Reports | August 23, 2009 8:06

Ivanchuk and Leko lead in Jermuk with one round to go

Jermuk GPIvanchuk and Leko lead the Grand Prix in Jermuk with 7.5 points after they both drew in round 12, while Kasimdzhanov lost to Gelfand. The last round starts Sunday 10.30 CET.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series takes place in Jermuk, Armenia. It's a 14-player round-robin with Aronian, Jakovenko, Leko, Gelfand, Bacrot, Kamsky, Karjakin, Eljanov, Alekseev, Akopian, Ivanchuk, Cheparinov, Inarkiev and Kasimdzhanov. More info on the GP and Jermuk in our preview.

Round 12

The big clash between Leko and Aronian, which had been the decisive last-round game in the previous Grand Prix in Nalchik, was scheduled in round 12 (but with reversed colours compared to Nalchik). It's always interesting to see what happens when two of the biggest Marshall experts meet, and this time Leko chose 8.d4, the same move he had to defend to against Kamsky earlier in the tournament.

Jermuk GP

The Hungarian didn't go for 9.Bxf7 but instead continued in full gambit style. The theoretical verdit of this line has been the same for a long time already: White has just about enough compensation for the pawn, but not more. This was confirmed once more at this top level game, and so Leko kept his half a point lead with Aronian.

Co-leader Ivanchuk also couldn't prove an advantage with the white pieces and after long manoeuvring in an Anti-Berlin Wall (4.d3) he and Jakovenko split the point. Kasimdzhanov had to say goodbye to his shared first place after an unnecessary loss with white against Gelfand - with GM Jan Smeets I was looking at the game in the press room of the NH Chess Tournament and he considered the position around move 24 pretty drawish. The losing move was 36.Bc5 but it's unclear whether White could still hold it there.

Jermuk GP

The other winner of the day was Kamsky, who defeated Eljanov after a long struggle in a closed, Spanish position. Perhaps the Ukrainian should have continued his waiting strategy because the result of his active 53...f5 seemed to be the loss of his b-pawn, which became a decisive factor.

Jermuk GP

Round 12 games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 12 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results


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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.


Castro's picture

:-) "Von August"

Very very well catched!

Great round and tournament win for Ivanchuk! Also Gelfand and Aronian.
As for Leko, great tournament anyway, but... Haven't we seen some of this before? What a disapointing las round!

V's picture

Great tournament so far. The most interesting one of Grand Prix Series - ChessVibes won't let me lie.

And 6 players have a chance to win it.
Gelfand - Leko - Peter still remembers his last round defeat in Nalchik, so a draw is predictable
Akopian-Ivanchuk - this is going to be a nightmare for Vassili if he loses that.
Aronian - Inarkiev - Levon's best chance to catch up with leaders and finish it shared 1st.

But... we shall see what we shall see

T. Goto's picture

I fully agree with Von August. It's a welcome surprise that this series continue to be such a good one. When Carlsen and Adams pulled out, I had no idea what would lie ahead. I still think that both Carlsen and Adams can justify their decisions; FIDE needs to establish a stable system worthy of World Championship cycle with consistency, fairness, and transparency. I know it is complicated business, but as a fan of this sport, I hope something will be done in this regard.

That being said, I am very impressed with all the players who have been taken part of this series. Not that I don't miss who no longer take part in this, but they have been offering truly exiting competition. Especially this round is full of amazing fight! Let us hope more good chess in coming days!

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