Kasimdzhanov scores only win in 11th round Grand Prix
After so much excitement on Thursday, the 11th round of the Elista Grand Prix could be described as the round of missed chances. Many favourable endings were not won and in the end it was only Kasimdzhanov who scored a win, with Black against Inarkiev. Jakovenko, Grischuk and Radjabov still lead with just two rounds to go.
The 3rd Grand Prix takes place December 13-29 in Elista, Kalmykia. Radjabov, Leko, Jakovenko, Wang Yue, Mamedyarov, Eljanov, Grischuk, Alekseev, Bacrot, Gashimov, Cheparinov, Akopian, Kasimdzhanov and Inarkiev play daily at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET; 07:00 EST); live games here.
Results Round 11, December 26
Wang Yue-Radjabov ?Ç¬?-?Ç¬?
The game Inarkiev-Kasimdzhanov, a Breyer that started as a Zaitsev, reached King's Indian structures but with an open b-file. Black was perfectly OK right out of the opening and not much was happening until Inarkiev suddenly erred with 39.Ng4? dropping a pawn. Strangely, Kasimdzhanov didn't go for the obvious 47...Qc2 and a few moves later his extra pawn was already gone. Again, in a position he should never have lost, Inarkiev blundered another pawn (63.Qe3?) and this time the former FIDE World Champion had no mercy.
Inarkiev lost to Kasimdzhanov after blundering a pawn twice
Wang Yue-Radjabov was a lot of KID theory: 22...Ra3 was new compared to Akobian-Nataf, Montreal 2008. This is no surprise since Nataf was Radjabov's second in Baku (and perhaps even right now - we're not sure about that). Black's activity along the a-file meant enough compensation for White's strong knight on e4.
In Grischuk-Cheparinov, a new paragraph in the everlasting Anti-Moscow Gambit story, 13...h5 was the theoretical novelty. It was quite an interesting game that was always about equal and for many online viewers it must have been nice to follow the ending until the very end. Alekseev-Mamedyarov was also quite entertaining; a coffee house player would have been proud of Mamedyarov's attack on the kingside! White had the better chances until his somewhat strange 34.Ke2 but then Black missed 35...Qf6! after which it was suddenly a forced draw.
Alekseev-Mamedyarov: a spectacular draw
Bacrot won't be too happy about his 11th round; the Frenchman couldn't win and ending with an extra pawn against Akopian. But White's active rook was perhaps already enough compensation to hold it. Eljanov played an excellent game against Leko, and also ended up with a plus pawn, but the Ukrainian too had to settle for the draw, because his opponent was simply defending very well.
In an important line of the Caro-Kann, Gashimov's 16.N3xd4 was new (normally they do 16.Nxe7+ Qxe7 17.Nxd4) and quite tricky, since White threatens to take on e6. He continued aggressively and Jakovenko was probably wise to go for the ending, but also there it was Gashimov who was the one with winning chances. Perhaps he should have tried 45.Nb2; in the game Jakovenko had a narrow escape by giving back the extra piece in return for some menacing pawns.
With two more rounds to go it's hard to predict a winner. Perhaps Jakovenko should be considered favorite since he has the lightest program: Eljanov with White and then Alekseev with Black. A nice last-round pairing is Grischuk-Radjabov!
Pairings round 12, December 27
Pairings last round, December 28
Wang Yue- Leko
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