Reports | July 04, 2013 17:19

Beijing GP: Grischuk, Karjakin, Topalov win in first round

Beijing GP: Grischuk, Karjakin, Topalov win in first round

Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin and Veselin Topalov all won their games with black in the first round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Beijing, China. Grischuk beat Kamsky in a Rossolimo Sicilian that ended in a time scrable. Giri had prepared a deep line in the Berlin Ending, but Karjakin played well and refuted his opponent's material sacrifices. Veselin Topalov won against Boris Gelfand in a Grünfeld where Black's passed pawn proved more dangerous than White's.

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE

It's fair to say that the first round of the Beijing Grand Prix started with a bang, with five great fights, three wins for Black, one terrible time scramble and just one dull draw! In a Queen's Gambit Accepted (by transposition), Vassily Ivanchuk got absolutely nothing with White and drew in 28 moves with the highest rated of the two Chinese participants, Wang Hao.

PGN string

Gata Kamsky sacrificed a pawn in the opening (a Rossolimo Sicilian with an early c2-c4) and seemed to be dominating the game completely. Around move 25, Alexander Grischuk could hardly move anything and he was probably happy with a draw there. As they were getting closer to move 40, both players were getting short of time, Kamsky went for a sharp winning attempt, Grischuk missed a one-move win and then Kamsky apparently lost on time in a position he doesn't need to lose. Drama!

PGN string

The game Boris Gelfand versus Veselin Topalov was the top game of the round, as it was the winner of the Tal Memorial against the leader of the Grand Prix! The Bulgarian played the Grünfeld, the Israeli played the Russian System, and then Topalov chose the line Garry Kasparov played a lot: 7...Na6. The early ...g5 and ...h6 was relatively new, and didn't equalize completely, until Gelfand went for the wrong pawn. Black's passed pawn on c3 became more dangerous than Jonathan Rowson's "Delroy" on d6 and just before the time control things got out of control for White.

PGN string

After he recently finished school, and turned 19 on June 28th, Anish Giri tweeted:

In his first round game against Sergey Karjakin, the Dutchman immediately showed that he came to Beijing well prepared. He played 1.e4, went for one of the absolute main lines of the Berlin Ending, came up with a novelty and continued playing fast. However, perhaps not all of his pawn sacrifices were correct, because Black managed to untangle and then ended up with a winning position.

PGN string

Alexander Morozevich always adds some extra flavour to a tournament. In the first round it was his opening choice: 2.f4 in the Sicilian. As Wang Yue refrained from the critical 3...Nf6, White got a slight edge. The Chinese continued to prefer solid moves over active ones, and even sacrificed a pawn to enforce a position with opposite-coloured bishops. Not too ambitious play from the last seed, but hey, every draw he gets is a moral victory.

PGN string

The draw between Peter Leko and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was one of the most fascinating games of the round. In a 6.h3 Najdorf the position exploded at move 18 with Black's positionally justified but tactically risky pawn push. Leko's funny manner of exchanging queens had a deep idea behind it, and the Hungarian won two pieces for a rook. It might have been winning for White somewhere, but it was never very clear and Mamedyarov managed to create enough counterplay.

