Radjabov Sacrifices His Way To 2/2 In Geneva
Teimour Radjabov is the sole leader after two rounds at the FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland. In time trouble he finished off a nice, positional game against Pavel Eljanov with a sacrificial combination.
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk made the first move for Teimour Radjabov. | Photo: World Chess.
For the chess
Radjabov is on 2/2 after beating Eljanov, and Giri is back to 50 percent after bouncing back vs Salem, the only player who started with two losses.
Geneva Grand Prix | Round 2 Results
|1||12||Radjabov||2724||1||1 - 0||1||Eljanov||2739||7|
|2||8||Harikrishna||2737||1||½ - ½||1||Adams||2736||9|
|3||14||Jakovenko||2703||½||0 - 1||½||Aronian||2809||1|
|4||2||Mamedyarov||2800||½||1 - 0||½||Inarkiev||2707||13|
|5||4||Grischuk||2761||½||1 - 0||½||Rapport||2694||15|
|6||10||Li Chao||2735||½||½ - ½||½||Svidler||2749||5|
|7||6||Nepomniachtchi||2742||½||½ - ½||½||Gelfand||2728||11|
|8||18||Salem||2638||0||0 - 1||0||Giri||2775||3|
|9||16||Hou Yifan||2666||0||½ - ½||0||Riazantsev||2654||17|
"I feel wonderful," said Teimour Radjabov after his win over Pavel Eljanov. He was also still shaking from the time trouble he was in. The game looks like a smooth victory from start to finish, but the winner did not distribute his time very well, and so it was a bit of a gamble at the end.
Radjabov's treatment of the Queen's Indian wasn't super dangerous ("it's harmless if Black finds a few exact moves there") but he got an edge when Eljanov made some small errors. White's beautifully
FIDE Press Officer Goran Urosevic interviews Teimour Radjabov after the game.
Levon Aronian won the last two classical tournaments he played in but was less successful in the Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour in Leuven. His energetic black win vs Dmitry Jakovenko made a good impression, so he might be playing for the top places again in Geneva.
"It's easier for me to play because I have nowhere to go," Aronian said, knowing all too well that his bad first GP in Sharjah almost certainly ruined his chances to finishing first or second.
A good win for Aronian in round two. | Photo: World Chess.
"I thought what Dmitry did was a bit passive but it was very solid," he said about the opening vs Jakovenko. "I thought that 18.Qf1 was interesting; he was controlling the game. But I thought that he was on the receiving side."
Aronian pointed out that in order to beat such a solid player as Jakovenko, you have to risk. "I took some risk, although I don't think it was very dangerous for me. At least I was the one having fun!"
WGM Anna Burtasova interviews GM Levon Aronian after the game.
There was another black win in the Giuoco Piano, with Anish Giri outplaying Salem Saleh in the most popular of openings these days. After the
The Dutch GM felt that both players played badly. "In our defense, the position is very complicated."
In these structures with ...h6 and
Salem got low on time and started defending, where Giri would have been more afraid of some counterplay on the kingside. "In the
FIDE Press Officer Goran Urosevic interviews Anish Giri after the game.
Giri also pointed out the different dynamics with Swiss pairings (like in these Grand
"The only problem is of course at some point you get some happy Shakhriyar who is on plus one, plus two, and he's gonna start making all the draws and his opponents are also happy. You're gonna see the same thing like you saw in the first two [GPs], that Shakhriyar is sitting there with plus two making all the draws in the most disgusting way possible. And he's on plus one now. He's playing well. But of course, once he reaches plus two he will start his thing."
Salem vs Giri. | Photo: World Chess.
Giri certainly didn't mean to be disrespectful when he used the word "disgusting." His tone was rather cheerful, and he was merely pointing out one of the issues of the Grand Prix structure which makes the fight for the place less interesting than at other events.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov reached that very welcome early plus one score easily, as Ernesto Inarkiev blundered a queen trap right after the opening. You could say that the opening phase hadn't even finished yet.
Alexander Grischuk also moved to plus one as he managed to defeat Richard Rapport in a long maneuvering game. The Russian player chose that strategy with his choice of 12.d5, which closes the position immediately in the Chigorin Ruy Lopez. Normally White tends to wait until Black puts his bishop on b7 before pushing that pawn.
Pushing f2-f4 is one of White's main ideas in this structure, and here it resulted in a Benoni-type of the center where Black's pieces were on the wrong squares. Rapport tried to solve his problems with a positional pawn sacrifice, but he didn't get his desired blockade on the e5-square and then was nicely beaten by Grischuk. An excellent game for aspiring white players trying to play the
In the battle of the white shirts, the player with the white pieces won. | Photo: World Chess.
Geneva Grand Prix | Round 2 Standings
Round three pairings: Aronian-Radjabov, Harikrishna-Mamedyarov, Adams-Grischuk, Giri-Li Chao, Svidler-Gelfand, Eljanov-Nepomniachtchi, Inarkiev-Hou Yifan,
The Geneva Grand Prix takes place 6-15 July in the Hotel Le Richemond in Geneva. The prize fund is €130,000 / $148,520. The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.