Veselin Topalov is the winner of Renova Grand Prix in Zug!
In the 11th round Veselin Topalov needed a draw to secure his sole victory in the tournament. At the same time Sergey Karjakin showed the will to fight and the former world champion took the challenge.
Veselin showed fantastic performance and increased his live Elo to 2793. All other games were drawn. The games Radjabov-Mamedyarov and Ponomariov-Morozevich were finished relatively quickly. Hikaru Nakamura finished on the sole second place. Ruslan Ponomariov and Fabiano Caruana shared the third place.
Sergey Karjakin chose a Benoni structure with Black and it became obvious that both players will fight till the end. “It was a brave decision of Sergey to play for win today despite his yesterday’s result,” said Veselin Topalov during the press-conference. Russian player got a comfortable position with Black but went for dubious plan with Qh8. Later on Karjakin decided to sacrifice a pawn but didn’t play accurately and failed to get enough counter play. It was hard to defend the position under time pressure and after the first time control Black’s position was already lost.
Once again Peter Leko got a very pleasant position out of the opening but his opponent Rustam Kasimdzhanov tried to keep the balance and was defending very well. At one point the former world champion started to play quicker than his opponent and managed to get time advantage. The knight sacrifice of Rustam proved to be good enough for a draw,
Hikaru Nakamura had white pieces against Fabiano Caruana and was the only one who could try to catch the leader Veselin Topalov. Hovewer, American player didn’t get much in the Exchange variation of the Slav Defense but tried to keep the pressure. It was hard to break Fabiano Caruana’s defense and the last game in the tournament finished in a draw.
The awarding ceremony took place after the last game was finished. The ceremony was attended by Alexey Moskov, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Renova Group, FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, President of Swiss Chess Fedration Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel, other officials, guests and players.