Jermuk R10: four wins, seven exciting games

8/20/2009 – The three leaders drew their games – 82, 73 and 65-move battles – while Aronian, Inarkiev, Alexseev and Gelfand won theirs, providing more excitement and potentially ranking this tournament amongst the best for entertainment value in the recent past. Those who suffered withdrawal: yesterday was a free day that took many of the players to an outing in the wild Jermuk landscape. Big pictorial report.

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Fifth FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk, Armenia

This event is taking place from August 8th-24th 2009. It is a Category 19 tournament, with eleven of the 14 players rated over 2700. The event is a memorial to former world champion Tigran Petrosian, who held the title from 1963–1969 and would have turned 80 on June 17th this year.

Round ten

Round 10: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Aronian Levon
1-0
Jakovenko Dmitry
Inarkiev Ernesto
1-0
Bacrot Etienne
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Eljanov Pavel
Cheparinov Ivan
0-1
Gelfand Boris
Kamsky Gata
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.

Today's round gave way to more excitement, potentially ranking this tournament amongst the best for entertainment value in the recent past. Our three leaders drew, but not in the quiet fashion that some may have predicted – Ivanchuk played out 82 moves against Karjakin in the Queen's Gambit, Leko went astray on the 48th move in a crushing position agaisnt Akopian in a 65-move Sicilian Paulsen, and Kasimzhanov played out 73 moves on the black side of a Petroff's Defence before agreeing to split the point with Kamsky.

Leko,P (2756) - Akopian,Vl (2712) [B42]
5th FIDE GP Jermuk ARM (10), 20.08.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0-0 Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Nf3 0-0 11.Bf4 Nc6 12.Rac1 e5 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bd2 Bg4 15.Qe3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Nd4 17.Qd1 Qd7 18.Be3 Ng4 19.Nd5 Rae8 20.Bxd4 exd4 21.h3 Nf6 22.Nxf6+ Bxf6 23.c5 d5 24.exd5 Qxd5 25.Bc4 Qc6 26.b4 Kg7 27.Qb3 Re5 28.Rce1 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 Rd8 30.Qd3 a5 31.a3 axb4 32.axb4 Ra8 33.g3 h5 34.h4 Rd8 35.Bb5 Qd5 36.Bc4 Qc6 37.Ra1 Qc7 38.Ra7 Qb8 39.Ra3 Re8 40.Qf3 Re1+ 41.Kg2 Rc1 42.Bd3 Rc3 43.Ra5 Qc8 44.Ra7 Qe6 45.Qe4 Qb3 46.c6 Rxd3 47.cxb7 Qc2

Black threatens ...Rxg3+ and ...Qxe4, and White defends with 48.Qxd3 Qxd3 49.b8Q. In the diagram position 48.b8Q doesn't work for the same reason: 48...Rxg3+ and 49...Qxe4+, but 48.Qd5! does, and resoundingly: 48...Rxg3+ 49.Kxg3 and Black has no derfence: 49...Qc7+ 50.Kg2 and for instance 50...Qe5 51.Qxf7+ Kxf7 52.b8Q+ and it is all over. After the text moves White was only an exchange up and could not convert that into a win. 49... Qe4+ 50.Kh2 d3 51.Qf4 Qd5 52.Qd2 Bxh4 53.gxh4 Qd4 54.Qe3 Qxh4+ 55.Kg2 Qg4+ 56.Kf1 Qd1+ 57.Kg2 Qg4+ 58.Kh1 Qh4+ 59.Kg1 Qg4+ 60.Kh1 Qh4+ 61.Kg1 Qg4+ 62.Qg3 Qd4 63.Qc7 Qg4+ 64.Qg3 Qd4 65.Qe3 Qg4+ draw. A traumatic missed-opportunity game for the Hungarian grandmaster.

All other games were decisive, though not enough to enlargen the leaderboard. Jakovenko suffered further woes by allowing Aronian the full point in a 51-move English Symmetrical, while Cheparinov claimed a position at the bottom of the crosstable by dropping a 45-move decision to Gelfand in the Queen's Gambit Meran, despite holding the white pieces. This loss allowed Inarkiev to make up some much needed ground on the unfortunate Bulgarian in the race to avoid last place, with the Russian pummeling French superstar, Bacrot, in 40 moves on the white side of a Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be2.

