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FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki 2013 (5)

Dominguez takes sole lead after Thessaloniki Round 5

Leinier Dominguez. Photo ©

Leinier Dominguez. Photo © | http://thessaloniki2013.fide.com

The FIDE Grand Prix has a surprise leader in Leinier Dominguez Perez who defeated Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the 5th round of the FIDE Grand Prix.

Dominguez has struggled to get invitations at the highest level recently and was worried this lack of practice might affect him earlier in the event but everything is going his way at the moment without having to take any undue risks. Kasimdzhanov drifted into trouble in a quiet Bogo-Indian, Dominguez felt he had equalised by move 19 and that even Kasimdzhanov's decision to trade queens at the expense of his pawn structure should have been drawish. Most probably 26.Rc5?! was the real start of the trouble overlooking 28...Kf8! Kasimdzhanov could have played 29.Rd8+ Ke7 30.Rc8 with decent drawing chances or even 28.Rd7 sacrificing a pawn but once 30...a5, 31...a4 came in Rb3 was an ever present threat and the super-accurate 33...Re2 Zugzwang (white is entirely relying on f4 and Rg3 (protected by the h2 pawn) in response to Rb3 and so can't really move the h3 pawn) won the game for him after a few more precise moves.

Etienne Bacrot missed the only concrete winning chance against Alexander Morozevich in a fluctuating struggle. 64...gxh5 was an error as his intended and played 65...h4 doesn't work because of 66.Kd4 and white will keep his b-pawn and catch the h-pawn. The game finished in a draw after that.

Hikaru Nakamura went quite badly astray against Fabiano Caruana out of the opening, most probably he wanted too much instead of playing solidly. Nakamura said that he feared the crude 27...Bb8 followed by 28...Qd6 and then maybe even Bc7 and centralising the rooks before a g5 break. Caruana still had a huge advantage the way he played it but Nakamura defended determinedly and scrambled a draw in the end.

Peter Svidler and Veselin Topalov have been around for so very long and seen so very much that almost nothing can completely surprise them but they certainly both ended up in positions they had not prepared for this game and only had vague recollections of their analysis. Svidler hadn't played 7.c5 in the Bf4 Queen's Gambit before and won the exchange after 19...Qa6?! (Be7) but this was still just a game. Svidler was better (26.Nd2) but underestimated black's queenside play and had to exercise a bit of care to draw the game.

Ruslan Ponomariov against Alexander Grischuk was a heavyweight Berlin Defence ending in a draw by repetition. Grischuk was slightly worried that even towards the end the bishops of opposite coloured ending could have been tricky for him with g5 and a carefully timed f4-f5 but Ponomariov hadn't seen the concept. Most probably with best play it would also have been drawn.

Vassily Ivanchuk clearly wanted a quick draw today and Gata Kamsky as black wasn't going to stand in his way and the arbiters even allowed a draw after only 25 moves so sterile was the position left.

A word of praise for the commentary in English (there is Greek commentary too which I obviously haven't sampled) by GM Stelios Halkias (or GM Ioannis Papaioannou) and FM Sotiris Logothetis. You want free chess lessons? They're available in commentary for hours. Very instructive and also entertaining. (Live video feed with commentary Direct link to the official live commentary page.) along with the press conferences which quite frequently are detailed post-mortems on the games with lessons you can get nowhere else.

Round 6 Tuesday 28th May 12pm BST: Grischuk-Morozevich, Caruana-Bacrot, Dominguez-Nakamura, Topalov-Kasimdzhanov, Kamsky-Svidler, Ponomariov-Ivanchuk,

Round 5 Standings: Dominguez 3.5pts, Kamsky, Grischuk, Topalov, Morozevich, Caruana 3pts, Kasimdzhanov, Ponomariov 2.5pts, Svidler, Bacrot 2pts, Nakamura 1.5pts, Ivanchuk 1pt

Makedonia Palace FIDE GP Thessaloniki GRE (GRE), 22 v-4 vi 2013 cat. XXI (2753)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2723 * 0 . . . . ½ 1 . 1 . 1 2890
2. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2741 1 * ½ ½ . . ½ . . . . ½ 3 2830
3. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2779 . ½ * ½ . . ½ . ½ . 1 . 3 2827
4. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2793 . ½ ½ * . . ½ . . ½ . 1 3 2829
5. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2760 . . . . * . . ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 3 2816
6. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2774 . . . . . * ½ ½ . ½ ½ 1 3 2820
7. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2742 ½ ½ ½ ½ . ½ * . . . . . 2762
8. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2699 0 . . . ½ ½ . * ½ . 1 . 2751
9. Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2725 . . ½ . ½ . . ½ * 0 ½ . 2 2684
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2769 0 . . ½ 0 ½ . . 1 * . . 2 2683
11. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 . . 0 . ½ ½ . 0 ½ . * . 2598
12. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2755 0 ½ . 0 ½ 0 . . . . . * 1 2518
Round 5 (May 27, 2013)
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 46 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam - Dominguez Perez, Leinier 0-1 39 E11 Bogo Indian Defence
Bacrot, Etienne - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½ 81 D90 Gruenfeld Flohr
Svidler, Peter - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 43 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Nakamura, Hikaru - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 84 D80 Gruenfeld 4.Bg5
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Kamsky, Gata ½-½ 25 B17 Caro Kann

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