Alekseev only winner in round 3 Jermuk

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Jermuk GPEvgeny Alekseev was the only winner in the 3rd round in Jermuk - the Russian GM beat his compatriot Ernesto Inarkiev. The standings of the 5th Grand Prix tournament didn't change much: Aronian, Cheparinov and Leko lead with 2/3. Full, pictorial report.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series takes place in Jermuk, Armenia. It's a 14-player round-robin with Aronian, Jakovenko, Leko, Gelfand, Bacrot, Kamsky, Karjakin, Eljanov, Alekseev, Akopian, Ivanchuk, Cheparinov, Inarkiev and Kasimdzhanov. More info on the GP and Jermuk in our preview.

Round 3

As we've seen in previous Grand Prix events, the drawing percentage is quite high with such a big number of strong grandmasters who level each other closely. A draw with Black is almost always a good result, and with 13 rounds, every player can use one or two semi-restdays. However, despite the fact that there was only one decisive game, this third round was a good one.

Evgeny Alekseev, who had lost the day before, survived another lost position and eventually even defeated Ernesto Inarkiev. Black's piece sacrifice for two central pawns looked very interesting and immediately Alekseev decided to give back an exchange, but after 29 moves he was still in dire straits. However, with 28...R8c2 Inarkiev allowed his rooks to be exchanged for the queen after which it was suddenly very unclear. On top of that, with 33...Qf8? he blundered a very important pawn, missing the idea 38.Nxe4! Bxg1 39.Ng5. Poor Inarkiev got half a point out of two winning positions in the last two rounds.

Jermuk GP

Having a drink together: Alekseev defeated Inarkiev in round 3



The quickest draw lasted a mere 30 minutes, between co-leaders Cheparinov and Aronian, who followed mutual preparation in a topical line of the Anti-Moscow. Not long after that Kamsky and Akopian entered the press room, probably not having much to say about their Petroff.

After lots of slow manoeuvring in a 5.Bf4 QGD that had some Chebanenko tendencies, Kasimdzhanov suddenly threw in the very interesting 38.d5!? against Jakovenko. It seems the Uzbek GM then got confused as 41.Qxb5 looks quite promising.

Gelfand-Bacrot was another good game, which luckily didn't end in an early move repetition. White's new opening set-up left Black with the long-lasting problem of how to develop the queenside, and it needed all of Bacrot's creativity, who found 19...d3!?. After Gelfand decided to pick up that pawn at a later stage, the Frenchman then sacrificed an exchange in return for a strong knight protecting that passed pawn. An excellent idea, Gelfand thought as well, and the Israeli immediately changed back the material which left the position completely equal. According to GM Petrosian the immediate 19.Qd3! would have been better for White.

Jermuk GP

Online commentator GM Tigran Petrosian



These days the main line of the Latvian Gambit of the Semi-Slav (7.g4) seems to be the moves 7...h6 8.h3, but they take the sting out a bit. In Ivanchuk-Leko, White suddenly started playing positionally again, eyeing the d4 square and castling kingside! After all minor pieces were exchanged Leko finally found away to profit from White's weakened kingside, but it wasn't more than a perpetual.

Jermuk GP

Leko still thinking where he lost his advantage, and Ivanchuk listening to press officer Lilit Mkrtchian



The game between Eljanov and Karjakin, now a "UKR" vs "RUS" (although officially Karjakin cannot play for the Russian Federation yet), was another long and good fight. White's new move 14.Bh3!? was a success since he enjoyed a slight plus after the opening. However, Karjakin defended well all the way into the rook ending.

Round 3 games

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. More info on our new game viewer can be found here.

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 3 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results



Jermuk GP

Picturesque Jermuk



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Two chess fans having their own thoughts



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A little break for the 'movers'...



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...and for the Bulgarian team, consisting of Ivan Cheparinov and his second Aleksander Delchev



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Leko and Ivanchuk pondering on the position



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Kamsky watching Aronian's position



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Cheparinov and Aronian, in the press room about 30 minutes after the start of the game



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Adding another '1/2' - assistant head of the technical team, Angelina Mkrtchyan, is all smiles



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GMs watching the Jakoveno & Kasimdzhanov press conference



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...and the same GMs (Lputian & Gligoric) at the piano



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Commentators Petrosian and Yegiazarian (responsible for the Amernian language) analyzing live



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Coach (and father-in-law) Arshak Petrosian with some words of advice for Leko



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OK, one more pic of the newly weds



All photos © Arman Kharakhanyan

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