Svidler Moves To Shared First Place At Palma GP
Svidler interviewed by FIDE's Press Officer Nastja Karlovich. | Photo: Valeriy Belobeev/World Chess.

Svidler Moves To Shared First Place At Palma GP

| 17 | Chess Event Coverage

Winning as Black today Peter Svidler moved to a plus one score at the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca. The Russian GM joined leaders Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

The other win was scored by local hero Francisco Vallejo, who defeated Boris Gelfand. The Israeli grandmaster is now in last place with minus two.

Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix | Round 3 Results

Bo. No. Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Fed Name Rtg No.
1 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave 2796 ½ - ½ GM Aronian 2801 1
2 8 GM Radjabov 2741 ½ - ½ GM Giri 2762 6
3 14 GM Tomashevsky 2702 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Nakamura 2780 3
4 4 GM Ding Liren 2774 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Eljanov 2707 12
5 18 GM Hammer 2629 1 0 - 1 1 GM Svidler 2763 5
6 16 GM Inarkiev 2683 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Harikrishna 2738 9
7 10 GM Jakovenko 2721 1 ½ - ½ 1 GM Riazantsev 2651 17
8 15 GM Rapport 2692 ½ ½ - ½ ½ GM Li Chao 2741 7
9 13 GM Vallejo 2705 ½ 1 - 0 ½ GM Gelfand 2719 11

Candidates Update: What If This Were The Final Round?

Radjabov and Vachier-Lagrave are trying to qualify for the 2018 Candidates' Tournament. For this, they need to finish among the top two in the overall Grand Prix standings.

Each round we update the situation with the question: What if the tournament ended here?

Today, Radjabov (who needs 96 points) and MVL (who needs 126 points) would get points for a tie for first place with five players: 170+140+110+90+80=590 / 5 = 118 each. That would be enough for Radjabov to surpass Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk. However, MVL would finish just behind them in fourth place, so both Azeri GMs would qualify.

For more information see our first report.

Winning the Palma GP would be great for MVL but as it turns out, sharing first place with four other players would be problematic. The person joining the leaders today was Peter Svidler, who beat Jon Ludvig Hammer using some analysis he had done for a white game.

Hammer missed some tactical details and also got very low on time. Svidler said he was "very happy and very proud" that he found the 34...Ng4 shot which decided the game.


Peter Svidler interviewed by FIDE's Anastasiya Karlovich.

Paco Vallejo is actually from Menorca, one of the other Balearic Islands. He is definitely the local hero though, and, probably because it was a Saturday, dozens of chess fans attended the tournament and were whispering his name.

It was a good day to follow the Spanish grandmaster because he defeated Boris Gelfand, which was in fact Vallejo's first Grand Prix win in 21 tries.

In the first round MVL had shown how to deal with the dodgy-looking 8...d5, so this time Gelfand switched to 8...d6 and made it a real Dragon. Vallejo said he was "quite proud" of the game because his opponent him under pressure early on by blitzing out his moves, event though it led to an endgame where White was a pawn up.

Vallejo initially didn't see a good plan, so he played a few "random moves" to reach the time control and then he found a way to activate his king.

Paco Vallejo interviewed by FIDE's Anastasiya Karlovich.

Teimour Radjabov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the two key players in this tournament, both drew their games as White—the former without much spectacle vs Anish Giri; the latter against Levon Aronian after a more interesting game. Here it is, with comments from both players in the interview below:

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian interviewed by FIDE's Anastasiya Karlovich.


Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix | Standings After Round 3

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 1 GM Aronian Levon 2801 2
2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796 2
5 GM Svidler Peter 2763 2
6 GM Giri Anish 2762 2
8 GM Radjabov Teimour 2741 2
6 3 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2780 1,5
4 GM Ding Liren 2774 1,5
9 GM Harikrishna P. 2738 1,5
10 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2721 1,5
12 GM Eljanov Pavel 2707 1,5
13 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2705 1,5
14 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2702 1,5
16 GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2683 1,5
17 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2651 1,5
15 7 GM Li Chao 2741 1
15 GM Rapport Richard 2692 1
18 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig 2629 1
18 11 GM Gelfand Boris 2719 0,5

Pairings round four: Aronian-Giri, Svidler-Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura-Radjabov, Inarkiev-Ding Liren, Harikrishna-Vallejo, Eljanov-Jakovenko, Riazantsev-Tomashevsky, Rapport-Hammer and Li Chao-Gelfand.

The Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix takes place November 16-25 (with a rest day on Nov. 21) in the Iberostar Cristina hotel in Palma de Mallorca. It is a nine-round Swiss with 18 players. The prize fund is €130,000 / $152,892. 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 one.

Previous report:

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.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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