Unive Chess: Giri, Jobava Win Matches; Mikhalevski Tops Open

Unive Chess: Giri, Jobava Win Matches; Mikhalevski Tops Open

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

At the Univé Chess festival in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands, Anish Giri and Baadur Jobava won their matches against Alexei Shirov and Jan Timman respectively. In both cases the final score was 4.5-1.5.

Victor Mikhalevski emerged as the winner of the open tournament, finishing on 7.0/9. In the final standings, the Israeli grandmaster is half a point ahead of Alexander Beliavsky (Slovenia), Andrey Vovk (Ukraine), Michael Roiz (Israel) and Jiri Stocek (Czech Republic).


“Anish's preparation was clearly superior to mine and nowaways different preparation also means different class. He was clearly better in all the parts of the game,” were nice words from Alexei Shirov towards his 22-year-younger opponent.

Alexei Shirov: “He was clearly better in all the parts of the game”

The difference could be seen especially in game six (see below), but Anish Giri himself was modest: “I was very lucky throughout in the opening. I was getting what I was hoping for with both colors. I can now say that I did everything great and stuff but we all know that it could have gone differently at any moment.”

Anish Giri came well prepared.

Let's pick up the match where we left it: at halftime, when Giri was leading 2.5-0.5. After a rest day on Wednesday, play resumed in the Hoogeveen town hall, and at the end of the day Shirov was in a much better mood than before. He had found a very nice defense in a position that was about to become really difficult.

In the fifth game, Shirov didn't get much out of the opening and then went for a known line that quickly led to a repetition of moves. This was highly uncharacteristic of the great fighter from Riga, and Shirov immediately apologized to tournament director Loek van Wely!

He finished the match with what was the most spectacular game, and arguably his toughtest loss. In a Sicilian Sveshnikov, Shirov was outprepared by Giri, who suspected that five years ago computers weren't strong enough to find the winning line. The Dutch GM mostly had to rely on his memory to win his third game.

Baadur Jobava was leading 2-1 at halftime in his match with Jan Timman, and ended up winning his match with the same score as Giri. After an interesting draw in game four, Timman said: “Against Portisch in 1989 I was behind too, and I won the last two games. That would be a little too much to ask now, but if I can draw even I will be satisfied.”

Timman seemed to be going all or nothing in game five, and it was nothing:

Jan Timman.

And in the last game, Timman didn't respond well to Jobava's creative play. Right after the opening Black's moves weren't getting him anywhere, and a positional exchange sacrifice gave White a big advantage.

Both Anish Giri and Baadur Jobava traveled directly from Hoogeveen to Tashkent, where they will be participating in the second FIDE Grand Prix — the first for both. Giri already knew that, but Jobava only found out during the Univé tournament that he suddenly has three top tournaments to look forward to!

Because FIDE changed the venue of the third tournament from Tehran to Tbilisi, Jobava took Iran's GM Ghaem Maghami's place.

Giri-Shirov (Univé Match) 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Pts
1 Giri,Anish 2768 2881 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/6
2 Shirov,Alexei 2691 2578 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1.5/6


Jobava-Timman (Univé Match) 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Pts
1 Jobava,Baadur 2721 2970 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 4.5/6
2 Timman,Jan 2597 2489 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1.5/6


After six rounds, Victor Mikhalevski (Israel) and Andrey Vovk (Ukraine) were tied for first place with 5 points. Among the GMs on 4.5 were veterans Alexander Beliavsky and Oleg Romanishin — you can find interviews with both on the official website and on our YouTube channel.

Despite two quick draws in rounds seven and eight, it was Mikhalevsky who finished clear first.

In the final round, he beat Anish Giri's girlfriend Sopiko Guramishvili, while co-leaders Beliavsky, Vovk and Roiz drew their games.

Both Vovk and Beliavsky had chances to join Mikhalevski on the podium, but their tense endgame eventually ended undecided:

Victor Mikhalevski receives his prize from tournament director Loek van Wely.

Univé Chess | Open section, Final Standings (Top 20)

Rank Name Score Fed. Rating TPR W-We BH
1 GM Mikhalevski, Victor 7.0 ISR 2550 2674 +1.52 50.5
2 GM Beliavsky, Alexander G 6.5 SLO 2618 2646 +0.53 53.5
3 GM Vovk, Andrey 6.5 UKR 2637 2631 +0.12 51.5
4 GM Roiz, Michael 6.5 ISR 2585 2624 +0.65 50.5
5 GM Stocek, Jiri 6.5 CZE 2551 2539 +0.25 45.5
6 GM Hansen, Eric 6.0 CAN 2574 2577 +0.21 53.0
7 GM Heberla, Bartlomiej 6.0 POL 2567 2528 -0.21 48.5
8 GM Romanishin, Oleg M 6.0 UKR 2490 2508 +0.41 48.5
9 GM Kasparov, Sergey 6.0 BLR 2484 2388 -0.68 43.0
10 IM Gonzalez De La Torre, Sant 6.0 ESP 2440 2386 -0.51 40.0
11 Van Osch, Mees 5.5 NED 2188 2469 +3.10 45.5
12 IM Hambleton, Aman 5.5 CAN 2456 2479 +0.40 48.5
13 GM Ernst, Sipke 5.5 NED 2555 2443 -1.00 49.5
14 IM Guramishvili, Sopiko 5.5 GEO 2381 2432 +0.68 46.5
15 WIM Raghavi, Nagarajan 5.5 IND 2253 2387 +1.56 42.0
16 IM Ris, Robert 5.5 NED 2427 2375 -0.35 47.0
17 GM Malaniuk, Vladimir P 5.5 UKR 2495 2355 -1.39 46.0
18 IM Franco Alonso, Alejandro 5.5 ESP 2454 2316 -1.34 40.5
19 De Ruiter, Danny 5.0 NED 2235 2372 +1.62 44.5
20 Pranav Vijay 5.0 IND 2197 2371 +1.92 43.5

Thanks to Peter Boel who wrote the daily reports for the official website.

More from PeterDoggers
Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi, Svidler Lead As Levitov Chess Week Becomes Two-horse Race

Nepomniachtchi, Svidler Lead As Levitov Chess Week Becomes Two-horse Race