Tomashevsky On The Brink Of Winning Tbilisi Grand Prix

Tomashevsky On The Brink Of Winning Tbilisi Grand Prix

| 4 | Chess Event Coverage

It cannot go wrong anymore, can it? After the rest day GM Evgeny Tomashevsky won yet another game at the Tbilisi Grand Prix to increase his lead to 1.5 points with two rounds to go.

In the only other decisive game, GM Baadur Jobava heroically declined a draw offer from GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave but was punished with a loss.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

Today GM Boris Gelfand visited the European Championship in Jerusalem, and joined the commentary for a while. With GM Alon Greenfeld he briefly discussed the Tbilisi Grand Prix (Gelfand himself will play the last one in Khanty-Mansiysk), and expressed his admiration for GM Evgeny Tomashevsky's play.

Nicknamed “The Professor,” the 27-year-old Russian GM is slowly but surely finding himself among the elite players. In 2012 he was one of the seconds of Gelfand in the world championship match against Vishy Anand, and this job surely wasn't bad for his own career.

Today Tomashevsky defeated GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov in his second 6.h3 King's Indian in Tbilisi. He called it a very “principled” variation — a word he uses a lot, revealing a certain urge to search for the truth.

On move 10, Kasimdzhanov deviated from Tomashevsky-Giri from earlier in the tournament, and after the opening Black was OK. On move 19, however, he made a mistake.

Kasimdzhanov on going for 19...c6 instead of 19...e4: “This is the moment when I was thinking for one hour [in fact “only” half a hour — PD] and always when you think for one hour I make a mistake. My problem was I started overestimating this.”

Kasimdzhanov overestimated his chances.  | Photo Tazo Giorgadze.

The Uzbek GM then also underestimated the dangers for Black after the queens were traded: “I made this very serious error thinking that this ending might be OK but it's just horrible.”

The Professor is now 1.5 points ahead of the rest of the pack. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

GM Baadur Jobava vs GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was a game between two of the three players in Tbilisi who played in the Titled Tuesday tournament on Tuesday evening. (The third was GM Leinier Dominguez.) MVL was again involved in the longest game of the round, but this time he won.

It was a Sicilian with 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5, and only two moves later Jobava played a novelty. MVL seemed to be getting a nice advantage quickly, but thanks to an untouchable knight on c4 (described as “poison” by the Frenchman) White was doing reasonably well.

Right after the time control, Vachier-Lagrave offered a draw, which was declined by his opponent.

“Today I was playing only for a win. 50 percent is nothing for the next Grand Prix. I wanted at least plus two,” said Jobava.

However, more or less from that point the game went downhill for him.

Jobava: Playing for a win, but getting a loss. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs GM Anish Giri was a relatively short draw, but what a spectacle it was! White sacrificed a piece as early as move nine, and two moves later Black gave an exchange.

All this happened in Giri's pet line in the Taimanov Sicilian after 7.Qf3 — discussed in depth by GM Sam Shankland in the February issue of The Master's Bulletin. Mamedyarov's piece sac was 9.Nf5!? which he had prepared deeply.

“I will stop playing this line,” smiled Giri.

How deeply Mamedyarov had prepared became clear when he showed the following:

Mamedyarov said that his main line went 10...b5 11.f4 Ng4 12.h3 Nxe3 13.Qg6+ Kd8 14.Nxg7 Qc6 15.Qe8+ Kc7 16.Qxf8 Nxd1 17.Ne8+ Kb6

18.Bxb5 axb5 19.Rxd1 d5 20.exd5 Qc5 21.Qg7 Bb7 22.Qd7 b4 23.Qxe6+ Ka5 24.Ne4 Qe7 25.N8d6 Qxe6 26.Nxb7+ Kb6 27.dxe6 Kxb7 28.Rd7+ Kb6 29.Rd6+ Kb5 30.Rd5+ Kc4 31.Rd7 and it's a draw, after many only moves for Black! (You can replay this in the game viewer below.)

Instead, Giri found a much more practical way of playing: taking the knight, thus sacrificing his rook on a8 in return for excellent compensation. After some more complications, the players quickly ended the game with a repetition of moves.

Anish Giri's reaction to 9.Nf5. Laughing | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

Like Grischuk the other day, GM Peter Svidler drew a Grünfeld game as Black where most of the moves had been played before. GM Dmitry Jakovenko said he hadn't prepared very well but that he “had just seen some games,” while Svidler was happy that he had “recently checked his notes.”

Peter Svidler, still a Grünfeld expert (especially when he recently checked his notes). | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

From time to time GM Dmitry Andreikin plays the Torre Attack as White, with reasonable success. Against GM Teimour Radjabov he responded to an early ...c5 with dxc5, and tried to hang onto his pawn for a while. Radjabov was forced to make it a real sacrifice, but that worked out fine for Black.

Teimour Radjabov, going for activity as Black. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

GM Alexander Grischuk drew his white game vs GM Leinier Dominguez and lamented that he had forgotten the lines: “If I know what I forgot I maybe would remember during the game, but I don't know what I forgot.”

Grischuk had trouble remembering the Ruy Lopez Zaitsev lines. | Photo Nastja Karlovich.

2015 Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix | Round 9 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2716 2966 7.0/9
2 Jakovenko,Dmitry 2733 2824 5.5/9
3 Radjabov,Teimour 2731 2780 5.0/9
4 Dominguez Perez,Leinier 2726 2738 4.5/9 19.75
5 Giri,Anish 2797 2742 4.5/9 19.00
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2759 2745 4.5/9 18.50
7 Kasimdzhanov,Rustam 2705 2754 4.5/9 18.50
8 Grischuk,Alexander 2810 2695 4.0/9 17.25
9 Jobava,Baadur 2696 2715 4.0/9 17.25
10 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2775 2696 4.0/9 16.50
11 Svidler,Peter 2739 2657 3.5/9
12 Andreikin,Dmitry 2737 2633 3.0/9

The third FIDE Grand Prix runs February 15-27 in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is a round robin, with 11 rounds in total. The fourth and final Grand Prix will be held May 13-27 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

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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