Aeroflot R2: Only four?!

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/29/2015 – Aeroflot is unique: what a slug-fest of the the World's best! Grandmaster against grandmaster at every corner, 2700s losing against underdogs... who are only a few points lower rated than they are! Mamedyarov was unable to keep his perfect score... he lost to Khairullin and is actually back at 50%! Four people remain with 2.0/2 and so far, it is none of the favorites...

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After a couple of years hiatus the Aeroflot Open is back!

The classic event has been more than just a massive super-strong series of opens, it has been the proving grounds for the players on the rise, a rich source of norms, and competition for all levels divided into three opens. It also has a richly doted blitz tournament at the end, free of entry for those registered in tournaments A and B.

Round Two

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg
1 Khairullin Ildar 2630 1 1 - 0 1 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2756
2 Dubov Daniil 2627 1 ½ - ½ 1 Rapport Richard 2709
3 Salgado Lopez Ivan 2627 1 ½ - ½ 1 Inarkiev Ernesto 2706
4 Korobov Anton 2694 1 ½ - ½ 1 Khalifman Alexander 2613
5 Sasikiran Krishnan 2682 1 1 - 0 1 Potkin Vladimir 2605
6 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2625 1 ½ - ½ 1 Fedoseev Vladimir 2674
7 Ponkratov Pavel 2613 1 1 - 0 1 Petrosian Tigran L. 2671
8 Bok Benjamin 2587 1 ½ - ½ 1 Kovalenko Igor 2661
9 Lu Shanglei 2570 1 ½ - ½ 1 Zvjaginsev Vadim 2658
10 Adhiban B. 2646 1 ½ - ½ 1 Svetushkin Dmitry 2592
11 Van Foreest Jorden 2493 1 1 - 0 1 Kobalia Mikhail 2632
12 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2714 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Grigoriants Sergey 2573
13 Vallejo Pons Francisco 2708 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Bogdanovich Stanislav 2581
14 Grachev Boris 2673 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Oparin Grigoriy 2562
15 Sjugirov Sanan 2669 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Stupak Kirill 2567
16 Mamedov Rauf 2658 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Wagner Dennis 2549
17 Motylev Alexander 2653 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Mozharov Mikhail 2555
18 Ankit R. Rajpara 2477 ½ 0 - 1 ½ Khismatullin Denis 2650
19 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2630 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Sanal Vahap 2487
20 Bukavshin Ivan 2618 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Al-Sayed Mohammed 2511
21 Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2438 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Tregubov Pavel V. 2617
22 Anton Guijarro David 2614 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Swayams Mishra 2440
23 Salem A.R. Saleh 2603 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Korobkov Piotr 2423
24 Ernst Sipke 2530 ½ ½ - ½ ½ Goganov Aleksey 2598
25 Shimanov Aleksandr 2594 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Vishnu Prasanna. V 2477
26 Antipov Mikhail Al. 2529 0 1 - 0 0 Matlakov Maxim 2693
27 Svane Rasmus 2509 0 0 - 1 0 Sethuraman S.P. 2623
28 Savchenko Boris 2581 0 0 - 1 0 Predke Alexandr 2530
29 Bluebaum Matthias 2576 0 1 - 0 0 Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan 2505
30 Jumabayev Rinat 2572 0 ½ - ½ 0 Batchuluun Tsegmed 2499
31 Kuderinov Kirill 2465 0 0 - 1 0 Esen Baris 2571
32 Tabatabaei M.Amin 2448 0 0 - 1 0 Yilmaz Mustafa 2570
33 Sandipan Chanda 2569 0 0 - 1 0 Idani Pouya 2496
34 Kotronias Vasilios 2565 0 ½ - ½ 0 Tran Tuan Minh 2455
35 Can Emre 2555 0 1 - 0 0 Asgarizadeh Ahmad 2412
36 Gabuzyan Hovhannes 2553 0 ½ - ½ 0 Abdumalik Zhansaya 2379

What a strong round! Almost no one survived without giving up at least a draw. Only in the Aeroflot Open can we see such results!

