For the first time at the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan all games ended in draws. After a peaceful fifth round, Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand continue to lead with six more rounds to go.
During the rest day some players joined an excursion (a guided tour through the city), some preferred to stay in the hotel and Mamedyarov attended a wedding of one of his good friends. A day later play was resumed in the Cultural Event Center, and for the first time in the tournament there was not a single decisive game.
Let's start with the leaders: Caruana and Gelfand. The former chose a very solid opening against Radjabov, the Lasker variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, but revealed afterward that he didn't check the main line thoroughly!
Caruana spent so much time on Radjabov's 13.Qc2 (as played against Kramnik three years back), that he didn't know all details about what followed in the game. Nonetheless he equalized rather easily.
Playing White, Gelfand had the chance to go solo again at the top of the standings. However, his opponent Tomashevsky was playing quite well in a Stonewall and so the position was never more than slightly better for White.
Mamedyarov-Grischuk was arguably the best game of the round. For 16 moves a Gelfand-Svidler rapid game from earlier this year was followed, and by then it was already a pretty wild middlegame. Grischuk seemed to be the one who had to be careful, but the official website reveals:
“Later Grischuk explained that he had analysed the position almost until the end. He was searching for winning attempts for White, but it turned out that black survives with precise sequence of moves.”
Trailing the leaders by half a point, Nakamura was the one who got closest to a win in this round. He had an extra pawn in an ending with double rooks and opposite-colored bishops, when his opponent Dominguez “played too fast” and got into some trouble. However, on move 30 Nakamura returned the favor and let his opponent escape.
Karjakin-Kasimdzhanov was an interesting encounter since the latter is currently coaching the former!
“Rustam is my coach so it's very hard to prepare against him. I think I managed to find a line which we hadn't prepared together,” said Karjakin. To the question if he liked how his pupil was playing, Kasimdzhanov replied: “For me this was a game like any other. (...) But this Bd1 and Ba2 was very nice so at least he is defending well!”
Svidler-Andreikin wasn't too interesting as White failed to get a tangible advantage in a Tarrasch French. The queens were traded early on, and Black was just too solid in the endgame.
The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 12:00 in Amsterdam, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 03:00 in Los Angeles and 20:00 in Sydney. The last round starts two hours earlier. The tournament website provides prodive live commentary by GMs Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko which can also be followed on Chess.com/TV! The winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC