Reports | November 26, 2012 1:00

Grand Prix R4: Three wins, three draws

Tashkent logo

In the fourth round of the World Chess Grand Prix in Tashkent three of the six games were decisive: Svidler, Wang Hao and Caruana won their games. Since Morozevich drew his game versus Mamedyarov, the Russian retains the sole lead entering the first rest day (Monday November 26th).

Tashkent Grand Prix logo | Photos courtesy of FIDE

Event FIDE Grand Prix | PGN via TWIC
Dates November 21st-December 5th, 2012
Location Tashkent, Uzbekistan
System 12-player robin
Players Karjakin, Caruana, Morozevich, Kamsky, Wang HaoMamedyarov, Svidler, Gelfand, Ponomariov,Leko, Dominguez, Kasimdzhanov
Rate of play

120 minutes for the first 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


Peter Svidler recovered from his painful loss the prior round against Mamedyarov by defeating Ruslan Ponomariov. With White, he opted for the Scotch with 5.Nb3 and introduced an interesting novelty on move 12, attempting to improve upon the game Bruzon-Fressinet from this year's Olympiad. Apparently Ponomariov wasn't aware of all nuances and soon fell under very unpleasant pressure. Although Svidler didn't play very precisely throughout the middlegame, and the Ukrainian was close to equality at some point, White kept pressing on the kingside and eventually succeeded in creating new weaknesses. On move 44 Black resigned, which meant Svidler's first victory in this tournament was at hand.

PGN string

The encounter between Peter Leko and Leinier Dominguez certainly offers new study material for opening theoreticians. In the Classical Variation of the Nimzo-Indian with 5.e4, the board was set on fire from the very beginning, and the Hungarian was the first to deviate from earlier games. Unfortunately, the sting was soon taken out of the position, when between move 13 and 21 both sides captured no less than eight times! After this mass of exchanges there wasn't much to play in the remainder and so a repetition of moves was established.

PGN string

Peter Leko and Lenier Dominguez agreed to a draw after a hypersharp Nimzo-Indian

A less eventful draw was seen in the game between Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Sergey Karjakin. White opted for 7.dxc5 against the Queen's Gambit Accepted, steering the game into a queenless middlegame. On move 13 the former FIDE World Champion deviated from some earlier games, but Karjakin continued to develop his pieces naturally. When all the minor pieces and pawns on the queenside were traded off a draw was agreed.

PGN string

So far it is not Gata Kamsky's tournament. In the fourth round another loss was added to his account, this time caused by Wang Hao. Kamsky deviated in a sharp Catalan from the game Aronian-Mamedyarov, Ohrid 2009, but soon his opening experiment totally failed. Besides an extra pawn, Black also had his pieces coordinated more efficiently. Tempted by the weakened kingside, Wang Hao focused his attention on that part of board, even though it would have been better just to keep his pieces centralized. Kamsky fought back and soon saw his drawing chances dramatically increased, due to the limited number of pawns left on the board. The American was unable to exploit the misplaced knight in the corner, however, and once Black's connected passed pawns got on a roll his fate was sealed.

PGN string

Boris Gelfand with Black faced his second Sicilian Rossolimo this tournament. Fabiano Caruana decided to play 5.Re1, whereas Svidler opted for 5.c3 in the second round. Gelfand was apparently cavalier towards the potential dangers of his position and inattentively shuffled around with his remaining knight. With energetic play, Caruana gradually increased the pressure on Black's position and eventually won a pawn. As they say, ''the rest is a matter of technique'', but once more an elite player proved that one shouldn't cheer for victory too early. Gelfand's tough defense was almost rewarded had he placed his king on d6 rather than his knight, on move 56. After this decisive mistake Caruana didn't falter again and recorded his second victory in a row.

PGN string

Gelfand: ''Did I do anything wrong by placing my knight on a5?''

Arguably the most spectacular game of the round was played between the current leader Alexander Morozevich and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In an Exchange Variation of the Slav the black queen wasted lot of time taking the pawn on b2 and after a short stop back home on e7, her adventure on the other side of the board continued. When the smoke cleared Black had four pawns for the knight, but White's c-pawn turned out to be an unpleasant force to reckon with. White could have obtained a winning advantage with 39.Ne7 Kh8 40.Qd6! when White's passer has free passage, while the king is fairly safe surrounded by its own forces. In the game, Moro's king didn't find shelter and so a repetition of moves was inevitable.

PGN string

A fascinating battle between Morozevich and Mamedyarov ended in a draw

World Chess Grand Prix Tashkent 2012 | Round 4 standings



Robert Ris's picture
Author: Robert Ris

Robert Ris is an International Master, professional trainer and teaches in schools, clubs and individually. He is one of the editors of ChessVibes Openings and ChessVibes Training and from time to time also writes book reviews. Other interests: travelling, sports and Greek food.


Anonymous's picture

53. a4 ! ... isn`t it 53.a4 ?? In gelfand Caruana game ???

This young Italian is very impressive

Frits Fritschy's picture

I don't understand your comment. 53... a4 is drawing, according to the analysis given. If you have found an improvement for white, please tell us.

Robert Ris's picture

I agree with Frits. 53...a4 is still fine for Black, Gelfand should have played 56...Kd6 instead!

Anonymous's picture

My mistake, sorry !

choufleur's picture

Leko is just making too many draws ... why is he so afraid of losing ?

Septimus's picture

Come on, be serious. This latest game was one hot potato. Very very sharp and exciting. Why are you complaining?

Thomas's picture

+1 - Leko also at least tried to play sharp games against Mamedyarov (7.g4, 8.g5 - Aronian or Shirov couldn't have done 'better') and Ponomariov (but Pono with white avoided sharper lines of the Najdorf). But people like to complain about Leko because they enjoy their prejudices about him.

Anonymous's picture

Choufleur 2800 before the end of time ?

achtie's picture

ehm, have you seen Kasimzhanov recently? Go pick on him.

Anonymous's picture

just won today buddy :)

Anonymous's picture

after his victory today Kasimzhanov is leader of the tournament alongside half the rest of the world

learn kungfu's picture

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Septimus's picture

Not sure if Na5 deserves a ? in Gelfand's game. Seems that the white bishop can play a role if the Q-side opens up.

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