On the top board Ildar Khairullin massacred the top seed:

[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2015"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2015.03.28"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Khairullin, Ildar"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2630"] [BlackElo "2756"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2015.03.27"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Be2 c5 9. O-O b6 (9... Nc6 {is still the main line, but b6 is trending.}) 10. Bg5 Bb7 11. Qd3 Qc7 {an old line, to put it mildly but to be fair nothing is main line theory any more. The players are on their own in a typical Grunfeld position, the crown jewel of hypermodernism, the position that makes Reti smile from his grave: White has a big pawn center, Black counter-attacks with a double fianchetto.} 12. Rad1 (12. Qe3 $5) 12... e6 13. d5 $1 {The decision to push or not to push d5 is so complicated that it deserves its own book. Or ChessBase DVD. It is good in this case because it is difficult for Black to finish development without giving up the e7 square.} e5 $2 {This is an understandable decision in most cases, but that is when Black can blockade on d6. Since he is far away from this, e5 cannot be recommended.} 14. Qe3 Nd7 15. Be7 Rfe8 16. d6 Qc6 17. Bc4 {Of course. The weaknesses of the d5 square and the f7 pawn cannot be underestimated.} b5 (17... Qxe4 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Ng5+ {is unplayable.}) 18. Bd5 Qc8 19. h4 $5 {Weakening the kingside.} (19. Ng5 Bxd5 20. exd5 $5 {is not exactly the human solution, but the computer seems to think it is excellent because of} c4 21. Ne6 {but let's disregard this.}) 19... Bf6 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Rfe1 c4 23. Qg5 Re6 24. Nxe5 Nxe4 25. Qf4 f5 $2 {The decisive mistake. Normally in open tournaments grandmasters can play several decisive mistakes and they will go unpunished in round two, but Mamedyarov is playing Khairullin, not a fish by any stretch of the imagination.} (25... Nxd6 26. Ng4 Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 { is scary as Black's king is very weak.} Nf5 $8 28. Nf6+ Kh8 $1 29. Re5 $1 { with a very strong initiative, but Black isn't dead yet.}) 26. d7 $1 Rd8 27. Re3 $5 (27. g4 $1 {Was much stronger right away, but Re3 is also good.}) 27... Re7 28. f3 Nf6 29. Rd6 $1 {A killer move. Black has no good way of defending his knight.} Nd5 (29... Nxd7 30. Nxg6 $1 Rxe3 31. Qxe3 hxg6 {what else?} 32. Rxg6+ {and Black gets promptly mated.}) 30. Qg5 Rdxd7 31. Nxd7 (31. Nxd7 Rxd7 32. Rxg6+ $1 hxg6 33. Qxg6+ {with mate next move. What a demolition!}) 1-0

Sasikirian was able to beat yesterday's featured game hero, Potkin, with a brilliant game of his own. His pawn sacrifices on the queenside were perfectly timed to rip apart the position and allow deadly penetration. In a complex endgame the Indian player fabulously outplayed his opponent and won. A nice comeback so far from his poor play in the India-China summit.

Two underdogs were also able to take the full point, Ponkratov beating Petrosian and Van Foreest, who is not yet a GM, edging Kobalia.

An impressive series of GMs, but these are not the top boards

Paco Vallejo, Spain's #1 but living in Moscow. A local, if you will.

Potkin was yesterday's hero, but today he fell hard against Sasikirian

Man of the hour: Khairullin beat Mamedyarov

If you wonder how grandmasters think, its like this.

Glek vs. Danielian is a Group B game in an open. Wrap your head around that.

