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Round 5: Hikaru Nakamura takes the lead

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As the weather in Tashkent was changing from summer to winter, the tournament situation had also significant changes. After 7 hours of play Hikaru Nakamura defeated Boris Gelfand to replace Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the top of the table. The leader of the first part of the tournament lost against Dmitry Yakovenko, who scored his first victory in the tournament. Baadur Jobava sacrificed a piece and won an exciting game against Sergey Karjakin. Other games Radjabov-Andreikin, Kasimdzhanov-Giri and Caruana-Mamedyarov finished in a draw. Baadur Jobava, Dmitry Andreikin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave share the second place half a point behind of Hikaru Nakamura.


Karjakin 0-1 Jobava

"Considering my result, I think it was not such a bad idea to be late for the game," said Sergey Karjakin, who had arrived just 30 seconds before the start of the round 5. Baadur Jobava, who didn't expect the line with Nc3 and and Nf3 in Caro Kann, took a deep thought after 3 moves and came out with an interesting idea 6.Qe7, which is quite rare guest on a high level. White didn't manage to get anything special out of the opening and on move 16 Sergey “invited” his opponet to sacrifice a piece. “ Normally it's easy to persuade me to sacrifice something. I calculated that I have a draw in the worst case, so I wasn't really risking”, explained Baadur. It seems White could hold a draw with an accurate play but according to Sergey Karkakin, it was not easy to find all lines and make decisions in a practical game.


Sergey Karjakin commented this position on twitter...

30....Re2! and White is hopeless. After Nh3 Black can transfer the game into the endgame with a pawn up but need to show certain technique.

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Kasimdzhanov 1/2-1/2 Giri

A rare and innocent-looking line in Gruenfeld defence. White did not get anything special after the opening, and Black achieved a good position, but players agreed on 15...h5 to be a a bit slow. Rustam came up with very interesting pawn sacrifice 16. Rfd1!? Perhaps Black reacted not in the best way and White got enough compenstation as Black's whitesquare bishop on b3 was out of play and Giri's position looked dangerous. Nevertheless, with precise and accurate play (33... Be7! -" perhaps the only move", press - conference) Anish managed to maintain balance.

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Radjabov 1/2 -1/2 Andreikin

Players repeated the same line in Berlin defence as in the game Caruana – Andreikin (round 3), and Radjabov also did not get anything out of the opening, despite the fact that Dmitry Andreikin forgot all the lines which he had repeated 2 days ago only. It seems Teimour knew the nuances of the position quite deeply but it didn't help him to creat big problems for his opponent to solve. Draw was a logical result of interesting fight.

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Jakovenko 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave

Anti-Gruenfeld move's order from Jakovenko side. The position after 9. Ng5 has already occurred in the game Gajevsky-MVC but Maxime could not remember the exact lines, which equalize the position. After 11.Ne2 Maxime decided to sacrifice 2 pawns, hoping for compensation due to active possibilities of his pieces, but Jakovenko limited activity of black pieces with an accurate play. Jakovenko technique in the endgame was flawless.


Caruana 1/2- 1/2 Mamedyarov
After numerous of games in Slav defence with 4.e3 Bg4 between the same opponents, Shakhriyar decided to check a new variation with Qb3. In order to obtain a pair of Bishops Caruana had to sarifice a pawn and had enough compensation. However, it turned to be not enough to fight for something more than draw, as Shakriyar was controlling the situation.

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Nakamura 1-0 Gelfand
Nakamura decided to deviate from Gelfand's favorite Najdorf defence and chose the variation with 3. Bb5+. After the opening Black was very close to equality, although White still was slightly better. A game quickly transposed into an endgame, where Black sacrificed a pawn, which he was able to win back quickly, though. After a lot of play White managed to win a pawn, but Gelfand kept good chances to make a draw because of reduced material on the board (R, N, and 4 pawns against R, N, and 3 pawns on the King's side). Nevertheless, his defensive task was not easy, and Hakamura eventually won on the 97th move.

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