Elista R7: Grischuk, Inarkiev, Eljanov win, Grischuk now leads

12/22/2008 – Alexander Grischuk won his second consecutive game today, with a well-played Benko/Volga Gambit as black against Evgeny Alekseev. Teimour Radjabov spoilt a perfectly good position against Ernesto Inarkiev, losing for the first time in this event. Pavel Eljanov played a 125-mover to grind out a win against Ivan Cheparinov in a queen ending. Report with an interview with Teimour Radjabov.

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FIDE Grand Prix in Elista 2008

The Third FIDE Grand Prix tournament is taking place in Elista from December 13 to 29, 2008. Despite the recent withdrawals (Carlsen, Adams) and the absence of players like Anand, Kramnik and Topalov the tournament is very strong (category 19). The venue, originally due to be Doha, is now "City Chess" in Elista, Kalmykia.

Results

Round 7: Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peter Leko
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Dmitry Jakovenko
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Ernesto Inarkiev
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Vugar Gashimov
½-½
Etienne Bacrot
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Ivan Cheparinov
Evgeny Alekseev
0-1
Alexander Grischuk
Wang Yue
½-½
Vladimir Akopian


Ernesto Inarkiev, who managed to take a point from the tournament leader...


... Teimour Radjabov, who blundered away a promising position at the time control

Inarkiev,E (2669) - Radjabov,T (2751) [B76]
FIDE Grand Prix Elista RUS (7), 21.12.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.Bc5 Rfd8 16.h4 h6 17.h5 f5 18.Nf2 Nf4 19.Bxe6+ Nxe6 20.Bb4 g5 21.Bc3 Rxd1+ 22.Nxd1 Nf4 23.Ne3 Qf7 24.Kb1 Nd5 25.Nc4 Rb8 26.Bd2 Qe7 27.c3 e4 28.fxe4 fxe4 29.Qg3 Rd8 30.Qg4 e3 31.Bc1 e2 32.Re1 Nf4 33.Ne3 Qe4+ 34.Ka1 Re8 35.Qd7 Re7 36.Qd2 Nd3 37.Rxe2 Nxc1 38.Qxc1 Be5 39.Qe1

One move before the time control Radjabov, who is doing very well with the black pieces, manages to spoil the game: 39...Qd3? [39...Bd6! was required] 40.Rd2 Bxc3. Cute tactics, but Black has lost the initiative. 41.Rxd3 Bxe1 42.Nf5 Re2 43.Re3 Rxe3 44.Nxe3 Bb4. Now the position is more or less equal, the result should be a draw. 45.Kb1 Kf7 46.Kc2 Bf8 47.Kd3 Kf6 48.Ke4 g4?! This simply loses a pawn in the long run. 49.Nxg4+ Kg5 50.Ne5 c5 51.b3 Bg7 52.Nc6 Kxh5 53.Nxa7 Kg4

Black will lose the following pawn race. 54.a4 Kg3 55.a5 h5 56.a6 h4 57.Nb5 Kxg2 58.a7 h3 59.a8Q h2 60.Qa2+ Kg1 61.Qb1+ Kg2 62.Qc2+

Black gave up. The game could continue 62...Kg3 63.Qc1 Kg2 64.Qg5+ Kh3 65.Qf5+ Kg2 66.Qf3+ Kg1 67.Ke3 Bd4+ (67...h1Q 68.Qf2#) 68.Nxd4 cxd4+ 69.Ke2 d3+ 70.Ke3. 1-0.


Yes, we're looking at you! A critical game in round five.

Eljanov,P (2720) - Cheparinov,I (2696) [D12]
FIDE Grand Prix Elista RUS (7), 21.12.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Nxg6 hxg6 8.Bd2 Nbd7 9.Rc1 a6 10.b3 Bb4 11.g3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Ne4 13.Bg2 Nxc3 14.Rxc3 Qe7 15.h4 g5 16.hxg5 Rxh1+ 17.Bxh1 Qxg5 18.Qc1 Nf6? (missing the following combination) 19.cxd5 cxd5 20.Rc8+ Rxc8 21.Qxc8+ Ke7 22.Qxb7+ Ke8 23.Qc8+ Ke7 24.Qb7+ Ke8 25.Qc8+ Ke7 26.Qxa6

