Jerusalem Grand Prix: Navara Through; 3 Tiebreaks On Monday
David Navara defeated Dmitry Jakovenko. Photo: Niki Riga/World Chess.

Jerusalem Grand Prix: Navara Through; 3 Tiebreaks On Monday

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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38 | Chess Event Coverage

David Navara was the first player to reach the semifinals of the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix in Jerusalem. While the Czech GM defeated Dmitry Jakovenko of Russia, the other three matches went to tiebreaks.

Saturday, the first day of the second round in Jerusalem, saw rather quick draws on all four boards and very little action. In less diplomatic words, it was one of the most boring days of chess this year.

On Sunday it was better, and one player actually won his game to reach round three without needing a tiebreak. Navara, clearly more at home in the Accelerated Dragon Sicilian (reached from an English move order) than his opponent, won surprisingly smoothly.

David Navara Dmitry Jakovenko FIDE Grand Prix Jerusalem 2019
David Navara vs. Dmitry Jakovenko. Photo: Niki Riga/World Chess.

Yesterday Maxime Vachier-Lagrave drew as White in 20 moves against Dmitry Andreikin in a French Exchange, and today he easily held the draw as Black. The Frenchman defended his "strategy" (and to some extent that of the other players) as follows: 

"I understands the frustration from the point of view of the spectators, but for me it's about something else. It's about qualifying for the candidates, so for this one event I cannot be like entertaining, at least not if it diminishes my chances basically."

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2019 FIDE Grand Prix Jerusalem
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Photo: Niki Riga/World Chess.

The good aspect about the knockout format is that blood is guaranteed. In Monday's tiebreak we'll see three matches go down to the wire, and besides MVL the focus will be on Ian Nepomniachtchi and Wesley So. These three players can still qualify for the Candidates' from this Grand Prix.

All standard games of round 2


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