Mamedyarov first in Beijing, Topalov wins Grand Prix overall
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won the FIDE Grand Prix in Beijing on Tuesday with a score of 7/11. The Azerbaijani drew quickly with Boris Gelfand, and so did Alexander Grischuk in his game with Peter Leko. In the last round Wang Hao beat Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov won an important game against Alexander Morozevich. The Bulgarian finished shared third in Beijing, and ends his Grand Prix series with 410 Grand Prix points. Because nobody can beat that in the last event, Topalov has won the Grand Prix series 2013-2014!
Photos © Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of FIDE
The final round in Beijing was a bit of an anti-climax, but it was also understandable considering the situation the players were in. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov wanted to play a bit but would never risk much, of course, and for Alexander Grischuk it only made sense to take risks in case Mamedyarov would get into trouble. When the tournament leader even got a slight endgame advantage against Boris Gelfand, it was time for Grischuk to start repeating moves with Peter Leko.
I was in a fighting mood but I didn't get a chance,
said Grischuk, who then told a strange story about his preparation. Apparently the Russian hadn't looked at 13...Bxc3 and 14...Ne4, moves which are both logical and... known! Leko said that it's easy to miss 13...Bxc3 because "it's not among the top lines suggested by the computer".
When this game was over, Mamedyarov obviously saw no reason to continue playing and he forced a draw.
And so Mamedyarov can look back at quite a successful summer, in which he won the World Rapid Championship, the Geneva Masters and now the FIDE Grand Prix. It was also a very busy period for him, in which we counted no less than 105 games in 100 days! This includes the Russian Team Championship (starting on April 7th), the Zug Grand Prix, the World Rapid & Blitz Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, the Tal Memorial blitz, the Tal Memorial, the Geneva Masters and the Beijing Grand Prix!
Quit amazingly, the old line that was played in Mamedyarov-Gelfand also came on the board in the game Wang Yue-Anish Giri. The Dutchman explained at the press conference that he always thought it was very drawish, but that he now feels it leads to interesting play. White's novelty on move 21 was unfortunate, and from that point Black was better in the ending. Perhaps he could have brought his king over more quickly, because in the game White got some kind of fortress.
Veselin Topalov then won a very important game, one that eventually got him to clear first in the overall Grand Prix standings. The Bulgarian defeated Alexander Morozevich for the third time in one year and this time it went rather easily. The Russian played the Philidor with ...Nb6 and ...Nfd7, and Topalov's aggressive plan on the kingside was just devastating.
The players didn't give a press conference together, but separately. Topalov explained why he declined to participate in the World Cup next month:
I decided that if I don't qualify from here, I will have very little chances to reach the final. It's a lottery, especially in these tiebreaks, so I decided not to play.
Morozevich was remarkably positive afterwards. He said:
I am really thankful for the organizers to invite me; I think it's a really nice idea to have this Grand Prix.
Five years ago Morozevich declined to participate in the first GP series. It's interesting to quote what he said back then, in an interview with Sport-Express:
It doesn't seem attractive to me. You can judge for yourself, but this cycle will take about four years! In 2008, we begin with the qualification for a world championship match that takes place in 2011. This was not even in the times of Smyslov and Botvinnik. Only after the winners of the Grand Prix and the World Cup are determinded, one can play for the title of world champion, a year and a half later. It takes this long before the "subordination" in the chess world may change.
Secondly, the complexity. To reach the final match, the contenders must participate in four (!) tournament in a periode of two years. For leading players, this is a serious infraction of of their individual tournament schedule.
But my decision was definitely influenced by the fact that Global Chess has not yet been able to cope with the organization of the Grand Prix. Grandmasters have to sign a contract to take part in four tournaments of which it's unclear where and when they will exactly be held. In such a situation, agreeing in advance to play, would be a wrong decision, I would say.
Gata Kamsky finished a horrible tournament with another loss, against Wang Hao. This Nimzo with 4...b6 led to quite an interesting middlegame position where Black could and perhaps should have tried to break open the centre and sacrifice his a5 bishop along the way. As it went, White was better, won a pawn and then the game.
The last game of the tournament was Vassily Ivanchuk versus Sergey Karjakin, a Tartakower QGD that started as an English. Karjakin's 12...c6 was rare and his 13...b5 even more. It was clear that White had a small advantage but it was not easy to find the right plan. Ivanchuk demonstrated a nice, long variation at the press conference that reminded the fans once again how deep these top guys are calculating!
Grand Prix Beijing 2013 | Pairings & results
|Round 1||09:00 CET||04.07.13||Round 2||09:00 CET||05.07.13|
|Round 3||09:00 CET||06.07.13||Round 4||09:00 CET||07.07.13|
|Round 5||09:00 CET||09.07.13||Round 6||09:00 CET||10.07.13|
|Kamsky||0-1||Giri||Wang Yue||1-0||Wang Hao|
|Round 7||09:00 CET||11.07.13||Round 8||09:00 CET||12.07.13|
|Wang Hao||1-0||Giri||Morozevich||½-½||Wang Hao|
|Round 9||09:00 CET||14.07.13||Round 10||09:00 CET||15.07.13|
|Round 11||07:00 CET||16.07.13|
Grand Prix Beijing 2013 | Round 11 standings
According to our calculations (
so not yet official! now confirmed by FIDE) these are the current standings in the overall Grand Prix:
FIDE Grand Prix 2012-2013 | Leg 5 standings
|Name||Fed||Criteria||London 2012||Tashkent 2012||Zug 2013||Thess. 2013||Beijing 2013||(Paris 2013)||Best 3 total|
Veselin Topalov has secured overall victory in the Grand Prix. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is not certain of his second place yet; Alexander Grischuk can reach 400 points with clear first in the last event and Fabiano Caruana can reach 395 points with clear first. Both need clear first to surpass Mamedyarov. The first two places in the Grand Prix qualify directly for the 2014 Candidates Tournament.
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