Qatar Masters: Giri on 4.0/4, Kramnik Back in Business

Qatar Masters: Giri on 4.0/4, Kramnik Back in Business

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Nov 29, 2014, 12:54 PM |
44 | Chess Event Coverage

Top seed Anish Giri is the only player left with a 100% score at the Qatar Masters Open in Doha, Qatar. Vladimir Kramnik started with two draws, but then won his next two.

Advertised as “the strongest open in history,” the Qatar Masters Open hasn't disappointed yet — for both the chess fans and the participants. Each day the tournament has seen great fights in this group with only players rated higher than 2200, and no less than 14 GMs rated 2700 or higher.

Details haven't been provided by the organizers, but it is very likely that a number of players received excellent conditions. Why else would you see top guns such as Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave or Shakhriyar Mamedyarov risking their hard-earned Elo-points in an open?

A day before the tournament Kramnik, who hasn't played an open since 1993, told Chess.com: “I think it is even more difficult to keep your rating in round robin events.” A remarkable opinion from the 14th World Champion, who might have thought differently after two rounds of play.

Kramnik (2760) only drew with GM Stelios Halkias (2519) and Sundar Shyam (2484) and lost 6.3 points there. The Russian GM had to work hard for his (full) point in round 3 against Das Debashis (2485) and finally won a smooth game in round 4, so now he's back in business!

Chess.com is providing a live video commentary show from Doha at Chess.com/TV every day, from 3 pm local time (4 am Los Angeles, 7 am New York, 12 pm London, 1 pm Amsterdam and 5:30 pm Mumbai). On Saturday, after he won the game given above, Kramnik joined commentator GM Danny King to go trough the game:

After four rounds only one player is still on 100 percent: Anish Giri of the Netherlands. His list of scalps: Mikhail Antipov (2520, Russia), Aleksander Mista (2616, Poland), Ivan Ivanisevic (2643, Serbia) and Mikhailo Oleksienko (2620, Ukraine). In round 4 Giri needed less than 20 moves to force resignation:

Here's the tournament leader, again with GM Danny King:

In round 5 Giri will meet his first serious opponent: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who is only two spots behind him in the live ratings (where Giri is back to #7!) and who won the Tal Memorial Blitz tournament recently.

Besides Mamedyarov, only four other players are on 3.5 points: Nils Grandelius of Sweden, Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia and two players who preferred this tournament over the recently concluded Ukrainian Championship: Pavel Eljanov and Yuriy Kryvoruchko.

In round 3 Grandelius defeated another strong Ukrainian GM, Alexander Moiseenko. It was a model game in the theme of space advantage. Capablanca would have been proud of this one:

Another nice game was played by Harika Dronavalli of India in round 3. Here's the game, and the video with Harika showing it together with GM Simon Williams:

Not all big names are having a great tournament so far. For example Baadur Jobava (2722), the flamboyant GM from Georgia who did well at the Tashkent Grand Prix, is only on 2.0/4 (a 2490 performance).

Funnily enough, Jobava already played against two ladies (compatriot Bela Khotenashvili and Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine in rounds 1 and 2) and will meet a third in round 5: Nino Batsiashvili, also from Georgia...

German GM Arkadij Naiditsch, who recently got married, started with two losses (vs GM Ankit and IM Gaponenko), then beat FM Tabatabaei but lost again on Saturday against IM Shardul Gagare. Victor Bologan started even worse: three consecutive losses and only a draw in round 4.

Qatar Masters Open 2014 | Round 4 Standings (Top 30)

Rk. SNo Title Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Giri Anish NED 2776 4 3400 8,5 10,5
2 3 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2757 3,5 2928 6,5 8
3 69 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 2573 3,5 2926 9 10,5
4 8 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2719 3,5 2916 7 8
5 12 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2706 3,5 2914 8 9,5
6 10 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2714 3,5 2906 9 11
7 52 GM Van Kampen Robin NED 2612 3 2805 9 9,5
8 4 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2751 3 2788 7,5 9
9 62 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2586 3 2785 8 8
10 6 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2725 3 2780 7 8,5
11 11 GM Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2707 3 2776 7,5 9
12 60 GM Guseinov Gadir AZE 2592 3 2773 8 8
13 44 GM Oleksienko Mikhailo UKR 2620 3 2766 8,5 9
14 13 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2705 3 2765 9 11
15 14 GM Moiseenko Alexander UKR 2701 3 2756 7,5 9,5
16 30 GM Ivanisevic Ivan SRB 2643 3 2752 8,5 10
17 19 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2673 3 2750 8 10
18 24 GM Edouard Romain FRA 2659 3 2744 7 7,5
19 70 GM Cornette Matthieu FRA 2566 3 2742 8 9
20 25 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2659 3 2741 7,5 8,5
21 39 GM Volokitin Andrei UKR 2627 3 2741 7,5 8
22 16 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2684 3 2738 6 7
23 58 GM Bogner Sebastian SUI 2598 3 2732 6 7
24 2 GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS 2760 3 2719 5,5 6,5
25 35 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2632 3 2698 7,5 8,5
26 45 GM Perunovic Milos SRB 2619 3 2695 7,5 9
27 31 GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2642 3 2691 7 9
28 26 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2657 3 2665 6 8
29 42 GM Durarbayli Vasif AZE 2621 3 2659 7 8,5
30 46 GM l'Ami Erwin NED 2618 3 2642 7,5 8,5

Full standings here.

Besides regular chess photographer Maria Emelianova, who is doing a great job as always, the tournament has a second official photographer named Dimitri Rukhletskiy. He works for a local newspaper in Moscow but did the same photo journalism studies as Emelianova, who invited him to Doha.

Here's a few examples of that “Dima” produced at what is his first chess tournament ever. You can find more of his (and Maria's) work at the tournament website.

No comment — just look at the amazing composition! | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
“A study in red” | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
A good eye for similarities | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
Awonder Liang (USA), at 11 the youngest participant | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
The drama: a loss on time | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
“Who was it I am playing today?” | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy
Handshakes all over the place. | Photo © Dimitri Rukhletskiy

The Qatar Masters Open 2014 is a 9-round Swiss. It takes place November 26-December 4 at the business center of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Doha, Qatar. The total prize fund is $110,000, with a $25,000 first prize. Follow the action at Chess.com/TV!


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