Aronian,L (2768) - Jakovenko,D (2760) [A34]
5th FIDE GP Jermuk ARM (10), 20.08.2009
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.g3 e6 4.Nf3 b6 5.e4 Bb7 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Bg2 d6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Rd1 a6 10.d4 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 Qc7 13.b3 0-0 14.Ba3 Rfd8 15.Rad1 b5 16.Bb4 bxc4 17.Rxc4 Qb6 18.e5 Ne8 19.Be4 Bf8 20.exd6 Bxe4 21.Qxe4 Bxd6 22.Na4 Qa7 23.Rcd4 Be7 24.Bc5 Rxd4 25.Bxd4 Qb8 26.Be5 Nf6 27.Bxf6 Bxf6 28.Nb6 Ra7 29.Nd7 Qc7 30.Nxf6+ gxf6 31.Qg4+ Kh8 32.Rd4 Qe7 33.Qd1 f5 34.Rd8+ Kg7 35.Qd4+ e5 36.Qd5 Rc7 37.Qa8 f4 38.Kg2 a5?

39.Rg8+. Aronian could have had this one move earlier, but now it is even more devastating. 39...Kf6 40.Qxa5 fxg3 41.Qb6+ Kf5 42.hxg3 Qc5 43.g4+ Ke4 44.Qf6 Kd3 45.Rd8+ Kc2 46.Qf3 Qc6 47.Rd5 f6 48.b4 Qc4 49.Qd1+ Kb2 50.Rd3 Kxa2 51.Qe2+

...and look where the black king ended his days. 1-0.

To the dismay of Eljanov, it simply wasn't his day, as he turned in the shortest game of the round – a 31-move loss on the black side of the Ruy Lopez Berlin against Alekseev.

Alekseev,Evgeny (2714) - Eljanov,P (2716) [C67]
5th FIDE GP Jermuk ARM (10), 20.08.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.h3 h6 11.b3 Kc8 12.Bb2 Ne7 13.Rad1 c5 14.Rd2 b6 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.c4 Bc6 17.Ne1 Kb7 18.f4 Re8 19.Nf3 Ne7 20.Ng3 b5 21.cxb5 Bxb5 22.Rc1 Ng6 23.Nh5 Bc6 24.Kf2 Kb6 25.Ba3 Be4 26.Rc4 Bb7 27.Rdc2 f6? Black was in deep trouble anyway, but with this move he blew it completely.

28.Nxg7! Rc8. Naturally not 28...Bxg7? 29.Bxc5+ Kc6 30.Bd6+ Kd7 31.Rxc7+ with mate to follow. 29.exf6 Bd5 30.f5 Bxc4 31.Rxc4

Black's knight is trapped – he will lose it and everything else. 1-0.

With a three-way tie for first still in place, and two players a half-point off the pace, this tournament is far from over. The antepenultimate round takes place tomorrow.

Current standings


Rest day, with low ravines and high mountains

Report by FIDE

At about 2:00 PM (participants like to sleep in whenever possible, of course), several of the participants, trainers, and organizers embarked on the rest-day’s activities. First stop was the affiliate of the Chess Academy of Armenia, the chess school in Jermuk named after one of Armenia’s beloved chess sons, Karen Asrian, who died tragically of an aneurysm at the tender age of 28.


A great guy like Karen was loved everywhere by everyone

As Jermuk was among Karen’s favorite locales, it is appropriate to name the school, replete with photos and memorabilia from the Olympiad champion, in his honor. Participants were surprised to discover that such a small town has such a thriving chess school, further indication that Armenia is an epicenter for chess.


Levon Aronian and Karen Asrian as juniors – two shining stars of Armenia chess

After the spiritual and architectural tour, the participants visited the bottom on a mountainous ravine. The rocky riverbed brought out the adventurous nature in the players who enjoyed this “low point” of the Jermuk topography. From the lows to the heights, the next stop was a ride up one of the many mountains, in the recently constructed cable car/lift. Two by two the participants sat down to take in the breathless sites from a bird’s eye view of 2500 m elevation of the resort town, panoramas captured by the official photographer of the tournament, Arman Karakhanyan.


