Tomashevsky wins Tbilisi Grand Prix - Closing Ceremony Print
Saturday, 28 February 2015 10:34
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Closing Ceremony of Tbilisi Grand Prix

Tbilisi closing

The FIDE Grand Prix that took part from 14-28th February in Tbilisi, Georgia, was officially closed with a nice ceremony at the historic Tbilisi Sakrebulo (City Council).

The speeches of the officials and guests were intertwined with wonderful songs of a local choir.

On the stage were Giorgi Giorgadze, President of the Georgian Chess Federation, Israel Gelfer, Vice President of FIDE, Davit Narmania, Mayor of Tbilisi, Levan Kipiani, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, President of ECU, and Giorgi Alibegashvili, Chairman of the Tbilisi City Assembly, host of the evening.

The players were called on a stage as a group and were presented with gift boxes and local wine.

Mahir Mammadov, General Director of Socar Energy Georgia, the tournament sponsor, presented the winner Evgeny Tomashevsky with the cheque of 20,000 EUR.

The ceremony was followed with a photo session and reception for the guests.

Photo gallery

Tbilisi closing 1

Photos by Goran Urosevic

Tbilisi Grand Prix: Evgeny Tomashevsky takes the trophy


In a scenario repeating from the previous day, all games of the 11th round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi were drawn. v
The longest game of the round was Giri - Dominguez, where each player tried to win and reach shared third place. After more than six hours of play, nearly causing the delay of the closing ceremony, this game too finished in a draw.

The tournament winner Evgeny Tomashevsky (8/11), who already secured the trophy in the 10th round, maintained a 1,5 point advantage ahead of the second-placed Dmitry Jakovenko (6,5/11).

Tomashevsky earned 20,000 EUR prize money, 170 Grand Prix points and 30 elo points. He is now leading in the overall Grand Prix standings with one event to go.

Tomashevsky wins Tbilisi Grand Prix with one round to spare


In the 10th round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi all games were drawn. This worked perfectly fine for Evgeny Tomashevsky who secured the first place in the tournament with one round to spare.

Tomashevsky has 7,5/10 points, keeping the unbeaten distance of 1,5 points ahead of the nearest follower Dmitry Jakovenko.

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia, Mr.Levan Kipiani, visited the Grand Prix venue and made the honorary move in the game between Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Baadur Jobava.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery. More content on the Georgian Chess Federation facebook page.

Today Tomashevsky played black against his compatriot and winner of the previous Grand Prix in Tashkent - Dmitry Andreikin. Their game was extremely sharp throughout and was the last to finish.

Tomashevsky commented that this was one of the most interesting games he played recently. People were telling him that the tournament was over but he knew that Andreikin is great sportsman and he expected that white would play for a win.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R9: Tomashevsky near the finish line


Grandmaster Evgeny Tomashevsky is on the brink of winning the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi after scoring against Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the 9th round of the tournament.

With 7/9 points Tomashevsky is 1,5 points ahead of the second placed Dmitry Jakovenko and there are two more rounds left.

After six hours of play Maxime Vachier-Lagrave broke the resistance of Baadur Jobava to score his first win in the event. The tennis practice on the rest day helped the French to beat the negative trend.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

More content on the Georgian Chess Federation facebook page

Svidler - Jakovenko

Jakovenko - Svidler 1/2

Another Gruenfeld Indian defence for Svidler, who recently refreshed his notes on this opening. In the old main line of 7.Bc4 he played a relatively rare 10...b6, which however survived the test against Magnus Carlsen in 2011.

Svidler reminded that earlier he analysed this line with Grischuk, to whom he was second during the Candidate Matches in Kazan.

The system also had a recent test in So - Vachier-Lagrave from Tata Steel. That game was followed today all the way down to the 24th move when black made a small adjustment with Rad8.

Svidler pointed that 25...Nc4 was an important resource, influencing a bunch of the squares. It was crucial that white can't play 28.cxd4 because it loses a piece after ...Nb2.

Black established a dominant knight on e5 and easily held a draw.

Mamedyarov - Giri

Mamedyarov - Giri 1/2

Giri is regularly playing the Taimanov Sicilian and the position after the 8th move was already seen in three of his games. But Mamedyarov came up with a stunning novelty 9.Nf5, offering a piece on the plate.

The point is, however, that white will quickly win the rook and hold an exchange for a pawn. By losing some tempi to collect the rook, white allowed his opponent to speed up the development and build up a strong center.

To maintain the dynamic balance, white was forced to give the exchange back, but then with the equal material on the board black had no problems whatsoever. The game ended with perpetual check.

Giri played confidently fast and didn't show the signs of confusion during the press conference.

Anish Giri

Tomashevsky - Kasimdzhanov

Tomashevsky - Kasimdzhanov 1-0

For the fourth time in this tournament Tomashevsky faced the King's Indian defence. He remained principled and responded with Makagonov's h3 despite the opponent's possible preparation.

Giri played 10...Nf6, while Kasimdzhanov opted for 10...Nf4.

Kasimdzhanov pointed that 13.a3 was not really necessary as Na6-b4 is not a real threat. Tomashevsky responded that he planned long castle and was afraid of Nb4 and a5 when black can just offer the sacrifice of the knight.

Tomashevsky clarified that 16.Rg1 was better as it would force ...Nxg6 17.Nxg6 and black has to recapture with the pawn. As it happened in the game, black was able to recapture with the queen, after which his position was good, according to Tomashevsky.

The players engaged in heated discussion about the lines after possible 19...e4, which was Kasimdzhanov's original intention. Some of the possible lines are: 20.f4 Nc5 21.b4 e3 22.Rxe3 Rxe3 23.Bxe3 Re8 24.Bd2 Ne4, or 20.f4 Bd4 21.Be3 Qf6 22.Nd1 Nc5.

Kasimdzhanov reminded that he spent almost one hour here and in the end played another move. He added bitterly - "Whenever I think long I make a mistake."

The players also examined 23...Rxf5 24.gxf5 Qh5 25. Rg5 Qf3 26.Reg1 Bf6, where black seems to be holding well.

After 26.Rg3 Tomashevsky felt that his position should be winning. Indeed, it took him only several more moves to crash through black's defences and score an important victory.

Andreikin - Radjabov

Andreikin - Radjabov 1/2

A very instructive game in the Queen's Pawn opening where white snatched a pawn on move 6 and then hung on to it at all (positional) costs.

At one point (move 23) white two extra pawns but both were doubled and separated from the rest of the structure. It was clear that only black can press for a win.

White succeeded in trading a rook and handful of pawns to get into a rook ending with four pawns each on the kingside. White e-pawns were doubled and isolated, but nevertheless he comfortably held a draw.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R8: Jobava wins again, Tomashevsky extends lead


Georgian Grandmaster Baadur Jobava scored a second consecutive and third overall victory in the Tbilisi Grand Prix to reverse the negative trend from the start of the event.

