Tashkent Grand Prix, round 11 - farewell chords

The final crescendo of the Tashkent FIDE Grand Prix was a wonderful experience, that will remain long in the memory. 

Svidler-Morozevich. The meeting of the two oldest participants came in the final round, when one was juyst going through the motions of finishing the tournament, whilst the other was a serious contender for first prize. But the players players the game as if it were the first round of the event, not the last: inventively, energetically, with fireworks. Peter went on the attack first, choosing a sharp variation with a piece sacrifice. 

After 15.Кd5!?

A few moves later, Black could have taken a whole rook, but decided to refrain form unnecessary greed, although White had no more than a promising initiative, without any decisive threats being evident. However, one can understand Morozevich - it is not his style to sit behind the defensive walls, hoping later on to exploit a material advantage. 

After 23.с6

After the sacrifice was declined, Peter got some chances, but in the end, to mutual satisfaction, peace was agreed. After his worries and ordeal, Alexander deservedly ended in a share of first place. 

Another psychological study occurred in the game Karjakin-Ponomariov. The two former colleagues in the Ukrainian gold-medal winning team studied each other very well in the past. This started with the famous day when Ruslan won his match against Ivanchuk, where Sergey was one of his seconds, and ended with numerous joint appearances togetehr in team tournaments. In a Sveshnikov Variation, the world rapid champion almost imperceptibly outplaye dhis opponent in classical style. By move 30, White's advantage was very clear:

 30.gxf gxf 31.Фh4 Кg8 and here the variation 32.Лg1 h5 33.Сf1 Фb6 34.Фg3 Kрe8 35.Кd5 Фc5 36.Фh4 Kрd7 37.Кxf6+ Кxf6 38.Фxf6 Kрc6 39.Сh3 Лd7 40.Лgd1 Лa2 41.Фh6 Kрc7 gives a larege advantage, in the opinion of Houdini (http://tashkent2012.live.whychess.com/). «The Carbon-based player" preferred the more tempting 32.Кg4, but also retained his advantage. Later, by combining threats against the enemy king with the advance of his apssed b-pawn, Sergey forced his opponent's capitulation and went into a tie for the first three places. 

The Chinese syndrome?


The battle of the titans in round 10 (Mamedyarov-Karjakin) seems to have exhausted Shak. Otherwise, it is hard to explain the terrible oversight he committed in a difficult, but by no means hopeless position. 

Wang Hao – Mamedyarov

Black's last move was 28…а6-а5?? And after the obvious 29.Сb5 the Chinese player needed only to demonstrate elementary technique. Yet again, the latest leader was knocked off his pround pedestal. 


Lenier Dominguez focussing on the important task

The burden of last place in the table rested on the shoulders of the man from the island of freedom, and he was determined to do all he could to pas sthis  dubious privilege to someone else. The task was accomplished with the help of Gata Kamsky, who committed an elementary oversight. 


Exploiting the fact that the immediate 26.Са2 fails to 26…Фg6, Black brought his rook to c4, but missed the simple zwischenzug 26.Фd3, after which his position was hopeless. 

A mass of energey and inventiveness was brought to the final battle by Kazimdzhanov and Gelfand. For ten moves or more, theye xchanged elegant blows, srating as follows: 


In the end, the draw was a credit to both co-authors. 

Baffled by the professor!


Leko-Caruana. Trying to surprise his opponent, Caruana chose such an unlikely measure as the Scandinavian, but it did not work! White obtained a comfortable and pleasant position. Therefore, Leko's decision to change the character of the position is hard to explain. In the final position, where the draw was agreed as a result of threefold repetition, the resources for the battle were not exhausted.  


10-12 years ago, Peter would not have let his opponent off so easily, and would have ground on for 30-50-100 moves, in other words, as long as was necessary for eventual success. 

The final round, like the otehr ten, left us many memorable impressions and could not fail to stir every spectator. But now we have said goodbye to the first stage of the Grand prix and the second stage in Tashkent. We look forward to seeing you again! 

You can find the technical results of the event here: : http://tashkent2012.fide.com/en/component/turnuva/?task=fileview&kid=3  


Text: Sergey Kim