Shakhriyar Mamedyarov held a half point lead going into the final round of the 2012 FIDE London Grand Prix at Simpson's-In-The-Strand. Playing with the white pieces in the final round the Azeri player took no risk against Peter Leko, aiming to claim the draw he needed to secure at least a share of first place.
That decision opened the door for his closest rivals to catch him if they could win their final round games. Early tournament leader Boris Gelfand was equal to the challenge, sacrificing the exchange against Rustam Kasimdzhanov and eventually earning a victory.
Veselin Topalov had the black pieces against Anish Giri, and despite early simplifcation to an endgame he posed problems that his young opponent failed to solve and won the game.
Alexander Grischuk needed a victory against Hikaru Nakamura to join the winners, but Nakamura fought fire with fire by playing the Sicilian Dragon! Their hard-fought game ended in a draw.
The winner's prize-money is shared between Mamedyarov, Gelfand and Topalov with each receiving €22,500. Grand Prix points will also be shared. If the tournament had used the common Sonnenborn-Berger tie-break method, then Topalov would have been first, Gelfand second, and Mamedyarov third.
The winners (l to r): Boris Gelfand, Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
The final standings of the 2012 FIDE London Grand Prix
||Dominguez Perez Leinier
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (left) drew his game with Peter Leko to secure a share of first place
Boris Gelfand (left) claimed a share of first place with a win against Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Veselin Topalov (right) made it three at the top by beating Anish Giri
Alexander Grischuk (left) could only draw with Hikaru Nakamura and finished fourth
Michael Adams (left) finished 7th as a last-minute replacement for Peter Svidler
Vassily Ivanchuk (left) finished 8th, with Wang Hao 6th.
The London Grand Prix was the first tournament of the 2012/13 FIDE Grand Prix series. The next Grand Prix event will be in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 21 November - 5 December. The other venues will be Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin and Paris. Details of dates and participants are here.
Each tournament is a single round-robin featuring 12 out of the 18 players in the Grand Prix, and each player competes in four of the six events. The overall winner and runner-up of the Grand Prix qualify for the March 2014 Candidates Tournament.
The official regulations for the 2012 FIDE Grand Prix can be found here.
The official website of the 2012 London Grand Prix is here. Games sourced via TWIC. The excellent photos are by Ray Morris-Hill.