White is two (distant passed) pawns up and should have no difficulty winning. Cheparinov finds an interesting plan: sacrifice the knight for three pawns and challenge the opponent to win. Qf5 27.Qa3+ Ke8 28.Qb2 Ng4 29.Bg2 Nxf2 30.Qxf2 Qb1+ 31.Ke2 Qxa2+ 32.Kf3 Qxb3. Now White has almost a hundred moves of work ahead of him. 33.Bf1 Qb1 34.Kg2 Kf8 35.Qe2 Qc1 36.Kf2 Qb1 37.Qd3 Qb2+ 38.Be2 g6 39.Kg1 Kg7 40.Bd1 Qb4 41.Kg2 Qe7 42.Qe2 Qg5 43.Bc2 Qd8 44.Qf2 Qc7 45.g4 Kg8 46.Qe2 Kg7 47.Bd3 Qc3 48.Qc2 Qa3 49.Qd2 Qb3 50.Bc2 Qa3 51.Qf2 Qc3 52.g5 Kg8 53.Bd1 Qd3 54.Bg4 Qc3 55.Kg3 Qc1 56.Be2 Qc3 57.Kf3 Qc2 58.Qh4 Qb1 59.Kf2 Qb2 60.Qh2 Qc2 61.Qh3 Kg7 62.Qf3 Kg8 63.Kg3 Qb1 64.Qf1 Qe4 65.Qf2 Qb1 66.Bf1 Qb8+ 67.Kg2 Qb1 68.Kh3 Qd1 69.Qe2 Qb1 70.Qf3 Qb3 71.Ba6 Qb1 72.Kg2 Qc2+ 73.Qf2 Qb1 74.Kg3 Qb8+ 75.Qf4 Qb1 76.Qf1 Qb8+ 77.Kh3 Qb3 78.Bd3 Qc3 79.Qe2 Kg7 80.Kg4 Qc1 81.Bc2 Qb2 82.Qd1 Qc3 83.Bd3 Qb2 84.Qc2 Qa3 85.Qb1 Qc3 86.Kf3 Qc7 87.Qc2 Qb8 88.Kg4 Kh7 89.Kh3 Kg7 90.Qf2 Kg8 91.Kg4 Qa8 92.Qc2 Qa1? Better was 92...Qa3, indirectly attacking the e-pawns and not allowing the following tactical shot.

After sixty moves of relatively fruitless maneuvering White gets an opportunity for a breakthrough: 93.Bxg6 Qg1+ 94.Kf4 Qf1+ 95.Ke5 Qh3 96.Kf6 Qh8+ 97.Ke7 Kg7 98.Bd3 Qb8 99.Qc6 Qa7+ 100.Kd8 Qb8+ 101.Kd7 Qa7+ 102.Qc7 Qa4+ 103.Qc6 Qa7+ 104.Kc8 Qa3 105.Qc2 Qa8+ 106.Kc7 Qa5+ 107.Kb7 Qe1 108.Qe2 Qb4+ 109.Ka6 Qa4+ 110.Kb6 Qb4+ 111.Bb5 Kg6 112.Qd3+ Kxg5 113.Kc6 Kf6 114.e4 dxe4 115.Qxe4 Qc3+ 116.Kd7 Qg3 117.Be2 Kg5 118.Ke8 Qf4 119.Qd3 Kf6?

Black has been hanging on for dear life, but the last move gives it all up. 120.Qf3 Kg5 121.Qh5+ Kf6 122.Qxf7+ Kg5 123.Qe7+ (naturally not 123.Wxf4+ Kxf4 and the last white pawn is lost) 123...Kf5 124.Bd3+ Kg4 125.Qxe6+ and White will force a queen exchange on his next move while keeping his final pawn safe for promotion. 1-0.


Now leading (with Gashimov): GM Alexander Grischuk of Russia

Alexander Grischuk beat Evgeny Alekseev in a pretty Benko/Volga Gambit game that fans of this opening should study. With his victory Grischuk jumped to the top of the table, sharing 4.5/7 and first place with Vugar Gashimov.

Standings after seven rounds


The tournament in Elista is battle-like enough

Interview with GM Teimour Radzhabov

21-year old GM Teimur Radjabov from Azerbaidzhan has the highest rating among the Third FIDE Grand Prix tournament. In the first part of the Elista tournament he spurted into the sole lead, then shared the lead with countryman Vugar Gashimov. In the two previous tournament of the FIDE Grand Prix series Radzhabov showed different results: in his native Baku he performed unsuccessfully, but in Sochi he took the second place, following the Armenian GM Levon Aronian. After the sixth round of this tournament (in which Radjabov had drawns Dmitry Jakovenko with white) the tournament leader answered our questions.

Teimour, was it difficult to concentrate on the game after the day off? Some games have already ended in a draw after a short struggle, including your own.

The tournament which is being held in Elista is of a very high level, and the entry list of the participants is strong enough. Accordingly, at the similar competitions there are games when contenders try not to risk making serious mistakes. Therefore many games end in a draw. It happens practically in all strong tournaments, for example in Wijk aan Zee, where I regularly play. There will be nothing terrible if, in Elista, in one of the rounds all seven games end in draws.

In principle the tournament is battle-like enough in itself. The rule contributes to the fighting spirit of the tournament, because the participant cannot be offered a draw. Therefore, many games are playing to the end, and the draw is fixed only at triple repetition of the position, or in theoretically drawn position. It often happens with such a rule that in the middlegame, where in other competitions the opponents agree to a draw, in these ones mistakes may occur.

