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FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki 2013 (10)

Gata Kamsky leads going into Thessaloniki final round

Kamsky beat Morozevich in Round 10. Photo ©

Kamsky beat Morozevich in Round 10. Photo © | http://thessaloniki2013.fide.com

Gata Kamsky was not forced to work very hard at all for yet another win in the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, this time in the 10th round against Alexander Morozevich. Kamsky turned 39 today although he was trying not to make very much of it. For Morozevich this was his fourth loss in a row. He arrived at the board hidden under a baseball cap and played a rather rare variation which he used over a decade ago against Peter Leko. Already 17...Nxb2 loses to a long line in which Kamsky missed a key point at the end: 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. exd5 Rxc2 20. Rxe7 Rxe7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Qxf6! Re1+ 23. Rxe1 Qxf6 24. Re8# but his 18.Bb3 left him with an easy position to play and after 18...Bd8? (20...Ne5 had to be tried) 19.Nxg7 Morozevich could have resigned. Morozevich just needs the event to end now. Kamsky leads by half a point going into the final round and a draw in the final round against Caruana should take him back into the top 10 in the world.

Leinier Dominguez Perez managed to draw a very sharp Anti-Gruenfeld as black against Alexander Grischuk. Dominguez found a way to give perpetual check just out of theory, and it might have been more as Grischuk almost miscalculated and lost. Dominguez is in second place half a point behind Grischuk and a decent final round result should take him into the top 15 in the world.

Fabiano Caruana was completely busted out of the opening against Veselin Topalov but fought back to win. Showing the difficulties in staying on top of all the Ruy Lopez theory Caruana was caught out by 8.Nd5 which is by no means new. 8...Na5 (maybe 8...h6) wasn't good and Caruana ended up with a displaced King. Computers like 21.Rxa6 for Topalov but this is complex, 25.Nxd6? was a mistake for deep reasons which lost Topalov a piece for good compensation (25.Rc3!?) and allowed Caruana to equalise. Caruana supposed that the resulting position wasn't played well by either side but it was terribly difficult to understand. Topalov looked like he would draw but 51.Re7? should have lost but 54...Kh8? returned the favour (54...Qf7) allowing a forced draw after 55.Rxa2 but Topalov missed this and lost. Chess is a hard game.

Ruslan Ponomariov ground down Etienne Bacrot in a manoeuvring Giuoco Piano which is rather similar to a Ruy Lopez. This sort of thing was in vogue in the late 1970s when I was learning chess. Ponomariov got the two bishops and a small initiative which allowed him to pressurised Bacrot over a long time. 45...c5 was the final mistake most probably.

Vassily Ivanchuk seemed in talkative and more cheerful mood at his press conference for the draw against Hikaru Nakamura. Both players thought Ivanchuk should be better at one point maybe with 22.Bb2 but later Nakamura was slight better but both seemed happy enought with a draw by repetition.

Peter Svidler and Rustam Kasimdzanov ended up in a sharp variation of the Ruy Lopez neither could remember properly and so instead pieces were traded for a draw.

Round 10 Standings: Kamsky 7.5pts, Dominguez 7pts, Caruana 6.5pts, Ponoamriov, Grischuk 5.5pts, Kasimdzhanov 5pts, Topalov, Svidler 4.5pts, Bacrot, Nakamura 4pts, Morozevich 3.5pts, Ivanchuk 2.5pts.

Round 11 starts two hours early at 10am BST Pairings: Kasimdzhanov-Grischuk, Nakamura-Svidler, Bacrot-Ivanchuk, Morozevich-Ponomariov, Caruana-Kamsky, Dominguez-Topalov.

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. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2741 * 1 . ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 2945
2. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2723 0 * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 . ½ ½ 1 1 7 2900
3. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2774 . 0 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 2862
4. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2779 ½ ½ ½ * ½ . ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 2791
5. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2742 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ . 1 2789
6. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2699 0 0 ½ . 1 * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5 2755
7. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2769 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 . 0 1 2713
8. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2793 ½ . 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 0 1 1 2715
9. Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2725 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 * ½ ½ . 4 2683
10. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 . 1 ½ * ½ ½ 4 2677
11. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2760 0 0 0 ½ . ½ 1 0 ½ ½ * ½ 2643
12. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2755 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 . ½ ½ * 2562
Round 10 (June 2, 2013)
Kamsky, Gata - Morozevich, Alexander 1-0 25 C96 Ruy Lopez
Grischuk, Alexander - Dominguez Perez, Leinier ½-½ 33 D70 Gruenfeld Defence
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Bacrot, Etienne 1-0 51 C50 Giuoco Piano
Svidler, Peter - Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½ 37 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence
Topalov, Veselin - Caruana, Fabiano 0-1 60 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 38 E63 King's Indian 6...Nc6

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