Reports | September 28, 2013 23:02

Grand Prix: Caruana beats Ivanchuk, catches Gelfand

Grand Prix: Caruana beats Ivanchuk, catches Gelfand

As the only winner of the sixth round, Fabiano Caruana caught Boris Gelfand in first place at the Grand Prix in Élancourt (near Paris) on Saturday. The Italian grandmaster beat Vassily Ivanchuk with White in a Classical French, while Gelfand drew with Black against Laurent Fressinet in a 3.Bb5+ Sicilian. The other games also ended in draws and so Hikaru Nakamura is trailing the leaders by half a point.

Photos by Alina l'Ami courtesy of FIDE

It's not always the case, but in this Grand Prix leg the drawing percentage is quite high: 69.5% after six rounds. On Saturday there was only one decisive game: Fabiano Caruana beat Vassily Ivanchuk. The way that went was typical for the often emotional Chuky. In her report, Alina l'Ami explains what happened:

Ivanchuk expressed his bewilderment in the press conference, saying he was calculating 16...f6 but than his "hands moved 16...Bd7"! He could not cope with the shock and quickly lost the game afterwards. (...) Vassily seemed to be excessively [emotional] and his resignation certainly looked premature. His opponent was visibly surprized, but Ivanchuk explained that he simply "could not stand his awful position"!

"Luckily" for him the position was indeed lost.

PGN string

And so Caruana is again a full point ahead of Alexander Grischuk, but this is only relevant for the final GP standings if the Italian actually manages to finish in sole first place.

Tail-ender Anish Giri boosted his confidence a bit with a solid draw with Black against Wang Hao, an opponent he had lost several times to before. In a 4...Bf5 Slav the Dutchman got a solid position where White's only trump was his bishop pair. Soon all minor pieces and the queens left the board, and the double rook ending was about equal. In fact, if anyone was better in the final position it was Giri.

PGN string

Leinier Dominguez managed to surprise his opponent, Ruslan Ponomariov, by playing the Petroff. The former FIDE World Champion wasn't well prepared and played the opening more or less "out of book". As he said at the press conference, this didn't disturb him:

Maybe it did not work out well today, but in practical play one can always hope to outplay his opponent, despite complete equality after the opening.

White got some initiative on the kingside, but Black could easily parry the threats and then Ponomariov decided to force the draw.

PGN string

Grischuk-Nakamura started as a Queen's Gambit Declined but quickly became a Closed Catalan. After the queens were traded Nakamura played very accurately and quickly got a slight advantage. At the press conference the players looked at the position after 17.Kxc4, as it's there where Black might have had an improvement. In the game, the position quickly became (very) equal.

PGN string

Bacrot-Tomashevsky was an Anti-Marshall where Black's novelty 12...d5! equalized the position immediately. There's not much more to be said about this game; a lot of pieces were traded and it was only the anti-draw rule that prevented the players from shaking hands earlier.

PGN string

Fressinet-Gelfand was also a very correct draw. At move 14 an interesting tactical sequence started, but with accurate play Gelfand held the balance.

PGN string

 

