Aeroflot: Dubov, Nepomniachtchi Tied For 1st Place After Rounds 6, 7

Aeroflot: Dubov, Nepomniachtchi Tied For 1st Place After Rounds 6, 7

| 3 | Chess Event Coverage

With three rounds to go (and round seven underway at press time) Russian GMs Daniil Dubov and Ian Nepomniachtchi are tied for first place at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow.

Photo Boris Dolmatovsky.

We left this very strong open tournament in the Russian capital after round three, when Indian grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran topped the field with 3.0/3. A group of seven players were trailing him by half a point.

In round four, Sasikiran drew quickly with GM Igor Kovalenko using the ultra-safe Exchange Slav. Only one player caught the leader in first place: IM Jorden van Foreest of the Netherlands.

The Dutch talent probably wasn't too happy with it. He got a free point because his opponent GM Ivan Salgado Lopez didn't show up and withdrew from the tournament (suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms). 

This way Van Foreest, who had a great start, can't score a GM norm anymore. For that, nine “real” games are needed.

Update: as GM Dimitri Reinderman informed us, Van Foreest can actually still score a norm, just not over 9 games. The FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 July 2014 state:

1.41c  For a 9 round tournament, if a player has just 8 games because of a forfeit or Bye, but he has met the correct mix of opponents in those games, then if he has a title result in 8 games, it counts as an 8 game norm.

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi got to 3.0/4 with a nice king's attack that only came about after about 30 moves of maneuvering followed by a positional exchange sac.

GM Ivan Bukavshin quickly beat Moscow Open winner GM Ernesto Inarkiev, who missed an important intermediate move. It was suddenly completely over. 

Inarkiev resigns the game. | Photo Boris Dolmatovsky.

Van Foreest got to show what he's worth in the very next round. Playing Sasikiran as Black is a good test, isn't it? The opening went White's way, who could give a piece for three pawns and what looked like promising attacking position.

But the Dutch IM could trade queens, and at some point Sasikiran wasn't sure anymore and offered a draw.

Van Foreest watching the game Kobalia vs Nepomniachtchi. | Photo Boris Dolmatovsky.

Top seed GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov failed to win the Reykjavik Open and it doesn't look like he'll be winning Aeroflot either. In round five, he went down against Spanish GM David Anton (in a line he also played in Iceland):

Anton staying cool in all the complicatons. | Photo Boris Dolmatovsky.

The next day Van Foreest finally lost his first game, to Nepomniachtchi. The Russian GM nicely played on both wings. Keeping the whole board in mind is such an important strength in chess!

In the same round Sasikiran also lost his first game. It was another local hero, GM Daniil Dubov, who brought down the Indian grandmaster from an almost equal rook ending. Only Black's structure was slightly worse, but that shouldn't have been enough to lose the game:

Dubov showing good technique in the rook ending. | Photo Boris Dolmatovsky.

Inarkiev quickly recovered from his loss. He won as Black in only 19 moves against the increasingly popular 1.b3. Black's setup is one to remember.

After six rounds GM Daniil Dubov and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi tied for first place with 5 points. In round seven, under way at press time, they drew in 13 moves and so they're still leading with two rounds to go. The winner of Adhiban-Bukavshin will join them at the top.

2015 Aeroflot Open | A group | Round 6 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2
1 22 GM Dubov Daniil RUS 2627 5 3 2681
2 2 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2714 5 3 2603
3 26 GM Bukavshin Ivan RUS 2618 4,5 3 2637
4 18 GM Adhiban B. IND 2646 4,5 3 2597
5 43 GM Lu Shanglei CHN 2570 4 3 2656
6 61 IM Van Foreest Jorden NED 2493 4 3 2642
7 21 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2630 4 3 2620
8 8 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2682 4 3 2604
9 15 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2658 4 3 2591
10 14 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2658 4 3 2584
11 11 GM Petrosian Tigran L. ARM 2671 4 3 2576
12 28 GM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2614 4 3 2540
13 19 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2632 4 3 2536
14 35 GM Svetushkin Dmitry MDA 2592 4 2 2655
1516 40 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2573 3,5 3 2654
1516 52 IM Wagner Dennis GER 2549 3,5 3 2654
17 6 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2694 3,5 3 2620
18 34 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2594 3,5 3 2614
19 3 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2709 3,5 3 2612
20 9 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2674 3,5 3 2606

(Full standings here.)

The Aeroflot Open is a nine-round Swiss which takes place March 27-April 5 in Hotel Cosmos in northeast Moscow. There are rating groups A, B and C and the total prize fund is 140,000 Euro.

The A group's first prize is a massive 18,000 Euros. On top of that, the winner will be invited for the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, to be held June 27 to July 5. 

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