The current situation in the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent is getting more and more exciting. The tenth round brought three decisive games, three draws and new leaders. The sole leader of the tournament after the ninth round Sergey Karjakin was defeated by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who replaced his opponent on the top of the table. Alexander Morozevich rejoined the lead once again after his victory over Peter Leko. Ruslan Ponomariob outplayed Lenier Domingues and share the third place with Caruana Fabiano, Sergey Karjakin, Wang Hao and Rustam Kasimdzhanov. The last round will start at 13.00 p.m. and promises to be spectacular.
Kamsky – Svidler 1/2-1/2
A game started with quite unusual 1. g3, although Svidler had “an explanation” which he shared during the press conference. Russian player prepared to play Pirc defence against usual 1.e4 of his opponent but Gata Kamsky was just faster. Both players were sure they play a fresh position, but in fact only 13...Nfg4 appears to be a novelty. Black won a pawn but took certain strategical risk as White's compensation looked really dangerous. Svidler considered 16th move to be a critical point of the game as he spent a lot of time calculating 16.f3!?, while Kamsky instead played 16. Bd2 almost without thinking. Resulting endgame looks close to equal, perhaps White could've tried 19.f4 with some chances to complicate the position, as after the game continuation didn’t cause much trouble for Black and he managed to equalize.
Gelfand - Wang Hao 1/2-1/2
Gelfand played his favorite Catalan and Wang Hao repeated the line with 4...dxc4 and 5...a6, as in his game against Kamsky. Boris went his own way and came up with a novelty - 11.Nbd2. which seems an improvement of White's play from resent Giri - Naidich game (Eilat 2012). Wang Hao managed to find a tricky way to keep his dark squared bishop from exchange (15...Bd4!, 16...Bf5!) and White had got just a marginal edge. Once again when it came to tactics Wang Hao found a nice resource to keep the position balanced - 27...c5 with the key idea 30...Qxf2!, and after precise 33...Re5 Black had no difficulties to hold an endgame. Perhaps the best practical chance for Gelfand was to play 35. Ke2.
Morozevich – Leko 1-0
A sharp line of English opening led to really unbalanced position right from the start. Morozevich played less popular but interesting 10.Bd2. “I believe that Black’s position is not worse after the opening but I just wanted to get a bit complicated position”, explained Alexander his opening choice. After tenth move It seems that both players tried to find their moves over the board, however only Leko's 15. ...b6 is a novelty. White made few natural moves and it became clear he's looking for a kingside attack, Black's 18....0-0 looks suspicious in this terms. Instead Morozevich was really worried about 18...Ba6 and 19…Na5 with comfortable play for Black. 22...b5 became a signal for White to attack as Black was ready to open the files on the queenside. After 23.e5! it's already hard to suggest a clear way to defend for Black, and after 26.Bxh6! the game was practically decided in White's favour.
Ponomariov – Dominguez 1-0
Ponomariov chose a classical Closed Sicilian line with bishop on g2, trying to get a complex position and to avoid the mainlines. Dominguez played quite logical and his position even looked better after 21...Nd4, however it still was very complicated and Ukrainian grandmaster managed to overplay his opponent in a mutual time trouble. After Ponomariov's 26.Nh5! White got a lot of tactical possibilities, tried to create one threat after another and it was quite hard for Cuban player to defend his position in the practical game. After 29...Nb6? White's advantage was already huge, while nice tactical decision 33.Rxe7 finished the game very quickly.
Caruana – Kazimdzanov 1/2-1/2
Another Anti-Marshall was played against Kasimdzhanov, this time with 8.d3 and 9. a4 - not the most popular but quite logical line. Once again Rustam seemed to be very well prepared and facing Fabiano's novelty 15. Ne3 managed not only to equalize but to get a slightly better endgame. Facing difficulties Fabiano decided to sacrifice a pawn, however he might have regret his decision if Black would find 32...Nge7. It seems that after 33. Ke2 Rd8 34. Bxc5 Nd5 Black is simply better. During the press-conference former world champion pointed out his first idea was to play 32…Nf4 but he didn’t see that after 33. Bf4 he had Rf3. Rustam was under the time-pressure and decided to return the material after 33...h5. White's 41. Ng5 was the beginning of the forced line which simplified the position and after that there wasn't much chance to win this game for any of the opponents.
Mamedyarov – Karjakin 1-0
Shakhriyar chose to play Queens Indian with 5. Qa4 as he didn’t cherish a hope to catch Sergey in the opening. He tried to get playable position and leave as much pieces on the board as its possible. “After I played g4, h4 Sergey started to play inaccurately and of course a6 was a big mistake! The endgame is very comfortable for White to play!” pointed out Azeri player. White started to increase his advantage and later on could have left with an extra exchange but Shakh came to conclusion that Black had good chances to defend that position. Few moves later it was White turn to change his rook for a bishop and two central passed pawns. On the 41st move Sergey got his last chance to survive by playing 41…Rh4. Instead he chose quite passive Rc8 and Shakhriyar showed confident way for the victory.