Tomashevsky Beats Grischuk, Leads Alone In Tbilisi

Tomashevsky Beats Grischuk, Leads Alone In Tbilisi

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alexander Grischuk suffered his first loss at the Tbilisi Grand Prix. The world number-two went down against GM Evgeny Tomashevsky, who is now the sole leader.

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov bounced back with a win as Black against GM Dmitry Andreikin. GM Dmitry Jakovenko easily refuted sacrificial play by GM Baadur Jobava.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

At first sight, Tomashevsky-Grischuk was one of the strangest games played in recent top GM history. In the opening, both players played a move and took it back immediately afterward. Grischuk even did it with two pieces: Ra8-b8-a8 and Nd7-c5-d7! 

What on earth was happening there? Well, one could argue that this was all about prophylaxis. Black's whole setup is based on putting his d-knight on c5 and fix White's queenside with a5-a4, while White is trying to prevent that, either by using the pin over the a-file or by threatening b2-b4.

According to Tomashevsky, “it's very difficult to improve the position for both sides.”

Grischuk and Tomashevsky discussing their game. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Spending 51 minutes on 14...Ndc5 was asking for trouble. Time trouble, that is. Grischuk is known for playing at a high level with little time on the clock, but today he couldn't hold his position together. 

Tomashevsky leads after three rounds in Tbilisi. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

GM Dmitry Andreikin wasn't 100 percent sharp today against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. As early as move 10 he missed an important tactic, and because of that he made a positional concession (“my first blunder”). Black was fine out of the opening.

Andreikin did OK after that, but a mistake on move 25 got him into serious trouble. Mamedyarov was calculating well today and had no trouble converting a position with an extra pawn.

A good game for Mamedyarov. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

The third winner (or rather the first) was GM Dmitry Jakovenko, who easily refuted over-ambitious play from GM Baadur Jobava. In a typical Isolated Queen's Pawn position, the Georgian GM pushed his h-pawn and directed some pieces to the kingside, but losing his d-pawn turned out to be more important.

A quick loss, but a fun post-mortem! | Photo Maria Emelianova.

One game finished even quicker, though. GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov followed his former boss Vishy Anand by playing 5.Bd2 against GM Anish Giri's Grünfeld, but the Dutchman was well prepared for it. As early as move 16, Kasimdzhanov decided to go for a line that ended in a repetition of moves.

Not much to discuss at the press conference! | Photo Maria Emelianova.

As GM Genna Sosonko remarked at breakfast in Zurich, “his” openings -- the Catalan and the Ragozin -- are all the rage these days. The latter was seen in GM Peter Svidler vs GM Teimour Radjabov, who followed Ivanchuk-Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee 2015 for a while.

This game lasted longer (Svidler basically avoided Ivanchuk's line that immediately leads to a draw), but Radjabov proved that Black is extremely solid.

The handshake before the game. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Another opening that will always remain popular, because of the harmony in Black's setup, is the Breyer Ruy Lopez. 

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Leinier Dominguez followed an old game Tal-Portisch for 21 moves. Interestingly, Tal might have seen the tactics that appeared in this game and that's perhaps why the ex-world champion prepared f2-f4 back in 1976!

Dominguez playing the Breyer Ruy Lopez. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

2015 Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix | Round 3 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Tomashevsky,E 2716 3025 2.5/3
2 Giri,A 2797 2860 2.0/3 2.25
3 Jakovenko,D 2733 2836 2.0/3 2.25
4 Mamedyarov,S 2759 2859 2.0/3 2.00
5 Kasimdzhanov,R 2705 2788 1.5/3 3.00
6 Grischuk,A 2810 2720 1.5/3 2.00
7 Dominguez Perez,L 2726 2748 1.5/3 1.75
8 Radjabov,T 2731 2721 1.5/3 1.50
9 Vachier Lagrave,M 2775 2641 1.0/3 1.75
10 Andreikin,D 2737 2647 1.0/3 1.75
11 Svidler,P 2739 2631 1.0/3 1.50
12 Jobava,B 2696 2448 0.5/3

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

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