player managed to equalize and after the nice blow Rf2 it was White who had to find the exact moves to make a draw. 

Giri – Caruana 1/2-1/2 Gruenfeld appeared in the game Giri-Caruana and Dutch player spent only 5 minutes for 30 moves! The players ended up in the sharp endgame and suddenly Anish Giri spent next 70 minutes on his 31st move. According to Giri, he was trying to find the disadvantages of the opponent’s move h6 and thought he had winning chances at the beginning, Afterwards he realized that there is no victory and it’s time to look for the exact way to make a draw. Black sacrificed a rook for two pass pawns and after 42 moves the opponents signed a peace. 

Topalov – Ponomariov 1/2-1/2
The longest game of the round was finished in a draw, so both players lost the chance to become the sole leader. In Nimzo-Indian Ruslan Ponomariov got better pawn structure after c4. Black increased his edge by choosing the correct plan with Nc7, a6, Nb5. Veselin Topalov decided to change the queens to fight for a draw in a worse endgame. Ponomariov managed to grab a pawn in the knights’ endgame but it was not enough to win a full point. 

Karjakin – Kasimdzhanov 1/2-1/2
Rustam Kasimdzhanov was ready for the Scotch as Karjakin had already played this opening few rounds earlier. Sergey chose to play quiet opening after yesterday’s game against Caruana. Former World Champion repeated the line from his game against Wang Hao (which he won in Tashkent) and was ready for the endgame which happened today. 28…Bc8 was a strong move which doesn’t leave illusions for White and few moves later the game finished in a draw. 

Nakamura – Radjabov 1/2-1/2
Teimur Radjabov got a comfortable position against Hikaru Nakamura in Chelyabinsk Variation. American player was hoping to get some play on the King’s side but didn’t manage to do it during the game. Both players played very solidly and after 54 moves only opposite color bishops were left on the board and the game was drawn.

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