Apart from you, Teimour, there are two players from Baku who are here – Vugar Gashimov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Together with Mamedyarov you often participate in the elite tournaments, and Vugar took the first place in Baku tournament of the FIDE Grand Prix series. You all play for the national team of Azerbaijan. Why did your team, which had such strong players, not achieve good results at the Olympiad, at least not as good as the national teams of Armenia or Ukraine?

We took the sixth place in the last Olympiad in Dresden, and I consider that our team did not play badly, although we had of course hoped for more. In principle we pretend to get into the top three. Unfortunately, we have an unhealthy atmosphere in the team. When someone loses or makes a serious mistake in the game, some small conflicts begin and the team spirit accordingly falls. So we really could have won the bronze medals. We won two matches in a row with a devastating score. All members of the team were in the quite good form.

What prevents your strong national team from sticking together? Perhaps, as they say, there are no team players or individualists among you?

In my opinion chess in general is not a team kind of sport. There are cases when a number of stars, the strongest chess players, are gathered in one team, and there is no unity. It occurs because there is a competition between the players at a high level. In particular, the Russian national team is used to face such problems, on multiple occasions. A long-term member of this team, Alexander Morozevich said in an interview that he had not felt a real team spirit already for twelve years. But basically the team spirit was present in our team, until a certain moment, when our trainers did not make the right decisions. We have no individualists in our national team. For example, when we participated in the Team Championship in Crete, there was a healthy atmosphere in the team, and all our players showed good results.


FIDE Grand Prix Elista 2008 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Sunday December 14, 2008

Etienne Bacrot
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Ivan Cheparinov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Leko
½-½
Vladimir Akopian
Dmitry Jakovenko
1-0
Wang Yue
Ernesto Inarkiev
½-½
Evgeny Alekseev
Vugar Gashimov
1-0
Pavel Eljanov

Round 2: Monday, December 15, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
Evgeny Alekseev
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Wang Yue
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Vladimir Akopian
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Peter Leko
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Etienne Bacrot
0-1
Teimour Radjabov

Round 3: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Etienne Bacrot
Peter Leko
1-0
Ivan Cheparinov
Dmitry Jakovenko
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Ernesto Inarkiev
½-½
Vladimir Akopian
Vugar Gashimov
½-½
Wang Yue
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Evgeny Alekseev

Round 4: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
0-1
Evgeny Alekseev
Wang Yue
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Vladimir Akopian
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Etienne Bacrot
1-0
Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov

Round 5: Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Dmitry Jakovenko
½-½
Etienne Bacrot
Ernesto Inarkiev
0-1
Ivan Cheparinov
Vugar Gashimov
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
Pavel Eljanov
½-½
Vladimir Akopian
Evgeny Alekseev
½-½
Wang Yue

Round 6: Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Wang Yue
Vladimir Akopian
0-1
Evgeny Alekseev
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½
Vugar Gashimov
Etienne Bacrot
½-½
Ernesto Inarkiev
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Dmitry Jakovenko
Shakh. Mamedyarov
½-½
Peter Leko

Round 7: Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peter Leko
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Dmitry Jakovenko
½-½
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Ernesto Inarkiev
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Vugar Gashimov
½-½
Etienne Bacrot
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Ivan Cheparinov
Evgeny Alekseev
0-1
Alexander Grischuk
Wang Yue
½-½
Vladimir Akopian

Round 8: Monday, December 22, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Alexander Grischuk
-
Wang Yue
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Etienne Bacrot
-
Pavel Eljanov
Teimour Radjabov
-
Vugar Gashimov
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
Peter Leko
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
GamesReport

Round 9: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Peter Leko
Vugar Gashimov
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Pavel Eljanov
-
Teimour Radjabov
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Etienne Bacrot
Wang Yue
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Vladimir Akopian
-
Alexander Grischuk
GamesReport

Round 10: Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Etienne Bacrot
-
Wang Yue
Teimour Radjabov
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Pavel Eljanov
Peter Leko
-
Vugar Gashimov
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
GamesReport

Round 11: Friday, December 26, 2008

Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Vugar Gashimov
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
Pavel Eljanov
-
Peter Leko
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Wang Yue
-
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Akopian
-
Etienne Bacrot
Alexander Grischuk
-
Ivan Cheparinov
GamesReport

Round 12: Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rustam Kasimdzhanov
-
Ivan Cheparinov
Etienne Bacrot
-
Alexander Grischuk
Teimour Radjabov
-
Vladimir Akopian
Shakh. Mamedyarov
-
Wang Yue
Peter Leko
-
Evgeny Alekseev
Dmitry Jakovenko
-
Pavel Eljanov
Ernesto Inarkiev
-
Vugar Gashimov
GamesReport

Round 13: Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vugar Gashimov
-
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Pavel Eljanov
-
Ernesto Inarkiev
Evgeny Alekseev
-
Dmitry Jakovenko
Wang Yue
-
Peter Leko
Vladimir Akopian
-
Shakh. Mamedyarov
Alexander Grischuk
-
Teimour Radjabov
Ivan Cheparinov
-
Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport
Monday, December 29, 2008
Departure

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