Evgeny Tomashevsky defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in an extremely rare ending of 2 bishops + knight vs rook + 4 pawns.

On 6/8 points Tomashevsky is once again a full point ahead of the field, with Dmitry Jakovenko keeping the second place on 5 points.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery. Tuesday is a rest day, the tournament continues on 25th.

More content on the Georgian Chess Federation facebook page

Radjabov - Mamedyarov

Radjabov - Mamedyarov 1/2

Mamedyarov repeated the opening from yesterday - Queen's Gambit Cambridge Springs - that brough him success against Grischuk.

With this experience in mind, Radjabov wanted a quiet line. The opening had its normal course until black's pawn moves 15...g6 and 17...f6 forced white to sacrifice a piece and go for perpetual check.

Retreating the knight was a poor option, because 18.Nf3 f5 19.Bd3 c4 hands initiative to black. Radjabov believes that he should have played f2-f4 earlier.

The players then spoke about the upcoming tournaments in Azerbaijan, the 2nd Gashimov Memorial and World Chess Cup.

Mamedyarov said that his schedule is full, he will play Reykjavik Open, then a blitz event in Moscow and next Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir.

Radjabov said it is a great pleasure to have tournaments like Shamkir and World Cup organized in Azerbaijan. Shamkir with 10 participants will probably be the strongest tournament this year. Radjabov said that "some organizers can cut budgets and have 4 players with higher average elo", but it is greater achievement to have ten top players.

Kasimdzhanov - Andreikin

Kasimdzhanov - Andreikin 1/2

In the Chebanenko Slav defence white was inspired by the game Gelfand-Andreikin from one of the earlier Grand Prix events.

Kasimdzhanov tried to find a more clever move order that would allow him to quickly pile up the heavy pieces on the c-file. He complained that he moved 14.Rc1 too fast, instead of considering 14.Qe2 0-0 15.Rfc1 Rb8 16.Rc2.

Andreikin played very well and after 16...Nb6 white felt "that all of his pieces are wrongly placed".

Black succeeded in trading all the queenside pawns and rooks and draw was inevitable.

Giri - Grischuk

Giri - Grischuk 1/2

It was a Gruenfeld Indian defence, Russian System, and our game followed the encounter Tomashevsky-Grischuk from earlier Grand Prix in Baku.

Only on move 28 Giri played different than Tomashevsky, but it was already too late as the position simplified completely. Draw was signed shortly before the time control.

Grischuk commented "I don't understand the younger generation, it was well known this line leads directly into a draw". He expected Giri to press harder for a win.

Giri briefly said that something went wrong about his preparation and that he never intended to follow Tomashevsky's play.

Dominguez - Jakovenko

Dominguez - Jakovenko 1/2

The game started as Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez, but the structure soon took the shape of the major Spanish lines.

Black shifted his knight to the queenside and white responded with 14.a4, trying to break the formation.

Jakovenko was not shy to win the bishops pair, but his a6-pawn appeared to be target. Nevertheless, despite losing the pawn black had strong bishops and better pieces coordination.

White pieces were somehow drifting and he couldn't get them to work together. Black won the pawn back and Dominguez was forced to concede a draw.

Svidler - Jobava

Svidler - Jobava 0-1

Jobava once again entered the Caro-Kann Advance variation, only this time with a twist - he played 6...f6 fairly early. White countered with the aggressive 7.c4.

Svidler commented that he was more worried about 10...exd5 11.Nd4 Bxd4 12.Qxd4 Ne7 13.g4 c5 which looked totally wild. Jobava answered that he didn't like to allow white dangerous passer on e-file.

11...Ne7 was looked at during the press conference, but the players agreed that white emerges slightly better.

13.g4!? bxg4 14.Nd4 was very interesting, but Svidler certainly didn't expect 13...Qb8 which "looks odd". His reply 14.Qa3 was strong, preventing black from castling and forcing his hand.

Svidler originally planned 15.e4 with wild complications, but then changed his mind and opted for different move.

Immediately on the next move white committed a mistake which probably cost him the game. Taking the bishop on f5 allowed black to consolidate, castle long (which Svidler completely missed) and stabilise the extra pawn.

Svidler wanted to play 16.g4 Nxd4 17.exd4 Bg6 18.Rae1 with strong attack, but he couldn't make the line 16.g4 Bg6 17.Nxe6 Qe5 work. Only later he realised that he had the crushing 18.Nb5! there.

Given the chance, Jobava took only a dozen of moves to bring the victory home.

Vachier-Lagrave - Tomashevsky

Vachier-Lagrave - Tomashevsky 0-1

The game had the normal course of the Anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez until white decided to reject the preferred 23.f3 and sharpen the play with 23.Qc2.

Black had to be careful about the tactics involving checkmate on h7, but he found all the best moves, including 25...Nd7. Vachier-Lagrave realised too late that 27.e5 is met with the powerful 27...Nf8!

After 29...Ne5 black is just winning, both players agreed.

But the position was far from simple because of the unusual material distribution where white had a rook and 4 pawns against 2 bishops and a knight.

Acting cautious enough, Tomashevsky converted the advantage after six and a half hours of play.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R7: Three decisive games

Tbilisi R7 main

The seventh round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi was extremely exciting. It started with three draws, but the remaining three games finished with decisive results.

Dmitry Jakovenko defeated Anish Giri to emerge clear second in the standings. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov converted the material advantage against Alexander Grischuk, while Baadur Jobava capitalised on Leinier Dominguez's terrible time trouble.

Evgeny Tomashevsky remains the leader with 5 points from seven games.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

Kasimdzhanov - Radjabov

Kasimdzhanov - Radjabov 1/2

This was the third game in the tournament in which Kasimdzhanov faced Gruenfeld Indian with white. Radjabov was well prepared to meet 5.Bd2.

It was important for black that 16...Be6 is working because of the pin on white queen. Black succeeded in breaking the bind by trading on d5 and pushing 18...b5. Radjabov noted that the safe 18...Qd7 was also good.

Radjabov also showed 19.Rxe8+ Qxe8 20.Qb2 Qe7 21.Rd1 bxc4. Tournament commentator GM Tornike Sanikidze proposed 19.d6!? bxc4 20.Qf4 h6 21.Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.Qxf6. If 19.d6 h6 20.Nf3 bxc4 21.Ne5, but there probably deflection with 21...c3.

After the game continuation the pieces were quickly exchanged and draw was agreed.

Kasimdzhanov said he wanted to play safe because it was obvious that his opponent analysed the opening in detail.

Tomashevsky - Svidler

Tomashevsky - Svidler 1/2

The game saw an interesting theoretical discussion in the Gruenfeld Indian defence. Svidler for the first time played his discovery 7...Bg7, which he already presented in a DVD.

This failed to surprise Tomashevsky, who didn't see the videos, but found the same idea on his own. He prepared an antidote and played quite fast in the opening.

