MVL, Grischuk, Harikrishna Win In Moscow GP R5
Ding Liren and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov continue to lead the FIDE Grand Prix in Moscow going into the rest day. On Tuesday the winners were Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Grischuk and Pentala Harikrishna.
Sergey Karjakin, who gave a simul at the tournament venue today, chatting with Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vladimir Potkin. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
It wasn't a streaker, like at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, but a random guy joining the stage and taking a selfie with Hou Yifan just before the start of the round. At many chess events there is no clear policy on who can be on stage, and who can take photos. Is there any serious sport where such a thing would be possible?
@photochess) May 16, 2017
And what about the clash between the two leaders—who both are capable of playing super exciting chess—finishing in a mere 15 moves? As soon as his first pawn reached his opponent's side of the board, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov offered Ding Liren a draw.
The players cannot really be blamed, and the problematic absence of an anti-draw rule in the Grand Prix has already been taken into account by FIDE. Still, the chess fans will have to deal with it here in Moscow, in Geneva and Palma de Mallorca.
This paying customer was not amused about the game on board one today.
Luckily, with nine games played each day there is usually enough to enjoy. And even relatively quick draws can be amusing, such as the battle between Peter Svidler and Teimour Radjabov today. This is their position after White's 13th move.
Here Radjabov managed to surprise his opponent and just about everyone following this game with the maneuver 13...Nb4 14.Qd2 Nc6. True story.
"I was going completely insane," said Svidler. "I really couldn't understand what was going on at all."
A remarkable knight maneuver in Svidler vs Radjabov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
Radjabov said that he was following his notes, although he couldn't remember them exactly. "Of course I looked at the natural move 13...Rc8, but I thought: we're living in the computer era."
So the Azerbaijani went for it, Svidler started to look for forced wins, came very close but thanks to very accurate defense Radjabov managed to hold it.
In the interview after the game, both players saw the humor of it all. When Radjabov started saying there was even a Bb7-c8 somewhere in his notes, Svidler replied: "I would have quit chess. A mental institution awaited me immediately."
On Twitter Radjabov notified his opponent that he had mixed up the lines:
@rajachess OK, faith in chess somewhat restored— Peter Svidler ( @polborta) May 16, 2017
@polborta yeah,today is the case we were talking about with Grischuk,sometimes it's just better to forget everything you know about the pos.— Teymur Rajabov ( @rajachess) May 16, 2017
The draw between Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura had one nice moment at the end that's worth showing. Even if Giri had played 25.Qc5 Black's troubles wouldn't have been very serious, said Nakamura, but the computer is really enjoying the position there.
Nakamura forced the draw with a neat tactic today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave scored an important win today against Salem Saleh. It brought the French grandmaster to plus-one, and taking into account that he was among the winners of the first Grand Prix, he's doing well in terms of keeping chances to qualify for the Candidates' Tournament.
The game started with the amazing 5.Qe2 in the 4...Nf6 Caro-Kann...
...a move that is sometimes seen after 4...Nd7, played in simultaneous exhibitions by lazy grandmasters who want to score a quick win (as they are hoping for 5.Qe2 Ngf6?? 6.Nd6 checkmate).
After that, Salem went straight for a queen trade but his plan of running with the a-pawn completely backfired due to a lack of development.
A tough day at the office for Salem Saleh. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
Alexander Grischuk, another co-winner in Sharjah, scored an equally important win. He's recovering quickly from his illness, apparently. After getting close to a win yesterday, today he scored his first win by outplaying Hou Yifan with the black pieces.
Her problems started on move 21, which she played too fast. It allowed Black to regroup and prepare the typical break ...d6-d5, after which Black is often better in the Sicilian, and here too.
After four draws Grischuk moved to plus-one today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
Poor Mickey Adams lost his third game in a row. Out of the opening he was slightly worse, and dropping a pawn just before the time control didn't help. Pentala Harikrishna still needed to be careful, but he made no mistake.
Hari too scored his first win today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
2017 Moscow Grand Prix | Round 5 Standings
|18||GM||Hammer Jon Ludvig||2621||2,5||8,1|
|14||14||GM||Vallejo Pons Francisco||2710||2||-2,3|
|17||GM||Salem A.R. Saleh||2633||2||3,9|
Sergey Karjakin dropped by and gave a small simul at the venue today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova.
Thursday's pairings are Ding-MVL, Radjabov-Mamedyarov, Grischuk-Svidler, Nakamura-Nepomniachtchi, Tomashevsky-Giri, Gelfand-Harikrishna, Hammer-Vallejo, Salem-Hou, and Adams-Inarkiev.
The tournament, a nine-round Swiss with a prize fund of 130,000 euros ($142,000), runs until May 21, with a rest day on May 17. After Moscow there will be two more Grands Prix: in July in Geneva, and in November in Palma de Mallorca. The top two overall finishers will qualify for the 2018 Candidates' Tournament.
Games from TWIC.