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FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki 2013 (4)

Ivanchuk in freefall after Thessaloniki Round 4

Dominguez against Svidler in Round 4. Photo ©

Dominguez against Svidler in Round 4. Photo © | http://thessaloniki2013.fide.com

The FIDE Grand Prix heads to the first rest day on Sunday with over half the field tied for first on 2.5/4. Veselin Topalov and Leinier Dominguez Perez both won to join the leading group. Vassily Ivanchuk lost in only 21 moves against Topalov and is in last place on 0.5/4.

These are real danger signs again for Vassily Ivanchuk as he went down to defeat in only 21 moves against Veselin Topalov. Topalov had trouble recalling the precise theory in the Sicilian Moscow Variation Ivanchuk tried today. Topalov felt 14...Bxf6 was at least a risky choice compared to 14...gxf6, it's hard to tell if he's right. 16...Qb6 was also risky, 17....Qc5 bad and 18...h5 losing. You have to fear for Ivanchuk now.

Leinier Dominguez Perez decided to play solidly with white against Peter Svidler and got the no risk position he wanted out of the Ruy Lopez. Svidler gradually got into trouble. Perhaps 22...h5 (22...Rxc2!?) made things very hard for him. 26...Qf8 may have been the final move to try and hang on but already Svidler's position looks terribly difficult. 33.Kh8 lost out of hand in an already horrible position. Svidler has now had had two satisfactory positions out of the opening quickly fall apart on him. Svidler also didn't attend the press conference, a sure sign this one hurt quite badly.

Morozevich against Nakamura was an extremely sharp Sicilian where Nakamura briefly got a big advantage. Morozevich was very relieved to see 21...as and he was very worried about 21...Rh2 and this indeed seems to be very strong. The game finished in perpetual check.

Ruslan Ponomariov got a small advantage as black against Gata Kamsky in a Ruy Lopez but this had disappeared by first time control. However Kamsky immediately went wrong with 41.Ne4 (41.Nf1) and 42.Nf6+ when the computers immediately spotted a rather startling tactic 42...Qxf6 43.Rxc5 Qe7! attacking the rook to be followed by the unstoppable Qe1+ and Re2 with a decisive attack. After this missed chance the game was drawn only a few moves later.

Alexander Grischuk got a little something against Etienne Bacrot after playing the non-critical 6.b3 in the Catalan. Grischuk used large amounts of time and he decided he had to return a pawn Bacrot sacrificed. Grischuk just didn't have time to calculate sharp variations in a position that was unclear anyhow. Shortly after the game traded to a draw.

Fabiano Caruana got a nagging, and for his opponent very unpleasant, advantage in an ending coming out of the Marshall Defence against Rustam Kasimdzhanov but just couldn't make anything out of it after Kasimdzhanov defended well.

Round 4 Standings: Kamsky, Grischuk, Kasimdzhanov, Topalov, Caruana, Morozevich, Dominguez 2.5pts/4, Ponomariov 2pts, Bacrot, Svidler 1.5pts, Nakamura 1pt, Ivanchuk 0.5pts.

Rest day Sun 26th. Round 5 27th May 2013 12pm GMT Ponomariov-Grischuk, Ivanchuk-Kamsky, Svidler-Veselin, Kasimdzhanov-Dominguez, Nakamura-Caruana and Bacrot-Morozevich.

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 * ½ . ½ . . 1 ½ . . . . 2854
2. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2779 ½ * . ½ . . . . ½ . 1 . 2853
3. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2699 . . * . ½ ½ . . ½ . 1 . 2853
4. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2793 ½ ½ . * . . . ½ . . . 1 2849
5. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2774 . . ½ . * . . ½ . ½ . 1 2836
6. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2760 . . ½ . . * . . . 1 ½ ½ 2844
7. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2723 0 . . . . . * ½ . 1 . 1 2846
8. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2742 ½ . . ½ ½ . ½ * . . . . 2 2757
9. Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2725 . ½ ½ . . . . . * 0 ½ . 2668
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2769 . . . . ½ 0 0 . 1 * . . 2658
11. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 . 0 0 . . ½ . . ½ . * . 1 2547
12. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2755 . . . 0 0 ½ 0 . . . . * ½ 2440
Round 4 (May 25, 2013)
Kamsky, Gata - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½ 54 C92 Ruy Lopez Chigorin
Grischuk, Alexander - Bacrot, Etienne ½-½ 53 D02 Queen's Pawn Game
Topalov, Veselin - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0 21 B30 Sicilian Rossolimo
Caruana, Fabiano - Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½ 76 C89 Ruy Lopez Marshall
Morozevich, Alexander - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 38 B80 Sicilian Scheveningen
Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Svidler, Peter 1-0 36 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack

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