Svidler considered 13...f5 14.0-0 f4 but Tomashevsky said white would better after 15.d6. Later on black found a good waiting move 18...Kg7, because the immediate 18...Bxc3 19.bxc3 Qxc3 20.Qe3 might have been better for white, according to Tomashevsky.

Svidler added that he would have liked to play 18...Be5, but unfortunately it loses quickly to 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.Qg5. He was also worried about 18...Kg8 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.e5 Bxe5 21.Rxf7+ Kxf7 22.Qg5, but luckily black has 22...Bf5.

Tomashevsky presented the line that shows why black couldn't take 20...exd6 - 21.e5 Qxe5 22.Rbe1 Qxc3 23.f6+ Kh8 24.Qh6 Rg8 25.Re4 g5 26.Qxh7+ Kxh7 27.Rh4# Svidler found the precise move order than renders white's attack harmless and in the end Tomashevsky was forced to seek a draw by moves repetition.

Andreikin - Vachier-Lagrave

Andreikin - Vachier-Lagrave 1/2

White used the Moscow Sicilian variation, which he already played many times with the quick time controls.

Andreikin questioned his 10th move, saying that perhaps he would be better off without the inclusion of h3 and a6.

Black usually play along the lines on 13...Nc5 14.Qc2 Ne6 15.Nxe6 fxe6, which is slightly better for white.

But Vachier-Lagrave found a very strong plan that involved the f5-break. This made 10.h3 look bad, according to Andreikin.

The rest of the game was dynamic but always roughly equal. Black won one pawn and white had dangerous pressure along the dark-squared diagonal.

Vachier-Lagrave was worried about the position which would have resulted after 29.Kh2 Qg7 30.Rf6. Since white left his king on g1, black used the opportunity to push the h-pawn and generate counterplay.

Andreikin decided it was best to take a draw by perpetual check.

Jakovenko - Giri

Jakovenko - Giri 1-0

The game saw Dutch defence, where after the regular opening moves Giri was "feeling good about the position around 16.Qd2".

But a couple of moves later he was worried about 23.Rf1 and 24.Bh3 where white wins a pawn. Jakovenko also had his doubts, as he didn't like the looks of 28...Qxd4 29.cxd4 f4 30.d5 cxd5 31.cxd5 Nh3+!.

The players had different emotions about the game around move 32 - Giri was feeling uncomfortable, while Jakovenko was not pushing, he was just making normal-looking moves until he would come up with a plan.

The ending after the time control was extremely complicated. 40.Rg4 looks clumsy but it is a very good move which prepares the advance of h-pawn. However, 44.h4 was still premature as 44...Rxc3 45.hxg5 h5 shockingly wins for black.

Giri said that 46...Ra2+ was a mistake that allowed white king into the game. He should have played 46...Nf3 47.Re4 Kf8, which might hold. He admitted missing the powerful idea of 52.Rg2-d2, but even 51...Nf2 52.Rd2 Nd3+ 53.Ke4! appears to be winning for white. He reminded of the famous ending Capablanca-Tartakower where the world champion gives away his pawns in order to penetrate with the king.

In summary, Giri said that he made enough mistakes that he deserved to lose.

Grischuk - Mamedyarov

Grischuk - Mamedyarov 0-1

An extremely exciting game that started as Queen's Gambit Cambridge Springs where white offered two pawns as sacrifice.

Black snatched one, but passed on the second as white would have developed tremendous attack, for example 11...Qxb2 12.Rc2 Qa3 13.0-0 Be7 14.Bg3 f5 15.c5.

Black tried to challenge opponent's central supremacy with c5 and e5, but white would have been better after 17.dxe5 Nxe5 18.Qd5 f6 19.Qxe4 0-0 20.Qc2.

Instead, Grischuk made a terrible mistake 17.Ra5, missing black's "long" move Qb6-h6. The pin on white queen allowed black to emerge two pawns up, but in much better version compared to the 11th move. Now his defended passed pawn on d3 was very dangerous.

The technical phase took some extra time as white had certain activity due to opposite coloured bishops. But after the second time control Mamedyarov finally brought the victory home. This was his third win with black pieces.

Jobava - Dominguez

Jobava - Dominguez 1-0

The local hero Baadur Jobava played the Reversed Philidor defence, already 7th time in his career. In the seemingly passive setup Jobava won five games and conceded only two draws against the world-class opposition.

Perhaps white did misplay the opening a bit, as the wandering knight allowed black to reposition his own knight to a better place, also clearing the way for the c-pawn.

Dominguez pointed that 13...c6 was better before trading on e4 because he has 14.Qc2 Qb6. With the game continuation he missed that after 15.Qc2 Qb6 white has simple 16.Nc4 (pawn no longer on d5).

He admitted that the misstep made him very upset and he couldn't bring his head back into the game. Jobava also noted that black started making erratic moves and that white position kept getting better and better.

Dominguez was also burning the clock and finally he was required to make six moves in 40 seconds. He was finding the best solutions, as praised by Jobava, until he stumbled and made decisive mistake on move 39. Dominguez said that he didn't even consider 39...Nd6, which turned to be superior. There was simply no time.

After the time control white was left with the pleasant duty of converting the advantage.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R6: Radjabov and Svidler victorious

Tbilisi R6

Teimour Radjabov and Peter Svidler scored their first respective victories in the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi.

Radjabov punished Alexander Grischuk's error in the sharp Sicilian opening, while Svidler turned the tables against Tashkent winner Dmitry Andreikin.

The remaining four games are drawn. Evgeny Tomashevsky is on top with 4,5 points, followed by five players who are full point behind.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

More content on the Georgian Chess Federation facebook page.

Svidler - Andreikin

Svidler - Andreikin 1-0

In the Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez white played a relatively rare 8.Bxc6, which Svidler doubts anybody will repeat soon. 8.h3 was leading to normal theory according to him.

Svidler also pointed that 11.d4 was a mistake and after that white has to be careful in order to equalise. He added that 11.Nf1 was better. On move 19 he was lucky that Ne4 is working.

Andreikin later missed 21...Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Rd8 to be equal. After the game continuation white suddenly got some play. Andreikin admitted that he missed 24...Qd6 would run into 25.Nf5.

The resulting endgame was quite pleasant for white, he won a pawn and continued pressing for a win, while black was in huge time trouble.

Perhaps black could have tried 27...Ra3 28.Rc1 Kf8 "with a long game ahead". As it happened, white advanced his passed pawn and duly converted the advantage.

Dominguez - Tomashevsky

Dominguez - Tomashevsky 1/2

Another Ruy Lopez, only this time Anti-Marshall. After the regular opening sequence, white found a very strong move 17.Bb3 that allowed him to seize initiative.

White was able to win a pawn, but only after a series of exchanges that reduced the material. With 4 vs 3 pawns and queenside cleared, white could not make progress against the black rook and draw was signed on move 38.

