Reports | November 23, 2012 20:41

Morozevich takes sole lead in Tashkent

Tashkent logo

In the second round of the World Chess Grand Prix in Tashkent, only Alexander Morozevich managed to win his game against top seed Fabiano Caruana. Since the other games ended in a peaceful way, it's the Russian GM who's taking an early sole lead in the capital of Uzbekistan.

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


Alexander Morozevich seems to be back in excellent shape after his unexpected withdrawal due to health reasons from the Biel tournament earlier this year. Although luck was on his side in the first round encounter versus Gata Kamsky, his victory over Caruana was pretty straightforward. From an Anti-Berlin opening, play was steered quickly into unknown territory and evidently this type of play suited the Muscovite very well. Caruana failed to come up with an active plan and soon 'Moro' was in the driver's seat with pressure on the weak e-pawn. Black was forced to give up the pawn, but in the ensuing single rook ending he blundered terribly on move 40 by capturing the a-pawn. Instead, 40...Rf4! had to be played, keeping an eye on the pawn on g4 when Black should be able to hold on. After this mistake White's connected passed pawns were simply too strong.

PGN string

Alexander Morozevich defeated top seed Fabiano Caruana in the second round

Co-leader Sergey Karjakin drew his game with Gata Kamsky. In the Petrosian System (4.a3) of the Queen's Indian play remained pretty balanced throughout the entire game and so the point was split on move 30. 

PGN string

Together with Alexander Morozevich, Sergey Karjakin is the only player who managed to score a full point so far

The game between Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Ruslan Ponomariov was rather dry. In a typical variation of the Ruy Lopez with 6.d3, the pawn structure became symmetrical, with four pawns on the d-file. Judging by the speed his moves were made, the Ukrainian former FIDE World Champion seemed well-prepared and easily added another half point to his record.

PGN string

Grünfeld advocates will surely be interested in the game between Wang Hao and Leinier Dominguez, which ended in a draw as well. Against the provocative 5.Qa4+, the Cuban responded energetically with 8...c6, 9...b5 and 10...Qa5. However, in subsequent play Black's problems concerning the development of his queenside became apparent, and for quite some time White had the better prospects. Approaching the time-control White couldn't find the precise continuation and thus Black was able to generate counterplay in time, with his passed b-pawn.

PGN string

Leko-Mamedyarov saw a rather unusual opening and White aggressively advanced his g-pawn, attempting to punish Black for his rather passive and provocative setup. After the exchange of queens, Black remained in control due to the centrally placed knights. At some point Leko almost overplayed his hand and dropped a pawn. The Azeri tried to convert his slight material advantage, but with accurate play Leko managed to hold on, and so the result was never in dispute.

PGN string

Peter Svidler opted for the Sicilian Rossolimo against Boris Gelfand, which the latter faced a couple of times against Vishy Anand in the last World Championship Match (May 2012). Whereas the Indian consistently tried to prove an edge by trading of his bishop for the knight on c6, Svidler decided to keep his light-squared bishop on the board and caught his opponent by surprise with 10.b4!?. The Israeli missed a clear path to equality with 14...Qb6 and ended up in an unpleasant ending. His tenacious resistance was finally rewarded and after a hard-fought game Svidler had to accept a draw.

PGN string

Boris Gelfand confronted with Peter Svidler's interpretation of the Sicilian Rossolimo

World Chess Grand Prix Tashkent 2012 | Round 2 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.


noyb's picture

Nice to see Moro in form, but otherwise... yaaawwwwwwnnnn.

eric's picture

Karjakin looks really cool in the picture:)
Report says: " Although luck was on his side in the first round encounter versus Gata Kamsky, his victory over Caruana was pretty straightforward." I do not get. Moro was pressing from the e-file but still that was not enough. But after black's 40...- Rxa3 (BTW, is this move one '?' or '??') Moro easily won the game. OK, I think "luck" is not the best way to analyze chess games, but still, in this context, this seems just the same as his game against Kamsky.

Talekhine's picture

No, not just the same. Kamsky was clearly better although right before the blunder it was probably not enough to win.

nathan's picture

is the qualification for the candidates 2014 announced already ?
I would imagine it being 2 spots from the Grand Prix, 1 from World Cup, 3 rating spots, 1 organizer wildcard and the losing WC 2013 finalist.

Anonymous's picture

As seen in the photo above, Fabiano's addiction to red wines is fast becoming his Achille's heel. Hopefully he'll learn his lesson and turn that wine into water before it destroys his career.

Qaoqe's picture

Is it really wine? Seems more like a cola.

Niima's picture

Or maybe he lost because he only had one glass.

papf's picture

i drew with a higher opponent after having 2 glasses vodka

Anonymous's picture

yeah, but i heard he finished the rest of the bottle :)

john's picture

finally it takes a Moro to defeat a caruana

Anonymous's picture

or a Carlsen ... Obviously

Thomas's picture

Or an Aronian (last round of Tal Memorial).

There is actually a Moro-Caruana history: Moro's loss against Caruana in Biel 2009 may have been one of the first signs that this Italo-American kid, Elo 2670 at the time, is really talented. Later their last six classical games were all decisive, with an edge (now overall 4-3) for Morozevich.

Moro had done it before, losing twice in Biel 2006 against some Norwegian kid with Elo 2675 (but still winning the event with 7.5/10).

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