Reports | October 01, 2012 20:39

London GP R9: Mamedyarov takes the lead from Gelfand

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

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

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

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."

PGN string

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).

Videos by Macauley Peterson

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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. 

PGN string

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.

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 ½-½ Leko   Leko - Gelfand
Mamedyarov 1-0 Dominguez   Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk
Ivanchuk 0-1 Topalov   Nakamura - Giri
Adams 1-0 Nakamura   Topalov - Adams
Giri ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Dominguez - Ivanchuk
Grischuk 1-0 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 9 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.


Chris's picture

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand. (Fowler)

valg321's picture

crap sentence, zero meaning. But i've been coding for 20 years, what do i know

sen's picture

It looks you did'nt understand the code does it mean you are not a human ? :-)

Chris's picture

yes. I am cyborg :)

jambow's picture

Nakamura's worse performance in years but he will bounce back. Not sure what is going on with him but to fall to 2750 not so bad since so few reach that height anyway.

jambow's picture

Ivanchuk does this all the time and he can beat anyone that ever played.

valg321's picture

true, Chucky's strongest opponent has always been Chucky

Thomas's picture

As you guys mention Ivanchuk: his dubious 40th move against Topalov might be explained by extreme time trouble. If I remember correctly he had 17 seconds left after move 36, spending 10 of them on 37.Kf2. Maybe 40.Kd3?! followed by pressing the clock on his left side of the board was the only way to avoid losing on time (40.Be1, zigzagging with the hand takes too long?).

Despite the rather generous 2 hours for 40 moves many players still run into time trouble - but in the given case I wonder why as the game hadn't been that complicated.


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