Live video with press conferences

Video feed courtesy of FIDE

Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings

Round 1 15:00 CET 22.09.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 23.09.13
Fressinet ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Giri
Grischuk ½-½ Wang Hao   Tomashevsky ½-½ Gelfand
Caruana ½-½ Bacrot   Dominguez ½-½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk ½-½ Dominguez   Bacrot ½-½ Ivanchuk
Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky   Wang Hao ½-½ Caruana
Gelfand 1-0 Giri   Fressinet 1-0 Grischuk
Round 3 15:00 CET 24.09.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 25.09.13
Grischuk ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Tomashevsky
Caruana 1-0 Fressinet   Dominguez 1-0 Giri
Ivanchuk 1-0 Wang Hao   Bacrot ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Wang Hao ½-½ Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Dominguez   Fressinet 0-1 Ivanchuk
Giri ½-½ Tomashevsky   Grischuk ½-½ Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 27.09.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 28.09.13
Caruana ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Dominguez
Ivanchuk 0-1 Grischuk   Bacrot ½-½ Tomashevsky
Nakamura ½-½ Fressinet   Wang Hao ½-½ Giri
Gelfand ½-½ Wang Hao   Fressinet ½-½ Gelfand
Giri 0-1 Bacrot   Grischuk ½-½ Nakamura
Tomashevsky ½-½ Dominguez   Caruana 1-0 Ivanchuk
Round 7 15:00 CET 29.09.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 30.09.13
Ivanchuk - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Bacrot
Nakamura - Caruana   Wang Hao - Dominguez
Gelfand - Grischuk   Fressinet - Tomashevsky
Giri - Fressinet   Grischuk - Giri
Tomashevsky - Wang Hao   Caruana - Gelfand
Dominguez - Bacrot   Ivanchuk - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 CET 02.10.13   Round 10 15:00 CET 03.10.13
Nakamura - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Wang Hao
Gelfand - Ivanchuk   Fressinet - Bacrot
Giri - Caruana   Grischuk - Dominguez
Tomashevsky - Grischuk   Caruana - Tomashevsky
Dominguez - Fressinet   Ivanchuk - Giri
Bacrot - Wang Hao   Nakamura - Gelfand
Round 11 14:00 CET 04.10.13        
Gelfand - Ponomariov        
Giri - Nakamura        
Tomashevsky - Ivanchuk        
Dominguez - Caruana        
Bacrot - Grischuk        
Wang Hao - Fressinet        

Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Round 6 standings

 

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

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Comments

Big Alex's picture

Why Ivanchuk resigned???

dave_the_valiant's picture

I wish I had a rational answer to your question. The only thing I can say is...Planet Chucky. :-/

Tadaa's picture

Well it seems to be lost. His bishop is really bad. White is going to play his king to d4 and then f5.

neluroman's picture

It is easy to answer your question. Ivanchuk is a emotional player, exactly like me. Of course, I am an amateur if compared to Ivanchuk, but the mechanism is the same. When I think something but my hand move something else, exactly as in the case of Ivancuk, all I can do is to resign, just to escape from this disappointing mood. People are people, GMs or just amateurs.

Anonymous's picture

He resigned because he needs to give back points he was given for free before. I can't prove that and I don't need to, its obvious to the naked eye, same like players are cheating all over tournaments.

Anonymous's picture

Someone should report Ivanchuk to someone who can punish him forever.

Anonymous's picture

far from lost worse 4 sure but not clear if it is winning if chucky defended
precisely

James Roark's picture

It's lost. houdini 3 evaluates it as +4 for white if you let it run for a couple minutes.

Frits Fritschy's picture

You either need Houdini or be brilliant to resign this with black. Can you please explain why a player without Houdini would resign this?
Answering Tadaa: 33... Bc6 34 Kd4 Ke7 35 f5 e5+ and what now?
I didn't follow it, but didn't Ivanchuk just overstep the time limit?

Merlinovich's picture

No, Frits, you need to live on Planet Chucky or be very realistic to resign this. Unfortunately it seems to be completely lost. One sample line is 33...Bc6 34.Bh5+ Ke7 35.Kd4 Kf8 36.Bd1 Ke7 37.g4 h6 38.h4 Kf8 39.g5 hxg5 40.hxg5 Kg7 41.Bg4 and White will push g6 any moment now.

But Susan Polgar is right with her practical view, why resign, let the opponent show the win. It will also fend off silly questions from the crowd "why did you resign a drawn position?'". I think Ivanchuk had a pretty clear idea how he was going to lose. That said why did he play b5 allowing Nc5, Nxc5, dxc5 in the opening that just seems to be a clearly inferior pawn structure unless he gets something going in the center pretty quickly. There is no need to play b5, just b6 and the knight on a4 will be silly in the long run.

