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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.

© FIDE Grand Prix 2015    |    |