Jermuk R6: four players lead after killer instinct day

8/16/2009 – Coming out of a free day two players, Aronian and Kasimdzhanov, showed gritty determination and took full points (the latter with black) to join the leaders Leko and Ivanchuk at the top of the table. Vassily Ivanchuk was in a tough position against US GM Gata Kamsky, but saved the day in an unusual ending in a unique way. Big illustrated round six 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 six

Coming off the break, some players demonstrated the killer instinct, while others seemed to have let their mental toughness slip a notch or two.

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

Aronian and Kasimdzhanov, clearly not satisfied merely chasing the leaders, decided to join them, laying to waste the defences of Gelfand and Inarkiev in 78 and 53 moves respectively.


Boris Gelfand: a poignant depiction (by Arman Karakhanyan) of what it feels like to lose


Still dejected: Boris Gelfand in the press conference with Lilit Mkrtchian and Lev Aronian

Leko, as has come to be expected of him, played a safe game against Bacrot, preserving his tournament lead with a 52 move draw in the Queen's Indian.


Sofi Leko kibitzes in the press conference with her husband Peter and Etienne Bacrot

Jakovenko and Karjakin's try in the English Counter King's Fianchetto, at one move less, was equally exciting, and ended with the same result.


Dmitry Jakovenko vs Sergey Karjakin in round six

Akopian-Eljanov was a 57-mover in the Slav Lasker/Smyslov, ending peacefully, with few fireworks to speak of.


Vlasimir Akopian in his round six game against Pavel Eljanov

That said, Alekseev delivered some fireworks against Cheparinov, taking 89 moves in the Sicilian Scheveningen to dispatch his opponent, allowing him to join the chasing pack, currently sitting a full point behind the leaders.

Though this game will certainly prove a candidate for one of the longest of the tournament, it pales in comparison to the 114-move marathon between Ivanchuk and Kamsky in the English Counter King's Fianchetto. Though ultimately indecisive, Kamsky was pushing an edge for most of the game, with Fritz evaluating the final position as a mate in twelve for Black.

Ivanchuk,V (2703) - Kamsky,G (2717) [A15]
5th FIDE GP Jermuk ARM (6), 15.08.2009
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Qb3 Nb6 6.d4 Bg7 7.Bf4 Be6 8.Qa3 Nc6 9.e3 a5 10.Be2 Nb4 11.0-0 c6 12.Ng5 Bd5 13.Rfc1 h6 14.Nge4 Nc4 15.Nxd5 Nxa3 16.Nc7+ Kf8 17.bxa3 Nd5 18.Nxd5 cxd5 19.Nc5 b6 20.Bc7 Qe8 21.Bxb6 Kg8 22.Rab1 e5 23.dxe5 Qxe5 24.Bf3 Kh7 25.Rd1 Qe7 26.Bxd5 Rab8 27.Na4 Qxa3 28.Bb3 Rhc8 29.Bxa5 Ra8 30.Nb6 Qxa5 31.Nxa8 Rxa8 32.Bxf7 Qf5 33.Bb3 Rf8 34.Rf1 h5 35.Rbd1 Be5 36.Rd5 Qe4 37.h3 Kh6 38.Rfd1 g5 39.R5d2 Bb8 40.Rc2 g4 41.hxg4 hxg4 42.g3 Qf3 43.Rd5 Rf6 44.Kh2 Bd6 45.Rcd2 Bb4 46.Bd1 Qe4 47.R5d4 Qb1 48.Rc2 Ba5 49.Kg2 Bb6 50.Rd3 Qb5 51.Rcd2 Qb4 52.Kg1 Ba5 53.Rc2 Qb5 54.Rd4 Bb6 55.Rdc4 Qb1 56.Rc1 Qxa2 57.R1c2 Qa5 58.Rc6 Rxc6 59.Rxc6+ Kg5 60.Re6 Bc7 61.Be2 Qa2 62.Re7 Bxg3 63.Rg7+ Kf6 64.Rxg4

64...Be5 65.Bf3 Qb1+ 66.Kg2 Qh7 67.Kf1 Qh3+ 68.Ke2 Ke7 69.Re4 Qf5 70.Kf1 Kd6 71.Kg2 Qh7 72.Rc4 Qh2+ 73.Kf1 Qh3+ 74.Ke2 Qh7 75.Rc6+ Kd7 76.Rc5 Qb1 77.Rd5+ Ke6 78.Rd3 Kf5 79.Rd5 Ke6 80.Rc5 Bd6 81.Rd5 Qa1 82.Be4 Qa6+ 83.Rd3 Bb4 84.Kf3 Qa1 85.Kg2 Be1 86.Kf1 Bc3+ 87.Kg2 Qb2 88.Rd1 Ke5 89.Kf3 Bd2 90.Rb1 Qa2 91.Rb5+ Kd6 92.Rb6+ Kc5 93.Rc6+ Kb5 94.Rc2 Qf7+ 95.Kg2 Bc3 96.Rc1 Qg7+ 97.Kf3 Qf6+ 98.Kg2 Qg5+ 99.Kf1 Kc4 100.Bf3 Qf5 101.Kg2 Qg5+ 102.Kf1 Kd3 103.Be2+ Kd2 104.Rd1+ Kc2 105.Rd7 Qh6 106.Bd3+ Kc1 107.Rh7 Qe6 108.Be2 Kd2 109.Rh4 Qf5 110.Bc4 Bf6 111.Rf4 Qh3+ 112.Kg1 Be5 113.Bf1 Qh7