Radjabov - Grischuk

Radjabov - Grischuk 1-0

The Sicilian Naidorf Poisoned Pawn is one of the sharpest opening variations in chess. Radjabov played the interesting 13.Bg3, because according to him "the main line 13.exf6 is deeply researched, all the way down to a draw".

The game its normal course until Grischuk committed grave mistake with 16...Nc5. He should have played different move order, starting with disrupting check 16...Qa1+ 17.Bd1 Nc5 18.Nxc5 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bxc5 20.c3.

Another mistake followed with 18...Bb4, when 18...Nxg3 19.Nxa2 Nxh1 would have given some chances in unbalanced position. Grischuk missed that after 19...Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Qb1+ white has simple 21.Bd1.

The game was finished in a matter of couple of moves.

Vachier-Lagrave - Kasimdzhanov

Vachier-Lagrave - Kasimdzhanov 1/2

The French player did not expect Petrov's defence, but nevertheless continued with the most popular line with doubled c-pawns and long castle.

Black gave up the bishops pair in order to establish dominant knight on e5 and also castle long. Kasimdzhanov reminded that he tried short castle against Vishy Anand once and that he "learned the lesson".

There was some complex maneuvering but the players also run into huge time trouble. After the required 30 moves were made the players have agreed to a draw.

Mamedyarov - Jakovenko

Mamedyarov - Jakovenko 1/2

A relatively quiet opening, the Vienna Mieses Variation, led to normal pieces development of both sides and equal play.

akovenko suggested 15.Qf3 Ba5 16.Rab1 Bxc3 17.Rxb7 Nd4 18.Bxd4 Bxd4, still with equal game.

After the continuation 15.a4 f5 massive exchanges followed and each side was left with a rook, bishop and handful of pawns.

Mamedyarov admitted that after 26.Bxb7 he had considered the winning possibilities for either player were gone. He just wanted to complete next few moves to follow the 30-move rule and offer a draw. "In the end, I was even a pawn up, how difficult can it be to make a draw", he said.

But then he made several mistakes and all of a sudden black was playing for a win.

Despite the equal material in the rook ending white position was very unpleasant due to weak pawns.

Jakovenko was pressing for a long time but in the end he could not convert the advantage and the point was split on move 76.

Mamedyarov joked: "Today is my first draw, also I didn't lose with white pieces, so everything's good."

Giri - Jobava

Giri - Jobava 1/2

In the opening which was a hybrid of Slav and Gruenfeld Indian black conceded a pair of bishops in order to solidify the center.

White however responded with the strong 12.Qa4. The queens went off, but white emerged slightly better from the opening, both players agreed.

White prepared the central push e3-e4, but he underestimated the strength of the black bishop on e3. 27...f6 was a strong move which prevented white from blocking the center.

Jobava said that his plan was to play 31...f5 in order to prevent Ne4, but then he just changed his mind and allowed the jump.

This caused some coordination problems for black because white held two bishops and the game was opening up.

ome of the proposed lines were:

33...Nxd5 34.exd5 f5 (Jobava)
34...Nc2 35.Re2 Nxe1 or Ng3+ (Giri)
44.Ba6 Rb6 (44...Ra7 is losing) 45.Bc4 Nc6 46.Ke3 when black is facing a very difficult defence (Giri)

Black did hold well and was finally awarded with a draw after six hours of play.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R5: Tomashevsky retains full point lead

Tbilisi R5

Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Tomashevsky is still leading Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix after splitting a point with Anish Giri in round five. With 4 points Tomashevsky maintains one point margin ahead of the chasing pack.

Local GM Baadur Jobava and Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez signed their first respective wins, while Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan continues his fine form by defeating Peter Svidler.

Three games were drawn. Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Former world champion Nona Gaprindashvili, ECU President GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Georgian GM Meran Gagunashvili made appearance as guest commentators during the live broadcast.

Azmaiparashvili noted that the playing conditions were excellent and that the players feel inspired to play fighting games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

Jakovenko - Grischuk

Jakovenko - Grischuk 1/2

The game finished abruptly with repetition in the opening. In the fianchetto Modern Benoni Grishuk played a rare move 10...Bf5.

He revealed it is something prepared as a backup line for the days he doesn't want to waste time before the games.

Jakovenko admitted he didn't know how to proceed and decided to take a draw. He proposed 12.Qc1 but the position is very complicated and he was not experienced in this opening.

Jobava - Mamedyarov

Jobava - Mamedyarov 1-0

After the poor start 0,5/4 the Georgian star returned into competition with a victory against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Jobava used the same unorthodox opening he already tried against world champion Magnus Carlsen this winter.

At one point white sacrificed a pawn but then missed the best continuation and black took the tempo to solidify the structure.

The only way to retain some chances was to also sacrifice a bishop, which is exactly what Jobava did.

After several forced moves black made a terrible mistake, completely blundering white's 19.Rxd5. Mamedyarov said he immediately wanted to resign but then he noticed that 19...Qb4 allows him to stay in the game a little longer. 18...Qc7 19.Qb2 where Jobava claims to have good compensation.

White committed another inaccuracy on move 22, but black quickly returned the favour and ended up checkmated.

Zurab Azmaiparashvili pointed that 22.Rd8+ Rxd8 23.Rxd8+ Kf7 24.c3 would win on the spot.

Vachier-Lagrave - Radjabov

Vachier-Lagrave - Radjabov 1/2

In the Winawer French white used the most aggressive continuation 7.Qg4 and black accepted the challenge by responding with the sharpest 7...Qc7. Here white wins a pawn but has suffers from lack of pieces coordination.

Radjabov commented: "This is of course a huge theoretical line. Very artificial play from both sides". He played the neat 16...Qc6 which poses a question how will white complete the development.

But only two moves later, the Azeri said he couldn't figure out how to continue. He was bothered by the position after 18...Qd4 19.Rg2 Bc6 20.gxf5 Bxg2 21.Bxg2 Rxg2 22.Qxg2 0-0-0 23.Qg4! Qe4+ 24.Kf2 where he was getting stuck. Another line that was proposed is 18...Qa4 19.Qc4!?

n the end black decided to establish a strong knight on d4. It appeared as he was pinned down, but 23.Rd1 would have been met with ...Bxe4 24.Bxd4 Qxa3 25.Rg3 Bc6 26.Rxc3 Qa5 and black is fine.

Radjabov proposed that 26.h3 Rxf4 27.Rg3 might have been better move order for white, as well as 26...Rh8 was stronger than the game continuation. Finally, he was afraid that 35.h6 Kd5 36.g5 Kxe5 37.Rf1 Rh7 38.Rf6 was winning for white, but further analysis is needed.

The game was drawn on move 37. Vachier-Lagrave tweeted: "So far disappointed with my result, not much went according to the plan but games were interesting and of decent quality. Need wins ASAP!"

