Reports | November 30, 2012 14:53

Leko beats Kamsky in 8th round Tashkent Grand Prix

Peter Leko won his first game at the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Friday. After drawing his first seven games, the Hungarian grandmaster beat Gata Kamsky with Black in a Nimzo-Indian. As all other games ended in draws, Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin are still tied for first place.

Leaders Caruana and Karjakin drew their game | Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich & Giyanov Bakhtiyor, courtesy of FIDE

Event FIDE Grand Prix | PGN via TWIC
Dates November 22nd-December 4th, 2012
Location Tashkent, Uzbekistan
System 12-player round robin
Players Karjakin, Caruana, Morozevich, Kamsky, Wang HaoMamedyarov, Svidler, Gelfand, Ponomariov,Leko, Dominguez, Kasimdzhanov
Rate of play

120 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes and an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 61 onwards

Extra The players are not allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents but only through the arbiter


The Tashkent Grand Prix standings didn't change much on Friday with just one decisve game between Leko and Kamsky. Caruana and Karjakin drew against each other and maintained their lead. It's hard to say who has the toughest schedule after the second rest day: Caruana plays Wang Hao, Kasimdzhanov and Leko while Karjakin will meet Gelfand, Mamedyarov and Ponomariov.

Kamsky-Leko became a classical "Isolated Queen's Pawn game" after the American went 13.b4. Leko simply exchanged his king's bishop for a knight to force the IQP, expecting that White wouldn't get much from using the c6 square for his knight. With superb technique the Hungarian won the ending.

PGN string

Peter Leko, now on an undefeated plus one score

The top encounter between Caruana and Karjakin was a good fight which ended in a draw just before the time control. The Italian had prepared a new idea (11.Ng4) in the Open Catalan which forces the exchange of the light-squared bishops, to weaken the c6 square. Karjakin's reaction (Qd8-c8-b7 and Rfc8) was quite accurate as it equalized without much trouble.

PGN string

Caruana vs Karjakin

Both Dominguez and Gelfand are not having a great tournament. The Cuban wasn't looking for a draw, however, and played the combative King's Indian. He didn't play the main line against Gelfand's 9.Nd2, which was quite popular in the early 90s. Still, Black was more than OK after the opening it seems.

PGN string

Gelfand draws with Dominguez

Against Kasimdzhanov, Svidler played a Réti, the flank opening named after the "hypermodern" Austrian-Hungarian (later Czechoslovak) player, author and study composer. With simple, healthy moves Black got a decent position.

PGN string

Svidler and Kasimdzhanov in good spirits before the game

Morozevich just continued playing his Exchange Slav, but Wang Hao had prepared a solid line against it. White might have been a bit better anyway, but the Chinese kept on playing accurately, especially at the 38th move.

PGN string

Morozevich and Wang Hao shaking hands before their 8th round game

Mamedyarov-Ponomariov saw a bit of a strange finish. In a more or less equal position the Azerbaijani sacrificed an exchange, but the engines do not really like it. Ponomariov, however, trusted his opponent and then the players started repeating moves.

PGN string

Mamedyarov: "Take my rook!" Ponomariov: "No thanks!"

FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 11:00 CET 22.11.12   Round 2 11:00 CET 23.11.12
Morozevich 1-0 Kamsky   Kamsky ½-½ Karjakin
Caruana ½-½ Svidler   Wang Hao ½-½ Dominguez
Gelfand ½-½ Leko   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Ponomariov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Leko ½-½ Mamedyarov
Ponomariov ½-½ Wang Hao   Svidler ½-½ Gelfand
Dominguez 0-1 Karjakin   Morozevich 1-0 Caruana
Round 3 11:00 CET 24.11.12   Round 4 11:00 CET 25.11.12
Caruana 1-0 Kamsky   Kamsky 0-1 Wang Hao
Gelfand ½-½ Morozevich   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov 1-0 Svidler   Leko ½-½ Dominguez
Ponomariov ½-½ Leko   Svidler 1-0 Ponomariov
Dominguez  ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Morozevich ½-½ Mamedyarov
Karjakin ½-½ Wang Hao   Caruana 1-0 Gelfand
Round 5 11:00 CET 27.11.12   Round 6 11:00 CET 28.11.12
Gelfand 0-1 Kamsky   Kamsky ½-½ Kasimdzhanov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Caruana   Leko ½-½ Wang Hao
Ponomariov 1-0 Morozevich   Svidler ½-½ Karjakin
Dominguez ½-½ Svidler   Morozevich 1-0 Dominguez
Karjakin ½-½ Leko   Caruana ½-½ Ponomariov
Wang Hao 0-1 Kasimdzhanov   Gelfand ½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 7 11:00 CET 29.11.12   Round 8 11:00 CET 30.11.12
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kamsky   Kamsky 0-1 Leko
Ponomariov ½-½ Gelfand   Svidler ½-½ Kasimdzhanov
Dominguez 0-1 Caruana   Morozevich ½-½ Wang Hao
Karjakin 1-0 Morozevich   Caruana ½-½ Karjakin
Wang Hao ½-½ Svidler   Gelfand ½-½ Dominguez
Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Leko   Mamedyarov ½-½ Ponomariov
Round 9 11:00 CET 02.12.12   Round 10 11:00 CET 03.12.12
Ponomariov - Kamsky   Kamsky - Svidler
Dominguez - Mamedyarov   Morozevich - Leko
Karjakin - Gelfand   Caruana - Kasimdzhanov
Wang Hao - Caruana   Gelfand - Wang Hao
Kasimdzhanov - Morozevich   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Leko - Svidler   Ponomariov - Dominguez
Round 11 08:00 CET 04.12.12        
Dominguez - Kamsky        
Karjakin - Ponomariov        
Wang Hao - Mamedyarov        
Kasimdzhanov - Gelfand        
Leko - Caruana        
Svidler - Morozevich        

FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent 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.


cmling's picture

You might want to correct "Round 6 standings".

Peter Doggers's picture

Indeed, thanks!

Jambow's picture

Has Leko ever won with black before? ;o]

Johan de Witt's picture

8 times this year

redivivo's picture

The clearly strongest player before Kamsky being Li Chao, in 2010 + 2011 he won one black game in all, so it isn't often he beats top players with black.

Thomas's picture

The single black win in 2011 was (a pretty spectacular one) against Ivanchuk, and overall Leko went down rating-wise in this ongoing decade, dropping out of the top10 for the first time in many years in January 2010.

His most important wins with black might have been back in 2002, beating Shirov and Topalov with the Sveshnikov Sicilian to qualify for his WCh match against Kramnik. He also won a game with black in that match, beat Anand in 2005, Kamsky in 2008. It may still be rare, but the answer to Jambow's question is obviously "yes, also against world-top players".

redivivo's picture

Leko was stronger up until Corus in January 2005, but in the eight years since then he has only beaten Gelfand, Kamsky and Ivanchuk with black of players ranked in the top 30-40, and that's not much for someone that was stable top 10 for almost all those years.

Thomas's picture

"Not much" is still more than nothing ... . We can reasonably compare Leko with Adams or even Kramnik. After 2006, Adams beat Kamsky and Shirov with black, that's it as far as the world top is concerned. From 2006-2010, Kramnik beat Topalov, Morozevich, Aronian and Carlsen with black.

These guys are what they are or were: strong players who primarily rely on the white pieces and also on the fact that they are hard to beat. Leko and Adams have dropped out of the absolute world top, Kramnik has changed his style to some extent.

