Grischuk Earns Candidates Spot After Jerusalem Grand Prix Draws
Alexander Grischuk is the first Russian player to qualify for the 2020 Candidates' Tournament. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.

Grischuk Earns Candidates Spot After Jerusalem Grand Prix Draws

IsaacSteincamp
IsaacSteincamp
|
22 | Chess.com News

While Wesley So may have been the only player to win on the second day of the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix in Jerusalem, Alexander Grischuk was the round's biggest winner.

The Russian grandmaster, despite not playing in the event, clinched his berth for the 2020 Candidates' Tournament when both Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov took relatively quick draws.

Wesley So eliminated Yu Yangyi. So is the first player to advance to the GP quarterfinals. Photo: Niki Raga | World Chess.

Grischuk is the first Russian player to qualify for the upcoming Candidates' Tournament, and joins the field of Fabiano CaruanaTeimour Radjabov, Ding Liren and Wang Hao in a bid to face Magnus Carlsen in the 2020 world chess championship.

With Anish Giri seemingly a lock to qualify by rating, this leg of the FIDE Grand Prix will determine the final non-wildcard spot in the 2020 tournament.

2019 FIDE Grand Prix Series | Current Standings

# Player Moscow Riga Hamburg Jerusalem Points TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Alexander Grischuk 7 3 10 X 20 1 1 12½
2 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 8 5 13 0 1 10
3 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 0 10 10 1 0
4 Ian Nepomniachtchi 9 0 9 1 0 6
5 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 0 1 7 X 8 0 1 8
6 Wesley So 1 3 ⩾2 6 0 0 6
7 Daniil Dubov 2 0 3 X 5 0 0 6
7 Radosław Wojtaszek 5 0 5 0 0 6
9 Peter Svidler 2 0 2 X 4 0 0
10 Veselin Topalov 1 2 3 0 0
11 Hikaru Nakamura 3 0 0 X 3 0 0 4
12 Yu Yangyi 1 1 0 2 0 0 4
12 Wei Yi 2 0 2 0 0 4
14 Sergey Karjakin 0 1 1 0 0
15 David Navara 0 1 1 0 0 3
16 Nikita Vitiugov 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 Anish Giri 0 0 0 0 0
16 Dmitry Jakovenko 0 0 0 0 0
16 Pentala Harikrishna 0 0 0 0 0
20 Teimour Radjabov 0 0 X 0 0 0 2
21 Levon Aronian 0 0 X 0 0 0

(Tiebreaks: 1. number of first places, 2. number of second places, 3. number of actual standard game points scored. GP Winner gets eight points, runner-up five, semifinalists three, quarterfinalists one, and each match win without a tiebreak earns an extra point.)

Wesley So secured two Grand Prix points today, but will likely not be able to secure a position in the Candidates' Tournament, given the deficit, even if he wins his remaining games. The result marked the first decisive game in Jerusalem:

From fourth place in the Grand Prix standings, Ian Nepomniachtchi can still qualify for the candidates, but needs to win the event and hope Mamedyarov falters early. Despite being the favorite by rating, the Russian nearly had an early tournament exit today when Boris Gelfand built up a healthy advantage. Nepomniachtchi managed a draw, forcing the match into tiebreaks tomorrow.

Ian Nepomniachtchi Grand Prix Jerusalem
Nepomniachtchi survived, guaranteeing his match with Gelfand will continue into tiebreaks tomorrow. Photo: Niki Raga | World Chess.

Nepomniachtchi was not the only player to receive a lifeline on the event's second day. Elsewhere, Wang Hao escaped a losing rook endgame with White against David Navara in the day's longest game:

While neither of these players will be able to cause a late shake-up in the FIDE Grand Prix, this match will determine Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's opponent in the quarterfinals should the Azeri successfully eliminate Dmitry Jakovenko in their match.

Wang Hao Grand Prix Jerusalem
The Chinese grandmaster has already qualified for candidates, and will be looking for a strong performance in Jerusalem to build momentum heading into the new year. Photo: Niki Raga | World Chess.

With many of the event's participants already mathematically eliminated from winning the Grand Prix, players seemed eager to enter the tiebreak, as the second day brought several quick draws. The pairing between Anish Giri and Wei Yi lasted just 10 moves, and two other games were only slightly more adventurous, reaching peaceful results before move 30.

On Friday, the games will enter the tiebreaks in a rapid time control.

FIDE Grand Prix Jerusalem | Day 2

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