Surprise, surprise! In keeping with recent tradition (Carlsen & Kramnik in London, Moiseenko in the European Championship, etc.), the leader going into the last round, Gata Kamsky, stumbled over the final obstacle and lost. As a result of Kamsky's loss to Fabiano Caruana, Leinier Dominguez was given a chance to not only catch him but bypass him, and he did with a win over Veselin Topalov. Victory in this Grand Prix tournament is the greatest result of Dominguez's career to date - at least in classical chess, as he won the world blitz championship back in 2008.
Dominguez had White in that deciding game, but didn't get anything out of the opening; maybe he was even a little worse. A little at a time he obtained a small advantage, and when almost all of the pieces got vacuumed up towards the end of the first time control, the result was a rook ending where White had an outside passer and thus good practical chances. In fact, Dominguez was given two chances to win, and he took the second. The first came on move 53, when 53.b7 would have won: 53...Rb2+ 54.Kc3! Rb6 55.Rh7 h2 56.Rxh2 and Black is lost. If he doesn't take, White plays Rh7 and wins by scooping up the kingside pawns; if he does, then after 56...Rxb7 57.Rh8+ Kc7 58.Rh7+ White trades rooks and invades with the king. He missed it, and a few moves later Topalov could have held the draw with 58...Kb7. Instead, he missed that on 61...Rg3 62.Rg7 Rg4 the bad position of his king would cost him the game to the trick 63.Rxg6 Rxf4+ 65.Ke5+/Kg5+.
As for Caruana - Kamsky, Caruana may be the world's greatest expert in the Ruy Lopez, but he was only slightly better after 35.Qd1. Had Kamsky played 35...Qf6, that evaluation would have remained in place. Instead, Kamsky blundered with 35...Kh7. Maybe he only saw the funny non-tactic 36.Qh5+ Nh6 37.Qxh6+(??) Kxh6 38.Nf5+ (great, but illegal) and thought that all was well. Instead of 37.Qxh6+, Caruana played 37.Re6, which wins a piece on the spot and forced Kamsky's resignation. As a result, Caruana tied with Kamsky for second, half a point behind Dominguez.
The other two decisive games were rather odd. Nakamura was clearly worse against Svidler and Ivanchuk was clearly worse against Bacrot; naturally, Nakamura and Ivanchuk both won. Morozevich was also clearly worse in his game with Ponomariov, but he "only" managed to draw. Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk was the day's other draw, and a clean one.
- 1. Dominguez 8 (of 11)
- 2-3. Caruana, Kamsky 7.5
- 4-5. Ponomariov, Grischuk 6
- 6. Kasimdzhanov 5.5
- 7. Nakamura 5
- 8-9. Topalov, Svidler 4.5
- 10-11. Bacrot, Morozevich 4
- 12. Ivanchuk 3.5