Ivanchuk wins 5th GP, Aronian secures overall victory

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Jermuk GPVassily Ivanchuk won the 5th FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk today by defeating Vladimir Akopian, while co-leader Peter Leko lost his last-round game to Boris Gelfand. Levon Aronian beat Ernesto Inarkiev and finished second (together with Gelfand) which meant the Armenian top grandmaster has won the overal FIDE Grand Prix Series with one tournament still to be played. Full, pictorial report.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series took place in Jermuk, Armenia. It was a 14-player round-robin with Aronian, Jakovenko, Leko, Gelfand, Bacrot, Kamsky, Karjakin, Eljanov, Alekseev, Akopian, Ivanchuk, Cheparinov, Inarkiev and Kasimdzhanov. More info on the GP and Jermuk in our preview.

Round 13

With a wonderful last-round victory with Black against Akopian, Vassily Ivanchuk became the deserved winner of the 5th FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk, Armenia. Akopian's way of avoiding the Ruy Lopez didn't give him the slightest advantage and with a repetition at hand, Ivanchuk decided to play for a win with 32...f5. And why not? The resulting ending was clearly better for Black, with a bishop pair and a better pawn structure, and despite defending tenaciously, Akopian couldn't cope with the problems set by his opponent.

Poor Leko suffered another "trademark" last-round loss, with Black against Gelfand, who also exploited the advantage of the two bishops - something we also saw at the NH Chess Tournament, in Ljubojevic-Stellwagen, so plenty of instructive material on that theme in just one week! The Hungarian also went down in the last round of the previous Grand Prix (against Aronian) and, well, who doesn't remember the last game of his World Championship match against Kramnik?

As could be expected, Aronian won his last game in Jermuk against Inarkiev and so Armenia's number one grandmaster has already secured the overall Grand Prix title, playing only three of his four GP tournaments! It's still unclear where the last event, scheduled for December, will take place, and it's a bit ironic that due to FIDE's change of the ongoing cycle, they still need to hold it. In the old situation, Aronian would play the winner of the 2009 World Cup, but now that the number two of the Grand Prix also qualifies for the Candidates Tournament, FIDE will find it harder to just cancel that 6th event. Radjabov and Wang Yue, for example, can still improve their score by performing better than their worst tournament so far, and try to finish in clear second place.

Politics and statistics aside, the Jermuk Grand Prix was the best of the five tournaments as far as chess was concerned, and from what we saw on the official website, the location and venue was just great. We can only hope that the Armenians want to continue organizing FIDE events.

Round 13 games



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Final Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results



FIDE Grand Prix 2009 | Standings after 5 events

FIDE Grand Prix 2009 | Standings after 5 events

After five tournaments, the guaranteed series winner is Levon Aronian. Participants in red can't qualify for the top 2 places anymore. Gata Kamsky can't qualify for the top 2 places, but he has been granted a place in the Candidates tournament.

Q = Qualification: CH = World Championship, CP = World Cup, RL = rating list, RR = reserve rating list, PR = presidential nominee, HC = host city nominee | Source: Wikipedia

Jermuk GP

The winner explaining his moves and thoughts for the last time, but as animated as always



Jermuk GP

Aronian still pondering about a certain move, but already with a convincing overall GP victory in the pocket



Jermuk GP

Grand Prix series winner Aronian and Jermuk Champ Ivanchuk with the top Armenian women chess players



Jermuk GP

The staple black and white modern dance routine at the closing ceremony



Jermuk GP

Below the rotunda playing hall



Jermuk GP

Traditional Armenian dancing



[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Aronian receives his award for joint second place.jpg" alt="Jermuk GP" width="500" height="332" />[/caption] "]Jermuk GP[/caption]

Jermuk GP

Ivanchuk the champion at the podium



Jermuk GP

Fireworks above the crowd...



Jermuk GP

...a final blow closing off the 5th and best Grand Prix event so far



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