Tbilisi GP: Jakovenko Closes In On Tomashevsky

Tbilisi GP: Jakovenko Closes In On Tomashevsky

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Dmitry Jakovenko defeated GM Anish Giri in round seven of the Tbilisi Grand Prix and is now half a point behind GM Evgeny Tomashevsky. 

GM Baadur Jobava won his second game as GM Leinier Dominguez erred in time trouble, while GM Alexander Grischuk blundered and lost to GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

The drawing percentage at the Tbilisi Grand Prix is still rather low after seven rounds: 57.2%. Twenty-four games ended peacefully, and both White and Black won nine times.

Today half of the games ended decisively. The first player who got into trouble, GM Alexander Grischuk, eventually held on the longest. He was better in a Cambridge Springs against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, but missed a nasty double attack.

His position seemed completely hopeless, but somehow Grischuk managed to create a lot of counterplay. It was just not enough.

A big blunder by Alexander Grischuk, who dropped below 2800 today. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Baadur Jobava is recovering from a bad start. Wijk aan Zee didn't go well, and 0.5/4 in Tbilisi wasn't much better, but today the local hero won his second game.

Against GM Leinier Dominguez he chose one of his many non-theoretical lines: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Be2, basically a Philidor with an extra tempo. It's a strategy that is often attributed to Magnus Carlsen: just get a position and play.

Needless to say, Black was fine out of the opening. The Cuban was on his way to win a pawn, but in severe time trouble he chose the wong square for his knight. Suddenly he had to give an exchange.

Another win in the 3.Be2 system! | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Dmitry Jakovenko's win was important for the standings. The 31-year-old Russian grandmaster defeated GM Anish Giri and is now only half a point behind the leader.

The young Dutchman has followed the recent trend of top GMs adding the Leningrad Dutch to their repertoire. White chose a line where his pawn structure is spoiled, but he gets tremendous activity.

Still, Giri managed to untangle his queenside and limit the damage. The ending was more or less equal, but then he misplayed it and got into trouble. At the end he noticed a drawing line, but went for something else anyway.

Giri suffered his first loss and is back to 50 percent. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Tournament leader GM Evgeny Tomashevsky dropped half a point against GM Peter Svidler in a game with an interesting side story. White played 4.Bg5 against the Grünfeld, and Svidler had to decide whether he would play a new idea which he had shown in his video series for the Chess24 website.

He decided that since it's in the public domain anyway, he might as well play it. To his surprise, his opponent followed his main line and played extremely fast! Svidler concluded that his opponent had indeed seen his videos. He started to worry, and spent a lot of time on the clock.

Eventually the game ended in perpetual check. As it turned out, Tomashevsky had not seen the video! However, he had found the same idea for his opponent, and analyzed it very well...

Impressive preparation by Tomashevsky, even without watching Svidler's video. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

A Grünfeld was also seen in the game GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov vs GM Teimour Radjabov. On this board 5.Bd2 was played, popular again after an appearance in the second Anand-Carlsen match.

Soon it became clear that Radjabov had studied the line in detail and so Kasimdzhanov decided to play it safe.

Radjabov and Kasimdzhanov enjoying the analysis after the game. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Dmitry Andreikin vs GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was a 4.Qxd4 Sicilian which quickly led to a Marcozy Bind type of position. MVL's 16...f5 was a novelty and a strong plan, which showed that 10.h3 wasn't good, according to Andreikin.

A bit later this h-pawn could suddenly be taken by the Frenchman, but White had compensation. Andreikin seemed to get a dangerous attack over the black squares, but eventually it was only enough for a draw.

A good game for MVL, but not more than a draw. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

2015 Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix | Round 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,E 2716 2910 5.0/7
2 Jakovenko,D 2733 2851 4.5/7
3 Radjabov,T 2731 2790 4.0/7 13.50
4 Kasimdzhanov,R 2705 2812 4.0/7 13.50
5 Giri,A 2797 2729 3.5/7 11.50
6 Dominguez Perez,L 2726 2728 3.5/7 11.50
7 Mamedyarov,S 2759 2739 3.5/7 10.25
8 Jobava,B 2696 2703 3.0/7 10.75
9 Grischuk,A 2810 2676 3.0/7 10.25
10 Vachier Lagrave,M 2775 2693 3.0/7 10.00
11 Svidler,P 2739 2692 3.0/7 9.75
12 Andreikin,D 2737 2604 2.0/7

The third FIDE Grand Prix runs February 15-27 in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is a round robin, with 11 rounds in total. There are two rest days, on February 19 and 24.

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.”

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