London GP R9: Mamedyarov takes the lead from Gelfand
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is the new leader at the FIDE Grand Prix in London. On Monday the Azerbaijani beat Leinier Dominguez while the leader of the tournament, Boris Gelfand, went down for the first time, against Alexander Grischuk. Hikaru Nakamura lost his fourth game in a row, to Mickey Adams, and Veselin Topalov defeated Vassily Ivanchuk.
Mamedyarov leads in London with two rounds to go | Photo © Ray Morris-Hill
In a spectacular round with four decisive games, the standings were shaken up considerably. Gelfand snatched a poisoned pawn and lost his first game of the tournament to Grischuk, which gave Mamedyarov the chance to take over the lead by defeating Dominguez. At the other end of the leaderboard Nakamura's form crisis continued – the American lost against Adams. In the last two rounds Mamedyarov will defend his half point lead against Wang Hao and Leko.
Grischuk won in 19th century style, and after the game he said: "I was not 100% sure that the sacrifice would win, but I saw that I had at least perpetual." GM Robert Fontaine added: "Such a move just has to be played."
After the game Gelfand did analyze with Grischuk. The conclusion was that taking on d2 was already the decisive mistake. If Gelfand had castled there "Black's chances to draw are bigger than White's chances to win" (Grischuk).
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Mamedyarov nicely outplayed Dominguez in a Bogo-Indian with an early g2-g4-g5 push. The new leader wasn't sure about this plan, and thought that it was about equal until the inaccurate d6-d5 push. The players quickly reached an ending, and White used his bishop pair with maximum effect.
Nakamura played the Caro-Kann against Adams and blitzed out his opening moves. He then probably miscalculated something, because his rook got sort of stuck on a4 without doing much, and White obtained total control over the d-file.
Gelfand and Grischuk are now half a point behind Mamedyarov, but so is Topalov. On Monday the Bulgarian managed to win a slightly better ending against Ivanchuk.
Wang Hao and Leko had theoretical fight, even though the Chinese played this Nimzo line for the first time and Leko did not expect it. The Hungarian had bad memories, losing two crucial games with Black in it. This time he played accurate enough.
Giri vs Kasimdzhanov seemed to be heading for a draw quickly as soon as Black managed to get ...Ne4 and ...f5 in. However, Giri found a way to continue, and at some point Black allowed some sort of breakthrough. In an position with only heavy pieces, both kings were under attack by the opponent queen, so a perpetual was always in the air. It's not clear whether White could win somewhere.
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 9 standings
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