The Grand Prix in Switzerland is getting closer to its final stage. Gata Kamsky got his second victory of the tournament, and did it against one of the co-leaders, Alexander Morozevich. This leaves Veselin Topalov and Ruslan Ponomariov at the top of the standings with a +2 score. It proves how strong and evenly distributed is this field.
The most impressive game of this round was Gata Kamsky’s win over Alexander Morozevich. The American took down one of the leaders in an exciting battle. The game started as a Sicilian, but soon turned into a kind of King’s Indian Defense. Kamsky, playing white, was not afraid to damage the pawn structure in front of his king and looked for the initiative on that side of the board.
Morozevich was never able to develop his queenside pieces properly and Kamsky effectively took advantage of this factor. The American sacrificed an exchange on move 27 to increase his initiative on the kingside and infiltrated the black position with his strong queen. Morozevich tried to trick his opponent looking for ways to save the game, but Kamsky was ruthless in his attack. He is now on an even score and still has chances to catch the leaders with four rounds to go.
The leaders played today and were the last ones to finish their game. Veselin Topalov had the white pieces against Ruslan Ponomariov. They went into a Nimzo-Indian where black closed the queenside pawn structure with an early c4. Ponomariov handled his small edge effectively and obtained a pawn advantage in the ensuing knights endgame. Topalov defended accurately and the players split the point on move 72.
Both stay as co-leaders of the event with +2. They have shown the most stable chess in the tournament. However, there are still four rounds to go and a lot of players have chances to catch them.
Peter Leko and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played an interesting Ruy Lopez. Although there were many points where it was easy to go astray, the players managed to hold things together and take right decisions. It took them 42 moves to sign the score-sheets with 1/2 – 1/2.
The youngest players of the field played the very fashionable Gruenfeld Defense. Fabiano Caruana was the one who chose it as his weapon with white, but Anish Giri was completely prepared to deal with this opening, which he uses quite often. The contenders entered into a sharp theoretical line and did not spend too much of their time on the clock, especially the Italian. The draw came on move 42.
Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov drew after 54 moves, while Sergey Karjiakin and Rustam Kasimdzhanov battled during 38 moves to get the same result.
Standings after 7 rounds:
Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich