Round 6: Fabiano Caruana surges ahead
Fabiano Caruana defeated Peter Svidler in the 6th round of FIDE Grand Prix in Baku to move into sole lead with 4,5 points. Yesterday's co-leader Boris Gelfand was held to a draw by Sergey Karjakin.
In the other decisive games Rustam Kasimdzhanov scored against Dmitry Andreikin, and the local chess fans are thrilled about Teimour Radjabov's first victory, against Alexander Grischuk.
Leinier Dominguez - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Evgeny Tomashevsky - Hikaru Nakamura were drawn.
Results and pairings are here, crosstable is here. Visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.
Caruana - Svidler 1-0
The clash between the two experts on Gruenfeld Indian defence saw a topical new line 3.f3 that come to prominence in the recent years.
The centralised black knight provoked white to get his central pawns rolling with 16.g4 and 17.f4. However, already the next move 18.e5 might have been a tad premature as black sacrificed the knight for three pawns and strong counterplay.
A sharp battle ensued, but black made a couple of inaccuracies that allowed the opponent to coordinate the forces and launch a fierce attack. With the trend definitely shifting into white's favour, Svidler resigned on move 33.
Kasimdzhanov - Andreikin 1-0
Andreikin employed the Philidor defence, but something went wrong in the early stages of the game as he was forced to weaken the queenside pawn structure.
After a series of neat positional maneuvers white was rewarded with a combination that won him an exchange and two pawns.
Black went all in trying to make something against the white king, but Kasimdzhanov duly refuted the attack and converted the advantage.
Grischuk - Radjabov 0-1
In the Fianchetto Gruenfeld Indian white had the pair of bishops but black easily equalised in a relatively closed position.
After 22...cxd5 black pawn structure was ultra-solid and it was not clear how either of the players could push for a win.
But Grischuk's hasty 25.f4, which irrevocably weakened the e3-pawn, coupled with the poor time management, definitely shifted the advantage to black side.
After the queens went off, white position was beyond salvation.
Tomashevsky - Nakamura 1/2-1/2
Another day with the Lasker Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, only this time Tomashevsky chose 9.Qc2 over Radjabov's 9.Rc1.
White attempted to slow down black's advance c7-c5, but Nakamura nevertheless pushed the pawn offering a temporary sacrifice.
As it happens so often in this opening, the queenside pawns were cleared off the table and heavy pieces got exchanged on the open files.
The resulting endgame offered no chances to play for a victory, but the players continued the game until moves were repeated around the first time control.
Dominguez - Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2
In the Closed Ruy Lopez black achieved a harmonic development and stood rather well. Doubling the white pawns on f3 on moves 18 or 19 deserved attention.
But Mamedyarov chose a different path and tried to undermine white's center.
On move 28 white avoided the trade of the queens, but probably missed that his Re1 is hanging in some lines. As a consequence, black was able to execute massive exchanges down to the equal rook endgame. Draw agreed on move 38.
Karjakin - Gelfand 1/2-1/2
It was a promising start - the Sicilian Naidorf with Fischer's 6.h3. But black avoided the sharp lines and preferred to force the exchange of the queens.
Gelfand enjoyed a slightly better pawn structure, but white knights dominated the central squares and there was no way through.
Draw was signed after the obligatory 30 moves when both players were already down to the last 5 minutes.