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FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki 2013 (1)

Svidler, Kasimdzhanov and Kamsky win in Round 1 of Thessaloniki Grand Prix

Topalov vs Grischuk in Round 1. Photo ©

Topalov vs Grischuk in Round 1. Photo © | http://thessaloniki2013.fide.com

The first round of the FIDE Grand Prix in started in Thessaloniki on Wednesday 22nd May. Peter Svidler defeated Etienne Bacrot, Gata Kamsky beat Leinier Dominguez Perez and Rustam Kasimdzhanov beat Hikaru Nakamura.

Etienne Bacrot said that he was worried he hasn't played such a strong event in a long time and he went down to quick defeat against Peter Svidler after the bad move 21.Ba3? Bacrot played 4...Nxd5 in the Queen's Gambit a move revived by Kramnik in the Candidates against Svidler.

Gata Kamsky thought he was somewhat lucky to beat Leinier Dominguez Perez. Kamsky didn't have much in a positional Najdorf until Dominguez played 40...Bxd6 but it wasn't until 44...Rxh4? that he was really winning.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov defeated Hikaru Nakamura in a very strange Benoni where Nakamura seemed all over the place. Nakamura intended to play 7...Nh5 but somehow played 7...e6 instead, 9....e5 wasn't so good either and 17...f5 very bad. Kasimdzhanov then had a stable advantage which he finally exploited in 69 moves.

Veselin Topalov against Alexander Grischuk was a fascinating if probably flawed positional struggle where Grischuk at least equalised (22...Nxe3), then wasted "about five tempi" going backwards, then Topalov was better until 33...Qc5?! after which he gradually became worse and had to show care in order to draw.

Alexander Morozevich was somewhat caught out by Vassily Ivanchuk's choice of 15.f3 in the King's Indian a line he had looked at a long time ago, Ivanchuk ended up with a huge positional advantage according to Morozevich who certainly had a very passive position but later time trouble intervened and the draw was agreed on move 63.

Ruslan Ponomariov admitted he wasn't that ambitious in the first round against Fabiano Caruana who probably had equalised in a Ruy Lopez anyway.

Round 1 Standings: Kamsky, Svidler, Kasimdzhanov 1pt Topalov, Ponomariov, Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Caruana, Grischuk 0.5pts Nakamura, Bacrot, Dominguez 0pts

Round 2 Pairings: Grischuk - Nakamura, Bacrot - Kasimdzhanov, Morozevich - Svidler, Caruana - Ivanchuk, Dominguez - Ponomariov, Topalov - Kamsky

Svidler,Peter (2769) - Bacrot,Etienne (2725) [D35]
Makedonia Palace GP Thessaloniki GRE (1.5), 22.05.2013

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Rb1

A new idea.

7...cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Nf3

[11.Be3 Qa5+]

11...c5 12.0-0 Be7 13.Be3

[13.Ba3 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bxa3 15.Qa4+ Bd7 16.Qxa3 Qe7 17.Qxe7+ Kxe7 18.Rb7 Rhc8 19.Nf5+ exf5 20.exf5]

13...cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bd7 15.Qg4 0-0

[15...e5 16.Nf5 Bxf5 17.exf5 0-0]

16.Rfd1 Qe8

[16...Qa5 17.Rb7 Rad8]

17.e5

Etienne Bacrot

r___qrk_
___bbppp
p___p___
____P___
___N__Q_
____B___
P____PPP
_R_R__K_

Peter Svidler

Position after 17.e5

A containment manoever. "Long time since I played strong opponents." Bacrot who thought he was equal.

[17.Bh6 Bf6 18.Nf3 Bc6 19.e5 Bxf3]

17...Kh8 18.h3 Rb8

[18...Ba4 19.Rdc1]

19.Qe4 h6

[19...Rxb1 20.Rxb1 Qc8 21.Rc1 Qb8]

20.Rdc1 Qd8

Then Etienne started making mistakes. "I was already kind of hopeful" - Svidler.

[20...Rxb1 21.Qxb1 Qa8 22.Rc7 Rb8]

21.Rb7 Ba3?

Etienne Bacrot

_r_q_r_k
_R_b_pp_
p___p__p
____P___
___NQ___
b___B__P
P____PP_
__R___K_

Peter Svidler

Position after 21...Ba3?

"The game really got away from Etienne when he played Ba3" - Bacrot.

[21...Rc8 22.Rd1 Qe8]

22.Rc3 Be7

[22...Qa5 is probably the only try.]

23.Rcc7 Bc8 24.Ra7 Ba3 25.Rxf7 Rxf7 26.Rxf7 Qg8 27.Qf3 Bb2?

Black is of course busted but this just allows Rf8.

1-0

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 . 1
2. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2699 . * . . . . . . . . . 1 1
3. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2769 . . * . . . . . . 1 . . 1
4. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2774 . . . * . . . ½ . . . . ½ 2742
5. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2779 . . . . * . . . ½ . . . ½ 2793
6. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2755 . . . . . * ½ . . . . . ½ 2760
7. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2760 . . . . . ½ * . . . . . ½ 2755
8. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2742 . . . ½ . . . * . . . . ½ 2774
9. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2793 . . . . ½ . . . * . . . ½ 2779
10. Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2725 . . 0 . . . . . . * . . 0
11. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2723 0 . . . . . . . . . * . 0
12. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 . 0 . . . . . . . . . * 0
Round 1 (May 22, 2013)
Kamsky, Gata - Dominguez Perez, Leinier 1-0 45 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 69 A56 Old Indian Defence
Svidler, Peter - Bacrot, Etienne 1-0 27 D35 QGD Exchange
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½ 62 E97 King's Indian Classical
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 39 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Topalov, Veselin - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 85 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3

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