In the third round of Grand Prix in Tashkent two players succeeded to win their games – Fabiano Caruana outplayed Gata Kamsky and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Peter Svidler. Chinese player Wang Hao was very close to gain the first victory in the tournament but failed to find the winning idea in the opposite color bishops endgame. Alexander Morozevich made a draw against Boris Gelfand and keeps leading in the tournament.
A rarely seen line in Gruenfeld (e3) happened in the game and, as Mamedyarov pointed out during the press-conference, 6…e6 was not the best decision made by Peter. Afterwards Peter Svidler missed a chance to sacrifice a queen after 18…Nxd7 19. Nxd7 Rc3 20. Rxd8 Rxd8. There were good chances to hold for a draw if he chose this line, but instead he surprisingly gave an exchange. Game went rather onesided and Shakh managed to convert his advantage in a very convincing way.
Caruana managed to get a complex position with a huge space advantage. However that wasn’t absolutely clear if he would be able to break through. Fabiano noted he was surprised by Kamsky’s quite passive defense. In his opinion American player should’ve tried to organize a counter play with either e5 or f5. 23…h6 and 24…g5 created additional weaknesses in Black’s position and later on White managed to convert his advantage into a full point.
For the first time Alexander Morozevich came to the press-conference with his opponent. It was a tough battle with many variations left behind the curtain. Players stepped on unknown ground relatively quickly, leaving main theoretical ways aside and already 10…Qd7 appeared to be a novelty. Both players agreed during the press-conference that 15.Qb2 was a bit soft move and White should have tried 15.e4 Qe4 16. f4. There was no a clear way for Black to equalize after 18.Bd4 as well. Boris confessed he had missed Black’s strong idea 19.Bc8 followed by 20.Ra7, exchanging White’s active rook. It became clear for Boris Gelfand White lost his chances for advantage. Israeli player went for series of exchanges and kept the balance in the game.
Sergey Karjakin-Wang Hao 1/2-1/2
French Defence happened in the longest game of the third round. Sergey Karjakin got a slight advantage after the opening and started to increase his initiative. 19. Nc6 turned to be a big mistake, as Black immediately solved his problems and equalized the chances after 19…Bc6 20.Bc6 Nd5. As Sergey admitted at the press-conference he missed 32.Rf2 and had to defend a very unpleasant endgame with a pawn down. Russian player hold the position very well but underestimated Black’s chances in the opposite color bishops endgame after 63.Rd5 Rd5 64. Bd5 Bb8! The position of Chinese player became absolutely winning but he was the one who made the last decisive mistake in the game and passed by winning continuation 68…Kh4.
Ruslan Ponomariov player was surprised by Peter Leko’s choice in the opening, as he didn’t expect NaJdorf today. As a result Ruslan tried to avoid the main variations and chose the line with h3. During the press-conference former world champion pointed out he was not able to get any advantage of white pieces and let his opponent to get quite comfortable play. Peter Leko confessed he still hadn’t recovered after yesterday’s game. Even the position was playable, Hungarian Grandmaster preferred to make a relatively quick draw after three-time repetition in order to get some rest.
Leiner Diminguez spent a lot of time in the opening trying to find any advantage. It seemed Rustam Kasimzdhanov was equipped better than his opponent and didn’t face much trouble in the opening. During the press-conference Rustam admitted he was surprised by 20. Qd8, as the endgame turned to be slightly better for Black. He continued to play actively, managed to win a pawn and got promising chances in the knight’s endgame. However, Leiner Diminguez was defending courageously and game finished in a draw.
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