"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

FIDE Grand Prix - Beijing 2013 - Round 6

In round 6 Alexander Morozevich met Gata Kamsky and it was rather hot. The Grünfeld Indian has been played and Morozevich leading White chose for Russian system with 7.e4 Bg4, where Morozevich decided to castle Queenside. This line is gaining its popularity and despite that it is not the most common continuation White scores above 60%! In the move 12 Morozevich came up with his novelty when he played 12.h3 (in my database there are only two games and in both of them White chose for 12.Be2). Arising position looks sharp and Mr Houdini insists that White is much better. Morozevich capitalized his positional advantage and around move 27 he was two pawns up and his passed c-pawn decided the game.

In the game Anish Giri vs Vassily Ivanchuk Ruy Lopez has been played and topical line with 6.d3 was on the agenda. Black had an upper hand but this small advantage having had better pawn structure and temporarily was a pawn up. But finally the game finished draw.

Another Ruy Lopez occurred in the game Topalov vs Grischuk. Veselin Topalov, playing White, tried as he might to pull down The Berlin Wall built up by Alexander Grischuk. Interestingly enough, Topalov opted for the line in which White scores rather badly (less than 40%) so there must have been some smoking gun prepared home. However, it was not Topalov but Grischuk who came up with a novelty. From open position after quick simplifications game was transposed into rook ending where Grischuk gave up pawn for active position of his rook and the we had quite drawish ending Rook and 3 pawns vs Rook and 2 pawns. The final handshake became inevitable.

In the game Boris Gelfand vs Peter Leko a Semi-Tarrasch QGD was seen. Gelfand fianchettoed his light-squared Bishop and came up from the opening with small edge having taken control of c-file and having had rook on 7th rank. Black major problem was how to develop his Queenside. But when the players exchanged the pair of rooks the position was equal. In final Bishop's ending where Gelfand had "good vs bad" Bishop advantage was obvious that White could get more than draw.

In all-Chinese duel Wang vs Wang, Yue beat Hao. Queen's Gambit Accepted was played and this game is a good example of the importance of "healthy vs ill" pawn structure.  Not only had White a better pawn structure but also Knight superior to opponent's Bishop in Rook and minor pieces ending.

In the last game, Karjakin vs Mamedyarov, Petroff was played. Karjakin went into rather unchartered waters trying to avoid the main lines. Both players finally castled Queenside. However, the things did not go very well for White. He obtained worse position and the he dropped a pawn. The result of all following simplifications was an ending Bishop vs Knight were Black with Knight was pawn up. Karjakin put up stubborn resistance but his position was lost. But Black did not play accurately in the final stage of this drama. The arising ending Queen and Pawn vs Queen was theoretical draw but full of venomous traps. Now it was Mamedyarov who stubbornly continued playing and hoping that Karjakin running short of time could make a mistake. (Time was 15 vs 50 minutes!) And this is what happened in the move 91. White should have prevented the check on b6 after which the position is lost. Karjakin under the time constraint played 91.Kb3?? and quickly resigned.

Table/Starting rank after Round 6

Well, because of the his defeat Karjakin lost his lead and Grischuk has become the frontrunner of this tournament. Mamedyarov is runner-up followed by Karjakin. All players have 4 points each.

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