London FIDE Grand Prix – Round 5

Today is the last game of the FIDE Grand Prix tournament before the first free day. So far, we have only one leader: Boris Gelfand. Due to Yom Kippur, Boris and Shakhriyar had to start the game at 1pm. Ivanchuk, who arrived a bit earlier to watch the game, was surprised by the pawn sacrifice of Boris from the very beginning of the game.

Vasily Ivanchuk was probably inspired by this and started in an aggressive mood, playing h4-h5 against the Gruenfeld defence of Alexander Grischuk. The Russian player decided to play naturally and placed his pieces in the centre. After 15 moves, the position appeared quite balanced. The main action was going on the “h” file, and both players repeated the moves by a continuous attack on the Queen.

Wang Hao came up with a new idea in the Meran defence today, installing very quickly a powerful Knight on “e5” with the 2 pawns “d4” and “f4” behind it. Rustam Kasimdzhanov decided quickly to sacrifice a pawn for the activity, putting pressure on the white king in the centre. The bishop on “g7” combined with action of the two rooks was very unpleasant for Hao, who was probably pretty happy to exchange most of the pieces and enter in a drawn endgame.

Nakamura came with a fresh and surprising opening today, playing 3…Nge7 on the Spanish opening, the so called Cozio defence. Both players were playing very slowly spending each an hour for the first 6 moves! Black looked fine with natural development, putting all their pawns on dark squares. Hikaru took the advantage but played the inaccurate 37…Qf6, letting Leinier get back into the game.

Strangely, during the time trouble, Nakamura blocked his bishop on “a2” and got a significantly worse position. As a result, Leinier, step by step, took the advantage. On move 71, white missed a chance to win the game with 71.Bxg6! but finally the game ended in a draw.

We had an interesting theoretical fight in the Queen’s Indian played between Topalov and Leko. After 18 moves, Topalov just spent 5 minutes and Leko 25 minutes. On move 20, Topalov decided to go for an exchange sacrifice, which was declined by the Hungarian GM. The rook was “en prise” for a few moves, both players ignoring it. After a few moves, Leko finally took the exchange on move 22, and tried to make a blockade on the “d4” square.

Topalov found a good attack, but in time trouble Leko managed to exchange queens, and the endgame finished in a draw.

For the third time in the tournament, Giri was playing the Petrov’s defence. Adams surprised his opponent already after the 8th move, obliging the young Dutch prodigy to spend more than 20 minutes on his reply. Finally, Adams went for the usual long castling and actually had nothing significant out of the opening. Anish equalized and methodically exchanged the rooks on the “e” file, entering into a bishop endgame. Draw.

Replay the games with computer analysis

Round 5 results:
GM Topalov Veselin 2752 ½ – ½ GM Leko Peter 2737
GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725 ½ – ½ GM Nakamura Hikaru 2783
GM Wang Hao 2742 ½ – ½ GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729 ½ – ½ GM Gelfand Boris 2738
GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2769 ½ – ½ GM Grischuk Alexander 2754
GM Adams Michael 2722 ½ – ½ GM Giri Anish 2730

Round 6 pairings (on 2012/09/27):
GM Leko Peter 2737 – GM Giri Anish 2730
GM Grischuk Alexander 2754 – GM Adams Michael 2722
GM Gelfand Boris 2738 – GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2769
GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2684 – GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2729
GM Nakamura Hikaru 2783 – GM Wang Hao 2742
GM Topalov Veselin 2752 – GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2725

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