Boris Gelfand leads after the 3rd round
Boris Gelfand outplayed Alexander Grischuk, who eventually lost on time in what should be already drawish position. After this game Israeli player solely leads in the tournament with 2,5 out of 3. In yet another decisive game of the round 3 Sergey Karjakin defeated Leinier Dominguez. Evgeny Tomashevsky didn't manage to break through Kasimdzhanov's defence, Fabiano Caruana missed good winning chances against Hikaru Nakamura. Two local heroes Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov drew with Russian players Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler respectively.
Gelfand 1-0 Grischuk
Boris Gelfand managed to get an advantage after Grischuk played dubious plan with Na6. Nevertheless, It always looked like Black is about to equalize the position but Israeli player was finding different resources and putting some pressure on his opponent. It seemed Grischuk could not really avoid the following rook endgame with a pawn down, which basically had to be drawish. It's hard to say where exactly Grischuk went wrong but at certain point the position of White became clearly winning. Both players agreed on move 52.Rf3 being the easiest way to convert White's advantage. The move in the game (Rh5) was also strong but later on Grischuk got a chance after 57.Re8. After the last move in the game 60...Kg6 the worst for Black could have been over but for the first time in his life Alexander Grischuk, one of the best blitz players in the world and former World Champion in blitz, lost on time.
Karjakin 1-0 Dominguez
Karjakin's not really ambitious play in the opening didn't leave him any hope for the edge. “I used to play like this when I was already not that young”, commented GM Genna Sosonko on Karjakin's play at the early stage of the game. However, Russian player kept on making natural and logical moves and all of a sudden got very comfortable position with space advantage. According to Dominguez, he felt quite optimistic about his position after exchanging the queens but at the same time he could not explain the surprisingly low level of his play in the endgame. It looks like quite an easy game for Karjakin, who didn't do anything extraordinary but still defeated such a strong player as Dominguez.
Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2 Andreikin
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who is normally very dangerous with White, went for not the most ambitions line with 7.a3 this time and Black managed to solve opening problems quite easily. Perhaps, it would have been better for White to go for symmetrical position by playing 10.dхc5 because after 10.d5 if any of the sides could play for a win it was Black. Dmitry Andreikin could have put more pressure on his opponent in the endgame Bishop and Rook versus Knight and Rook but passed by some chances in the time trouble.
Nakamura 1/2 –1/2 Caruana
The same QGD line with Carlsbad structure which was played in the previous round between Svidler and Mamedyarov appeared in this game as well. Nakamura went for Botvinnik's move h4, which was used in the world championship match against Petrossian. It looked like Nakamura lost his track in the middle game and as he pointed out at the press conference he had to make long castling on 16th move.
American player continued to push forward, even though he had already got the feeling that his position is worse. He could have had regretted this if Caruana would find the right tactics 33...Nh3 and 34...b5. By playing 36...Ng2 Fabiano missed his last chance to play for a win. The way to keep his advantage was not so trivial but players found it at the press conference after the game. Eventually Nakamura saved the game.
Radjabov 1/2-1/2 Svidler
It's hard to say what exactly Radjabov meant by playing this harmless line with White. There was no even slight hint to get any advantage and after Queens exchange the position became absolutely drawish.
Tomashevsky 1/2-1/2 Kasimdzhanov
Gruenfeld Defence with quite fashionable line with Bd2-Bc3 happened in the game. After massive exchanges and transformations players ended up in the endgame with rooks and queens. It was a very similar scenario to what Tomashevsky had at the previous day in the game against Dominguez. He was a defending side yesterday but today it was his turn to play the position without any risk. It turned out to be tough to break through because of good defence of Rustam Kasimdzhanov and the game finished in a draw.