London GP R5: all games drawn, Gelfand maintains lead
Boris Gelfand maintained his half point lead over Peter Leko and Alexander Grischuk in London as all games in round 5 ended in draws. Wednesday is the first rest day; the sixth round will be played on Thursday.
Lots of media attention so far for the London Grand Prix | All photos © Ray Morris-Hill
Before the start of the tournament it was announced that the first rest day had been switched from Tuesday to Wednesday, and Boris Gelfand would start his 5th round game one hour earlier. The reason was Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year for Jews. It began Tuesday evening and ends Wednesday evening and is marked by a 25-hour period of fasting, intense reflection and prayers, and involves a number of traditional ceremonies.
This year Gelfand will spend his Yom Kippur as the leader of the London Grand Prix. The standings didn't change as all games in round 5 ended in draws.
Gelfand started his game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov at 1 pm local time in Simpson's-in-the-Strand. Like in his match against Anand the Israeli played the Grünfeld, and against 5.e3 he came up with a remarkable pawn sacrifice. Even Vassily Ivanchuk, who had come early to the playing hall to watch the game, was surprised. However, as the game progressed, Black's compensation became clear.
All videos by Macauley Peterson
Peter Leko, who is half a point behind Gelfand together with Alexander Grischuk, got under pressure against Veselin Topalov. The Bulgarian started a dangerous attack and felt he was winning during the game, but afterwards he wasn't sure. Leko said he had prepared this line for White against Ruslan Ponomariov, in Dortmund this year, but got something else on the board then.
Ivanchuk and Grischuk played a short but interesting draw. In a Grünfeld, the Ukrainian pushed his h-pawn at an early stage and then started chasing the black queen. Grischuk was surprised sbout the move 18.d5 which gives Black many options.
Wang Hao-Kasimdzhanov was similar to Mamedyarov-Gelfand, with Black sacrificing a pawn for long-term compensation. This started after an unusual concept (Ne5 + f4) against the Moscow Variation, which Wang Hao had prepared for a long time. Kasimdzhanov thought up the pawn sac behind the board and was happy with how it worked out.
Adams vs Giri wasn't much; it almost suffices to say that it was a Petroff. :-) Adams came up with a new plan, but Giri's plan with Rae8 and Bd8 was a good response.
Hikaru Nakamura, one of the biggest fighters among the top players, was again involved in the longest game. He surprised his opponent, Leinier Dominguez, with 3...Nge7 in the Ruy Lopez, and got the advantage in the middlegame. However, around the first time control Dominguez got back in the game, and then Nakamura surprisingly "buried" his queen's bishop on a2 with the move 41...b3.
By putting his own bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal (thereby always preventing Ba2-b1) the Cuban was more or less playing with an extra piece, but when the time was right to harvest, he missed a winning shot twice. As the video below with Dominguez makes clear, both players missed it but engines point out the winning idea instantly...
Schedule & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 CET||21.09.12||Round 2||15:00 CET||22.09.12|
|Round 3||15:00 CET||23.09.12||Round 4||15:00 CET||24.09.12|
|Wang Hao||½-½||Grischuk||Gelfand||1-0||Wang Hao|
|Round 5||15:00 CET||25.09.12||Round 6||15:00 CET||27.09.12|
|Round 7||15:00 CET||28.09.12||Round 8||15:00 CET||29.09.12|
|Round 9||15:00 CET||01.10.12||Round 10||15:00 CET||02.10.12|
|Round 11||12:00 CET||03.10.12|
London GP 2012 | Round 5 standings
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