Kasimdzhanov - Svidler

Kasimdzhanov - Svidler 1-0

Svidler defended with his favourite Gruenfeld Indian and Kasimdzhanov repeated the line that he used against Giri in round three.

Black deviated from Giri's play by preventing e4 advance, and was then "treated to his own medicine", as Svidler put it, because he introduced white's line in the Candidates' game against Gelfand.

By now the main line is 8...c5 9.dxc5 N6d7, but Svidler borrowed Gelfand's forgotten idea of Bg4-Bxf3, only with a small twist - 10...N8d7 which saves valuable tempo and is much superior to the known 10...c6.

White was taken by surprise, but nevertheless he continued with normal development and castled long. He refrained from pushing the h-pawn, and Svidler has shown why he was right - 15.h4 Rad8 16.e5 f6 17.h5 fxe5 18.hxg6 h6 and black rook is great on f8.

The players have suggested several alternative variations:
15...Rac8!? (Svidler)
16...e5!? 17. f5 gxf5 18.Qxf5 Ne6 "with a monster knight on d4" (Kasimdzhanov)
16...Rxd2 17.Rxd2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Rc8 19. Ka1 Nca4 etc (Kasimdzhanov)

Svidler underestimated 18.Nb5! and both players agreed that the position after 20.Qa3 is extremely complicated.

The losing move was 23...Rf7, both agreed, and tried to find a possible improvement:
23...Rxb4 doesn't work 24.Qxb4 Nf6 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.Qc4
23...Qf7 24.Bxc5 Rf1 25.Rd1; 23...Qh4 24.Nxd5 and g3 is a huge threat; 23...Qd6 24.Bxd7 Qxd7 25.Bxc5
23...Rc4 (engine) 24.Nxd5 Qf7 25.Ne3 Rxb4 26.Qxb4 Nd3 27.Qd6 Nxe1 28.Be6 etc

Tomashevsky - Giri

Tomashevsky - Giri 1/2

The tournament leader attempted to repeat the line in the King's Indian defence that he used against Grischuk, but was only met with a well-prepared Giri.

White was prepared for 11...h6 12.Bd2 Na6 13.Bg2!?, but black changed the moves order and white started losing ground.

The hasty 13...f4 14.gxf4 exf4 15.Bd4 would have turned bad for black, but he played the strong 13...Nh7 to which white couldn't remember how to continue.

Giri suggested the calm 14.a3, but instead white committed himself with 14.h4. Tomashevsky admitted that his "position started falling apart" and that "black has won the theoretical duel".

After 24...b5 white realised that he was outplayed and should look how to save the game. He did put up a stubborn defence and eventually earned a draw.

Andreikin - Dominguez

Andreikin - Dominguez 0-1

It started as Ruy Lopez Delayed Exchange Variation where black used an interesting idea of placing the knight on c5. The plan was to transfer the piece via e6, but white was faster to jump with his knight to f5.

This did leave white with an exposed pawn that needed constant care. Further, he refused to repeat the moves and rushed to push c2-c4, allowing black to seize the initiative.

With some skilled maneuvering black forced his opponent to sacrifice a bishop for two pawns. He was better, but the process of converting the material advantage took 68 moves and more than six hours of play.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R4: Tomashevsky wins again, increases lead


Evgeny Tomashevsky scores another victory in the Tbilisi Grand Prix to extend the margin on the leaderboard before the first rest day.

Tomashevsky defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and took his tally to 3,5 points, leaving Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri and Dmitry Jakovenko a full point behind.

Grischuk bounced back after yesterday's loss by winning against Baadur Jobava.

The remaining four games were drawn.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

Brazilian Grandmaster Alexandr Fier commented: "It's nice to see so many strong players in Tbilisi now, it's not so often that we have such strong tournaments here. I'm happy to watch and analyse here in the press room, we have some interesting games because the players are in fighting mood. I hope it will continue like this until the end of the tournament."

Dominguez - Kasimdzhanov

Dominguez - Kasimdzhanov 1/2

Kasimdzhanov defended with the Rubinstein French, reasoning that "Dominguez didn't have this opening since 2009 and perhaps he doesn't remember the sharp lines he played back then."

The Cuban agreed and said he wanted to avoid the tactical lines because he feared opponent's preparation.

Kasimdzhanov said that his training partner convinced him that after 11...c5 black has nothing to worry about.

White couldn't get the advantage from the opening, the point being that 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Bxb7 Rb8 18.Rd1 g6 doesn't work because b2-pawn is hanging. Draw was agreed on move 31.

Giri - Andreikin

Giri - Andreikin 1/2

The opening saw the very popular Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez.

Giri admitted that he didn't have advantage at any point during the game. He considered 15.Bxe4 exd4 but black is okay in all lines.

During the press conference the players devoted lots of time to exploring the pawn ending after 27.Nxe5 Rxe5 etc, but the conclusion is that black should hold the ground. Draw signed on move 31. M

Mamedyarov - Tomashevsky

Mamedyarov - Tomashevsky 0-1

Black defended with the Chebanenko Slav and white employed the idea of world champion Magnus Carlsen from the game with Hikaru Nakamura in Gashimov Memorial. The point is that after 6.Be2 h6 black no longer has Bg6 at disposal and white can force the bishop exchange on d3.

Mamedyarov later said that if Carlsen can play this way, it doesn't mean that other players can follow the same steps. He now believes that the line does not suit his style. Finally, he said that when Carlsen's games are shown, a TV-like scroll should warn the audience "do not try this at home".

Tomashevsky said he played "the tricky" 14...Re8 because he didn't like the look of 14...a4 15.b4 Nd6 16.c5 Nc4 17.Bc1, and wanted to see what will white do next.

Mamedyarov added that after 18.a4 white is slightly better, but then he missed 20...b5. He understood that the trend is shifting and believes that from then on he should have played to salvage a draw.

But during the match white was still showing great ambition (22.c5), which only allowed "black knight to find a good square (c6) for the first time in the game" (Tomashevsky comment).

The Russian suggested 22.cxd5 Qxd5 23.Rb1 as more restrained approach. He added that from then on white can perhaps hold with perfect play, but the black position was just much easier to develop.

Immediately after the time control white committed a grave error 41.Rb1 and was soon forced to resign.

Svidler - Vachier-Lagrave

Svidler - Vachier-Lagrave 1/2

Both players are world-leading experts in the Gruenfeld Indian defence and the match attracted great attention. Svidler is "persistent to make the lines with h3 work, but without much success". He added that this is some sort of his personal quest, which might as well be abandoned soon.

lack sacrificed an exchange early on in order to anchor the knight on dominant square d4. Vachier-Lagrave pointed that his preparation was up to 17...Bd7. The players have shown 17...Bxh3 18.Bxd4 Bxd4 19.Rad1 as not that great for black.

The game was very complicated and the press conference was quite entertaining as many nice variations were presented.

