SIMPLECHESS

Radjabov: Regal in the Kings

Teimour Radjabov outplays Ponomariov and wins with his trademark King's Indian to come back to 50%.
No change at the top of the leaderboard as Gelfand and Nisipeanu both maintain their lead.

Ponomariov's problems arose after he advanced on the queenside and Radjabov obliged him to give up his light-squared bishop for a knight. This rendered the kingside break g3-g4 more difficult to achieve and, indeed when it finally did come, Radjabov had already made serious progress elsewhere. Perhaps the moral is that pushing on both wings is risky when your opponent's pieces are ready to break free.

WhiteRatingCountryResultBlackRatingCountryNo. MovesOpening
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu2672ROU0.5-0.5Wang Yue2752CHN31Petroff's defence
Magnus Carlsen2813NOR0.5-0.5Boris Gelfand2752ISR40Semi-Slav Moscow
Ruslan Ponomariov2733UKR0-1Teimour Radjabov2740AZE48King's Indian Sämisch

Wang Yue was able to keep things solid in the Petroff. This was one of these games where any White pressure is insufficient to lead anywhere as there are no pawn breaks in the position.

Wang Yue: still looking for his first win.

Boris Gelfand played the Moscow variation which enables White to obtain an early initiative for the bishop pair. Gelfand kept his bishops throughout and diffused all of Carlsen's aggressive gestures on the kingside, without ever looking ruffled.

NameCountryRatingPre-tournament rating changeWorld Rankingpoints
Boris GelfandISR2741-9112
Liviu-Dieter NisipeanuROU2672+11592
Magnus CarlsenNOR2813-11.5
Teimour RadjabovAZE2740-131.5
Ruslan PonomariovUKR2733-4181
Wang YueCHN2752+381

Carlsen has drawn all three games so far, but is only half-a-point off the pace.

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