Alexander Grischuk wins match against Ding Liren

by Johannes Fischer
7/25/2016 – From 19th to 22nd July the Chinese number one Ding Liren, with a rating of 2778 currently number eight in the world, and Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk, with a rating of 2747 currently number 18 in the world, played a four-game match in Wenzhou, China. Grischuk won the first game from a worse position and Ding Liren did not manage to equalise the score in the following three games. Grischuk won the match 2.5-1.5.

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The first game that turned out to decide the match on first sight looks like a convincing win for Grischuk who seemed to punish the extravagant rook moves of his opponent with a pawn-sacrifice that gave him ample compensation which he finally turned into a better endgame which he could win. However, the engines tell a different story and think that Grischuk was rather lucky.


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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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Aighearach Aighearach 7/26/2016 04:45
I guess I'm just less impressed by the computers giving one side a +.5 when that player is up a pawn. Rather than just seeing +.5 and thinking white has a better position, I see that and think that white has some material, but has a worse "position" though black has insufficient compensation and white has the advantage. If white had a positional advantage, he'd be above +1 since he has the pawn. It doesn't make sense to think that the computer is saying white has a "clear" advantage; what is "clear" is that if you're only nursing half a point of advantage against a high level player, you should be heading for a draw. +.5 might be more than =, but it still predicts a result of =. It seems to be that the position was close to even, and then suddenly Grischuk had a winning advantage. The draws also had the computer saying one side or the other was +.5. All games have that, even though not all games have somebody actually having a usable advantage.
Chris38 Chris38 7/25/2016 11:26
Thanks for the article on this match Johannes! I was eagerly awaiting Grischuk back in action.