Grand Prix: Dominguez Joins Tomashevsky, Who Misses Mate In 10

Grand Prix: Dominguez Joins Tomashevsky, Who Misses Mate In 10

| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

In round two of the Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix GM Leinier Dominguez joined GM Evgeny Tomashevsky in the lead. The Cuban beat GM Dmitry Jakovenko whereas Tomashevsky missed a clear win (even mate in 10!) in time trouble against GM Alexander Grischuk.

The second round of the Grand Prix in Siberia certainly provided intrigue, but perhaps not the kind of that GM Peter Svidler was referring to the other day. Time trouble spoiled several promising positions, including a forced made in 10 — something you don't see every day at this level.

Svidler himself played another draw, this time with the white pieces against GM Fabiano Caruana. In an old line of the Lasker Queen's Gambit, the seven-time Russian champion actually got a promising position, basically because Caruana missed some tactics here and there.

But, when the time was running low it was Svidler's turn to miss something important. In fact at the very end he played d4-d5 and was convinced Black couldn't take it. However, taking was possible and led to a draw immediately.

A remarkable oversight by Svidler at the end. | Photo Kirill Merkurev.

The draw between GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Baadur Jobava, and especially their press conference, was fascinating. Why? Because it's just amazing to see that two 2700 GMs (OK, Jobava is now on 2699) can have such a different opinion about a middlegame position!

Looking at the position after 21.Bd3, MVL thought he was much better (“I only need to prepare f4-f5”) while Jobava also thought he was better! (“My knight is much stronger than your bishop on d2. I'm not risking anyting.”)

And then, after 31.e6, the Georgian GM said:" “I am absolutely sure that if we check the computer evaluation it's absolutely normal for Black.” “Normal?” asked Vachier-Lagrave, “I think I'm at least plus one.”

As it turned out, Jobava was right. During the press conference the players checked the computer evaluations and MVL was truly surprised. “I cannot believe this. This is just amazing. I misunderstand chess.”

The only winner of the day was GM Leinier Dominguez. Clicking through the game gives the impression that he played a masterpiece, and it was nice indeed, but GM Dmitry Jakovenko certainly got his chances too.

Dominguez managed to surprise his opponent with his very first move: 1.d4. Normally a 1.e4 player, the Cuban grandmaster played it for while in 2010 and 2011 and then, after four years of “silence,” three games in 2015.

On the board came a hybrid of the Catalan and the Slav where White gives his pawn on c4. For twelve moves the game Giri-Ivanchuk, Wijk aan Zee 2015 was followed.

White got a strong passed pawn on d6 and gave an exchange to keep “Delroy” on the board, but not in the best way. On move 24 Jakovenko could have gotten a clear advantage, but he missed a strong king move from his opponent.

Leinier Dominguez moves to plus one. | Photo Kirill Merkurev.

GM Boris Gelfand and GM Hikaru Nakamura got the always interesting Bayonet Attack of the King's Indian on the board. Nakamura didn't expect the old 10.g3 line, as he had missed that Gelfand played it once before.

Around move 15 the players left theory. White had played a typical pawn sac and got compensation, but “not more than that,” as the players agreed.

Slightly inaccurate play from Gelfand gave Nakamura the advantage in an ending and especially 31...Nd6! would have been promising. Don't miss the beautiful checkmate the computer points out in that line!

Nakamura missed a chance or two in the ending. | Photo Kirill Merkurev.

At the press conference the players said that they were very happy with the organization. “It would be even better if I spoke Russian because I've heard the commentary is extremely high quality from some of the people like Shipov,” said Nakamura.

Gelfand praised the venue, saying that with St. Louis, the Ugra Chess Academy hosts the only tournament where the building is solely dedicated to chess.

The players were also also asked about the Barcelona-Juventus Champions League final. A known Barca fan, Gelfand said that he “would have liked to play against the arch-rival” but that he is looking forward to the match against Juve as well.

Nakamura is less of a football fan, but turns out to be rooting for Barcelona as well. “Obviously it was amazing when Messi scored those two goals in the first leg against Bayern. It's quite nice to see that but also because I'm in Italy quite a bit and I don't root for Juventus, obviously I'm gonna look forward to see Suarez, Neymar and Messi just destroy Juventus and win the CL!”

Some strange opening moves and transpositions were seen in GM Anish Giri vs GM Sergey Karjakin. However, nothing is new under the sun; until 8.h3 the players followed Kramnik-Karjakin from the 2015 Zurich Chess Challenge.

Giri made some slight mistakes in the early middlegame and Karjakin got a positional advantage. However, he said he spent too much time on 17...fxe4 and 18...Na5. “I needed this time later on.” Giri could save himself thanks to his opponent's time trouble.

Giri and Karjakin at the press conference. | Photo Kirill Merkurev.

Last but not least, the most dramatic and also by far the longest game of the round. GM Evgeny Tomashevsky vs GM Alexander Grischuk lasted 6.5 hours!

When only two bare kings were left on the board, a relieved GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko said from the commentary box: “Let's hope this was the longest game and longest round of this Grand Prix!”

Tomashevsky: “It's rationally not easy to explain why I didn't win this game. For example, in this position [after 38...Qf7] every move wins but with four second[s] on the clock I just made the first move I could make.”

Grischuk expressed a gem of a comment: “Well, what can I say. People are gifted for different things. Some people simply cannot write sonnets, for example. For me it seems I'm not gifted for playing the King's Indian. But on the other hand I also cannot write sonnets!”

Tomashevsky: “To sum it up I can say that yesterday I played a bad game but I went home with a full point. Today perhaps I played one of the best games but I couldn't win. It happens, it's sport, so what to do?” 

Grischuk: “It's all dialectics.”

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

2015 Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Dominguez Perez,L 2734 2961 1.5/2 1.50
2 Tomashevsky,E 2749 2930 1.5/2 1.00
3 Caruana,F 2803 2734 1.0/2 1.25
4 Grischuk,A 2780 2742 1.0/2 1.25
5 Nakamura,H 2799 2749 1.0/2 1.00
6 Gelfand,B 2744 2776 1.0/2 1.00
7 Svidler,P 2734 2791 1.0/2 1.00
8 Vachier Lagrave,M 2754 2722 1.0/2 0.75
9 Karjakin,S 2753 2787 1.0/2 0.75
10 Jakovenko,D 2738 2755 1.0/2 0.50
11 Giri,A 2776 2555 0.5/2 0.50
12 Jobava,B 2699 2561 0.5/2 0.50

The tournament is a round robin of 11 rounds, played May 14 to 26 with rest days on the 18th and 23rd. The venue is the Ugra Chess Center in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

You can watch this tournament every day on with commentary by GMs Evgeny Miroshnichenko & Viorel Iordachescu.

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