Tomashevsky Full Point Ahead In Tbilisi As Mamedyarov Stumbles

Tomashevsky Full Point Ahead In Tbilisi As Mamedyarov Stumbles

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

Going into the first rest day, GM Evgeny Tomashevsky leads by a full point at the Tbilisi Grand Prix. The Russian GM profited from a huge mistake by GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Three players are on 2.5/4: GM Anish Giri, GM Dmitry Jakovenko and GM Alexander Grischuk. The latter defeated GM Baadur Jobava on Wednesday.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

The drawing percentage at FIDE Grand Prix tournaments is usually even higher than at “normal” elite tournaments. There are various reasons: in such a long tournament a “semi-rest day” can be useful, and it's also important to do well in the overall standings.

One player hasn't drawn a single game yet in the first four rounds: GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. All his games so far ended in wins for Black, and he was behind the black pieces two times.

On Wednesday, the Azerbaijani player got a slight edge out of the opening, but somewhere around move 30 he lost the advantage and was worse. A distant passed pawn on a3 gave Black a clear plus, but it wasn't yet winning when Mamedyarov blundered on the infamous 41st move.

Mamedyarov: a huge oversight after move 40... | Photo Maria Emelianova. Tomashevsky a full-point lead. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Mamedyarov was one of the three players who were trailing Tomashevsky by half a point. The other two, Giri and Jakovenko, both drew their games.

GM Anish Giri tried his luck in a 4.d3 Berlin against GM Dmitry Andreikin. He did get a slight edge, but it didn't mean much against such a strong grandmaster.

“What to do against that Berlin? What to do??” | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Dmitry Jakovenko was involved in the longest game of the day. His Nimzo/Queen's Indian hybrid made a healthy impression, but his 13...h6 (a novelty) looked dubious. GM Teimour Radjabov grabbed his chance — and with it the bishop pair.

From that point it was clear that Jakovenko was fighting for a draw. He did a good job; first with a tactical trick that removed one of White's bishops. Then, when he was finally going to lose a pawn, he found a way to liquidate to a queen ending with four vs three on the kingside.

Radjabov vs Jakovenko, a draw after 79 moves. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Alexander Grischuk moved up to shared second in the standings. The world number-two defeated tail-ender GM Baadur Jobava. It looked easy, but Grischuk again was in time trouble at the end.

He said that he didn't like his opponent's mini-plan of trading his bishop on f3 and putting his pawns on light squares, but admitted that Black was still rather solid. White increased his advantage with some good maneuvers and when he got in d4-d5! it was practically over.

Caption contest! What were these players talking about? Laughing | Photo Maria Emelianova

Svidler vs Vachier-Lagrave was interesting from an opening theoretical perspective, as it was an encounter between two of the world's greatest experts in the Grünfeld. 

GM Peter Svidler said that he's single-handedly trying to revive the 8.h3 variation, although he didn't know why. “Desperation?” was GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's explanation!

The French GM had prepared deeply, sacrificed an exchange and then already knew where to put his pieces. At the end it was White who had to be careful.

An interesting clash between two Grünfeld experts.

As one of the lowest-rated players in the field (though still a 2700!) GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov continues to do fine. His openings are still up to the standards of top chess, and thus far the same can be said about his play. 

Today the Uzbek GM comfortably equalized as Black against GM Leinier Dominguez in a Rubinstein French.

An easy draw for Kasimdzhanov. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

2015 Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,E 2716 3087 3.5/4
2 Giri,A 2797 2827 2.5/4 4.00
3 Jakovenko,D 2733 2808 2.5/4 4.00
4 Grischuk,A 2810 2803 2.5/4 3.25
5 Kasimdzhanov,R 2705 2773 2.0/4 4.25
6 Dominguez,L 2726 2737 2.0/4 3.50
7 Radjabov,T 2731 2724 2.0/4 3.25
8 Mamedyarov,S 2759 2734 2.0/4 3.00
9 Andreikin,D 2737 2687 1.5/4 3.75
10 Vachier-Lagrave,M 2775 2667 1.5/4 3.00
11 Svidler,P 2739 2669 1.5/4 2.75
12 Jobava,B 2696 2410 0.5/4

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.

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