Round Two Standings

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 8 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2682 2.0
  30 GM Ponkratov Pavel RUS 2613 2.0
  61 IM Van Foreest Jorden NED 2493 2.0
  21 GM Khairullin Ildar RUS 2630 2.0
5 2 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2714 1.5
  3 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2709 1.5
  5 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2706 1.5
  6 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2694 1.5
  9 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2674 1.5
  10 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2673 1.5
  13 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2661 1.5
  14 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2658 1.5
  15 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2658 1.5
  16 GM Motylev Alexander RUS 2653 1.5
  17 GM Khismatullin Denis RUS 2650 1.5
  18 GM Adhiban B. IND 2646 1.5
  22 GM Dubov Daniil RUS 2627 1.5
  24 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2625 1.5
  26 GM Bukavshin Ivan RUS 2618 1.5
  29 GM Khalifman Alexander RUS 2613 1.5
  32 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2603 1.5
  34 GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2594 1.5
  35 GM Svetushkin Dmitry MDA 2592 1.5
  36 GM Bok Benjamin NED 2587 1.5
  43 GM Lu Shanglei CHN 2570 1.5
  69 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina RUS 2438 1.5
  23 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2627 1.5

Round Three Pairings

Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg
1 Ponkratov Pavel 2613 2   2 Sasikiran Krishnan 2682
2 Van Foreest Jorden 2493 2   2 Khairullin Ildar 2630
3 Adhiban B. 2646   Nepomniachtchi Ian 2714
4 Rapport Richard 2709   Salgado Lopez Ivan 2627
5 Inarkiev Ernesto 2706   Dubov Daniil 2627
6 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2625   Korobov Anton 2694
7 Fedoseev Vladimir 2674   Bukavshin Ivan 2618
8 Khalifman Alexander 2613   Grachev Boris 2673
9 Kovalenko Igor 2661   Salem A.R. Saleh 2603
10 Shimanov Aleksandr 2594   Mamedov Rauf 2658
11 Zvjaginsev Vadim 2658   Bok Benjamin 2587
12 Svetushkin Dmitry 2592   Motylev Alexander 2653
13 Khismatullin Denis 2650   Lu Shanglei 2570
14 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2756 1   Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2438
15 Esen Baris 2571 1   1 Vallejo Pons Francisco 2708
16 Petrosian Tigran L. 2671 1   1 Bluebaum Matthias 2576
17 Yilmaz Mustafa 2570 1   1 Sjugirov Sanan 2669
18 Kobalia Mikhail 2632 1   1 Stupak Kirill 2567
19 Predke Alexandr 2530 1   1 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2630
20 Sethuraman S.P. 2623 1   1 Can Emre 2555
21 Idani Pouya 2496 1   1 Anton Guijarro David 2614
22 Potkin Vladimir 2605 1   1 Ernst Sipke 2530
23 Goganov Aleksey 2598 1   1 Antipov Mikhail Al. 2529
24 Bogdanovich Stanislav 2581 1   1 Sanal Vahap 2487
25 Swayams Mishra 2440 1   ½ Tregubov Pavel V. 2617
26 Grigoriants Sergey 2573 ½   ½ Al-Sayed Mohammed 2511
27 Vishnu Prasanna. V 2477 ½   ½ Jumabayev Rinat 2572
28 Batchuluun Tsegmed 2499 ½   ½ Kotronias Vasilios 2565
29 Oparin Grigoriy 2562 ½   ½ Ankit R. Rajpara 2477
30 Mozharov Mikhail 2555 ½   ½ Tran Tuan Minh 2455
31 Korobkov Piotr 2423 ½   ½ Gabuzyan Hovhannes 2553
32 Wagner Dennis 2549 ½   ½ Abdumalik Zhansaya 2379
33 Matlakov Maxim 2693 0   0 Kuderinov Kirill 2465
34 Gundavaa Bayarsaikhan 2505 0   0 Savchenko Boris 2581
35 Tabatabaei M.Amin 2448 0   0 Sandipan Chanda 2569
36 Asgarizadeh Ahmad 2412 0   0 Svane Rasmus 2509

Only four remain with 2.0/2, and the games will be epic. The big question of the day: will Van Foreest, a lowly IM, be able to top Aeroflot with a perfect 3.0/3? Stay tuned and find out!

Photos Boris Dolmatovski

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Topics Aeroflot, Russia

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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