Five victories in the 7th round. Grischuk and Mamedyarov tied for first place
In the seventh round of Grand Prix in Beijing White took full revenge over Black by scoring five points. The playing day started with two quick victories of Wang Hao and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov against Anish Giri and Veselin Topalov respectively. Shakhriyar won the second game in a row and jumped on the first place while his nearest rivals Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk were still playing their games. After 6 hours of play Sergey Karjakin dramatically lost against Peter Leko while Alexander Grischuk defeated Wang Yue after almost 7 hours. As a result, Mamedyarov and Grischuk share the first place one point ahead of Karjakin, Leko and Ivanchuk. Ukrainian player defeated Alexander Morozevich and has +1 after 7 rounds. The only draw happened in the game Kamsky-Gelfand.
Wang, Hao – Giri, Anish 1-0
Wang Hao decided to sacrifice a piece for two pawns early in the opening. Anish Giri knew it was not dangerous as he remembered White had nothing special after c5 and Qb6. Trying to find the way to free his pieces Dutch player chose 13…d5. Even both players agreed 13…Rg8 was better option it was still possible for Black to exchange queens after 15…Qe6 and play the endgame with equal chances. Anish Giri estimated that endgame as worse but during the press conference the opponents didn’t find any obvious advantage for White. Later on, the only chance to fight for a draw was to exchange the queens by playing 16…Qc6, however, it was psychologically hard to propose queen’s exchange after 15.Qe6 was not played. In the game Wang Hao was increasing his initiative move by move and didn’t let his opponent any chance.
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Topalov, Veselin 1-0
Another quick game of the seventh round. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov didn’t get anything special out of the opening and was not happy with his decision 11. Ng5, as 11. Nd2 seemed more logical. Few pieces were exchanged and Black didn’t have problems to equalize the game. Veselin Topalov played 20…Ne4 which turned out to be not the best option. It was not too late to play 22…g5 but Veselin Toplav seemly missed 24.Qc4. His knight was trapped and had to resign.
Leko, Peter - Karjakin, Sergey 1-0
“When I play against Sergey it’s like I play against myself because he has more or less the same opening repertoire, “pointed out Peter Leko. Hungarian player didn’t want to go for any theoretical battle but just to get playable position. White didn’t get much in the middle game and when the endgame with queens and knights appeared the opponents would probably agree for a draw in any other event where draw offer was possible. Nevertheless, White managed to find an interesting chance and Sergey Karjakin had to find the only move but didn’t feel the danger. After 37.Qd7 the position became lost for Black.
Kamsky, Gata - Gelfand. Boris ½-½
Boris Gelfand was happy with his position after Gata Kamsky chose a dubious plan with 6.b4 and 7.Bb2. However, American player was able to hold the balance and after queens were exchanged the endgame looked also equal. Under the time pressure Boris Gelfand got chances to play for win due to passed a-pawn. Gata Kamsky was defending precisely and made a draw in rook endgame. Both players agreed that the best practical chance for Black was to keep minor pieces by playing 34…Rb1.
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Morozevich, Alexander 1-0
Alexander Morozevich played creatively in the opening and got some activity on the queen’s side. According to Ivanchuk, Black had many tricks but any endgame would be better for White because of destroyed Black’s pawn structure. Russian player didn’t take seriously an interesting option 22….d4 thinking he has better chances after 22…Rd6. “I simply missed 26.Ka2 after 25…Rb6. The game was over after this move”, pointed out Alexander Morozevich.
Grischuk, Alexander - Wang Yue 1-0
Alexander Grischuk sacrificed a pawn on 13th move and had initiative till the end of the game. White managed to convert the game into the ending rook+bishop versus rook+knight with extra pawn. “My opponent was defending perfectly, it was hard to win this game”, said Grischuk at the press conference and showed the position he didn’t know how to win during the game (check the press-conference). After so many hours of defense Chinese player made a mistake and Alexander didn’t miss his chance.