For a number of moves now our computer engines have been showing a solid 0.00 evaluation. But the text move, 114.Rd4+ draw, leads to a dramatic change in evaluation: forced mate in nine moves: 114...Bxd4 115.exd4 Qg7+ 116.Bg2 Ke2 117.d5 Qa1+ 118.Kh2 Kxf2 119.Kh3 Qa4 120.Kh2 Qf4+ 121.Kh1 Qg3 122.Bf1 Qg1 mate.


What's going on? Even Vassily Ivanchuk appears mystified by the end of the game

So what exactly happened? Well, as you can see from our diagrams above, this unusual ending of queen and bishop vs rook, bishop and two pawns, occurred on move 64, and Black was able to survive fifty moves without any captures or pawn moves being executed on the board. This allowed Ivanchuk to claim the draw.


Ivanchuk had been counting the moves very carefully and claimed at the right moment

Article 9.3 of the FIDE Laws of Chess explain it precisely:

The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if:

a. he writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, which shall result in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture, or

b. the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.

Addendum: Stephen Capp of Manlius, NY, writes: "I am stumped by the ending of this game. The FIDE rule state that both players must make 50 moves without a pawn moving or a capture. But only 49 were played! 64.Rxg4 doesn't count (with it being a capture) so the players are starting on move 65. Even if Black were starting on move 64 his 50th move (move 114) would result in the capture of the rook so that move wouldn't count. What am I missing?" We will ask FIDE and the organisers in Jermuk about this.

FIDE officials have replied: "Our understanding is (we will confirm this with Chief Arbiter Dirk De Ridder) that one must make 50 moves and before the 50th move one must advise the arbiter what he/she will play. In the Ivanchuk – Kamsky game, the 50 moves started to count from the 64th move for Black and 65th for White. Move 114 was exactly the 50th move for White and did not involve any capture or pawn move. Mr Capp is counting wrongly by adding 50 to 64 and getting 114. Counting simply from 65-114 gives 50 moves. An example which would clarify, is that if you add 50 to 0 (in this case move 64), you would get 50, but we start counting from the number 1 (move 65) to reach 50 (move 114). Similarly, move 50 for black was move 113."

We tend to agree: the last move with a capture was move 64 for White. Black's 64th moves was the first of the series in which no futher captures or pawn moves were made. White's 65th move is the first of this series. Black's 73rd move is the one where we count ten black moves having been made without a capture or pawn advance, and the same is the case for White on his 74th move. Black's 113th move is the 50th black moves without a capture or pawn push; and White's 114th move is his 50th of the series. So Ivanchuk was counting very accurately when he called the arbiters and announced that he was going to play 114.Rd4+, after which both players will have completed fifty moves without a capture or pawn advance.

It is interesting that in the final position Kamsky had managed to manoeuvre his opponent into a losing situation, with a forced mate coming in no less than fifteen moves. The rook on f4 is threatened, and moving it to a safe square allows ...Qh2 mate. So Ivanchuk's 114.Rd4+ (which allows a capture and win on the next move) was not sarcastic or whimsical, but one that delays the inevitable mate for as long as possible.

Julio Mendoza-Medina of Kentucky, USA, confirms: "Regarding the 114-move marathon draw between Ivanchuk and Kamsky, I double-checked it doing this: 64...Be5 65.Bf3 is one; 65...Qb1+ 66.Kg2 is two; and so on, until. 113...Qh7 114.Rd4+ is fifty for both sides. I believe that's it... draw!!"


Current standings


A lot of young players join Press Officer IM Lilit Mkrtchian to analyse the games


Sergey Karjakin's second (and 2700+ GM) Alexander Motylev chats with Armenian
national team member WIM Siranush Andriasian, with Lilit refueling in the background


Levon Aronian poses with a student of the Chess Academy of Armenia for a cellphone picture


The pond in front of the Jermuk Spa-Resort area


The brand new pool of the hotel – this is where players congregate after the games

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

Round 8: Monday, August 17, 2009

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

Round 9: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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

Round 10: Thursday, August 20, 2009

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

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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