By Grandmaster Robert Fontaine
The fantastic world media coverage continues, this time with articles about top model Lilly Cole playing former World Champion Veselin Topalov, in the London Evening Standard and Sky Living Daily:
Today is another matter for Veselin, who is playing against Rustam Kasimdzhanov. In the semi-final of the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2004, Rustam managed to win the tiebreak 2-0, and eventually conquered the World title. The Uzbek player came with a great novelty in his pocket 12...c5! giving away a piece.
Few moves later, white were forced to give back the piece. After 18 moves, Rustam spent only 2 minutes which shows that his home preparation worked well! After the game, Veselin said that he knew this move as well. The game ended very quickly in a draw in 37 moves and less than 1h30min of play.
Today, Boris Gelfand used once more the Sveshnikov Sicilian, which was his main weapon against Vishy Anand during the last World Chess championship. Boris must have worked on that opening for months with his seconds. Alexander Huzman, his oldest second and friend is here in London. After the opening, black was already out of danger and eventually fixed the queen side by playing quickly ...b5-b4. Boris decided to give away the "d6" pawn in order to equalize into an opposite colour bishop endgame. Draw.
Vasily Ivanchuk lost yesterday. The Ukrainian grandmaster is known to have fragile nerves so his reaction today is important regarding the rest of the tournament. His opponent Michael Adams has chosen the solid Nimzo-Indian, and managed to get rid of his isolated pawn "d5". Black took a pawn but had to weaken their pawn structure with double pawns on the "f" file. That's the moment where the English number one gave away this pawn to arrive in a drawn rook endgame.
The American player Hikaru Nakamura arrived in a flashy red t-shirt, hair back and in a fighting mood! In hyper modern style, Hikaru went for a quiet double fianchetto development. Leko reacted solidly like in Gruenfeld opening, putting his bishop on "g7". Some pieces were exchanged and white took possession of the "d" file. In the rook endgame, black found some counter play on the queen side with a6-b5. Nakamura kept trying but missed the winning move 61.a6! Draw was finally agreed.
Grischuk who is one of the biggest King's Indian specialists decided to play today the Gruenfeld defence, completely surprising his opponent Wang Hao. The Chinese player went for a side line, forcing black to exchange their powerful bishop "g7". The diagonal "g1-a7" became weak and the Russian grandmaster played a very strong continuation with 23...h5!
On move 27, Grischuk could have won the game with 27...Rxd1 28.Rxd1 Qe2! Players entered in a terrible time trouble with 10 seconds left on the clock. Position became equal and Wang Hao escaped with half a point. Here is Wang Hao comments on Facebook : "Today I played badly again, somehow blundered a simple move and definitely deserved to lose the game, but my opponent missed his chance and after blitzing in the last moves of the first time control, when my heart was beating like a drum. Suddenly I found the game was drawish, a lucky escape!"
Crazy game today between the youngest player in the event, 17 year old Anish Giri, and Mamedyarov who decided to rush on the king's opponent! Black never managed to get out the opening, and 13...exd5 was already the decisive mistake. The black king had to stay in the centre of the board white many weaknesses on black's camp. The game became a nightmare for Anish and the young Dutch player decided to resign after only 21 moves.