Ravines, gorges, and mountain streams on the second free day outing in Jermuk


Impressive volcanic rock formations


GMs Lputian and Cheparinov at a stream at the bottom of the ravine


Saint Gayane Church – typical Armenian religious architecture


Ukrainians: Zahar Efimenko, Kateryna Dolzhikova and hubby Sergey Karjakin, Pavel Eljanov


A newly built cable takes the participants to new heights


They (Efimenko, Eljanov) don't look too comfortable getting on the chair lifts


Riding up the mountain – led by Smbat Lputian and his beautiful daughter Hripsime


A whole train of grandmasters on the rise


... and finally arrival at the very top of the mountain


... and are rewarded by a splendid view of the Jermuk landscape below

All pictures by Arman Karakhanyan, courtesy of FIDE


FIDE Grand Prix Jermuk 2009 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Sunday, August 09, 2009

Inarkiev Ernesto
0-1
Leko Peter
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Aronian Levon
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Cheparinov Ivan
1-0
Jakovenko Dmitry
Kamsky Gata
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Eljanov Pavel

Round 2: Monday, August 10, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Jakovenko Dmitry
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Cheparinov Ivan
Aronian Levon
1-0
Alekseev Evgeny
Inarkiev Ernesto
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily

Round 3: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Leko Peter
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Inarkiev Ernesto
Cheparinov Ivan
½-½
Aronian Levon
Kamsky Gata
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Karjakin Sergey

Round 4: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Leko Peter
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Aronian Levon
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Inarkiev Ernesto
½-½
Cheparinov Ivan
Ivanchuk Vassily
1-0
Alekseev Evgeny

Round 5: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Leko Peter
Cheparinov Ivan
0-1
Ivanchuk Vassily
Kamsky Gata
1-0
Inarkiev Ernesto
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
1-0
Aronian Levon
Gelfand Boris
1-0
Akopian Vladimir
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Bacrot Etienne

Round 6: Saturday, August 15, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Aronian Levon
1-0
Gelfand Boris
Inarkiev Ernesto
0-1
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Cheparinov Ivan

Round 7: Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cheparinov Ivan
0-1
Leko Peter
Kamsky Gata
0-1
Alekseev Evgeny
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Gelfand Boris
1-0
Inarkiev Ernesto
Eljanov Pavel
1-0
Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Akopian Vladimir
Bacrot Etienne
1-0
Jakovenko Dmitry

Round 8: Monday, August 17, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Akopian Vladimir
½-½
Bacrot Etienne
Aronian Levon
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Inarkiev Ernesto
½-½
Eljanov Pavel
Ivanchuk Vassily
1-0
Gelfand Boris
Alekseev Evgeny
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Cheparinov Ivan
½-½
Kamsky Gata

Round 9: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Leko Peter
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
1-0
Cheparinov Ivan
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Alekseev Evgeny
Eljanov Pavel
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Inarkiev Ernesto
Bacrot Etienne
½-½
Aronian Levon
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Akopian Vladimir

Round 10: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leko Peter
½-½
Akopian Vladimir
Aronian Levon
1-0
Jakovenko Dmitry
Inarkiev Ernesto
1-0
Bacrot Etienne
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Alekseev Evgeny
1-0
Eljanov Pavel
Cheparinov Ivan
0-1
Gelfand Boris
Kamsky Gata
½-½
Kasimdzhanov Rus.

Round 11: Friday, August 21, 2009

Kasimdzhanov Rus.

-
Leko Peter

Gelfand Boris

-
Kamsky Gata

Eljanov Pavel

-
Cheparinov Ivan

Karjakin Sergey

-
Alekseev Evgeny

Bacrot Etienne

-
Ivanchuk Vassily

Jakovenko Dmitry

-
Inarkiev Ernesto

Akopian Vladimir

-
Aronian Levon
GamesReport

Round 12: Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leko Peter
-
Aronian Levon
Inarkiev Ernesto
-
Akopian Vladimir
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Jakovenko Dmitry
Alekseev Evgeny
-
Bacrot Etienne
Cheparinov Ivan
-
Karjakin Sergey
Kamsky Gata
-
Eljanov Pavel
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
-
Gelfand Boris
GamesReport

Round 13: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gelfand Boris
-
Leko Peter
Eljanov Pavel
-
Kasimdzhanov Rus.
Karjakin Sergey
-
Kamsky Gata
Bacrot Etienne
-
Cheparinov Ivan
Jakovenko Dmitry
-
Alekseev Evgeny
Akopian Vladimir
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Aronian Levon
-
Inarkiev Ernesto
GamesReport
Monday, August 24, 2009
Departure

The games start at 15:00h Armenian time (12:00 noon CEST, 11:00h London, 6 a.m. New York and 3 a.m. California). Full live coverage, including discussion and analysis with thousands of other visitors, is available on Playchess.

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