“MVL” Still Leads in Tashkent After 6 Draws in Round 4

“MVL” Still Leads in Tashkent After 6 Draws in Round 4

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 24, 2014, 8:53 AM |
22 | Chess Event Coverage

In round 4 all games at the Grand Prix in Tashkent ended in draws. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is still half a point ahead of Hikaru Nakaura, Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin

Six draws, and so nothing changed in the standings today in Tashkent. It was definitely not the most entertaining round but hey, a draw is part of the game, and sometimes, at this high level, nobody makes a big mistake!

Let's start with what was clearly the most fun game of the round to follow, and also GM Dejan Bojkov's choice for his daily analysis: Mamedyarov-Nakamura. It was a rather sharp Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange where Black's original way of stopping the white pawns, with ...Nh6 and ...g5, wasn't new. 

Mamedyarov came up with a remarkable piece sacrifice, but Nakamura declined it and gave a pawn instead. More fireworks followed, but by now it's time to look at the moves!

Looking back, the players clearly enjoyed their game too. | Photo Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana were also in good spirits during their press conference after a quiet game with lots of hidden subtleties. The players seemed to be doing a battle of who would play the most solid, and after a correct draw both were satisfied with their play.

Another animated press conference after a very different game. | Photo Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Baadur Jobava is almost always good for an interesting game, and his fight with Teimour Radjabov did not disappoint. He said he needed some time in the opening because he hadn't played the 4.Bg5 for a while. “After 6...c5 I didn't remember anything, usually they play 6...c6,” said Jobava

“Well, I didn't remember anything after 7.Nf3!” said Radjabov.

White won a pawn in the center but Black took one on b2. Jobava then sacrificed his d-pawn and got two strong knights against two bishops. He tried to find a way to get to the enemy king, but that was too difficult so he played on the queenside instead. With pawns on one wing, White's advantage wasn't very big anymore.

Jobava and Radjabov just before their interesting battle. | Photo Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Gelfand-Jakovenko was a 5.Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined, more specifically the variation that became all the rage during and after the Candidates’ matches in Kazan in 2011. Back then, Alexander Grischuk very quickly agreed to a draw twice against Vladimir Kramnik, but more recently, in a tournament setting, he's been more ambitious.

Gelfand repeated an idea that was recently brought into practice by Grischuk: the maneuver Ne2-c1-d3. Jakovenko knew the idea and its meaning, and responded accurately in the game after which White's edge in the ending was only symbolic.

Dmitry Jakovenko explaining the ideas in this QGD variation. | Photo Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave again made a good impression as he kept Sergey Karjakin under pressure from start to finish. He repeated Gelfand's 5.Qb3 in the Queen's Indian against the same opponent in round 2, but deviated on move 7.

Karjakin said he needed to check his notes because he “did not play precise” in the opening. His pawn sacrifice to end up with opposite-colored bishops was typical but it still took some effort to hold the balance.

MVL will top the standings during the first rest day. | Photo Anastasiya Karlovich Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Andreikin-Kasimdzhanov wasn't much; in a classical Queen's Gambit Declined some pawns and pieces were traded and as early as move 20 the moves were repeated. A game to forget quickly.

2014 Grand Prix, Tashkent | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Vachier Lagrave,M 2757 2951 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/4
2 Nakamura,H 2764 2831 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 5.25
3 Karjakin,S 2767 2833 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 4.75
4 Andreikin,D 2722 2858 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 2.5/4 4.50
5 Radjabov,T 2726 2747 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.50
6 Giri,A 2768 2780 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.75
7 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2751 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.0/4 3.75
8 Jobava,B 2717 2760 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.0/4 2.75
9 Caruana,F 2844 2653 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.25
10 Gelfand,B 2748 2673 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.5/4 3.00
11 Jakovenko,D 2747 2649 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.5/4 2.25
12 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2545 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4

xxx

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | All Results

Round 1 15:00 UZT 21.10.14   Round 2 15:00 UZT 22.10.14
Giri ½-½ Gelfand   Gelfand ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov 0-1 Andreikin   Jakovenko ½-½ Radjabov
Nakamura 1-0 Jobava   Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Kasimdzhanov
Caruana 0-1 Vachier-Lagrave   Jobava ½-½ Caruana
Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Jakovenko   Andreikin ½-½ Nakamura
Radjabov ½-½ Karjakin   Giri ½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 3 15:00 UZT 23.10.14   Round 4 15:00 UZT 24.10.14
Mamedyarov 1-0 Gelfand   Gelfand ½-½ Jakovenko
Nakamura ½-½ Giri   Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Karjakin
Caruana ½-½ Andreikin   Jobava ½-½ Radjabov
Kasimdzhanov 0-1 Jobava   Andreikin ½-½ Kasimdzhanov
Radjabov ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave   Giri ½-½ Caruana
Karjakin 1-0 Jakovenko   Mamedyarov ½-½ Nakamura
Round 5 15:00 UZT 26.10.14   Round 6 15:00 UZT 27.10.14
Nakamura - Gelfand   Gelfand - Vachier-Lagrave
Caruana - Mamedyarov   Jobava - Jakovenko
Kasimdzhanov - Giri   Andreikin - Karjakin
Radjabov - Andreikin   Giri - Radjabov
Karjakin - Jobava   Mamedyarov - Kasimdzhanov
Jakovenko - Vachier-Lagrave   Nakamura - Caruana
Round 7 15:00 UZT 28.10.14   Round 8 15:00 UZT 29.10.14
Caruana - Gelfand   Gelfand - Jobava
Kasimdzhanov - Nakamura   Andreikin - Vachier-Lagrave
Radjabov - Mamedyarov   Giri - Jakovenko
Karjakin - Giri   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Jakovenko - Andreikin   Nakamura - Radjabov
Vachier-Lagrave - Jobava   Caruana - Kasimdzhanov
Round 9 15:00 UZT 31.10.14   Round 10 15:00 UZT 01.11.14
Kasimdzhanov - Gelfand   Gelfand - Andreikin
Radjabov - Caruana   Giri - Jobava
Karjakin - Nakamura   Mamedyarov - Vachier-Lagrave
Jakovenko - Mamedyarov   Nakamura - Jakovenko
Vachier-Lagrave - Giri   Caruana - Karjakin
Jobava - Andreikin   Kasimdzhanov - Radjabov
Round 11 11:00 UZT 02.11.14        
Radjabov - Gelfand        
Karjakin - Kasimdzhanov        
Jakovenko - Caruana        
Vachier-Lagrave - Nakamura        
Jobava - Mamedyarov        
Andreikin - Giri        

The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 14:00 local time which is 11:00 in Amsterdam, 10:00 in London, 05:00 in New York, 02:00 in Los Angeles and 19:00 in Sydney. The last round starts three hours earlier. The winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png



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