Reports | September 22, 2012 23:49

London GP R2: Leko beats Ivanchuk, Nakamura bounces back

London GP R2: Leko beats Ivanchuk, Nakamura bounces back

In the second round of the FIDE Grand Prix in London Peter Leko caught Boris Gelfand in first place. The Hungarian grandmaster outplayed Vassily Ivanchuk in a French Defence. Hikaru Nakamura bounced back from yesterday's loss by winning his black game, a King's Indian, against Rustam Kazimdzhanov, who collapsed at the end and blundered a mate in two.

Peter Leko beats Vassily Ivanchuk in round 2 | All photos © Ray Morris-Hill

Event Grand Prix | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 20-October 4, 2012
Location London, UK
System 12-player round robin
Players Hikaru Nakamura, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov, Peter Svidler, Wang Hao, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Anish Giri, Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Rate of play

120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards

Extra Players will not be allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents; players will continue to play if the arbiter does not authorise the draw

Video impressions rounds 1-2

On a beautiful sunny Saturday the players might have been slightly reluctant to play a game of chess inside, but it's their job, isn't it? Well, not for anyone yet. Anish Giri (Netherlands) still needs to decide what he'll do after he finishes his last year at school, but meanwhile he's playing lots of chess. The youngest participant in London, Giri was the first to enter the playing hall, together with his friend and second GM Robin van Kampen. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) likes to arrive about five minutes before the game and then sits down at one of the seats that were originally intended for spectators.

Just before the start of the round he goes to his board and shakes hands with his opponent. In the second round this was Peter Leko, the Hungarian grandmaster who played a match for the World Championship against Vladimir Kramnik in 2004. Although he needed a lot of time himself to find normal moves, Leko never gave his opponent a chance to equalize.

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Giri and Wang Hao drew a rather uneventful game that started as a Schlechter System. The Dutchman admitted afterwards that he's always had difficulties getting an advantage against that opening. 

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Gelfand and Topalov also drew relatively quickly. The Bulgarian repeated a line in which he had lost quickly at the Olympiad, but he had done his homework. He was slightly worse throughout the game, but managed to hold it.

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Adams-Mamedyarov was another draw, but this game shouldn't be missed. It was full of fantastic ideas! 

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Grischuk and Dominguez reached a position from the 5.e3 Grünfeld that also resembled the Panov Caro-Kann, via the moves 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5. White's pawn sacrifice was theoretical, and his compensation clearly enough. With accurate play Dominguez avoided bigger trouble and at move 74 all that was left on the board were bare kings!

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Arguably the most fascinating game was the following, between Kasimdzhanov and Nakamura. The final phase was a great fight between Black's knights against White's bishops. Norwegian GM Jon-Ludvig Hammer tweeted:

Stunned by @GMHikaru's game yesterday. He took tremendous risks, but managed to come out on top. Impressive psyche. 

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Video by Macauley Peterson

Schedule & pairings

Round 1 15:00 CET 21.09.12   Round 2 15:00 CET 22.09.12
Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Leko   Leko 1-0 Ivanchuk
Nakamura 0-1 Gelfand   Adams ½-½ Mamedyarov
Topalov ½-½ Grischuk   Giri ½-½ Wang Hao
Dominguez ½-½ Giri   Grischuk ½-½ Dominguez
Wang Hao ½-½ Adams   Gelfand ½-½ Topalov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Ivanchuk   Kasimdzhanov 0-1 Nakamura
Round 3 15:00 CET 23.09.12   Round 4 15:00 CET 24.09.12
Nakamura - Leko   Leko - Adams
Topalov - Kasimdzhanov   Giri - Ivanchuk
Dominguez - Gelfand   Grischuk - Mamedyarov
Wang Hao - Grischuk   Gelfand - Wang Hao
Mamedyarov - Giri   Kasimdzhanov - Dominguez
Ivanchuk - Adams   Nakamura - Topalov
Round 5 15:00 CET 25.09.12   Round 6 15:00 CET 27.09.12
Topalov - Leko   Leko - Giri
Dominguez - Nakamura   Grischuk - Adams
Wang Hao - Kasimdzhanov   Gelfand - Ivanchuk
Mamedyarov - Gelfand   Kasimdzhanov - Mamedyarov
Ivanchuk - Grischuk   Nakamura - Wang Hao
Adams - Giri   Topalov - Dominguez
Round 7 15:00 CET 28.09.12   Round 8 15:00 CET 29.09.12
Dominguez - Leko   Leko - Grischuk
Wang Hao - Topalov   Gelfand - Giri
Mamedyarov - Nakamura   Kasimdzhanov - Adams
Ivanchuk - Kasimdzhanov   Nakamura - Ivanchuk
Adams - Gelfand   Topalov - Mamedyarov
Giri - Grischuk   Dominguez - Wang Hao
Round 9 15:00 CET 01.10.12   Round 10 15:00 CET 02.10.12
Wang Hao - Leko   Leko - Gelfand
Mamedyarov - Dominguez   Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk
Ivanchuk - Topalov   Nakamura - Giri
Adams - Nakamura   Topalov - Adams
Giri - Kasimdzhanov   Dominguez - Ivanchuk
Grischuk - Gelfand   Wang Hao - Mamedyarov
Round 11 12:00 CET 03.10.12        
Mamedyarov - Leko        
Ivanchuk - Wang Hao        
Adams - Dominguez        
Giri - Topalov        
Grischuk - Nakamura        
Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov        

