YOU’RE riding high in April, shot down in May. The words of the Francis Albert Sinatra song could well be going, round and round inside the heads right now of Hikaru Nakamura and Peter Svidler, as they follow good results with bad.
US No 1, Nakamura, stormed back into the top ten in the world rankings with his strong performance at the Norway Supreme Masters. But after two rounds of the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece, he’s in danger of heading back out again after he made the worst possible start with successive losses: first to Uzbeki bottom seed Rusdam Kasimdzhanov, and then to Russia’s Alexander Grischuk in an epic struggle that lasted 121 moves.
It was a much shorter day at the office, though, for Svidler, as the six-time Russian champion was shot down in a miniature by his fellow countryman Alexander Morozevich. What Svidler miscalculated, is that after 17 bxc6, if he plays 17... bxc6 then there comes today’s diagram “moment” of 18 Bxc6! Rxc6 Nbxd5! Qf7 20 Nxf5 Kh8 21 Nfe7 winning easily.
And after his impressive performances in the London Candidates and team tournaments, Svidler has (again) slipped out of the top ten on the live rating list.
The wins from Morozevich and Grischuk put them into a five-way tie on 1.5/2 for first place with Kasimdzhanov, Fabiano Caruana and Gata Kamsky in the latest leg of the Grand Prix.
Standings: 1-5. Morozevich, Caruana, Kamsky, Grischuk, Kasimdzhanov, 1.5/2; 6-8. Topalov, Ponomariov,
Svidler, 1; 9-11. Ivanchuk, Bacrot, Dominguez, 0.5; Nakamura, 0.
A Morozevich - P Svidler
Thessaloniki FIDE Grand Prix, (2)
Spanish Four Knights
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bb5 Nd4 5 Ba4 Bc5 6 Nxe5 0–0 7 Nd3 Bb6 8 e5 Ne8 9 Nd5 c6 10 Ne3 d5 11 0–0 f6 12 c3 Nf5 13 b4 Qc7 14 b5 fxe5 15 Ba3 Rf6 16 Nb4 e4 17 bxc6 Rh6 18 h3 Nh4 19 Nbxd5 Qe5 20 cxb7 Nf3+ 21 Qxf3 exf3 22 bxa8Q 1–0