Reports | September 29, 2012 21:19

London R8: Kasimdzhanov beats Adams, Nakamura loses again

Hikaru Nakamura

On Saturday Hikaru Nakamura lost his third consecutive game in London. The American grandmaster played the Exchange Ruy Lopez against Vassily Ivanchuk, who won the ending after 58 moves and 6 hours of play. Rustam Kasimdzhanov beat Michael Adams and as all other games were drawn, Boris Gelfand is still leading the pack at the FIDE Grand Prix.

Three losses in a row for top seed Hikaru Nakamura | Photo © 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 Ô¨Årst 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

“So far so good” were the words of Boris Gelfand when he left the playing venue Saturday evening. Even though he couldn't win a slightly better ending against Anish Giri, the Israeli grandmaster had enough reasons to be satisfied. He's still hasn't given up his half point lead, and can regain energy on the second and last rest day to defend it over the last three rounds.

Hikaru Nakamura, the number one grandmaster from the USA, surely won't be satisfied. As the pre-tournament favorite he must have had the intention to win the tournament, but with three rounds to go he is in last place, having lost his last three games. The same happened to him in the last three rounds at the Reggio Emilia tournament in early January this year. As Thomas notes, it seems that the American belongs to the group of players like Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexei Shirov and Alexander Morozevich (no bad company!) whose can have huge form swings, even during a tournament.

Let's start with the leader of the pack, the man who played 6-6 in classical games back in May against the World Champ, and continues to show good form. Gelfand faced Anish Giri, who played a slightly surprising opening: the King's Indian! In New in Chess Magazine 2012/06 the Dutchman wrote:

The KID is sort of back in fashion these days. For some reason, no one bothers to take it seriously and refute it once and for all.

Well, the fact that Giri played it himself against none other than Gelfand proves that this remark was mostly tongue-in-cheek. Besides, most top players these days play a lot of openings, and because Giri faced it quite a few times with White recently, he probably just feels comfortable in these Bayonet structures at the moment. And, as he explains in the video, he already analysed this line when he was 14! (Which, in his case, is only 4 years ago...) Both players felt that Black was lost at some point.

PGN string

Videos by Macauley Peterson

The round started with a quick draw (though not as quick as Ivanchuk-Kasimdzhanov!) between Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. As the Bulgarian pointed out, everyone is well prepared in this tournament and because his opponent played very accurately, Topalov had to repeat moves at an early stage.

PGN string

Kasimdzhanov put some pressure on Adams by playing relatively fast, to avoid timetrouble. This strategy worked, because Adams did get in slight timetrouble and couldn't find the accurate moves in a drawn QN vs QN ending.  

PGN string

Leko and Grischuk played a long theoretical line in the Sicilian, English Attack. At move 18 Grischuk couldn't remember the right move which had been played earlier this year by Alexander Khalifman, and Leko got a close to winning advantage. The Hungarian then let it slip away with a "one-move blunder".

PGN string

Dominguez reached a very good ending against Wang Hao but failed to win it. In the video below both players give comments in their native language, unfortunately without subtitles.

PGN string

Again Hikaru Nakamura was involved in the longest game and again... he lost it. He played one of Bobby Fischer's favorite lines, the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez, but not à l Fischer (who played 7.Nxd4 against Portisch in 1966 and twice against Spassky in the 1992 match). After a series of exchanges Black was slightly more comfortable, especially when he could fix White's queenside pawns on light squares. Somehow things got from bad to worse for Nakamura, who had to throw in the towel at move 58. 

PGN string

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 ½-½ Leko   Leko ½-½ Adams
Topalov ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Giri ½-½ Ivanchuk
Dominguez ½-½ Gelfand   Grischuk 1-0 Mamedyarov
Wang Hao ½-½ Grischuk   Gelfand 1-0 Wang Hao
Mamedyarov 1-0 Giri   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Dominguez
Ivanchuk ½-½ Adams   Nakamura ½-½ Topalov
Round 5 15:00 CET 25.09.12   Round 6 15:00 CET 27.09.12
Topalov ½-½ Leko   Leko ½-½ Giri
Dominguez ½-½ Nakamura   Grischuk ½-½ Adams
Wang Hao ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Gelfand ½-½ Ivanchuk
Mamedyarov ½-½ Gelfand   Kasimdzhanov 0-1 Mamedyarov
Ivanchuk ½-½ Grischuk   Nakamura 0-1 Wang Hao
Adams ½-½ Giri   Topalov 1-0 Dominguez
Round 7 15:00 CET 28.09.12   Round 8 15:00 CET 29.09.12
Dominguez ½-½ Leko   Leko ½-½ Grischuk
Wang Hao ½-½ Topalov   Gelfand ½-½ Giri
Mamedyarov 1-0 Nakamura   Kasimdzhanov 1-0 Adams
Ivanchuk ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Nakamura 0-1 Ivanchuk
Adams 0-1 Gelfand   Topalov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Giri ½-½ Grischuk   Dominguez ½-½ 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 8 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.


