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Round 5: All games drawn

Following the rest day, the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku continued with round 5 on Tuesday. In the longest game of the day Hikaru Namakura tried to convert the advantage of two pawns but Leinier Dominguez defended accurately and escaped with a tie.

With all games drawn, Boris Gelfand and Fabiano Caruana continue to lead the standings with 3.5 points each. Results and pairings are here, crosstable is here.

See also the photo galleries

Mamedyarov - Grischuk 1/2-1/2

In one of the most interesting games of the day Grischuk defended with the Leningrad Dutch that soon turned into a wild affair with pieces hanging left and right.

Mamedyarov took the straightforward path of challenging the black structure with quick e2-e4. Black responded by snatching the c4-pawn.

White did have a strong compensation as black pieces were tied up, but a couple of "only-moves" helped Grischuk to survive the onslaught and trade the pieces down to an equal endgame.

Later Grischuk explained that he had analysed the position almost until the end. He was searching for winning attempts for white, but it turned out that black survives with precise sequence of moves.


Radjabov - Caruana 1/2-1/2

The top rated player of the tournament Fabiano Caruana defended with the Lasker variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, which was famously featured in the decisive game of the Topalov-Anand World Championship Match in 2012.

In a typical fashion, white piled up his heavy pieces on the c-file to press black's exposed pawn structure.

But black had a simple solution to liquidate all the pawns on one side of the board. After the queens went off, it was obvious that the game will soon be drawn and the scoresheets were signed on move 34.


Svidler - Andreikin 1/2-1/2

After solving the problem with his laptop on the rest day, Peter Svidler faced a new challenge when Dmitry Andreikin opened with the French defence, which was a surprise for white.

Svidler never really posed any threats to his opponent, and after the exchange of the queens, it became clear that today Andreikin is having an easy ride.

Black castled long, doubled white's f-pawns and achieved certain activity. Before landing into inferior position, white decided to trade everything down to opposite-coloured bishops ending. Draw agreed on move 31.


Karjakin - Kasimdzhanov 1/2-1/2

Kasimdzhanov has been Karjakin's trainer for quite some time already and it was not easy for the young Russian to produce opening surprise. Eventually he went for Korchnoi's favourite 6.a3 in the English Opening.

Black responded with action in center and promptly conceded the bishops' pair in order to make a symmetrical pawn structure. 12...Ne4 marked the start of a nice maneuver which cleared the central files to black's favor.

Being in danger of simply ending up worse, white had to carefully navigate the waters around the anchored knight on d4.

Kasimdzhanov could not find a way to increase the advantage and finally retreated the knight to allow exchange of the queens. Draw was agreed after the obligatory 30th move.


Gelfand - Tomashevsky 1/2-1/2

This game saw a small bidding war in the opening - black angled for the Noteboom Semi-Slav, which white prevented by offering Meran Slav, until the pawn structure was finally shaped into Dutch Stonewall.

The small benefit for black was that with the pawn on e3 white dark-coloured bishop remained inside the pawn-chain.

After the regular developing moves, black pushed c6-c5 to challenge white's center. A couple of moves later he was the first to release the tension with dxc4.

White pressed on the backward e6-pawn and was able to win it, but black picked up solid counterplay in the process.

The resulting rook endgame was completely even and the players shook hands on move 31.


Nakamura - Dominguez 1/2-1/2

In response to Nakamura's English Opening the Cuban Grandmaster picked the reversed Botvinnik setup, but then immediately surprised the commentators with the slightly unusual 8...d5.

White answered with principled 12.b4 and was able to exert some pressure on the black position.

Black sacrificed a pawn in an attempt to clear the entire queenside, but then he realised that the planned 23...Ra1 is simply refuted with 24.Rxg7+.

23...Ra4 still looked to sufficient to win back the pawn, but Dominguez played 23...Bd4 instead. Nakamura replied with the strong 24.g4 which opened another battle-front to white's benefit.

Nakamura won the second pawn, but the timely 31...Re5 allowed black to create sufficient counterplay. Nakamura still tried to play for a win, but finally had to concede a draw before the second time control.

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