The American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is the man of the first two rounds of the KZCC, scoring his second successive win today against Grigoryi Oparin to take over the sole lead in the tournament. On second place is the Russian Vladimir Kramnik, who had an overwhelming position against Ian Nepomniachtchi and could have won almost as he pleased, but being up a piece in a rook ending, he allowed his opponent too much activity plus two connected passed pawns on the queenside that advanced further and further. In the end, Kramnik had to return the piece in order to stop the pawns and a drawn position was reached.

The second decisive result of today's morning round was Anand - Pelletier, where the Swiss player tried a rather passive variation in the French Defense that allowed him to get the bishop pair, but also lost a lot of time which Anand used to build up pressure on the kingside. Pelletier tried to stop the advance of Anand's pawns with an early ...h5, but Anand sacificed a pawn to open up the position on the queenside and to advance his h-pawn all the way down to h7, where it seriously cramped the Swiss player's position. After a few inaccuracies on Pelletier's side, Anand was able to win back the pawn on d5, thus gaining two conected pawns in the center that swept away all that came into their path. When the white queen finally penetrated into the black camp, Pelletier had to resign.

The only quiet draw happened in Svidler - Gelfand. It started as an English opening. Svidler played an unusual move very soon (Ng5) and at first seemed to get some nice active play, but Gelfand defended excellenty and gained counterplay on Svidler's pawn weaknesses. A couple of moves later, a draw was called by a repetition of moves.

Today's results:

Round 2 - 14 April

White BlackRes.
Viswanathan Anand-Yannick Pelletier2:0
Grigoriy Oparin-Hikaru Nakamura0:2
Peter Svidler-Boris Gelfand1:1
Vladimir Kramnik-Ian Nepomniachtchi1:1

Classical after Round 2

RkNameELOPtsSB
1.Hikaru Nakamura (USA)279310.029.50
2.Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS)275110.028.00
3.Viswanathan Anand (IND)27869.024.00
4.Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)28118.028.50
5.Peter Svidler (RUS)27478.026.00
6.Boris Gelfand (ISR)27245.012.50
7.Yannick Pelletier (SUI)25413.09.50
8.Grigoryi Oparin (RUS)26042.08.00

Games:

 
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