PGN string

Grand Prix Beijing 2013 | Pairings & results

Round 1 09:00 CET 04.07.13   Round 2 09:00 CET 05.07.13
Giri 0-1 Karjakin   Karjakin - Wang Hao
Morozevich ½-½ Wang Yue   Grischuk - Ivanchuk
Gelfand 0-1 Topalov   Mamedyarov - Kamsky
Leko ½-½ Mamedyarov   Topalov - Leko
Kamsky 0-1 Grischuk   Wang Yue - Gelfand
Ivanchuk ½-½ Wang Hao   Giri - Morozevich
Round 3 09:00 CET 06.07.13   Round 4 09:00 CET 07.07.13
Morozevich - Karjakin   Karjakin - Grischuk
Gelfand - Giri   Mamedyarov - Wang Hao
Leko - Wang Yue   Topalov - Ivanchuk
Kamsky - Topalov   Wang Yue - Kamsky
Ivanchuk  - Mamedyarov   Giri - Leko
Wang Hao - Grischuk   Morozevich - Gelfand
Round 5 09:00 CET 09.07.13   Round 6 09:00 CET 10.07.13
Gelfand - Karjakin   Karjakin - Mamedyarov
Leko - Morozevich   Topalov - Grischuk
Kamsky - Giri   Wang Yue - Wang Hao
Ivanchuk - Wang Yue   Giri - Ivanchuk
Wang Hao - Topalov   Morozevich - Kamsky
Grischuk - Mamedyarov   Gelfand - Leko
Round 7 09:00 CET 11.07.13   Round 8 09:00 CET 12.07.13
Leko - Karjakin   Karjakin - Topalov
Kamsky - Gelfand   Wang Yue - Mamedyarov
Ivanchuk - Morozevich   Giri - Grischuk
Wang Hao - Giri   Morozevich - Wang Hao
Grischuk - Wang Yue   Gelfand - Ivanchuk
Mamedyarov - Topalov   Leko - Kamsky
Round 9 09:00 CET 14.07.13   Round 10 09:00 CET 15.07.13
Kamsky - Karjakin   Karjakin - Wang Yue
Ivanchuk - Leko   Giri - Topalov
Wang Hao - Gelfand   Morozevich - Mamedyarov
Grischuk - Morozevich   Gelfand - Grischuk
Mamedyarov - Giri   Leko - Wang Hao
Topalov - Wang Yue   Kamsky - Ivanchuk
Round 11 07:00 CET 16.07.13        
Ivanchuk - Karjakin        
Wang Hao - Kamsky        
Grischuk - Leko        
Mamedyarov - Gelfand        
Topalov - Morozevich        
Wang Yue - Giri        

Grand Prix Beijing 2013 | Round 1 standings


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anonymous's picture

fireworks on the 4 of July :)

Anonymous's picture

Black is OK!

Excalibur's picture

What a game from Topalov!

Anonymous's picture

You forgot to mention Leko's game.

MamedyarovFan's picture

It was a fine report (as usual) ... notwithstanding Peter omitting to give his impressions of the exciting game between GM Leko and somebody's hero ;-)

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks guys, now added.

MamedyarovFan's picture

Highly instructive analysis. Thanks!

Anonymous's picture

Ivanchuk part of a dull draw, Grischuk 'winning' on time.. There's something wrong with the world today.

RG13's picture

I think Ivanchuk playing solidly and only going for the win when it is reasonable to do so will help him recover a lot of rating points.

Texas movers's picture

Woah! I'm really enjoying the template/theme of
this blog. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance"
between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say that you've
done a awesome job with this. Additionally, the blog
loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer.
Exceptional Blog!

Robbie's picture

Good choice of players for this tournament but, wait a moment, where is Kramnik? every tournament needs a punching bag Lol No seriously good start.

Morley's picture

C'mon Kamsky and Boris. Take over the top 10! Anyways, nice start. Lack of an increment before move 60 is going to be the downfall of quite a few players, as usual.

Sergio Henrique Riedel's picture

Topalov is practically qualified for the candidates tournament.

Thomas Oliver's picture

In an otherwise fine report, I think the remarks about Wang Yue are unwarranted, at least "Not too ambitious play from the last seed, but hey, every draw he gets is a moral victory."
For two reasons:
- He may not be the only one deciding to "play it safe" after being dragged into unfamiliar territory and structures. At least, avoiding 3.-Nf6 might have been to avoid Morozevich's preparation, even if Wang Yue was familiar with that line (does a strong GM "have to" know every sideline he might face in one game out of hundred?).
- He may not consider himself the Elo underdog, but rather remember the "old days" when he was a world-top player himself (peak rating 2756 in November 2010, world #10 for one list). Even then his play was solid, not winning very often against the world top but also hardly losing - how long was his record streak of unbeaten games?

Freddie's picture


hansen's picture

yes, the comments about Wang Yue seemed a bit strange to me. drawing vs guys within 50 points considered a 'moral victory'?

Merlinovich's picture

In fact Kamsky had a draw, after 38...Rc8? white had the diabolical shot 39.Qd3!! since 39...Qxd3 40.Rxc8+ Nf8 41.Bxd3 or 39...Qa7 40.Qxh7+ Kf8 41.Qh8+ Ke7 42.Qxc8 or are curtains, black must give up the queen with 39...Rxc5 40.Qxa6 Rxc2+ 41.Ke1 Rc4 and Houdini holds this is equal, but surely only black can lose this for instance after 42.Qb5 intending Qb8+ or Qe8+

Latest articles