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Sergey Karjakin sole leader after 2nd round of Grand Prix in Beijing
IMG 5698 Five out of six games finished in a draw in the 2nd round of the fifth stage of Grand Prix in Beijing.  In only decisive game Russian player Sergey Karjakin outplayed Chinese Wang Hao to become the sole leader in Grand Prix with 2 out 2.  The second playing day can be the contender for the title of the shortest round, as all games were finished before the first time control.
IMG 5670

Topalov, Veselin - Leko, Peter ½-½

Tough theoretical battle in Queen's Indian defense. Both players seemed very well prepared for this line. “Normally when you play with Black against Veselin you should be ready for principal and sharp variations. Less than a month ago we played in Kiev in rapid the same variation. I don’t really think we were really preparing in Kiev but I thought if Veselin was ready to play it today he would definitely come up with this dangerous new idea. The position is quite new, so it would be hard to play it over the board without knowledge. So I knew the basics or let’s say more than basics,” explained Peter Leko. Hungarian player avoided all possible traps and showed many interesting lines where white could have got quite strong initiative if Black would accept a pawn sacrifice. After important 20…f6 Black managed to exchange all the pieces and, after three times repetition in drawish rook endgame, the peace was signed.

IMG 5640

Grischuk, Alexander - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½

Vassily Ivanchuk decided to give up the pair of bishops but spoiled White’s pawn structure in return. Alexander Grischuk didn’t manage to open the position in order to give more space for his bishops and Vassily Ivanchuk was in time to develop his knights on comfortable squares. Russian player estimated his position as slightly worse and proposed few possibilities for Black which seemed unpleasant for White during the game. One of the interesting options was to grab a pawn on a2 after 34…Qa2 and move Black king on the queen’s side. According to Vassily Ivanchuk he was checking such moves as 34…Qe8 with idea to protect g6-pawn and play Rh8 afterwards. Nevertheless, Ukrainian player chose to play 34…Rh8 immediately and the game was drawn.

IMG 5698

Karjakin, Sergey - Wang Hao 1-0

The Austrian attack of Pirc appeared on the board and Sergey Karjakin looked surprised with his opponent choice. “I’m not sure if my opponent has ever played this opening, so I was quite surprised. The main move is 5. Nf3 but I lost the game against Alexander Grischuk after 5. Nf3 c5, so I played Bd3 not to allow 5…c5. I tried to make logical moves afterwards,” said Sergey Karjakin.

Wang Hao blamed himself for playing 12…Bf6. During the home preparation he checked only 12.Bf4 and didn’t react well after 12.Bg5. The opponents agreed on better options for Black as 12…Qe8 or 12…f6. After 13.h4 White got comfortable play and Black was not in time to create contra play on the queen’s side. White got decisive advantage after but gave Black unnecessary chances after 22.Rd4. During the press-conference Sergey mentioned another move Na4 which was winning on spot. Wang Hao could have put more resistance by playing 23…Rbd8.

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Wang Yue - Gelfand, Boris ½-½

Players started with careful 1.g3 g6 and in few moves Gruenfeld appeared on the board. Boris Gelfand didn’t let his opponent to get any real chance to fight for advantage and the game finished relatively quickly after repetition.   
During the press conference Boris Gelfand answered the question what keeps him motivated: “For different players the motivation is different.  Some want to become rich, the others want to become famous, some want to seduce woman. For me the motivation was always the curiosity. I’m always curios what’s going on at the chess board. After I lost the match the motivation didn’t diminish.”
He was also pleased to learn about high evaluation of his play given by Vishwanathan Anand in his recent interview.  “Despite the fact Vishwanathan Anand didn’t show good results in couple of events he is a Great Champion. I’m sure he will be very well prepared for the match in India,“  said Boris Gelfand. 

IMG 5620

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Kamsky, Gata ½-½

It became known during the press-conference that Gata Kamsky was very well prepared against this line in Slav with a6. Black traded few pieces and the game was quickly converted into the ending with queen and bishop against queen and knight. There was an interesting opportunity, mentioned by Shakhriyar, to create quite dangerous threats on the king’s side by playing 31…h4!? but the game ended with perpetual check. 

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