Elista R9: Gashimov rejoins Grischuk

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Alekseev-BacrotAfter co-winning the first Grand Prix as the nominated player in Baku, Vuigar Gashimov is also a serious candidate for winning the third, in Elista. Today he trapped Mamedyarov's queen and rejoined Grischuk in the lead, with 6.0/9. Overall leader Wang Yue beat Cheparinov while Kasimdzhanov lost again, to Jakovenko.

The 3rd Grand Prix takes place December 13-29 in Elista, Kalmykia. Radjabov, Leko, Jakovenko, Wang Yue, Mamedyarov, Eljanov, Grischuk, Alekseev, Bacrot, Gashimov, Cheparinov, Akopian, Kasimdzhanov and Inarkiev play daily at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET; 07:00 EST); 2nd rest day Dec. 24; live games here.

Results Round 9, December 23

Jakovenko-Kasimdzhanov 1-0

Inarkiev-Leko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Gashimov-Mamedyarov 1-0

Eljanov-Radjabov 0-1

Alekseev-Bacrot ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Wang Yue-Cheparinov 1-0

Akopian-Grischuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Round 9

It always happens. Just when we wrote that "Azeri derbies tend to finish peacefully rapidly", another one was in the pairings, and... it was decided. Gashimov defeated his compatriot Mamedyarov because poor Shak suddenly let his queen be trapped, in a position that was getting more and more unpleasant, it must be added. But after 29...Bc7? there was suddenly no way back.

Mamedyarov and Gashimov

Mamedyarov and Gashimov at the press conference, trying to find out where exactly White went wrong

Radjabov beat Eljanov with Black to fight himself back to second place, shared with Jakovenko, who won against Kasimdzhanov. Eljanov managed to surprise his opponent by going for the somewhat forgotten 11.g4 in the Mar del Plata Variation - amazingly Radjabov's 12...c6 is not known in this exact position. White was doing fine but 25.Bxf6 and 26.g5 didn't look very healthy. Not sure what he was thinking in that phase, but Radjabov just took the h4 pawn and then won another one due to b3 being overloaded.


Eljanov in what was not his tactically sharpest game, against Radjabov

Jakovenko is also doing very well after another win, against Kasimdzhanov. His 14.Nd5 was new and this whole plan be a bit frightening for all Najdorf fans out there because it's so straight-forward. Taking on d5 might already be inaccurate. The finish was nice; Black resigned because of 23...Kxg7 24.Rh7+! Kf8 25.Rh8+! 34...Kxg7 35.Rh7+! Kf8 36.Rh8+!.


Jakovenko moving the mouse and looking at the screen - a beamer connected to a computer running Chessbase makes electronical analysis possible during press conferences

He's a great fighter, but he sometimes has to pay the price. Cheparinov bravely sacrificed a pawn to gain some attacking chances on White's king, but Wang Yue defended well, and then Chep's second pawn sac (30...f4), quite ingenious in itself, was refuted just beautifully by the Chinese (check out 34.Ng3!! and its pointe 35.Qe5!).


A very sharp Wang Yue beautifully countered Cheparinov's aggressive attacking ideas

The tournament leader scored an easy draw with Black against Akopian. It looked very spectacular (and it was), but in reality the Russian had played it all before - he just followed his home analysis that started with 21...Nxf3+! which was an improvement over his (lost) game against Karjakin at the Russian Team Championship in Sochi last year. Black's better structure and extra pawn clearly compensate for the exchange.


Grischuk at the press conference, next to today's opponent Akopian

Leko returned to his Marshall repertoire but Inarkiev just played it similarly to Bacrot's approach of a couple of days ago (they were actually following Anand-Leko, Dortmund 2007 until 21...axb5) and so the game ended in a draw soon. Bacrot himself could also start enjoying his rest day early since Alekseev, who had lost two games in a row, went for 8.dxc5 in the Queen's Gambit Accepted to make it an Early Draw Accepted.


Tomorrow is a rest day (yes, they play on Christmas day!)

Pairings round 10, December 25

Kasimdzhanov-Grischuk Cheparinov-Akopian Bacrot-Wang Yue Radjabov-Alekseev Mamedyarov-Eljanov Leko-Gashimov Jakovenko-Inarkiev

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