Khanty Final Round: No Miracle

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/26/2015 – Only a miraculous series of results would have lost Caruana his qualification, but there was never any danger of this happening as he drew his game, and was even better at some point. Nakamura gave Jakovenko no chance to complicate the situation, and split the point. Those three players shared first, but it's Caruana and Nakamura that put two Americans in the Candidates.

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2020 with 8 million games and more than 80,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

More...

The fourth and final stage of the 2014-2015 Grand Prix Series. This tournament is specially important as it will determine the winner and runner up of this year, both of which will automatically qualify for the 2015 Candidates Tournament - the winner of that will challenge Magnus Carlsen to the World Championship Match! The tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Ugra, Russia from May 13 to May 27.

Final Round

Round 11 – May 26 2015, 14:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Svidler, Peter 2734
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 11

The FIDE President making his arrival

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
A strange line of the Najdorf... it is not common that in this Sicilian black ends up with an isolated queen's pawn! Gelfand's compensation for this structural weakness came in the way of good piece play and swift development. Karjakin had trouble coordinating his pieces, and it was never natural for him to develop. The game was agreed drawn with a dynamic balance on the board.

Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ Jakovenko, Dmitry
Everyone's focus was clearly on this game. Jakovenko needed to win to guarantee his spot on the Candidates, while a draw required a series of highly unlikely and borderline miraculous results for him to qualify. Nakamura came into the game with a very sound and clear strategy: play solid, trade everything, draw. This is basically what happened in the game as Jakovenko simply could not create enough complications.

It all came down to this game, but Jakovenko could not create real complications

Giri, Anish ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
One of the results that needed to go Jakovenko's way for the Russian to qualify was for Caruana to lose. That did not come close to happening - even though Giri's position was slightly preferable from the opening, his attack on the kingside initiated with a quick g4 advance backfired badly. Caruana had the much better position, he decided to play it safe and draw the game, securing his place.

Giri tried to create fireworks in the last round, but they did not go so well

Dominguez, Leinier ½-½ Grischuk, Alexander
The Sveshnikov Sicilian was a variation that had a surge of popularity in the early 2000's, but has since fallen out of fashion. Gelfand still uses it regularly, but besides him it is not a common guest in top level tournaments. Grischuk employed it today and obtained a relatively easy draw. Dominguez's attack on the kingside with queen and knight was only enough for a perpetual.

Grischuk tied with many others in sixth place

Svidler, Peter 1-0 Jobava, Baadur
The only decisive game of the round. Jobava had a bad position from a dubious variation in the French, and Svidler's positional advantage kept growing until they reached an endgame with the Russian player being simply up a pawn. Jobava certainly had good drawing chances with precise play, but that was very difficult to achieve. After a couple of mistakes he wound up in a completely hopeless position and was forced to resign.

Jobava finished 11th, with four losses, one win and many draws

Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
If anything, this game is a metaphor for how Tomashevsky's tournament went. He came in as the leader of the Grand Prix, and even had a good start. He kept chances to the bitter end, but it simply was not enough. Even today, had a perfect sequence of results happened, he still could have qualified. At the end, he was not close to competing in the Candidates via direct qualification.

In the game Tomashevksy had an advantage from the opening. He managed to win not one, but two pawns, and yet MVL's pressure with his major pieces was very annoying. White had trouble bringing his rook into the game nad fending off the black pieces. He gave up a pawn in a last ditch effort to win a 4v3 Queen endgame, but he was unsuccessful after more than 100 moves.

A very disappointing 10th for Tomashevsky

As usual tomorrow we will bring you the final standings of the Grand Prix, a recap of the tournament and photos from the closing ceremony. For now, it is clear that both Caruana and Nakamura will be representing America in the 2015 Candidates Tournament!

Standings

Round Eleven Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos from the official website by Kirill Merkurev

Schedule

Round 01 – May 14 2015, 15:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jobava, Baadur 2699
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Round 02 – May 15 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Round 03 – May 16 2015, 15:00h
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
0-1
Svidler, Peter 2734
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Round 04 – May 17 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Svidler, Peter 2734
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Round 05 – May 19 2015, 15:00h
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Round 06 – May 20 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Svidler, Peter 2734
1-0
Giri, Anish 2776
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
0-1
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Jobava, Baadur 2699
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Round 07 – May 21 2015, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734
Round 08 – May 22 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
1-0
Svidler, Peter 2734
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Jobava, Baadur 2699
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
1-0
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
0-1
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Round 09 – May 24 2015, 15:00h
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Giri, Anish 2776
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
Svidler, Peter 2734
0-1
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Round 10 – May 25 2015, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2744
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2734
Jobava, Baadur 2699
1-0
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
½-½
Giri, Anish 2776
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
1-0
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
Round 11 – May 26 2015, 14:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2753
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2744
Nakamura, Hikaru 2799
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2738
Giri, Anish 2776
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2803
Dominguez, Leinier 2734
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2780
Svidler, Peter 2734
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2699
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2749
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2754

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.