Belgrade GP Final: A quiet draw

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/13/2022 – The first game of the Belgrade Grand Prix final ended drawn, with Dmitry Andreikin and Richard Rapport playing 37 moves out of a Petroff Defence before splitting the point. Andreikin had to deal with his family’s delayed flight the night prior to the game, which prevented him from taking proper rest. The Russian will have the black pieces in Sunday’s second game of the final. | Photos: Mark Livshitz

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An unexpected incident

Dmitry AndreikinKnown for openly opposing Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Andreikin had to deal with an unexpected incident before playing game 1 of the final at the FIDE Grand Prix in Belgrade. His family flew to Serbia’s capital from Moscow amid the European crisis, but they first had to return to Moscow and wait seven hours before finally making their way to their destination. Aviation24.be reported on flight JU652:

Shortly after take-off from Belgrade airport, the pilots entered a holding pattern and returned to Belgrade: an anonymous mail was sent to the airport authorities. The mail suggested that a bomb was placed on board the aircraft. The 209 passengers evacuated the aircraft and the A330 was inspected by anti-terrorist police units.

Seven hours later, the aircraft departed Moscow. Meanwhile, police officers are investigating the sender of the bomb threat.

Andreikin had the white pieces in Saturday’s game. Richard Rapport played the Petroff Defence and, given the circumstances, Andreikin chose a rather safe line in response. Although the game lasted 37 moves and the Russian spent over half an hour on one of his moves, it was apparent throughout that the game would end in a draw.

Coming from taking down Anish Giri in tiebreaks, Andreikin confessed not to feel in a fighting mood “after my night” in the post-game conference. The contenders of the final followed theory all the way until move 19:

 

Only here did Andreikin deviate from a previous encounter, as he played 19.Rxc7 instead of Andreas Heimann’s 19.h3. Naturally, given the symmetrical pawn structure and the reduced material on the board, the game petered out into a draw.

 

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.

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