At one point Svidler said he didn't like 20.Qa5 because of simple 20...a6. Vachier-Lagrave replied that he planned 20...b6 21.Qxa7 b5, which invited Svidler's sincere comment - "You are very exciting chess player, I would just protect the pawn and continue the game."

White invested lots of effort to force 26...e5, but later admitted that it was not such a great achievement. After some maneuvering the game was finally drawn by repetition.

Grischuk - Jobava

Grischuk - Jobava 1-0

The Caro-Kann Advance variation was seen in many games of both players. Grischuk remarked that Jobava always comes up with original ideas and this was the first time that he employed the plan with Bxf3, g6 and h5.

Grischuk said that black position is very passive but still solid. White didn't have time for slow 14.g3 because black immediately strikes in the center with c6-c5. In the game, 14...c5 did not work because there comes 15.c4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 cxd4 17.Qa4 and black is lagging with development.

White maintained certain advantage and then black made a mistake with 23...Nc8 allowing the central breakthrough.

From then on it was only matter of technique for white. Still, there were certain issues to deal with. Grischuk proposed that 34...Rd2 was a better try, then 35.b4 Rb2 36.Rb6 Nc4 37.Rb5 Na3 or 35.b3 Ra2 36.Be4 g5!? 37. Ra4 g4. White was afraid that if black can sacrifice the knight for queenside pawns the ending might not be winning anymore.

Black checked the opponent's king and allowed its passage to the center. He resigned after the time control.

Official commentator Tornike Sanikidze noted that Grischuk played a model game from the white side of Advance variation.

Radjabov - Jakovenko

Radjabov - Jakovenko 1/2

In the longest game of the day Radjabov tried to convert an extra pawn for almost six hours, but in the end had to concede a draw.

The play started quietly, with a positional line in the Queen's Indian defence. Everything revolved around the a-file and the e4-square.

Black decided to change the pawn structure, removing the white d4-pawn and hoping to open up the long diagonal for the bishop. But then he missed the neat opportunity to force a perpetual with 28...c5! 29.Rxc5 Nf3+ 30.gxf3 Rxc5 and Qg6-b1.

White won a pawn and black was able to at least break opponent's pawn structure.

Radjabov tried to win the queen ending with small material advantage for more than 40 moves, but black defended tenaciously and finally earned a tie.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R3: Tomashevsky moves into sole lead


Evgeny Tomashevsky defeated his compatriot and top seed Alexander Grischuk in the third round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tbilisi to emerge sole leader with 2,5 points.

Dmitry Jakovenko inflicted second loss to local hero Baadur Jobava, while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov scored his second victory, this time against Dmitry Andreikin.

The remaining four games were drawn.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

Kasimdzhanov - Giri

Kasimdzhanov - Giri 1/2

Kasimdzhanov joked that he spent more time preparing than actually playing the game. He attempted to follow white's play from Anand-Svidler, Moscow 2009, but Giri deviated and forced the exchange of the queens.

White rushed to complete the development, but black forced his hand with 13...Nb4. White refused to return the pawn and the game finished in a draw after repetition.

Jobava - Jakovenko

Jobava - Jakovenko 0-1

Jobava repeated the radical idea of pushing 11.h4, as he already did in 2008 against Ivanchuk. Jakovenko was not aware of this older game and proceeded with normal development.

White had to find the way to justify his aggressive approach. Jakovenko proposed 15.f4 Rd8 16.Kh1 Qb4 17.Rc1 as one of the possible lines.

On the next move Jobava intended 16.Bb5, but then he changed his mind and simply blundered the d4-pawn. Jakovenko showed 16.Nb5 a6 17.b3!? and 16.Bb5 a6 17. Bxc6 Bxc6 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Qxc6 Rc8 as alternatives.

It took only several precise moves from black to finish off his opponent.

Svidler - Radjabov

Svidler - Radjabov 1/2

Svidler decided to try a different setup against Ragozin Queen's Gambit after the loss in the first round. He expected 11...Bd7 as seen in the recent game Ivanchuk-Carlsen, but Radjabov had a different idea in mind.

Svidler considered 12.Qb3 but black appears to be very flexible after ...Bc5. Radjabov agreed that it is not easy to break black's structure. Svidler also considered 14...Nd7 15.Nb5 a5 as good for black.

The position looked harmless but black still had to be careful. 17...Ra7 18.Qb2 Rfa8 was good moment for 19.b5 and there are problems with pieces coordination. 19...Na7 was very strong, however, and white was never on time to exert pressure on black's position. "I always missed this one tempo" - Svidler said.

The game was drawn on move 30.

Vachier-Lagrave - Dominguez

Vachier-Lagrave - Dominguez 1/2

This match saw Breyer Ruy Lopez, which became very popular in the recent years and is regular choice of the world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Black's position looked a bit shaky in the middlegame, but somehow he was holding in all lines.

Dominguez didn't like the look of 23...hxg5 24. exf6 Bxf6 25.Qf2 Nd7 26.e5, but post-mortem analysis proved that black is staying intact.

28.Rae1 was played to prevent ...Be5, to which would follow the quite dangerous 29.Rxe5 dxe5 30.d6.

Different attempts, like 34.Rxd6 Rxb2 35.Rxe6 Rxe6 36.Bd5 Rbe2 would also lead to a draw, which anyway was the final outcome on move 40.

Tomashevsky - Grischuk

Tomashevsky - Grischuk 1-0

Another mind-boggling game with Grischuk as co-star. He played a novel idea (10...c6) in the King's Indian defence, but then spent around one hour on the next couple of moves.

Accepting the pawn 11.dxc6 Ndc5 was too dangerous, so Tomashevsky decided to follow the regular plans. At one point he changed his mind and retreated the queen back to square one (15.Qd1), but this was not an offer to repeat the moves, rather he was "preventing a5-a4 and checking what black was actually doing".

The principled continuation was 15.h4 a4 (15...Qxh4 16.g5 with 17.Rh1) 16. h5 Bd7 17.Qh3 cxd5 18.cxd5 b5 19.Rh1. Exactly this was the line that was bothering Sasha, forcing him to spend lots of time to find the antidote.

Tomashevsky sacrificed an exchange and gradually pushed black pieces into corner. The position was difficult to evaluate, but certainly much more easier to play with white.

Grischuk never managed to bring his forces back into game, and coupled with a terrible zeitnot, his game simply collapsed. Later he checked the engines and saw that 28...Qe7 29.Nb6 Nc7 was better, leading to a "totally crazy position".

Andreikin - Mamedyarov

Andreikin - Mamedyarov 0-1

The game started quietly, as Exchange variation of the Slav defence. Black had the option to immediately push 9...c5, but he delayed it for one move.

The subtle difference, which Andreikin admitted missing, was that 12...0-0 is possible because 13.Nxd5 fails to 13...Ne4! and the queen is attacked. He expected only 12...Bd6 which runs into the crushing 13.Bb5+.

