Kasimdzhanov Only Winner In Tbilisi GP Round 2

Kasimdzhanov Only Winner In Tbilisi GP Round 2

| 1 | Chess Event Coverage

His first-round loss was quickly forgotten as GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov defeated GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round two of the Tbilisi Grand Prix.

The other five games ended in draws. After two rounds, GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Evgeny Tomashevsky and GM Anish Giri are tied for first place.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

That game between GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov was a bit of a strange one. Via 1.c4 and 2.b3, Mamedyarov played some kind of double fianchetto with h3 and g4 on the kingside instead of g3.

With natural developing moves Kasimdzhanov was absolutely fine out of the opening, although he wasn't sure about his 12...e5. The Uzbek started to chase White's rook on the kingside, and then played a strong positional knight sacrifice in the center.

At first Mamedyarov found some good defensive moves, but getting closer to the time control he lost track of the complications. A good game by Kasimdzhanov!

Mamedyarov's creative opening wasn't the reason for his loss. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Peter Svidler, who recently played in the Gibraltar Masters, started with two black games in a row in Tbilisi. In his second, against GM Leinier Dominguez, he played one of his old defenses: the Karpov variation in the Closed Ruy Lopez.

The Nf6-d7 & Be7-f6 setup was tested several times in the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov match. Svidler has played it many times.

Even Black's exchange sacrifice is a known idea, and also in this game Black seemed to get enough compensation. However, later in the game Dominguez missed one or two chances for more.

A well-known exchange sac almost cost Svidler the game. | Photo Anastasiya Karlovich.

Despite a somewhat modest opening setup, GM Anish Giri seemed to be better in the endgame against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Instead of going for a long and forced sequence, perhaps he should have tried the simple 17.dxc5. In the game MVL quickly reached a positional draw.

According to Giri, White's only chance was to advance his kingside pawns deep into Black's position and play for zugzwang, but 32...h5 prevented that plan.

Giri and MVL in a good mood before the game. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Alexander Grischuk faced one of his compatriots, GM Dmitry Andreikin. The latter stayed true to his 6...Bf5 in the Exchange Queen's Gambit, and after White's modest 7.Bd3 he came up with a novelty as early as move 8, ...Nb8-a6.

The idea was a quick Na6-c7-e6, and indeed he got a decent position. Grischuk was still sightly better after getting through e3-e4, but Andreikin kept on playing super-solid chess.

Andreikin: a novelty on move 8. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

In this second round GM Baadur Jobava decided to play a more solid defense, and that worked out well against GM Teimour Radjabov. A Queen's Indian quickly started to look like a King's Indian, and Black was doing all right. 

Move 23 was a critical moment, as Radjabov said after the game. He went for a long and forced line that led to an equal ending. The computer plays something else, but White would certainly have taken more risks than in the game.

A classical Queen's Indian this time for Jobava. | Photo Anastasiya Karlovich.

The other all-Russian encounter between GM Dmitry Jakovenko and GM Evgeny Tomashevsky was a Stonewall Dutch. In the old days, it would have been quite an achievement for White to trade the dark-squared bishops so quickly, but in this game Tomashevsky showed that the setup with ...b6 and ...Bb7 is a tough nut to crack.

Tomashevsky: A Solid Stonewall. | Photo Anastasiya Karlovich.

2015 Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Grischuk,A 2810 2911 1.5/2 1.50
2 Tomashevsky,E 2716 2905 1.5/2 1.00
3 Giri,A 2797 2947 1.5/2 0.75
4 Andreikin,D 2737 2771 1.0/2 1.25
5 Jakovenko,D 2733 2727 1.0/2 1.25
6 Kasimdzhanov,R 2705 2784 1.0/2 1.00
7 Radjabov,T 2731 2711 1.0/2 0.75
8 Dominguez,L 2726 2735 1.0/2 0.75
9 Mamedyarov,S 2759 2740 1.0/2 0.50
10 Vachier-Lagrave,M 2775 2588 0.5/2 0.75
11 Svidler,P 2739 2571 0.5/2 0.50
12 Jobava,B 2696 2533 0.5/2 0.50

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

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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