Peter Svidler defeated Leinier Dominguez while the other five games were drawn in the 8th round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku.
Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand remain tied on the top with 5 points each and Svidler moved ahead to the shared third place.
Saturday 11th October is the second rest day.
Kasimdzhanov – Caruana 1/2-1/2
Caruana defended with the Gruenfeld Indian and Kasimdzhanov countered with the Russian system. In a sharp but deeply explored a6-line the pieces were quickly going off in a forced variation.
In the resulting endgame white held a passed pawn within the queenside majority but this asset was firmly blocked by the black knight. White couldn’t find anything better than repetition of moves.
Gelfand – Nakamura 1/2-1/2
Nakamura employed his trusted Dutch Leningrad defence. The early 12…b5 thrust allowed white a tactics with 14.Ne5, but he didn’t follow through with the most complicated 15.Bb7.
Instead, the game move 15.Nd3 offered some prospects for a positional pressure. However, following the central break with 18.e4 and the long forced line the position simplified into a rook endgame. Black comfortably held the draw.
At the press conference Gelfand agreed that 15.Bb7 might have been a better try. He had hoped that the game continuation would grant him positional advantage but Nakamura found a great defending resource in 17…Rb8.
Karjakin – Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2
In the Meran Slav defence white achieved a minimal opening advantage after black was left with an isolated d5-pawn.
But in compensation all black pieces were actively placed and it was not easy to make progress.
With smart exchanges and patient positional build-up white got himself in position to increase the advantage.
However, with the terrible time trouble looming Karjakin decided to repeat the moves and take a draw. In the final position he was still better.
Tomashevsky – Radjabov 1/2-1/2
Evgeny Tomashevsky attempted to find an improvement for white over the game Parligras-Radjabov from the recent Chess Olympiad in Tromso.
He came up with 13.Neg5, hoping to, in his own words, “end the series of draws”.
15.Nxf7 sacrifice and particularly the neat 19.c6 made white look good, but Radjabov’s defence was marvelous and he forced the transition to opposite-coloured bishops ending that was immediately drawn.
Dominguez – Svidler 0-1
Dominguez’s slow-paced Ruy Lopez with the two-step d4 inspired Svidler to come up with the new plan based on quick exchange on d4 and Bg4 pin.
White run into an early trouble after over-extending his pawn structure. The only hope to untangle was to give up a pawn and head for the double rook endgame.
It took some time to come up with the right plan, but Svidler masterfully converted the advantage into full point.
Grischuk – Andreikin 1/2-1/2
It was a regular Berlin Ruy Lopez where the queens are traded early on, followed by long maneuvering from both sides.
An endgame with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops was reached. Black gave up a pawn in order to simplify the structure.
White was trying to find a way to increase the advantage but the black pieces were well placed to cover the weaknesses and hold the advance of the passed f-pawn.
Grischuk finally conceded a draw on move 77.