The game sharpened when white doubled black's f-pawns and pushed e4. Mamedyarov pointed that 18...dxc3 19.Rxc3 fxe5 20.Rg3+ Kf8 21.Qxd7 Qd6 would probably end up completely equal. He expected 19.exf6 Bxf6 20.Ne4 Bg7 when black is very comfortable, but he missed that 19.Bd3 dxc3 20.Qh6 f5 breaks against 21.Bxf5.

Andreikin erred with 25.Qe3, which allowed black to snatch the b2-pawn when the intended 26.Ng6+ and 27.Qxg5 was also dropping the e5-pawn.

Black proceeded to efficiently convert the advantage in the rook ending.

Tbilisi Grand Prix R2: Kasimdzhanov defeats Mamedyarov

GP r2 main

Rustam Kasimdzhanov bounced back after yesterday's loss by scoring a nice victory with black against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

The remaining five games were drawn, but Leinier Dominguez was very close to winning against Peter Svidler.

After the second round three players share the lead with 1,5 points each.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

Press conferences will be available in the video gallery.

Radjabov - Jobava

Radjabov - Jobava 1/2

In the Queen's Indian defence Jobava made a "strategically risky decision to take 8...Nxd2 and allow white to seize more space", but he elaborated that in the resulting middlegame all three results were possible.

White cleared the files on the queenside in hope of breaking through, while black was building up his play on the kingside.

Radjabov explained that one of the key moments was on move 23 when he had possibility of taking the bishop on c8, but after the long lines the resulting positions were very difficult to evaluate.

Following the game continuation 23.Nc6 black had to find the only move 24...Bg4 to trade down to a roughly equal ending.

Jobava still had to be precise and transfer the king to d8 in order to permanently secure the weak pawn and finally get a draw.

Giri - Vachier-Lagrave

Giri - Vachier-Lagrave 1/2

The French player repeated the Gruenfeld Indian setup that he used against Navara at the Tromso Chess Olympiad. He attempted to improve the play with 12...Be6.

White responded with the principled advance of the b-pawn. But Vachier-Lagrave went head-in with the risky-looking 16...c5. He shared later that he calculated all lines ten moves ahead and that he was certain the position was holding.

In the resulting ending black had his pawn advanced all the way to a3, confining white rook to the a-file. Giri explained that his only chance was to advance the kingside pawns deep into black's position and try to place the opponent into zugzwang.

Black prevented this with timely 32...h5 and the game was soon drawn.

Jakovenko - Tomashevsky 1/2

Tomashevsky started setting the Slav Triangle structure when white surprised him with an early 4.b4. The game soon transposed into Dutch Stonewall.

Later in the opening black was ready to equalise with c6-c5, therefore Jakovenko took the drastic measure to prevent this advance with 14.b4. However, this allowed black to take the bishop out from behind the pawn chain.

On move 21 black started doubling the rooks on the a-file. Jakovenko proposed 21...b5 22.a5 g5 as an interesting alternative. The board is full of pieces and the passed pawn isn't counting for much.

Tomashevsky considered 21...Ne8, but he didn't like the look of 22.Nb1 Nd6 23.Nd2.

Jakovenko was critical of his move 25.a5, after which he decided to step on the break and go for a draw.

Mamedyarov - Kasimdzhanov 0-1

Kasimdzhanov admitted that he was surprised with an early 2.b3, but he believes it was a very interesting development.

He proceeded with Lasker setup, but later on he made some inaccuracies - namely he didn't like 12...e5. The point is that b3-b4 advance in many lines is very annoying for black.

Still, black got a good game going and the knight sacrifice gave him strong central pressure.

Mamedyarov believes that 27.Qxe5, giving the material back, would have given him equal game. He also pointed that 32.Nd4 with idea Nc2 was possible. Later, he planned 35.Bf3, but ...Qxh3+ 36.Kg1 f5! would have been a huge trouble.

Black proceeded to convert the advantage into full point.

Grischuk - Andreikin

Grischuk - Andreikin 1/2

The match started as Queen's Gambit Exchange variation where Andreikin was standing very solid, as Grischuk explained later at the press conference.

Grischuk added that he made a mistake with 15.b3, which was a hasty reaction to the fact that immediate 15.e4 fails to ...Nxe4 16.bxe7 Nxc3 17.Bxd8 Nxd1 18.Bh4 Nxb2 19.Qb3 Nc4. He said that the regular move 15.Bf2 was better.

Andreikin proposed 14.e4 push one move earlier, as 14...Nxe4 15.fxe4 Bxh4 16.exd5 cxd5 17.Rf5 is strong attack for white because castling is prevented 17...0-0 18.Rh5!

Later in the middlegame Andreikin felt very confident because he believed there were many tactical resources in the fight against the white center. Grischuk showed one such line 28...Rexe5 29.Qxe5 Rxe5 30.dxe5 Qc2 which should lead to perpetual check. Andreikin also said that 32...g5 was interesting.

Grischuk criticised black's decision to exchange the queens, arguing that otherwise the position was good enough to hold. According to him, the resulting rook ending is very dangerous for black.

Andreikin said he wanted to at least trade the queens if he was already dropping a pawn.

Grischuk finally proposed 45.Kg3 as better try to play for a win, delaying the e6-push for the time being. He rushed with 45.e6, missing that black has 51...Kd4 as defending resource. The game was soon drawn.

Dominguez - Svidler

Dominguez - Svidler 1/2

The longest game of the day started as an interesting Ruy Lopez where black combined plans from different systems. Svidler said he played this setup many times with both colours. But he also admitted that his play had been faulty and that he should search for improvements.

"It was obvious that white will make a series of moves with his knight from f3, but somehow I missed the strong 19.Nec2", Svidler said later. Meanwhile, legendary champion Nona Gaprindashvili, who actively participated in analysis in the press center, correctly guessed most of Dominguez's moves, including Svidler's nightmare Nec2.

White obtained big positional advantage and black was forced to sacrifice an exchange. Svidler continued to defend tenaciously.

Dominguez had the upper hand until he missed the convincing 52.Qe8+ Kh7 53.h5, as pointed by the commentators WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili and GM Tornike Sanikidze.

Black succeeded in trading all the pawns to finally earn a draw on move 78.

Nona Gaprindashvili

Official tournament website

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Round 1: Four decisive games in the opening round of FIDE Grand Prix


The first round of the FIDE Grand Prix was inaugurated by Chairman of the Tbilisi City Assembly Giorgi Alibegashvili who made the honorary move in the game Tomashevsky - Jobava.

The players were inspired to fight and four games ended with decisive results - of that three wins for black!

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk and Evgeny Tomashevsky were victorious, while Dominguez-Radjabov and Andreikin-Jakovenko ended in draws.

