Khanty Rd9: Clearer and Clearer

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/24/2015 – Despite Tomashevsky's victory over Svidler, it looks as the noose is tightening and that Nakamura and Caruana are by far the favorites to qualify into the Candidates. They continue to lead the Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix, together with Domingnuez, as all three of them drew their game. The only other decisive result was Giri's easy victory over the ever eccentric Jobava.

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The fourth and final stage of the 2014-2015 Grand Prix Series. This tournament is specially important as it will determine the winner and runner up of this year, both of which will automatically qualify for the 2015 Candidates Tournament - the winner of that will challenge Magnus Carlsen to the World Championship Match! The tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Ugra, Russia from May 13 to May 27.

Round Nine

Round 09 – May 24 2015, 15:00h
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Svidler, Peter 2734
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749

Jakovenko, Dmitry ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
A wild game. Gelfand very mistakenly avoided a repetition early in the game, landing in a completely hopeless position. Jakovenko had his choices on how to continue, and settled for getting four pawns for a piece and a crushing attack. The final part of the game, however, was handled poorly:

Gelfand was in the same situation as Jakovenko...

They needed to win to keep some realistic chances of making the Candidates. Now it looks very difficult.

[Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.24"] [Round "9"] [White "Jakovenko, D."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2744"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3q2kr/3n2p1/8/3PnQ1p/2R5/6PP/PP3PB1/6K1 w - - 0 36"] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2015.05.13"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 36. d6 Rh6 37. Re4 (37. Bd5+ Kh8 38. Ra4 $1 {Threatening Ra8 winning the queen. } Nb6 $8 (38... Rf6 39. Qxh5+ Rh6 40. Qf5 {and now Rf6 is not available due to Rh4.}) 39. Re4 $1 Nxd5 (39... Nbd7 40. Rxe5 Nxe5 41. Qxe5 {with a dominating position, and extra material to boot.}) 40. Rxe5 Nf6 {is too many pawns, and Black's position is bad.} 41. Qd3 $1 $18) 37... h4 38. Rxh4 Rxh4 39. gxh4 Qxh4 40. Bd5+ Kh8 41. Kh1 Qh6 42. f4 g6 43. Qe6 Qf8 $1 {an important resource, for now not losing immediately.} 44. Bb3 $2 (44. fxe5 Qf1+ 45. Kh2 Qf2+ 46. Bg2 Qf4+ $11) (44. h4 $1 {preventing Black's next move.}) 44... g5 $1 45. f5 Nd3 $4 {a miscalculation.} (45... Kg7 $14) 46. Qxd7 Qa8+ 47. Kg1 Nf4 48. Kf2 {there is no perpetual here.} g4 49. hxg4 $4 (49. Kg3 $1 gxh3 50. Qe7 $1 {and Black soon runs out of checks.}) 49... Qg2+ 50. Ke3 Nd5+ $1 {now it is a perpetual.} 51. Kd4 (51. Bxd5 Qd2+ {with a stalemate trick.}) 51... Qf2+ {The knight cannot be taken because of stalemate tricks, but Black isn't giving him a choice.} 52. Kxd5 Qd4+ 53. Kxd4 1/2-1/2

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
One of those variations in which White wants to torture Black forever with a minimal edge. And yet, the contrary happened. Somehow Karjakin misplayed the position and reached a dead drawn endgame... until he put his bishop on b4, allowed Caruana to push his a-pawn with tempo and suddenly things were not so easy.

Karjakin and Caruana played for many, many hours

At the end Karjakin salvaged the game, but it was after many hours of being ground down, and he was very close to losing if he didn't find the exact moves in the late bishop endgame.

Getting ready for a long day at the office

Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ Grischuk, Alexander
The Grunfeld rears its ugly head yet again, this time with another side variation: the 7.Qa4+ line. Nakamura obtained very little from the opening, Grischuk played a solid game and after many trades all over the board the game was agreed drawn.

