Jermuk R5: Kasimdzhanov beats Aronian, Ivanchuk & Leko lead

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Jermuk GPWith five decisive games, today's round of the Grand Prix tournament in Jermuk was even more spectacular than yesterday's, but a bad one for the local fans. Both Aronian and Akopian lost, while Ivanchuk won his second game in a row, against Cheparinov. The Ukrainian climbed up to shared first place with Leko. Full report.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series takes place in Jermuk, Armenia. It's 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 5

The Grand Prix in Jermuk celebrates the 80th birthday of the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian, on June 17, 1929. However, as we all know Petrosian died much too young, and in fact it was exactly 25 years ago yesterday. A sad day for Armenia and on top of that both their local heros Aronian and Akopian lost their first game of the tournament.

The biggest surprise was Aronian's loss against Kasimdzhanov, which for one thing means that we're just not used to see him losing anymore. And indeed, it's been a while: the previous Grand Prix in Nalchik was Aronian's last classical tournament and there he lost only once, to Karjakin - before that his last loss was against Ivanchuk in the penultimate round of Linares this year.

It took a former FIDE World Champion and his strong preparation to bring Armenia's number one down: Rustam Kasimdzhanov came up wit the new move 19.e6!? and according to online commentator GM Petrosian Black should have answered with 19...Nde5. (It's a pity that he's not using any words or even symbols anymore to describe the positions at the end of all those variations.)

Jermuk GP

Very strong play by Kasimdzhanov, these days playing with glasses, against Aronian



With 26...Ra3 Aronian sacrificed an exchange but this was a risky decision and after the probably inaccurate 30...Qe7 White was clearly better. On top of that Kasimdzhanov started to deliver blow after blow, a series of really strong moves, which culminated in the decisive 38.e5!. Impressive!

Thanks to a solid draw with Black against Alekseev, Leko kept his lead in the standings, but now finds Ivanchuk next to him. The Ukrainian switched places with Cheparinov after surviving strong pressure by the Bulgarian. 23.Rf3 was a too mysterious rook move where 23.cxd7 Bxd7 24.Nc3 keeps the advantage. Then, after winning the c6 pawn, Ivanchuk gave a fine demonstration of active defence.

Jermuk GP

Cheparinov reached a promising position but eventually lost to Ivanchuk



Akopian came very close to equalizing against Gelfand but it's strange that he didn't go for either 26...Nc3 or 27...Nd7 (unfortunately it seems that the organizers have stopped providing videos of the press conferences after round 2). Forest Gump was on TV this week in The Netherlands and when looking at White's a-pawn in this game one can hardly avoid mumbling "run Forest, run!"

Jermuk GP

At some point pushing the pawn did the trick - Gelfand beat Akopian



Karjakin showed no sign of a setback after his loss yesterday and ground down Bacrot in a Ruy Lopez ending which Black should have been able to hold. In the meantime Vachier-Lagrave has surpassed Bacrot again in the live ratings - the Biel winner currently leads the French Championships with 3.5/.4.

Jermuk GP

Karjakin squeezed a full point out of an almost equal ending, against Bacrot



Down the standings things got even worse for Inarkiev, who spoilt so many nice positions in the first four rounds. The Russian was beaten by Kamsky in an ending that seemed drawish, but was easier to play for White thanks to the strong e6 knight.

Jermuk GP

Kamsky scored his first win against luckless Inarkiev



In the last game we didn't mention yet, Eljanov had some advantage against Jakovenko but accurate defence by the Russian held the draw. Friday is the first rest day in Jermuk.

Round 5 games



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 5 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results



All photos © Arman Kharakhanyan

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