The press conferences were lively and engaging and the players were awarded with rounds of applause. Replay the videos from the gallery.

Azeri representatives Mamedyarov and Radjabov both revealed that they visit Tbilisi all the time and they always feel great in the Georgian capital.

Results and pairings are online, visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

The commentators are WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili and GM Tornike Sanikidze.

Dominguez - Radjabov

Dominguez - Radjabov 1/2

In the Ruy Lopez white avoided the main lines of the Berlin Wall by employing the less common 5.Re1. Further, he retreated the bishop to d3 instead of f1.

Black reacted well and rearranged the pieces to complete the development.

The critical moment was when white pushed 16.f3, missing Radjabov's strong reply 16...Re6. The knight on e4 was tabu because black has queen check on d4.

Dominguez admitted he couldn't find anything better than 17.Re3, but then followed massive exchanges and the game settled in a draw.

Vachier-Lagrave - Mamedyarov

Vachier-Lagrave - Mamedyarov 0-1

Mamedyarov defended with the Naidorf Sicilian "because he played it whole last year and exclusively in the Candidates Tournament". The Azeri knew that Vachier-Lagrave was great expert in this opening, but he believed in his preparation.

Both players analysed the opening in depth. Mamedyarov proposed 21.Ra4 Qb6 22.Bb5+ as possible line, which "probably leads to a draw". Vachier-Lagrave answered that he looked at the game continuation 21.Kd1.

Black felt that he could obtain good play and refused to repeat the moves. White appeared to be passive but solid.

Vachier-Lagrave however erred by pushing the pawn to f4, missing black's 29...Rg3 and 31...Qf2.

Mamedyarov commented that white is practically lost at this point, because his pieces are too passive and pawns are too weak.

White laid his hopes on breaking with e5, but the advance came too late as black already collected the rook from c4. White resigned immediately after the time control.

Svidler - Giri

Svidler - Giri 0-1

In the Ragozin Queen's Gambit the main battle revolved around the central d4-square. White blinked first and pushed 14.d5, but black was ready to challenge the center with 15...c6.

Giri proposed 16.Bg5 as possible improvement, but Svidler didn't like the look of 16...cxd5 17.Bxf6 (17.exd5 Ng6 18.Ne4 Be7) gxf6 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 e4 with idea Re5.

White expected to trade everything down to a draw, but he missed that the intended 21.Qd1 would have been met with 21...Rc4! (idea Rxd4), when the position is simply falling apart.

Also 22.Bxb7 doesn't work because black has simple 22...Ne2+ 23.Qxe2 Rxe2 24.Rxe2 Rb8.

Svidler run into huge time trouble and couldn't find the right way to defend inferior position. At the press conference the players suggested 29.Rd4 or 29.Qd5 as best to continue the fight.

With this victory Giri crossed the 2800-elo mark on the live ratings list.

Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk

Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk 0-1

Grischuk said this was one of the most tense games of his life!

The attempted Ragozin Queen's Gambit quickly transposed into the ultra sharp Noteboom Slav defence, "one of the most exciting opening in chess", as Russian player put it.

Black appeared to be struggling to complete the opening, as "15...Ne4 was played many times but after that he didn't know what to do next."

White was also burning the clock, but he managed to "trick his opponent who expected 19.Qb3 Kh8 when 20.Bxe6 is failing to 20...Ndxc5 21.dxc5 Nxc5 22.Qc4 Bxf3!". The game saw the neat 19.Bb3 instead.

Kasimdzhanov created significant pressure against the a5-pawn, while black was trying to get something going on the king's flank. It looks like white dropped the advantage by missing the critical 25.Qd3, as shown by Grischuk later.

The game continuation allowed black to develop nasty counterplay on the first two ranks, which coupled with huge time trouble ultimately led to white's blunder and defeat.

Tomashevsky - Jobava

Tomashevsky - Jobava 1-0

Certainly the most complex match of the day. It started with a rare sideline in the King's Indian defence, as Tomashevsky admitted "it is always difficult to prepare for Jobava".

White continued with principled positional moves and obtained a slight advantage. But on move 15 he decided to open the center despite correctly predicting black's knight sacrifice on e5.

The game became immensely complicated with many sophisticated move orders, transpositions and tactical nuances. The players gave their best to explore the lines during the press conference, but only the additional analysis will shed the light into correct evaluation.

Essentially, Jobava went down because he missed the tricky cross-pin with 21.Bb2. He continued fighting with two pawns for a piece, but Tomashevsky was up to the task and converted the advantage into full point.

Andreikin - Jakovenko

Andreikin - Jakovenko 1/2

From the beginning of the round the clash of two Dmitrys felt somehow sidelined because of its quiet nature. A sideline in the Berlin Ruy Lopez with symmetrical pawn structure didn't promise much, but this was the longest game of the day.

Andreikin had prepared the line up to 18.Qe2. At that point it looks like the position is equal, but white controls the e-file and black still has some problems to solve.

Jakovenko agreed that he had to find several precise moves in order to fully equalise. He initially planned to play 18...c6, but he disliked the resulting endgame.

Jakovenko added that the plan with 21.Nh2 was unpleasant for him. He thought for a long time and believed that 21...Bg5 would be safe enough, but he missed white's 29.Qe5 in the end of a long line.

The resulting knight ending was supposed to lead to a draw, but there were still many underwater rocks to be avoided. The players have shown many small tactical tricks during the press conference.

Finally draw was agreed on move 60.

Official tournament website

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The third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix series 2014-2015 was officially inaugurated in the presence of the players, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, President of the Georgian Chess Federation Giorgi Giorgadze, Chairman of the Appeals Committee Nona Gaprindashvili and Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov.

During the opening speech Mr. Borg thanked the Georgian Chess Federation and its President Mr. Giorgadze for stepping in last November to organize this event.

Mr.Borg added that the chess world greatly appreciates the effort invested by the Georgian Chess Federation to prepare the tournament in such a short timeframe.

Gaprindashvili Borg

Mr.Gasanov reminded the participants about the time control, zero tolerance rule and no-draws rule. He proceeded with drawing of lots and composing the pairings.

One by one, the players were collecting the gift bags, with starting numbers printed on the back of the shirts.

 MG 1206

Chief Arbiter announced the round one pairings as follows:

L.Dominguez – T.Radjabov
P.Svidler – A.Giri
M.Vachier-Lagrave – S.Mamedyarov
R.Kasimdzhanov – A.Grischuk
D.Andreikin – D.Jakovenko
E.Tomashevsky – B.Jobava

all participants

The Grand Prix is taking place in Tbilisi (Georgia) from the 14th until 27th of February 2015. The organizers of the tournament are the Georgian Chess Federation, the Ministry of Sport and Youth of Georgia and Tbilisi City Hall. SOCAR Energy Georgia is the general sponsor of the event.

The games are taking place at the Courtyard by Marriott Tbilisi Hotel.

Official tournament website

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