54th Reggio Emilia: Giri beats Nakamura to tie for lead

by ChessBase
1/5/2012 – The ninth and penultimate round was as dramatic as could be, and for all the right reasons as far as fans were concerned. Giri defied the pundit expectations by beating Nakamura with black, and is now tied for first with Nakamura and Moro. Caruana also won and it all comes down to the last round. In the women's event the final round will also decide. Report, games, and interview with Giri.

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The 54th Reggio Emilia is underway at Reggio Emilia, Italy, and runs from December 27, 2011 to January 6, 2012. The tournament is a six-player, double round-robin with ten rounds played at 50 moves for 100 minutes plus a 30-second increment per move. January 1st is a rest day. Games start at 3 PM Paris time (9 AM NY time).

54th Reggio Emilia

Round nine

Ivanchuk seemed quite recovered from the losing streak

After his draw with Morozevich, he joined the audience to watch the other games

The ninth and penultimate round was as dramatic as could be, and for all the right reasons as far as fans were concerned (as opposed to certain Chernobyl imitations yesterday). Morozevich and Ivanchuk were the first to finish, with a quiet draw, which would mean that if Nakamura drew he would keep his lead, right? Or he could beat Giri and re-establish his edge over the field. Or.... Or Giri might have plans of his own!

Anish Giri has risen from the ashes to tie for the lead

It was the one scenario few, if any, pundits actually predicted, and that was a win for the young Dutch player with black, against Nakamura who had had a superb tournament so far, with the exception of a speed bump in the previous round. It was a brilliant win through and through for Giri, as the timing of the victory could hardly be more precious: by beating the leader he crowned a remarkable comeback in the latter half of the tournament, and is now tied with both Nakamura and Morozevich for first, and it is anyone's guess who will take the title.

To make it even more tense, Caruana also won his game against Vitiugov, who has had a dreadful tournament so far, and is now a half point behind the leaders. He is due to play Giri in the last round, which gives him a mathematical chance for first, though only if he wins, and both Nakamura and Morozevich lose their respective games.

Caruana has also had a remarkable comeback, and is now on plus one

As none of the three leaders is scheduled to play each other, and all will be vying for their place in the sun, be sure that all games will be hard-fought and action-packed.

An interview with Anish Giri after the ninth round (courtesy of Martha Fierro)

In the women's event, the top spots are all up for grabs as well. Georgian WGM Sopiko Guramishvili leads entering the last round but meets Anna Sharevich in the last round who can snatch first should she lose. On the other hand, should Sharevich lose and Italian Marina Brunello win, then Brunello would take second over Sharevich.

Tournament director Roberto Mogranzini

Pictures by Martha Fierro

Men's standings after nine rounds

Men's standings after nine rounds (traditional scoring)

Women's standings after nine rounds


The games are being 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 and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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