Cbbishop's picture

It was lost indeed, even I could beat the computer from it.

Kadur's picture

at chessbomb all Houdini evaluations seems to be drawish ...

Septimus's picture

Same question as others: Why did Ivanchuck resign? Perhaps it was one of his famous tantrums.

Anonymous's picture

At the press conference he did seem to be having a bout of resignation, not just for this game. At one point he even said he doesn't know why he did not play e4 yesterday and why he resigned quickly today.

James Roark's picture

Ivanchuk had an hour and a half left on his clock when he resigned. His decision perhaps premature but not incorrect, since Caruana would have easily finished off the game. The winning procedure is straightforward: white wins by advancing g5, not f5, as the players pointed out during the press conference. The chessbomb engine doesn't reach a sufficient depth to recognize this plan is winning. A possible variation is 33Ke3 Bc6 34Kd4 Ke7 35Bf3 h6 36g4 Kf7 37h4 Kg7 38g5 hxg5 39hxg5 Kf7 40Bh5 Kg7 41Bg4 Bd7 42gxf6 Kxf6 43f5 exf5 44Bf3 and despite being temporarily down a pawn, it becomes clear white will mop up black's queenside and win. There are of course many similar variations but they all reach the same conclusion: Ivanchuk was right

Frits Fritschy's picture

You seem to be right; with hindsight, it's not even that complicated. But Ivanchuk probably is the only player to resign a position like that right away.
By the way, I'm simultanuously watching Sin City, where the bad guy is called Roark. Hope there isn't a connection?

Anonymous's picture

Yes it is resignable and easily winning for white!
White can create a passed pawn with g4-g5 and also has a protected passed pawn on the kingside. Black can never hold his position together.

Bartleby's picture

On a good day he could have fought on a bit but the position looks really depressing. The white king goes to d4, and Black is tied up completely. After Bc6 White can push a pawn to g5 and threaten to pick up the loose h pawn. Sooner or later Black gets into zugzwang and has to make concessions. Either the white king (if d5 or e5 becomes available) or the bishop (via h5) will come in. Maybe Black could try to hold some passive line of defense, or create technical complications when White breaks through, but it's not easy to see exactly how.

slymnlts's picture

I don't think Chuck really cares given that he has no prospects in the Grand Prix anymore, but there is someone who cares about his loss: Mamedyarov. Caruana, if he wins this event, will surpass Mamedyarov if I am not wrong.
Sometimes I am asking myself: Why is this game not played until the very end? Apart from boxing, there is no sport in which you can throw in the towel and leave the scene, if my memory doesn't fail me!?

RG13's picture

Ivanchuk seems to be more of a spoiler these days. He seems to win or lose at strategic times which disrupt the expected result. Kramnik can thank him for spoiling a possible challenge for the title. But that is o.k. because every GM should try to win when the position demands it. This however is not right. Defending worse positions is part of any sport and in chess many half points (or more) have been garnered from worse or even lost positions. This is a man who has the talent to win a Candidates but he probably never will because he (and apparently his fans) are satisfied with things the way they are.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik can thank himself for spoiling his WCh spot.

Anonymous's picture

Wasn't it Monokroussos too that compalined about Chucky spoling the fair result of the Candidates by giving it to Carlsen when he won against Kramnik? At the same time he did win against Carlsen too.

Thomas Oliver's picture

When/where did Monokroussos complain about Ivanchuk? I checked his final report on the candidates http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2013/4/1/candidates-tournament-final-ro... - he only complained about Kramnik's choice of the Pirc, and (in the comments more than in the article itself) about the tiebreak rules.

Unpredictable as Ivanchuk is, he seems to have a sense of higher justice. In the candidates - generally a mediocre, bad and/or strange event for him - he beat both Carlsen and Kramnik. Now he lost against both Grischuk and Caruana. And in the previous Beijing GP, he had badly blundered against Mamedyarov.