There is no reason for Nakamura to risk much in the next two games

Giri, Anish 1-0 Jobava, Baadur
Not the hardest game for Giri:

[Event "KM FIDE GP 2015"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2015.05.24"] [Round "9"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Jobava, Ba"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C10"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2699"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2015.05.13"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. e5 {Jobava had already used this Nc6 line previously in the tournament, though it is definitely not main stream theory.} Bd7 5. Nf3 a6 6. a3 {somehow it feels that the insertion of both prophylactic moves, a3 and a6, favors White.} f6 7. Bd3 fxe5 8. dxe5 Bc5 9. O-O Nge7 10. Ne2 O-O 11. Nf4 {This is all very standard: the White knight goes to f4 where it pressures e6 and prevents exchange sacrifices on f3.} h6 $6 {Weakening the light squares around the king seems very counterintuitive. Jobava might have been worried about potential sacrifices on h7.} (11... Nf5 $1 $13 12. g4 $2 { Doesn't work since the knight does not have to return to e7.} Nh4 $17) 12. c4 { A normal break: here Black never has the option of taking on c4, since it would expose the e6 pawn too much.} Nd4 $1 {An important resource. This eliminates some key pieces for White and activates the bishop.} 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 14. cxd5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Bc2 {White's position is slightly preferable: the weaknesses on the light squares will soon start to be felt.} c5 17. Be3 Qb6 $1 (17... Bxe3 18. Qxd5+ Kh8 19. fxe3 {is unplayable for Black.}) 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Qd3 Rf5 $2 {This move, however, is just bizarre. Why not use the bishop?} ( 19... Bf5 20. Qb3 Qxb3 21. Bxb3 Rad8 {and White has an edge, but it's hard to convert. Black's pawn that is coming to d3 is annoying and ties up White's pieces. Black has very good hopes of drawing.}) 20. f4 {Now Jobava's pieces just look awkward.} Bb5 21. Qxf5 d3+ {Trickery, but it is insufficient.} 22. Rf2 Rf8 23. Bxd3 $1 (23. Qh3 $2 dxc2 {is not nearly as clear. Black has some threats in this position as compensation for his missing exchange.}) 23... Rxf5 24. Bxf5 Qe3 $2 {Blundering a pawn in a difficult situation.} 25. Be6+ {Now the material difference is too much when Giri grabs on d5. He will eventually managed to consolidate his rooks and make progress. Still, perhaps it's a bit early to resign.} 1-0

A much needed easy win for Giri

Dominguez, Leinier ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
A heavily theoretical Najdorf in which Dominguez was the first to deviate from previously played games. The computers claim that he has a very small advantage in the final position, which finished with a three-fold repetition, but that seems difficult to believe, not to mention it is a very complicated variation. The Cuban went for the safe route and forced the draw.

A solid draw in a sharp variation

Svidler, Peter 0-1 Tomashevsky, Evgeny
A hard game to understand. Svidler's actions on the kingside never amounted to anything, and Tomashevsky precisely countered the attack while maintaining pressure of his own on the queenside. Black was able to win a pawn, which he cashed in for a strong attack on the queenside and pressure on the second rank. After some mistakes in time pressure Svidler's position was decimated, and he resigned in a hopeless endgame of queen and three pawns vs. two rooks and pawn.

If Tomashevsky finishes strong with his next two games and Nakamura doesn't, he might still qualify!

Standings

Current Grand Prix Standings:

Caruana - 370

Nakamura - 347

Tomashevsky - 287

Gelfand - 250

Jakovenko - 250

Round Nine Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos from the official website by Kirill Merkurev