London GP 2012 | Round 2 standings

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Wonderful comeback for Nakamura. Very well played, and then he showed the professional patience to wait for a blunder in time trouble!

Thomas's picture

What would be unprofessional or amateurish impatience? Not waiting for a blunder by the opponent, but being the first one to blunder??!

Anonymous's picture

Interestingly, in the video Kasim said that white was playing for a win with draw options here and black already had to mate him, if not agreeing to a draw. I liked how black did not get nervous about the advancing a pawn, but patiently kept his own attacking options including back rank complications which can eventually lead to a winning position if white is imprecise.

redivivo's picture

Nakamura has certainly been involved in the most interesting games of the first rounds, I wonder if that trend will continue.

Thomas's picture

Peter Doggers is less confident, calling Kasimdzhanov-Nakamura "arguably [rather than 'certainly'] the most fascinating game". I would say "fair enough" as it remains a matter of taste. In round 2, Adams-Mamedyarov had fascinating (but slightly incorrect) tactical motives. And Leko's 'effortless' and 'sudden' win against Ivanchuk may well be interesting in its own way. In round 1, there was the fascinating draw between Topalov and Grischuk, well-played by both players.

So it comes down to whether decisive games are more interesting, and if a certain player (or a certain opening, KID) is considered a priori more interesting, while another player (Leko) is "always" boring??!

redivivo's picture

I thought Leko's game was rather dry, with Ivanchuk suddenly blitzing out lots of weak moves in an equal position instead of just sealing the draw with 29. ...Kf7 followed by g4 g5. Adams-Mamedyarov was more fun with the rook sacrifice but petered out in the end, I'm guessing Mamedyarov might try something wild against Giri today and play the game of the day.

Thomas's picture

Yep, one can call Leko's game "dry". So what? Some people also like dry red wine :) [granted, that's a spurious analogy].
But as to "he only won because the opponent was blitzing out weak moves", that also applies to Kasimdzhanov-Nakamura (and, maybe without 'blitzing', to many other decisive games).

If Carlsen had won "Leko's way" against Ivanchuk or anyone else, would you also dismiss it as a dry game? Or would you call it a masterpiece??

redivivo's picture

As GM Ramirez writes the Leko game was an equal endgame, and nothing happening until Ivanchuk blundered it away. The Nakamura game was exciting throughout, with wild positions, and difficult decisions. Not surprising that it ended like it did, and I personally find such games more interesting than Leko-Ivanchuk regardless who is playing white.

Thomas's picture

If you quote a GM (or anyone) you should do so accurately: Ramirez wrote "Leko shows Hungarian precision and positional mastery ... After Ivanchuk _seemingly_ (!!) transposes into an equal endgame, he commits a series of imprecisions that allow Leko to put on pressure. A blunder soon follows, the Hungarian pounces, and it is all over." So Ramirez does show considerable admiration for Leko's play! And it has elements of what Gelfand showed against Nakamura, and what Carlsen often showed in "seemingly equal" endgames.
But, going back to the start of this discussion, I merely questioned your "certainly" preferring Peter Doggers' "arguably". You are entitled to your opinion (that a wild KID is more interesting than a French trench warfare) - but 'certainly' suggests or claims that this is obvious and universally accepted ... .

You were right in predicting a crushing win of Mamedyarov against Giri - but how many of Giri's (20) moves were weak??

TMM's picture

ChessVibes headline: "London GP R2: Leko beats Ivanchuk, Nakamura bounces back". ChessBase headline: "London Rd2: Leko beats Ivanchuk, Nakamura bounces right back". Is this choice of words a coincidence?