Bronkenstein's picture

I heard some rumors about that happening in some of his1995 bullet games IIRC, but that was probably just a (bad) joke... ;)

Bronkenstein's picture

Strange lack of (white) fighting spirit in Svid - Kasim, Not only that I still like white in the end but... when, if not now, Peter?

choufleur's picture

Kamsky is really out of form ... To loose as white against Leko is quite an accomplishment.

RealityCheck's picture

First Nakamura. Now Kamsky..... S'up with the Yanks? Too much at stake?

1 must admit, if Kasparov could do half as good as Kamsky in a come back attempt, he'd get a lot more respect than beating up the under 2000 FIDE rated patzers in Simuls. Go Gata!

RG13's picture

Besides not having to work harder than he needs to, doesn't it make sense to give the limited number of simul slots to lower rated players who it will mean a lot more to than it would to a higher rated player?

RealityCheck's picture

@ RG13 First, lemme congratulate Leko on a fine win. And, lemme high-5ive Kamsky for having the intestinal fortitude to go into the ring with some of the worlds best after such a long lay-off. Real men; chess players inspired by more than fame or fortune.

No. To me it doesn't make sense to play against the lower rated guy just because it "means more to him" than the higher rated guy. Here we must inject the Polgar principle: always play against the best!

Kasparov choose to play (to beat up) the weaklings because he can't stomach losing. He is a sore loser. He's irrelevant now. Todays top players would chew him up and spit him out.

Greco's picture

Your reality needs checking....

RG13's picture

@RealityCheck, I don't know what Kasparov could accomplish against the top players if he decided to return to chess ... but since he retired as the # 1 rated player and had one of the most stellar careers in chess history, who cares? He accomplished enough to be respected.

Anonymous's picture

Congratulations to GM Leko on his win over GM Kamsky. No doubt about it, Peter is having a great tournament! I have been very impressed with Leko and his recent change to an almost Tal-like risk-taking attacking style with absolutely no room for compromises. I mean Morosevich. It has been an exciting tournament thus far!

Håkan's picture

Is it just me, or is the Morozevich - Wang Hao game missing?

Peter Doggers's picture

Something went wrong, but now it's there!

Jambow's picture

Ok I was kidding when I asked if Leko had ever won with black his FIDE stats show 12% of the time or 1 in 8 which is about the bottom for the top 25 players. Peters draw % is probably higher than anyone else when comparing him to top players known for draws. My problem with Peter is if you are hoping for a draw before you start testosterone shots might be in order, Judith Polgar might have some to spare ;0].

I don't mind players who draw if they are striving to win the game, but 16 moves of theory followed by a handshake is dung plain and simple, if all you want is a draw call your opponent at home offer a handshake and save the airfare hotel expense. Carlsen plays careful but is always looking for a winning advantage not a safe place to draw from.

Congrats to Peter Leko for winning with black a little more of that ought to earn invites.

Thomas and others thanks for the info on Peters career it reminds us of why he truly was a top 10 player. I hope Peter does well but decided game stats should be considered for invites and Sofia rules have worked well. Fischer's idea of only counting points for a win would be about the same maybe even better than Sofia rules or football scoring as some call it.

Jambow's picture

"Leko and Adams have dropped out of the absolute world top, Kramnik has changed his style to some extent."

Yes and I am enjoying Kramnik more as a result, as a Nakamura fan they had several draws that were real battles that impressed me on both sides of the board. I think if Kramnik can hold his play with white and improve his winning attempts with black he is extremely dangerous and could potentially surpass his old elo ceiling of 2811.

Top players that have done well with black include Fischer, Kasparov, Anand when he played for wins, Morozevic,and Nakamura to name a few. Other greats like Kramnik at least formerly, Carlsen and Aronian and Grischuk are much better from whites side of the board. The decided game stats are similiar and seem to correlate to some degree.

Theo's picture

Why isn't Carlsen playing in the Grand Prix?

papf's picture

LEKO--drawNAM Style

RealityCheck's picture

@Greco Your reality needs some fine tuning.... an up-date. Where you been man?

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