Tashkent GP: Jobava Also Beats Gelfand; Joins Andreikin, Nakamura

Tashkent GP: Jobava Also Beats Gelfand; Joins Andreikin, Nakamura

| 21 | Chess Event Coverage

After clinching's first Titled Tuesday on a Wednesday, Baadur Jobava duly continued winning.

The Georgian grandmaster defeated Boris Gelfand in round eight of the Grand Prix in Tashkent, and is now tied for first place with Dmitry Andreikin and Hikaru Nakamura.

Baadur Jobava is a strong grandmaster who plays a wide variety of openings, a player who seems to be looking for sacrifices all the time, and a player who logs in at night to play and win our first Titled Tuesday tournament.

He's also a player who entered the Grand Prix at the last minute but now shares the lead, with three rounds to go!

In the eighth round, Jobava was in fact the only winner (his third win as Black!). He faced an out-of-form Gelfand, and so a slightly provocative opening (1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6) was more likely to succeed than backfire. 

Caruana, Giri and Radjavov looking at Jobava's opening position. | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

On move 8, Gelfand took his queen on an adventure that made the game very complicated at an early stage. White was trying to avoid a continuation where Black could simply castle queenside and double rooks on the g-file, but eventually it was Gelfand who got into trouble. His pieces were somewhat clumsy, and lacked coordination. As soon as the center collapsed, White's whole position did.

“A very complicated game. I don't know,” said Jobava at the press conference. | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Andreikin and Nakamura both drew their games, and so they had to allow Jobava joining them in first place.

Andreikin's game was an especially short affair. Vachier-Lagrave played his favorite Grünfeld, but not for the first time he was “out of book” at an early stage.

However, in this 5.Bg5 sideline he found some pretty good moves over the board, and his opponent suspected it was home preparation! “I wanted to make it look like,” said the French grandmaster.

The game ended in a move repetition rather quickly where it was Andreikin who perhaps could have played on. 

A very quick draw in Andreikin vs Vachier-Lagrave. | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Nakamura's quick draw as White had two reasons, as he explained at the press conference: 1) he got surprised in the opening — hence his safe play, and 2) “The players who also played in Baku are a bit more tired. It's important not to do anything stupid right now.”

Radjabov's surprise was playing the Ragozin, and already on move 11 Nakamura went for an ending, because he didn't like the middlegame positions that could have arisen after either e3 and Be2, or g3 and Bg2. That ending was just very equal, and in no time the players reached the necessary 30 moves.

A Ragozin, an ending, a draw. | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Mamedyarov-Karjakin was much more entertaining. After their amazing Nimzo-Indian fight at the Candidates’ Tournament, Mamedyarov again played the 4.f3 variation, but Karjakin deviated immediately.

Still, this game saw another sharp middlegame and as it turned out, Karjakin had prepared it very deeply: “I think I was prepared very good today.”

At some point the Russian GM could force the draw, but since he was a hour up on the clock in a complicated position, he decided to continue.

A few moves later I wasn't very happy,” said Karjakin, who soon was on the defensive side. Luckily for him Black was always OK.

Mamedyarov and Karjakin about to start their sharp Nimzo. | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Giri and Jakovenko played a bunch of theory as well. Black's positional queen sacrifice in this Symmetrical English had been tried before in a game Bacrot-Nisipeanu last year, but Giri had found a slight improvement: avoiding a quick rook trade.

However, the Dutch grandmaster then hesitated on the kingside (an immediate h2-h4 was called for) and Jakovenko found a smart setup, a.k.a. a fortress!

At the press conference, Giri lamented that he wasn't able to find any weakness in his opponent's solid but somewhat passive repertoire. Jakovenko pointed out that sometimes against weaker opponents he plays other openings. \

Giri: “Unfortunately he didn't realize that I am a weaker opponent too!”

Giri a weak world number 7? Nah! Foot in Mouth | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

Caruana and Kasimdzhanov then also drew their game, a Queen's Gambit (we haven't seen that one for a while!) where the world number two went for a quick ending. 

“I have to say it wasn't a very good game from my side,” Caruana said, and that remark was mostly about one move: the weird 18.Bc7.

I don't have to get worse in a few moves which is what I managed. (...) I don't have an explanation for 18.Bc7,” he said. 

A funny moment at the press conference (see below). | Photo © Yulia Monakova courtesy of FIDE.

At some point the players reached this position in their analysis, when Caruana said his knight is strong. Kasimdzhanov laughed out loud: “Yours is, but mine isn't?”

Caruana then went Be2-f3: “Yes, because I'm dominating yours! But... OK, the position does look pretty symmetrical.”

Thursday is the second and last rest day in Tashkent. On Friday two leaders meet in the game Jobava-Andreikin!

2014 Grand Prix, Tashkent | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Andreikin,D 2722 2848 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0/8 20.50
2 Nakamura,H 2764 2838 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0/8 18.75
3 Jobava,Ba 2717 2846 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5.0/8 16.75
4 Vachier Lagrave,M 2757 2790 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 4.5/8 16.50
5 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2799 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.5/8 14.75
6 Radjabov,T 2726 2750 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 4.0/8 17.75
7 Jakovenko,D 2747 2739 ½ ½ 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ ½ ½ 4.0/8 15.50
8 Karjakin,S 2767 2744 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 4.0/8 15.00
9 Caruana,F 2844 2744 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 4.0/8 14.75
10 Giri,A 2768 2715 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.5/8
11 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2624 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/8
12 Gelfand,B 2748 2576 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/8


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 1-0 Gelfand   Gelfand ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave
Caruana ½-½ Mamedyarov   Jobava ½-½ Jakovenko
Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Giri   Andreikin 1-0 Karjakin
Radjabov ½-½ Andreikin   Giri ½-½ Radjabov
Karjakin 0-1 Jobava   Mamedyarov 1-0 Kasimdzhanov
Jakovenko 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave   Nakamura ½-½ Caruana
Round 7 15:00 UZT 28.10.14   Round 8 15:00 UZT 29.10.14
Caruana 1-0 Gelfand   Gelfand 0-1 Jobava
Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Nakamura   Andreikin ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave
Radjabov ½-½ Mamedyarov   Giri ½-½ Jakovenko
Karjakin 1-0 Giri   Mamedyarov ½-½ Karjakin
Jakovenko ½-½ Andreikin   Nakamura ½-½ Radjabov
Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Jobava   Caruana ½-½ 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

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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