Schedule

Round 01 – May 14 2015, 15:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jobava, Baadur 2699
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Round 02 – May 15 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Round 03 – May 16 2015, 15:00h
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
0-1
Svidler, Peter 2734
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Round 04 – May 17 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Round 05 – May 19 2015, 15:00h
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Round 06 – May 20 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Svidler, Peter 2734
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Round 07 – May 21 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734
Round 08 – May 22 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Jobava, Baadur 2699
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
1-0
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
0-1
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Round 09 – May 24 2015, 15:00h
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Svidler, Peter 2734
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Round 10 – May 25 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754   Svidler, Peter 2734
Jobava, Baadur 2699   Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Grischuk, Alexander 2780   Giri, Anish 2776
Caruana, Fabiano 2803   Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738   Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Round 11 – May 26 2015, 15:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2753   Gelfand, Boris 2744
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Giri, Anish 2776   Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Dominguez, Leinier 2734   Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Svidler, Peter 2734   Jobava, Baadur 2699
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Grand Prix, Khanty

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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The_Tenant The_Tenant 5/26/2015 04:39
@alekhina
I should clarify that while I had Fritz 5.32 running on its default settings, I had Komodo 9 running on modified settings (selectivity= 10, reduction= -200), which broadened its search but reduced its search depth.


@GrayDuck
It looks like Nakamura is too far ahead for Tomashevsky to catch up. And I think there's only one round left to go.
GrayDuck GrayDuck 5/25/2015 06:44
Does anyone know whether Tomashevsky can catch up to Nakamura in the Grand Prix standings?
The_Tenant The_Tenant 5/25/2015 11:22
@alekhina

Depends who you're playing the position against!

Let's try Komodo 9 as black and Fritz 5.32 as white!


[Event "Blitz 3m+1s"]
[Site "Origin PC"]
[Date "2015.05.25"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Fritz 5.32 w32 1-cpu"]
[Black "Komodo 9 64-bit 1-cpu"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[BlackElo "3400"]
[ECO "C10"]
[Opening "French"]
[WhiteElo "2750"]
[TimeControl "180+1"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. e5 Bd7 5. Nf3 a6 6. a3 f6 7. Bd3 fxe5 8.
dxe5 Bc5 9. O-O Nge7 10. Ne2 O-O 11. Nf4 h6 12. c4 Nd4 13. Nxd4 Bxd4 14.
cxd5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Bc2 c5 17. Be3 Qb6 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Qd3 Rf5
20. f4 Bb5 21. Qxf5 d3+ 22. Rf2 Rf8 23. Bxd3 Rxf5 24. Bxf5 Qe3 25. Be6+ Kf8
26. Bxd5 b6 27. g3 Ke7 28. Bb7 g5 29. Rd1 gxf4 30. gxf4 Bd3 31. Bf3 Bb5 32.
Be2 Bc6 33. f5 Qxe5 34. f6+ Kf8 35. Rd8+ Be8 36. Ra8 Qe4 37. Bf3 Qb1+ 38.
Rf1 Qg6+ 39. Bg2 Kf7 40. Rxa6 Bb5 41. Ra7+ Kf8 42. Rg7 Qc2 43. b4 Qd2 44.
Rf5 Qe3+ 45. Rf2 Qxa3 46. Bd5 Qc1+ 47. Kg2 Bf1+ 48. Rxf1 Qd2+ 49. Kg3 Qxd5
50. Rg4 Qd6+ 51. Rgf4 Kf7 52. Re1 Qd3+ 53. Kh4 Qd2 54. Re7+ Kf8 55. Kg4
Qxh2 56. Rfe4 Qd2 57. Kf5 Qd5+ 58. R7e5 Qd7+ 59. Kg6 Qf7+ 60. Kxh6 Qxf6+
61. Kh5 Kf7 62. Kg4 Qg6+ 63. Kf3 Qc6 64. b5 Qd6 65. Ke2 Kf6 66. Rh5 Qg3 67.
Reh4 Qg2+ 68. Kd3 Qf3+ 69. Kc4 Qe2+ 70. Kd5 Qxb5+ 1/2-1/2

And there you have it. Jobava could have possibly drawn against Giri... But only if he played like a god!
alekhina alekhina 5/25/2015 02:27
The material difference in Giri -Jovava game is "too much" according to the author..But I think the material difference is not "too much".
1