Round 1: Topalov, Grischuk and Karjakin win
The first round of the fifth stage of FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Beijing got under way on 4th of July, after FIDE Vice President Mr Chu Bo made the first symbolic move 1.d4 in the game Gelfand-Topalov. Mrs Chen Zelan, Vice President of World Xiangqi Federation, Vice President of Board Games & Cards Administrative Center of General Sport Administration of China “helped” Veselin Topalov by playing 1…Nf6.
Topalov, Karjakin and Grischuk, all playing with black, started with victories, while the other three games were drawn. Vasiliy Ivanchuk and Wang Hao were first to finish their game after 3 hours of play. The excitement started before the first time control as in four out five games one or both players were in dangerous time trouble. In mutual time-trouble Gata Kamsky even lost on time against Alexander Grischuk, while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov came close to do the same.
Pictures of the first round.
Giri, Anish - Karjakin, Sergey 0-1
Anish Giri had very good compensation for a sacrificed pawn in Berlin. According to Sergey Karjakin his position after 22…Rg8 was very bad and he got lucky to win the game after his opponent’s mistakes. Anish Giri explained his original plan to push the pawns to g4, f5, c4 but chose unfortunate move order. After 24.f4 he simply blundered 24…Bg4 with idea to come back with the bishop to e6 after possible 25.Bc7. It was White's turn to look for equality but Dutch player failed to change his attitude so rapidly. Anish tried to look for some contra play but Sergey Karjakin accurately traded the pieces and kept two extra pawns.
Ivanchuk, Vassily – Wang, Hao ½-½
The only relatively “peaceful” game which Wang Hao called “quite boring one”. Chinese player chose to play Tarrasch and didn’t have problems to equalize the position as Vasiliy Ivanchuk preffered to play quiet line.
Leko, Peter - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½
Peter Leko failed to predict the opening choice of Shakhriyar and decided to play quiet variation with 6.h3. Azeri player showed his will to play for initiative after 17…h4 and, as he pointed out during the press-conference, was ready to sacrifice an exchange after 18.Nh4. Hungarian player preferred not to give attacking chances to his opponent and chose a force line which lead to an endgame with two pieces against rook. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played very precisely to get the equal chances in the endgame.
The position was still sharp when both players got into the time-trouble but showed impressive calculation skills. Peter and Shakhriyar could not stop thinking about their game from Tashkent GP.
“In the time-trouble I had 15 seconds for 8 moves, which was quite ok compare to our game from Tashkent Grand Prix 2012”, said Peter Leko during the press-conference.
“Before 40th move I started to think about our game from Tashkent and in one moment I saw there were only 2 seconds left on my clock! I was planning to play 40…Rc1 but it was clear that I had no time to make it, so I moved my king which was closer to my clock”, explained Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
When the smoke cleared the position was equal and few moves later this exciting game finished in a draw.
Game Leko-Mamedjarov from Tashkent GP http://tashkent2012.fide.com/en/main-page/1-news-en/169-round-2-report
Morozevich, Alexander - Wang Yue ½-½
Alexander Morozevich surprised his opponent with Grand Prix variation in Sicilian and the position with opposite-side castling looked very promising for White. Wang Yue managed to exchange few pieces to make his life easier and didn’t face big problems in the endgame with the opposite colored bishops.
Kamsky, Gata - Grischuk, Alexander 0-1
Alexander Grischuk spent a lot of time trying to remember how to play after rare 5.Ba4. Russian player decided to accept a pawn sacrifice, asking his opponent to prove White's compensation. Both players had different evaluation of the position after 32.Bc2. Alexander Grischuk thought he solved his problems and had an advantage while Gata Kamsky was sure he had a very good initiative and his position was not worse. Both players were short on time and started to make mistakes. After 36.hg Black had huge advantage but didn’t play precisely. In the final position, when Gata Kamsky over stepped the time limit, the position was playable.
Gelfand, Boris - Topalov, Veselin 0-1
Boris Gelfand chose to play Russian System against Gruenfeld Defence and the game became very sharp with many tactical opportunities. White managed to get passed pawn on d6 while Black tried to create some contra play on the queen side. According to Boris Gelfand the first inaccurate move was Ba7. He also underestimated the danger of passed pawn of his opponent and after 29…c2 the position became winning for White.