Lee's picture

Magic 8-ball says 'yes', it is a coincidence. Sports headlines like this aren't exactly a rarity.

mishanp's picture

It probably is a coincidence, although ChessBase have been known to copy in less than coincidental fashion. e.g. compare http://whychess.com/en/node/2860 and http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8434

PircAlert's picture

Wow! Good demonstration of OTB skills by Nakamura! Wonder at high level chess 2 Knight against 2 Bishops with other major pieces on board had edge to justifiy pressing on in end game positions. If at all he gives respect, I think Naka only gives respect to 2 players for their chess skills. One, current world champion & the greatest ever chess player and two, the current #1 rated player.

redivivo's picture

"One, current world champion & the greatest ever chess player"

That's two already there, even if he's never lost to the first of the two. Maybe he has some respect for Svidler by the way:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?yearcomp=exactly&year=&playercom...

fabio's picture

Why Mr Krmanik is not part of this tournament or the Sao Paulo?

Anonymous's picture

1. He might not play the grand prix series since he already qualified for the 2013 candidates tournament.
2. He once said he doesn't like intercontinental tournaments, so probably that's why he doesnt play Sao Paulo/Bilbao.

redivivo's picture

"He might not play the grand prix series since he already qualified for the 2013 candidates tournament."

Everyone already qualified for the Candidates this spring, the GP series over the upcoming years has nothing to do with that event but the cycle after that.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for putting that right, redivivo. So we actually don't know why he isn't participating in the 2012-13 GP series; he might still qualify otherwise for the 2014 candidates though, still some possibilites available ;-)

redivivo's picture

Kramnik declined the Grand Prix series the last time around as well, when Aronian and Carlsen both took part. Then after it started Kirsan changed the rules, so Kramnik got his spot in Kazan 2011 without having to participate in the gruelling qualification series, and it all ended with a knockout instead of a longer Candidates match.

Both Aronian and Carlsen of course protested against this change but in the end only Carlsen and Adams withdrew. Aronian won all his qualification events but got nothing for it and learnt his lesson and understandably avoids the Grand Prix like the plague. With Kirsan's rules he gets a spot for free anyway, at least until the next time he decides to change the rules.

Thomas's picture

The previous GP Series started in April 2008, while Kramnik had to play a WCh match against Anand in October 2008. Even if Kramnik had played the last four tournaments of the GP series (i.e. the first one six weeks after the WCh match), committing to the GP would send a signal to himself and to Anand: "you know I might lose the match, but there is a plan B".
So it makes sense that he skipped the Grand Prix series; eventually he earned a rating spot for the candidates event (in a way, "qualifying events" such as Dortmund and Tal Memorial were as 'gruelling' as the GP series).
Aronian didn't get "nothing" for winning the GP Series - he did get quite some prize money, Elo points and a spot in Kazan. Now Carlsen, Aronian and Kramnik might skip the current Grand Prix for the same reason, even if only Carlsen (or his manager) says so openly: plenty of private invitations which are financially more attractive and get higher priority than the FIDE Grand Prix.

redivivo's picture

Aronian got nothing in the sense that he would have been given a spot in Kazan anyway because of rating after the rules were changed, so winning the qualification didn't get him anything he wouldn't have gotten without participating. That he got prize money and Elo points is another matter, the rules were changed to include players that didn't want to participate in the qualification and that's what Aronian and Carlsen disliked, and why the new rules make it pointless for them to participate the same way they did when the previous cycle started.

Thomas's picture

Aronian got "something" from the previous Grand Prix: if he hadn't participated, he may not have gotten a rating spot either. Before the GP (April 2008) he was "just" world #6 25 points behind Kramnik (2763 vs. 2788), in January 2011 he was #3 21 points ahead of a fairly stable Kramnik (2805 vs. 2784). Where did he gain these rating points? 34 points came from his three GP tournaments.
In that respect, Carlsen could "safely" drop out of the Grand Prix instead relying on a rating spot (another story is that he then didn't claim or use his spot), but for Aronian it would have been a risky decision.
Now Carlsen, Aronian and Kramnik all don't play the Grand Prix (and may not play the World Cup either) but seem to rely on rating spots - a safe choice for Carlsen and Aronian, a risky one for Kramnik?

Bartleby's picture

Kramnik is the best-connected player. If he wants to play the candidates, Kirsan/Zhukov will always find a way for him.

Anonymous's picture

the ending position of naka 's game looks like a comic situation.

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