Anonymous's picture

It was much later in the comment section on some unrelated subject, I just recall something like "WHY oh WHY couldn't Ivanchuk have played on the same level as in his other games in that last game against Ivanchuk?"

Anonymous's picture

"against Kramnik", obviously.

Thomas Oliver's picture

OK, but this may have been in jest. In the candidates event, Carlsen had asked for trouble against Ivanchuk - misplaying a rook ending that should have been drawn. True, Kramnik also asked for trouble against Ivanchuk - but here it was clearly related to the tournament situation and tiebreak rules that, irrespective of their general merits or lack thereof, were in his disadvantage.

Anonymous's picture

Agreed, it was rather Aronian that gained something by Ivanchuk's unpredictability. In both their games Ivanchuk totally needlessly lost on time long before the time control. That was like two free points for Aronian while both Kramnik and Carlsen only got one single point together in their four games against him.

Anonymous's picture

The puzzling thing isn't why Ivanchuk resigned but rather why he blitzed into a dead lost endgame without bothering, this could after all be the game that decided who will get a spot in the Candidates in the end.

RG13's picture

Is the ending really "dead lost" or just 'unpleasant' for Black with winning chances for White?

Frits Fritschy's picture

The variation James Roark gave (plus trying a few other things myself), convinced me it's dead lost, and in the most unpleasant way: I even couldn't find any tricks black can play for. If you find something, let us know.

RG13's picture

Never mind, I must have been hallucinating earlier because I thought I saw the score with him resigning while the queens were still on the board.

Thomas Oliver's picture

In the French live commentary for Europe Echecs, GM Dorfman gave the winning plan that was also mentioned here: king to d4, bishop to h5, pushing the pawns (g4, h4, g5). The commentators gave two reasons for resigning the final position: being utterly disgusted about the position and your previous play (later the press conference revealed that Chucky also still remembered his game from the previous round), or (and/or) calculating a variation till the end, and fully trusting the opponent that he will see and play the same variation.

How much should you trust an opponent? Long ago in an amateur team competition, I resigned a game because I would either lose my queen or be mated. Friend and foe were surprised, noone else (also not my opponent) had seen this line, even if it took only two or three moves. But Caruana isn't an amateur ... .

RG13's picture

You are correct that "Caruana isn't an amateur" however neither is Vladimir Kramnik and if HE can miss a mate in 1 (with plenty of time on his clock) then Caruana can misplay a won ending.

Soviet School's picture

What happens if Caruana. Or Grischuk ties for first?
Do they have to win outright or can they win in some way on tie break to go to the candidates?

Anonymous's picture

Shared first only. There were no tiebreaks when Mamedyarov shared first in the first GP event either.

Anonymous's picture

Sole first only, what was I meant to write :)

Thomas Oliver's picture

The Grand Prix series doesn't have tiebreaks for individual events - only for the final standings if (unlikely but possible) two players have the same number of total GP points.

If two or more players share first place, prize money and GP points will be shared. If Caruana or Grischuk share first place with one other player (the other one or any other one), they get 155 GP points [(170+140)/2] which isn't enough to overtake Mamedyarov. If, and this already happened in the first two GP events, three players share first place, they get 140 points each [(170+140+110)/3].

SirSchratz's picture

could anyone tell mr tivijakov that neither confronting players in triumphant tone with computer analysis nor to put blame on people in accusing tone (in the case of marie sebag) is acceptable style ....

Bartleby's picture

...we are working on it. The tricky part is of course not to use an accusing or confronting tone when telling him.

Greco's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY27lgnPKWI

NO DRAW FOR BAD FRENCHMAN!!!

Anonymous's picture

Agree with bronk that Carlsen's endgame skills are below those of Steinitz and that he gonna loose to Anand!

Greco's picture

Well all men have their illusions i guess...feel free to have yours as well

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