Moscow Grand Prix R05: Six crowd the podium

by Albert Silver
5/17/2017 – For the fans hoping for a top board slugfest between Ding Liren and Mamedyarov, they will leave disappointed as a 15-move non-game was shook upon. However, this is not to say that was the tale of the day. Sharing 2nd and 3rd, Peter Svidler and Teimour Radjabov also drew, allowing Alexander Grischuk and MVL both winners in round five against Hou Yifan and Saleh Salem respectively, to draw level, leaving four players just half a point behind the leaders. Report with analysis by GM Tiger Hillarp Persson.

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Always an interesting matchup, Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura forayed into the Giuoco Pianissimo, AKA ‘quiet’ Italian. Whether he had something special up his sleeve or disagreed with the engine and database results is unclear, but Nakamura entered a line that doesn’t have the best record for Black, and was certainly inferior until Giri made a mistake that led to massive exchanges and a logical draw. Investigating where he could have pressed for more led to some entertaining finds that can be found in the notes.

Anish Giri vs Hikaru Nakamura

Among the wins of the day, one that struck one as truly bizarre, was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s win over Saleh Salem. Bizarre because of the opening play by Salem. Consider the position after 15 moves:

MVL vs Saleh Salem

 

 

White’s  pieces are all developed, and he  has castled while the exact opposite is true of Black. And it is White to move. Granted, with the queens off, and no immediate violent attack in sight, the game did not end a few moves later, but nor was it any surprise to see White take the day.

MVL vs Saleh Salem

Hou Yifan essayed the 6.g3 line against Alexander Grischuk’s Sicilian Najdorf, and had scant more luck with it than Adams in the previous round. She hopefully offered a repetition with 27.Qa7, but the Russian was having none of it, and with his 27…d5! break, seized the advantage and never looked back.

After a strong and brave game in round four, Pentala Harikrishna seemed to have recovered his mojo and won a nice game against Michael Adams.

Pentala Harikrishna vs Michael Adams (annotated by GM Tiger Hillarp Persson)

This took Harikrishna to the 50% mark, while Adams is in a world of pain with 1.0/5. For those wondering whether there will be a rest day, the answer is yes.

Standings after five rounds

Rk SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts rtg+/-
1 4 GM Ding Liren CHN 2773 3,5 6,6
  5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2772 3,5 6,2
3 1 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795 3,0 -1,3
  6 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2755 3,0 2,1
  8 GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2750 3,0 1,3
  13 GM Radjabov Teimour AZE 2710 3,0 8,1
7 2 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2786 2,5 -4,8
  3 GM Giri Anish NED 2785 2,5 -4,5
  7 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2751 2,5 -5,3
  9 GM Harikrishna P. IND 2750 2,5 -2,5
  12 GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2724 2,5 2,5
  15 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2696 2,5 2,2
  18 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2621 2,5 8,1
14 14 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2710 2,0 -2,3
  16 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2652 2,0 3,0
  17 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2633 2,0 3,9
17 11 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2727 1,5 -9,9
18 10 GM Adams Michael ENG 2747 1,0 -13,4

Pairings for round six

Bo. No.   Name FED Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name FED Rtg No.
1 4 GM Ding Liren CHN 2773   3 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795 1
2 13 GM Radjabov Teimour AZE 2710 3   GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2772 5
3 8 GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2750 3   3 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2755 6
4 2 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2786   GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2751 7
5 15 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2696   GM Giri Anish NED 2785 3
6 12 GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2724   GM Harikrishna P. IND 2750 9
7 18 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2621   2 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2710 14
8 17 GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2633 2   2 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2652 16
9 10 GM Adams Michael ENG 2747 1   GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2727 11

Links

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.

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