sen's picture

Nakamura has still left to play against Adams,giri,Grischuk.My prediction will be nakaumra might win against adam.He might lose against giri and grischuk.If he loose all 3 matches will he go out of top10 in live ratings ?

columbo's picture

just make your own maths on 2700chess, the answer is not that difficult to come up with

Anonymous's picture

"If he loses all his remaining matches" .. will he? hopefully? ... oh yeah, so many of you so wish for that ;-) I'm so afraid, he is not going to do you the favour, rest assured ;-))
And noe just think for a change and understand that your hero world champion doesn't win any games just because Naka has a bad losing streak.

sen's picture

Anand has come back from long layoff ,he will take time to get into to his top form.Draw is not at all bad result.Last two years anand was quite busy with his new fatherhood phase, it is quite understandable the impact of his personal life on his the chess preperation.BTW probability of naka doing the favour is very high :-)

choufleur's picture

Naka 2800+ by the end of the year ?

Anonymous's picture

Naka hates to disappoint you, but as things stand for now, his goal will only be reached by the end of 2013. He has all the time in the world.

columbo's picture

2800 is extremely difficult to reach ... More difficult that it seems even for super GM. Most of them falls down as soon as they go as far as 2780.

Zacalov's picture

LOL!!! You ask this in every single article. I must admit, I rolled around in laughter when I just read it, but give up, your unjustified hate for Nakamura is sad and pathetic...move along now...

AK's picture

Naka is obviously a very strong player, but his rating is/was a inflated. He has never been as strong as his current rating might suggest. And he is massively favored by the organizers, because he is from USA.

How many strong international tournaments he has won? And yet, he gets to play in pretty much every elite tournament he wishes. While at the same time many strong players are not getting their chance. Look at Grischuk for example... a lot more achievements than Naka, but rarely plays in elite tournaments, because he is a Russian. Same thing with Svidler and even Gelfand.

Chris's picture

Reason for Naka invitations is differrent. He is fighting in every game in every tournament, practicly. Not as Grischuk, Svidler etc.

anna's picture

I think nakamura has too much girls in his mind. That's my point of view!! Stability is a good word. I miss nobody Don't forget

anna's picture

He'll come be back and stronger than ever.

NN's picture

I don't understand why Leko and Grischuk say 18...Ng4 was "the correct move" and "everybody knows it". Houdini gave several other options for black at this point, all not far from equality, e.g. 18...Ng8, 18...d3, perhaps even 18...Nc5. Just not 18...b3 which is very dubious.

Wlad's picture

You should stop being naive and believing in analysis on At the depth that they use there Houdini is good for spotting the blunders only.

Esalen's picture

Naka will leave top 10 now. Ivanchuk will join, and continue to stay there. He is just a class player, and is so in every part of the game, and has been so in every part of his life. Nakamura is good at speed chess, very fast, and against weaker players.

Chris's picture

Does it mean that Kramnik is one of thouse weak players? :)

bhabatosh's picture

many pundits told WC between Gelfands qualification to WCh was a result of FiDE's error in how they setup cycle ..... How many times he will prove u wrong ??

redivivo's picture

Gelfand leading a tournament doesn't mean that the World Championship cycle was arranged as it should have been.

Septimus's picture

Nakamura is really out of form. It happens to everybody, but this is more like Morozevich or Ivanchuck, where the collapse is pretty wild. I don't think he is suited for slow positional maneuvering. Best stick with the KID or Dutch.

Mike Magnan's picture

I think Nakamura is just having a crappy tournament. Nothing more to read into it than that.

sen's picture

I don't understand why so much into nakumura performance.He is an ordinary player. He used to play well in odd tournaments nothing more than that.lets forget about nakurmura and dicuss about worthy players who are playing well in this tournament.

Chris's picture

Naka is an extraordinary player - fighter.

Raj's picture

This Chess Vibes page is the most informative page with optimum content : match round report, brief analysis, actual games that can be played, impromptu videos of the players and their comments - and all available so quickly to Chess Vibe site visitors. Remarkable content and deserves top marks for chess reporting in this information age with just enough content to keep you interested and keep coming back more more.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks! :-)

noyb's picture

A pity that Nakamura struggles with his form. But when you play the style of chess that he does, these things will happen. He needs to use more solid openings if he wants more solid results.


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