Giri Crosses 2800 Mark As Tbilisi Grand Prix Takes Off

Giri Crosses 2800 Mark As Tbilisi Grand Prix Takes Off

| 22 | Chess Event Coverage

For the first time in his career GM Anish Giri crossed the 2800 mark in the live ratings. The Dutchman defeated GM Peter Svidler in the first round of the Tbilisi Grand Prix.

The other winners were GM Shakhriyar MamedyarovGM Evgeny Tomashevsky and GM Alexander Grischuk.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

Aren't the chess fans spoilt these days? Wijk aan Zee, Gibraltar and Baden-Baden have barely finished, and now not one, but two super tournaments are under way.

Besides Zurich there's now also the third FIDE Grand Prix which started today in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The tournament is a 12-player round robin with Alexander Grischuk (2810), Anish Giri (2797), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2775), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2759), Peter Svidler (2739), Dmitry Andreikin (2737), Dmitry Jakovenko (2733), Teimour Radjabov (2731), Leinier Dominguez (2726), Evgeny Tomashevsky (2716), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2705) and Baadur Jobava (2696).

The participants at the opening ceremony on Saturday.

The FIDE Grand Prix consists of four tournaments; every player plays three of them. The first two parts were held last year in Baku and Tashkent; the last GP will be held in May 2015 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The top two finishers in the overall standings will qualify for the 2016 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament. After two tournaments, Fabiano Caruana leads with 230 GP points followed by Hikaru Nakamura with 207. Both are currently playing in Zurich, but will compete in the last GP.

FIDE Grand Prix | Standings After Two Tournaments

Rank Name Rtg Baku Tashkent Tbilisi Khanty-Mansiysk Total
1 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2839 155 75 x 230
2 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2767 82 125 x 207
3 Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2717 20 170 x 190
4 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2759 155 15 x 170
5 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) 2757 35 125 x 160
6 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2770 82 75 x 157
7 Teimour Radjabov (AZE) 2730 50 50 x 100
8 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2795 82 x x 82
8 Peter Svidler (RUS) 2743 82 x x 82
8 Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 2714 82 x x 82
11 Baadur Jobava (GEO) 2722 75 x x 75
11 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 2751 75 x x 75
13 Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB) 2709 35 15 x 50
14 Anish Giri (NED) 2776 40 x x 40
15 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2745 30 x x 30
16 Leinier Dominguez (CUB) 2726 10 x x 10

In such an important tournament the players don't tend to take many risks, but nonetheless there were four decisive games in the first round.

GM Anish Giri got the Dutch crowd cheering as he defeated GM Peter Svidler as Black. In doing so, the 20-year-old crossed the 2800 mark for the first time in his career — in the live ratings, that is. But still!

He needed some help from his opponent, though. Svidler chose a wrong plan after the opening, got a worse position and then basically blundered.

Giri off to a good start in Tbilisi.

Top seed GM Alexander Grischuk, the only 2800 player in Tbilisi, also started with a win. He took some risks by playing the Noteboom variation of the Slav — perhaps he was inspired by the tournament that bears the same name, which is taking place this weekend in Leiden?

(As GM Dimitri Reinderman informed us, Grischuk used to be a member of the Leiden Chess Club, and he seems to have played in that tournament too — at the age of 8!)

Having worked as a second to Vishy Anand for years, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov surely knows his openings. He responded well to Grischuk's rare choice, but eventually he didn't calculate well enough and one of the “Noteboom pawns” decided the game in Black's favor.

Kasimdzhanov: strong opening play, but a not so strong follow-up.

Although held in Georgia, the main sponsor of the tournament is from Azerbaijan: SOCAR. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic is a well-known money provider in the chess world.

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov made the sponsors happy with a first-round win over GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The two played a very theoretical line in the 6.Be3 Ng4 Najdorf that was also seen in a previous Grand Prix between Peter Svidler and Boris Gelfand.

Mamedyarov avoided a move repetition on move 25, and was rewarded as “MVL” started to go wrong only a few moves later.

Mamedyarov was “rewarded” for playing for a win.

And there was one more winner: GM Evgeny Tomashevsky defeated GM Baadur Jobava, the wild card from Georgia in this GP series. As so often he refrained from the main lines, and as so often he got a decent position only to spoil it in a tactical phase. Or maybe it was always better for White?

A good game by Tomashevsky in the first round.

GM Leinier Dominguez vs GM Teimour Radjabov was a typical GP game; White plays the super-solid 5.Re1 against the Berlin, Black knows all the details, solves his opening problems and a draw is agreed. 

Dominguez didn't get much against Radjabov.

The longest game was the one between the two Dmitry's: Andreikin vs Jakovenko. It was the same opening, but here White seemed to keep a tiny edge, into the knight ending. However, after 60 moves the result was also the same.

The third FIDE Grand Prix runs 15-27 February in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is a round robin of 11 rounds in total. There are two rest days, on 19 and 24 February.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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