Caruana, Gelfand Share First Place in Baku

Caruana, Gelfand Share First Place in Baku

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 14, 2014, 6:46 AM |
44 | Chess Event Coverage

They were leading together for most of the tournament and eventually finished shared first at the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan: Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand. They drew in the final round, and kept their half-point lead.

Grand Prix points and money prizes are split equally, but Caruana will receive the winner's cup and medal on greater number of victories. In the last round, five games ended in a draw, and as a result the standings table didn't change much. Tail-ender Leinier Dominguez wasn't spared; he finished with another loss to Alexander Grischuk.

And suddenly it is all over. The first of four Grand Prix tournaments, held in Baku, was won by Caruana on tiebreak, but that's not really relevant. The Italian GM finished first together with Gelfand, and so it's these two players who currently have the best chances to qualify for the next Candidates Tournament!

As Gelfand pointed out during his press conference, it's all about playing well in the three tournaments played. And who knows? After qualifying for a world championship match against Vishy Anand in 2012, the 46-year-old Israeli GM might just do it again...

In the final round, it was excellent preparation that resulted in a comfortable draw against Svidler. Gelfand is still an excellent theoretician, and his both his Sveshnikov and Najdorf look very, very solid.

An easy draw for Gelfand vs Svidler. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Caruana played the white pieces against Tomashevsky but never had serious winning chances. He got some Ruy Lopez preparation on the board, but it wasn't much for White. In fact it was Tomashevsky who had the advantage in the final phase of the game, but he didn't see a way to make progress.

Caruana and Tomashevsky start their game. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Two players still had a chance to catch Caruana and Gelfand: Karjakin and Nakamura, but both drew their games. The American GM finished his tournament with a comfortable draw in a Panno King's Indian against Teimour Radjabov:

Radjabov and Nakamura start their game. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Karjakin split the point with Andreikin in a rather dull game.

Mamedyarov and Kasimdzhanov also finished with a draw, but a rather interesting one. In this topical line of the Queen's Gambit Accepted, Black sacrifices an exchange in the opening in return for a pawn and central control. Both players must have missed something in their calculation, because for a moment Black was doing very well.


And so Grischuk was the only winner of the day. The Russian GM defeated poor Dominguez, who had an absolutely horrible tournament and normally speaking has no chance anymore to qualify for the Candidates.

Afterward Grischuk explained why his second half of the tournament went so much better: he had moved to a "hotel with windows"!

“I felt like I was in a submarine for more than one week," said Grischuk.  "When I was waking up I felt like I'm pregnant. I was feeling so bad every morning, the whole day, and my play showed it very clearly. Of course I'm lucky that I won three games out of four after I moved but still, the level of my play increased dramatically.”

Grischuk saved his tournament in the second half. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE


2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Gelfand,B 2748 2816 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 6.5/11 35.25
2 Caruana,F 2844 2808 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 6.5/11 34.50
3 Tomashevsky,E 2701 2788 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0/11 32.25
4 Nakamura,H 2764 2782 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6.0/11 31.75
5 Grischuk,A 2797 2780 0 1 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 6.0/11 31.25
6 Karjakin,S 2767 2782 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 6.0/11 31.25
7 Svidler,P 2732 2785 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.0/11 30.75
8 Radjabov,T 2726 2754 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.5/11
9 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2720 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 5.0/11 27.50
10 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2724 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 5.0/11 26.75
11 Andreikin,D 2722 2691 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 4.5/11
12 Dominguez,L 2751 2582 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/11

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | All Results

Round 1 15:00 AZST 02.10.14   Round 2 15:00 AZST 03.10.14
Dominguez ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Radjabov
Tomashevsky ½-½ Grischuk   Svidler 1-0 Mamedyarov
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Andreikin 0-1 Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Andreikin   Caruana ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura ½-½ Svidler   Grischuk ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Dominguez ½-½ Tomashevsky
Round 3 15:00 AZST 04.10.14   Round 4 15:00 AZST 05.10.14
Tomashevsky ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Svidler
Karjakin 1-0 Dominguez   Andreikin ½-½ Radjabov
Gelfand 1-0 Grischuk   Caruana 1-0 Mamedyarov
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Grischuk ½-½ Nakamura
Mamedyarov ½-½ Andreikin   Dominguez ½-½ Gelfand
Radjabov ½-½ Svidler   Tomashevsky ½-½ Karjakin
Round 5 15:00 AZST 07.10.14   Round 6 15:00 AZST 08.10.14
Karjakin ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov 1-0 Andreikin
Gelfand ½-½ Tomashevsky   Caruana 1-0 Svidler
Nakamura ½-½ Dominguez   Grischuk 0-1 Radjabov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Grischuk   Dominguez ½-½ Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Tomashevsky ½-½ Nakamura
Svidler ½-½ Andreikin   Karjakin ½-½ Gelfand
Round 7 15:00 AZST 09.10.14   Round 8 15:00 AZST 10.10.14
Gelfand ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Caruana
Nakamura 0-1 Karjakin   Grischuk ½-½ Andreikin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Tomashevsky   Dominguez 0-1 Svidler
Radjabov ½-½ Dominguez   Tomashevsky ½-½ Radjabov
Svidler ½-½ Grischuk   Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Andreikin 1-0 Caruana   Gelfand ½-½ Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 AZST 12.10.14   Round 10 15:00 AZST 13.10.14
Nakamura 1-0 Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov 0-1 Grischuk
Mamedyarov 1-0 Gelfand   Dominguez 0-1 Caruana
Radjabov ½-½ Karjakin   Tomashevsky 1-0 Andreikin
Svidler ½-½ Tomashevsky   Karjakin ½-½ Svidler
Andreikin 1-0 Dominguez   Gelfand 1-0 Radjabov
Caruana 0-1 Grischuk   Nakamura ½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 11 13:00 AZST 14.10.14        
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kasimdzhanov        
Radjabov ½-½ Nakamura        
Svidler ½-½ Gelfand        
Andreikin ½-½ Karjakin        
Caruana ½-½ Tomashevsky        
Grischuk 1-0 Dominguez        

The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 12:00 in Amsterdam, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 03:00 in Los Angeles and 20:00 in Sydney. The last round starts two hours earlier. The tournament website provides live commentary by GMs Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko which can also be followed on Chess.com/TVThe winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png



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