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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.

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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.

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