Grischuk Beats Inarkiev in Petrosian Memorial Round 1

Grischuk Beats Inarkiev in Petrosian Memorial Round 1

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

Today yet another super tournament took off in Moscow: the Tashir Chess Tournament in Memory of Tigran Petrosian.

Alexander Grischuk beat Ernesto Inarkiev, and so he's the leader after round one.

The Petrosian Memorial can be seen as a “spiritual successor” to the annual Tal Memorial in Moscow. The brand new tournament runs November 3-11 at Novotel Moscow City.

It is an 8-player round robin with Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Ding Liren, Alexander Morozevich and Ernesto Inarkiev.

The eight participants as shown on the official website.

Yes, that's right, 46-year-old Gelfand has the toughtest schedule of all: he played both the Baku and Tashkent Grand Prixes (22 games in about a month's time), and with only two days in between, he now continues in Moscow for seven more games!

Kramnik, on the other hand, has had enough time to rest — he's playing his first tournament since the Olympiad in August. Having dropped out of the world's top 10, the 14th world champion will surely be motivated to do well.

With a prize fund of €100,000, the tournament is sponsored by Tashir Group, a real estate firm with 45,000 employees founded by the Armenian business man Samvel Karapetyan. The tournament is held in memory of the ninth world champion, Tigran Petrosian.

The venue is the Novotel Moscow City. | Photo © Boris Dolmatovski courtesy of the RCF.

The tournament was opened on Monday night with a stylish and colorful ceremony attended by well-known businessmen, chess players, chess officials and other guests. It started with the showing of the film The Iron Tigran, about Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian. After that, GM Rafael Vaganian informed the audience of the book T. Petrosian’s Chess Lectures which has been reprinted by the Tashir Group especially for the tournament. 

Aronian, Leko, Gelfand, Inarkiev and Morozevich at the opening. | Photo © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the RCF.

After some speeches, Chief Arbiter Boris Postovsky performed the drawing of lots which resulted in the following starting numbers:  1. Ding Liren, 2. Leko, 3. Aronian, 4. Grischuk, 5. Inarkiev, 6. Gelfand, 7. Morozevich, 8. Kramnik.

Alexander Morozevich drawing his starting number. | Photo © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the RCF.

With a mixture of solid and adventurous players anything can happen, but the first round on Tuesday was a rather quiet affair. Let's start with the only decisive game: Grischuk-Inarkiev.

In a line of the English that's very similar to the Open Catalan, Inarkiev didn't manage to equalize. In fact, Grischuk got a big advantage right out of the opening as he won the bishop pair and weakened Black's structure at the same time.

The pawn on c5 was just too weak, and had to leave the board sooner or later. When it was finally taken, the ending was just a technical win for Grischuk.

Alexander Grischuk starts with a win. | Photo © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the RCF.

For someone who just finished two GPs in a row, Gelfand's first game in Moscow was just excellent. He drew as Black with Aronian, keeping his opponent's advantage to a minimum throughout the game and defending a rook ending flawlessly. Quite an instructive battle with the themes “hanging pawns” and “rook activity”!

Boris Gelfand plays his third tournament in a row. | Photo © Boris Dolmatovski courtesy of the RCF.

Ding Liren and Kramnik played a line of the Queen's Gambit Declined (Exchange Variation) that quickly leads to an ending — or rather, a queenless middlegame. Interestingly, it seems that White's moves 7.Qf3 and 8.Bxf6 were first played by none other than...Tigran Petrosian! In a 1955 match Hungary-Soviet Union, his opponent Gedeon Barcza kept the queens on the board, though.

The first strong players who tried the ending were Vlastimil Hort (in 1959), Anatoly Karpov (in 1966) and Boris Spassky, who played it against Mikhail Tal in 1973 — the first top encounter in this line. In modern times, Nigel Short has played it many times.

The game today wasn't too exciting; White kept a small edge but despite lots of maneuvering he didn't really get anywhere.

Ding Liren vs Kramnik. | Photo © Boris Dolmatovski courtesy of the RCF.

Many chess fans will be happy to see Morozevich back in a top tournament as well. The former world #2 hasn't been in the absolute top for a while, but he's still very strong and has his own views about many opening variations.

Today the Muscovite played the Sicilian with 2...a6 against Leko, which has the idea 3.d4?! cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5, and Black has good version of a Najdorf (which isn't the world's worst opening in the first place!).

Leko played one of theory's recommendations, 3.c3, and the game became very similar to an Alapin. Leko was slightly better till the end, but just before the time control he decided to repeat moves.

Leko vs Morozevich. | Photo © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the RCF.

2014 Petrosian Memorial | Pairings & Results

Round 1 15:00 MSK 04.11.14 Round 2 15:00 MSK 05.11.14
Ding Liren ½-½ Kramnik Kramnik - Inarkiev
Leko ½-½ Morozevich Gelfand - Grischuk
Aronian ½-½ Gelfand Morozevich - Aronian
Grischuk 1-0 Inarkiev Ding Liren - Leko
Round 3 15:00 MSK 06.11.14 Round 4 15:00 MSK 08.11.14
Leko - Kramnik Kramnik - Gelfand
Aronian - Ding Liren Morozevich - Inarkiev
Grischuk - Morozevich Ding Liren - Grischuk
Inarkiev - Gelfand Leko - Aronian
Round 5 15:00 MSK 09.11.14 Round 6 15:00 MSK 10.11.14
Aronian - Kramnik Kramnik - Morozevich
Grischuk - Leko Ding Liren - Gelfand
Inarkiev - Ding Liren Leko - Inarkiev
Gelfand - Morozevich Aronian - Grischuk
Round 7 15:00 MSK 11.11.14
Grischuk - Kramnik
Inarkiev - Aronian
Gelfand - Leko
Morozevich - Ding Liren

The Petrosian Memorial is held 3-11 November in Moscow. The prize fund is € 100,000 sponsored by Tashir Group.| Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

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.

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