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Round 13: Gashimov, Wang Yue & Carlsen win Baku 2008
Monday, 05 May 2008

Gashimov and Wang Yue drew their games today, but Carlsen defeated Bacrot to join the leaders in the final standings. The three winners share prize money as well as Grand Prix points. Round report and video now added.

Video report of Round 13                                                                   Video Report of Closing Ceremony

grischuk-radjabov.jpg The first game that ended was Grischuk-Radjabov; a draw. From a g3 King's Indian the players quickly went into an endgame where White seemed slightly better all the time. "7.b3 looked a bit strange but it's all theory," Grischuk said, "and 11...Na6 was a rare move; I think the idea was 12...Bf5 13.Bd6 Ne4 so I played 12.Bd6 immediately." Radjabov described 11...Na6 as "quite natural" and he also liked his 12...Ng4: "the best move". Both players thought that White was clearly better after 17.Nd2 but Radjabov found a series of only moves (17...Rd8!, 21...Rb8!) that saved the game.

navara-cheparinov.jpgNavara eventually managed to leave Baku with two victories; in the last round he beat Cheparinov in a Slav Defence with White. "He played some strange moves in the opening," the Czech said, "and I was a bit better thanks to the bishop pair. But then I spoilt it again; I missed that 23...Bxd2 was possible. I was lucky to have the move 24.h5, but I heard that the computer says Black is winning after 25...Kd7 instead of 25...Qe4+." Cheparinov just "couldn't see this ...Kd7 move, it's not so easy to find."

adams-gashimov.jpgGashimov, one of the tournament leaders, managed to draw his game with Black against Adams without too much problems. According to Adams it was good for Black to exchange the light-squared bishops, but "he should have kept the other bishops on the board". Gashimov agreed and so Black was slightly worse in the ending with heavy pieces, but he "played well" there, and "36...Qe4 was very strong, it's bad for Black if I don't play this."

karjakin-kamsky.jpgAnother draw was reached in Karjakin-Kamsky. "Right after the opening I blundered," Karjakin said, referring to 20.Bd3, which allowed 20...Nbxd5. "Afterwards I was worse, but I then played precisely. Maybe 29...Qc5 was better than 29...Qa8." Kamsky, obviously not happy with his second half of the tournament, more or less summarized his opponent's version of the game at the press conference.

svidler-inarkiev.jpgLike Navara, Svidler managed to win his last two games, finishing on a reasonable fifty percent score. Today he beat his compatriot Inarkiev. "The two games I won with White, I played 1.d4, so perhaps there's a lesson there," he started the press conference. "I have started playing the King's Indian myself and I had looked at some of Ernesto's games, the master in these positions. After 13...e5 White is slightly better but 14.a3 was inaccurate, losing a temp and weakening b3. Two moves later I blundered and allowed 16...Nxb3, but 18...axb5 is a big mistake – Black shouldn't exchange these knights. Afterwards I had many attractive possibilities and I chose the one that seemed to give me the most chances." Inarkiev said he played a "very bad game". His best chance was 36...Rxa7 37.bxa7 Qa5! but he just didn't see it. "But I think White should be winning there too."

bacrot-carlsen.jpgBacrot-Carlsen was won by the Norwegian, and so in the end the number one seed became one of the tournament winners. "Out of the opening we got a very complicated position but I think Black was OK. Then he made a mistake with 24.Qa4 which allowed 24...Re3 with the idea to take on d3 at some point. There I was slightly better but he could have defended better. I could also have played stronger. The opposite-coloured bishop ending is won I think." Bacrot: "It was a good game by Magnus. I just missed this Rxd3 idea."

wangyue-mamedyarov.jpgThe last game of the round, and of the tournament, was Wang Yue-Gashimov, and quite an important one for the standings. Mamedyarov, true to his style here in Baku, went for the 6…b5 pawn sacrifice in the Nimzo-Indian. Wang Yue didn't accept it but decided to play solidly instead. "I was a but better but he played very well," co-winner Wang Yue said, "Those a6, b5 and d6 pawns are bad. But then I missed his 15...Nh5 and 19...Rab8." Mamedyarov obviously wasn't satisfied; he said he "always plays for a win for this home crowd" but he didn't like his game of today. "But I defended well."


And so a long but fine tournament has come to an end. The next Grand Prix tournament is in Sochi, Russia from 30 July till 15 August 2008. See you then!
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