Players enjoyed the last free day yesterday. Some of them (Topalov, Dominguez, Giri, Leko and Wang Hao) visited the Saatchi Gallery and took some photo with Fred Lucas and Anastasia Karlovich:
Boris Gelfand is still leading with 5,5/8, just ahead Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with 5/8. Today, we almost had a forfeit as Sasha Grischuk arrived just before the Zero tolerance kicked in. The Russian player decided to go for a rare and close Sicilian, to avoid the Sveshnikov of Boris. Right after the opening, Grischuk converted his development advantage into a clear pawn up. On move 23, Grischuk decided to go for a direct attack, sacrificing a piece on e6, giving a winning position. Boris blundered with 24…Kd7?? Allowing 25.Qg4. Boris lost the lead!
Nakamura and Mamedyarov have chosen Caro Kann as a main weapon against 1.e4. Once more, the American player seemed well prepared and spent just fourteen minutes for twenty first moves! Adams managed to install the strong Knight on “e5” with the bishop “c3” and pawn on “f4”. White increased their advantage and Nakamura made a huge mistake 26…Rb8? and got absolutely hopeless position. The tournament is a nightmare for Hikaru who has lost 5 th game:
Anish chose a close line of the Slav defence with 4.e3 today. White managed to get the pair of bishops and an impressive pawn’s structure with c3-c5-d4-e3-f4! After 30 moves, the position was totally blocked and the only possibility was to break through by g3-g4 and Anish did succeeded to do so on 36th move. Rustam kept the balance, by putting his rooks on h7 and h8. Dutch player tried all he could, found another breaking point with 48.c4! Rustam finally found a draw repetition!
Ivanchuk opted for a strange opening’s choice, in a kind of King’s Indian reverse. The Ukrainian player played solidly and didn’t create a lot of danger. The position of the Bulgarian player looked even better, putting pressure on the d3 pawn. The following exchanges were in favour of black and it was difficult for white to defend the bishop endgame with the passed pawn “a”. Ivanchuk made a last mistake and Topalov finally won that important game.
Leinier went for a solid Bogo-Indian today against Mamedyarov. Probably the Cuban player wanted to play a safe line, but “Shak” showed his intentions with the aggressive 10.g4, 11.g5. Dominguez decided logically to counter attack on the queen-side and in the centre by d6-d5. Mamedyarov kept control of the position, exchanging pieces to arrive in a very confortable endgame with two bishops against knights. Mamedyarov was very accurate until the last move, controlling the board with the two bishops, and takes now the lead of the tournament!
Wang Hao decided to go quickly to the endgame in one of the main line of the Nimzowich. White looked a bit better thanks to their powerful bishop on “d4”. The Chinese player had to exchange a pair of rooks but couldn’t penetrate in black’s position. Leko created a strong blockade with his king on f7 and his rook on d7. After suffering, Peter managed to draw the endgame!
All photos used in this report kindly provided by Ray Morris-Hill Photography ( www.rmhphoto.eu )