Eljanov ahead but it's very tight in Astrakhan

Wang Yue had a clear advantage against Eljanov, but lost the plot and unfortunately a rook in a complex position.
After a poor start to the Grand Prix, Ivanchuk showed strong character in outplaying Ponomariov and going on to win with Black.
Two Black wins by Ukrainians today!

In the fifth round the two winners were Ivanchuk (who catches up with five others) and Eljanov who takes the lead.

Game No.NameRatingResultNameRatingOpening
1Shakhriyar Mamedyarov27630.5-0.5Peter Svidler2735Grünfeld Russian System (D97)
2Vugar Gashimov27340.5-0.5Vladimir Akopian2694Spanish Chigorin (C99)
3Wang Yue27520-1Pavel Eljanov2751Slav defence (D12)
4Evgeny Alekseev27000.5-0.5Boris Gelfand2741Italian game (C54)
5Ernesto Inarkiev26690.5-0.5Dmitry Jakovenko2725Spanish Berlin (C67)
6Ruslan Ponomariov27330-1Vassily Ivanchuk2741Semi-Slav (D46)
7Teimour Radjabov27400.5-0.5Peter Leko2735Queen's Gambit Vienna

In the most interesting encounters of the round: The unpredictable Ivanchuk managed to take the initiative in a lively middlegame which led to him having the superior, and as it turned out a winning, queen ending.

Inarkiev seemed to be going round in circles until he engineered a favourable breakthrough in the second session, but Jakovenko was able to save himself due to the presence of opposite bishops.

Wang Yue had a significant space bind which led to him penterating on the kingside. Eljanov however managed to sacrifice the exchange to liberate his position and in the complicated struggle that ensued White's king was the one most in danger.

Ponomariov ponders. @ official site

The rankings after five rounds make happy reading for Pavel Eljanov.

RankingNameCountryPresent RatingPoints
1stPavel EljanovUkraine27513.5
2nd-5thVugar GashimovAzerbaijan27343
2nd-5thBoris GelfandIsrael27413
2nd-5thErnesto InarkievRussia26693
2nd-5thPeter LekoHungary27353
6th-8thDmitry JakovenkoRussia27252.5
6th-8thTeimour RadjabovAzerbaijan27402.5
6th-8thRuslan PonomariovUkraine27332.5
9th-14thVladimir AkopianArmenia26942
9th-14thEvgeny AlekseevRussia27002
9th-14thVassily IvanchukUkraine27412
9th-14thShakhriyar MamedyarovAzerbaijan27632
9th-14thPeter SvidlerRussia27352
9th-14thWang YueChina27522

Astrakhan is proving to be hard work for those seeking to win by 'normal means', as there have been no White wins in the last three rounds!

Ready to start. @ official site

The next round will be on Sunday after the rest day tomorrow.

For further information on this event, I suggest that you go to the official tournament site.

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