Sochi R06: Radjabov and Cheparinov lead in Sochi

8/6/2008 – For a while Ivan Cheparinov, the Bulgarian GM who assists Veselin Topalov, was in the clear lead. In round five he lost a wild and chaotic game to Teimour Radjabov, who also got a slightly lucky win against Boris Gelfand in round six. But Cheparinov bounced back with his own victory against Alexander Grischuk. Now Radjabov and Cheparinov lead in the FIDE Grand Prix. Round six report.

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FIDE Grand Prix in Sochi 2008

The Second FIDE Grand Prix Tournament is taking place in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, from July 30 to August 15, 2008, with 14 players from ten different countries. The field is dominated by Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk, who is 37 point ahead of the next highest ranked player in the field.

Report after round six

Round 5: Monday, August 4h

Gelfand Boris
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Radjabov Teimour
1-0
Cheparinov Ivan
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Svidler Peter
Wang Yue
½-½
Gashimov Vugar
Navara David
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Aronian Levon
½-½
Karjakin Sergey

The fifth round of the Sochi Grand Prix tournament was the most drawish day so far. A decision in only one game: Radjabov defeated the leader, Cheparinov, and joined him in the standings. Grischuk's theoretical draw with Svidler got him on shared first as well, going into the first rest day.

Radjabov-Cheparinov was the key game of the round – a real thriller with unpredictable outcome. Evaluation of the position changed many times during the game; the players sometimes failed to cope with wild complications, and in the end the more composed player, who managed to avoid serious errors, prevailed. Radjabov himself felt sorry for Cheparinov but called his encounter with the Bulgarian "a game of patzers, playing on the boulevard, with a level less than 2000, completely ridiculous."


The start of a wild and chaotic game in round five

Radjabov,T (2744) - Cheparinov,I (2687) [D43]
2nd FIDE GP Sochi RUS (5), 04.08.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Nxg4 Nbd7 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Be2 0-0-0 14.e5 Qf5 15.a4

15...b4?! 16.Bxc4! "After this I'm a clear pawn up instead of sacrificing one, which is normal for this line," said Radjabov in the press conference. 16...Nc5 17.Ne2 Rg8 18.0-0 Be7 19.Qc1 Ne4 20.Ba6 Kb8 21.Bxb7 Kxb7 22.a5 Rc8 23.a6+ Kb8

White could have solidified his advantage by simple moves – 24.Qe3 Rg4 25.Rac1!, and Black cannot develop the attack due to chronic weakness of his king. Instead, he blundered his queen. 24.Qxh6? Ng5 25.d5 Rg6 26.Qxg6 [26.Qh5 Nh3+ 27.gxh3 Qxh5] 26...Qxg6 27.d6 Bd8 28.hxg5 Bb6 29.Rfd1 Qxg5 30.Rac1 Qg4 31.d7 Rd8 32.Kf1 Kc7 33.Rd6.

33...Rxd7?? [33...c5! first was necessary] 34.Rcxc6+ Kd8 35.f3! Probably overlooked by Cheparinov. 35...Qh5 36.Rxb6 Qh1+ 37.Ng1 Rxd6 38.exd6 1-0.

Radjabov: "Really, this game was at the level of some European junior championship, and I'm not talking about under 16 but under 8! It's very good that there's a rest day tomorrow because this is very strange. It's not like in Mexico where you have a jetlag, it’s not the food. It's strange, we play like amateurs!"

Round 6: Wednesday, August 6th

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
0-1
Aronian Levon
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Gashimov Vugar
1-0
Navara David
Svidler Peter
½-½
Wang Yue
Cheparinov Ivan
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Gelfand Boris
0-1
Radjabov Teimour

Al-Modiahki didn't really try to obtain an advantage against Aronian's Berlin Defence of the Ruy Lopez. The players started a lengthy positional struggle with a symmetrical pawn structure, and Aronian’s excellent technique decided the outcome of the game.


Back in the lead: Ivan Cheparinov (left) beat Alexander Grischuk in round six

The opening handicap delivered by Cheparinov was too hard to handle for Grischuk. An extra hour on the clock and a serious positional advantage for the Bulgarian grandmaster were of course a nice point to start an important game in a major tournament! Curiously, it was the Russian who had introduced a new move: he complicated the game with the sharp 11...a5 (earlier Black preferred 11...Nb6 and 11...Bd6), but the all-knowing opponent probably had studied it at home, as he was making very strong and unobvious moves very quickly.

There seems to be a drama waiting in store in every round. This time Gelfand was the victim and Radjabov, again, the one on the positive side. Boris handled the game brilliantly, got a winning position, and then blew it in a few moves.

Gelfand,B (2720) - Radjabov,T (2744) [E97]
2nd FIDE GP Sochi RUS (6), 06.08.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 Kh8 13.Be3 Bh6 14.Nf7+ Rxf7 15.Bxh6 f4 16.Bg5 Neg8 17.g4 h6N

Radjabov's novelty 17...h6 in a deeply studied variation of the King’s Indian is the start of a mating attack. However, Boris Gelfand not only quickly created the required counterplay, but skillfully evacuated the king from the danger area. 18.Bh4 g5 19.Bf2 h5 20.h3 Rh7 21.c5 Ne7 22.Kg2 Ng6 23.Rh1 Bd7 24.b5 dxc5 25.Bxc5 Kg7 26.d6 hxg4 27.hxg4 Rxh1 28.Kxh1 Qh8+ 29.Kg2 Nh4+ 30.Kg1 c6 31.bxc6 bxc6 32.Kf2 Be6 33.Rb1 Kg6 34.Ke1 Rd8 35.Kd2 Rd7 36.Qa4 Qc8 37.Kc2 Ne8 38.Rd1 Ng2 39.Ba6 Qa8 40.Bc4 Ng7

Gelfand has averted all dangers, brought his king to safety on the queenside and not delivers the coup de grâce: 41.Nd5! cxd5 42.exd5 Qe8 43.dxe6 Nxe6 44.Bxa7 Kf6

Now 45.Qc6 should secure the win for White, but Gelfand falters: 45.Bb5? Qc8+ 46.Kb2 Rb7 47.d7?? The final mistake (47.Rd5 was the move to find). 47...Qc6! 48.Ka1 Rxb5 49.Qa3 Rd5 0-1. The FIDE bulletin writes: "Radjabov once again demonstrated amazing composure and proved that he's not defeated until the scoresheets are signed!"

FIDE reports by Report by Peter Doggers & Sergey Shipov
All pictures by Mark Gluhovsky © for FIDE

Draw average: of the 42 games played so far 28 were drawn, which works out to a relatively high 67% draw quota. Eleven game (=26%) were won by White and three games (=7%) by Black. The average Elo of the tournament is 2708, which translates to category 19.


Videos by Europe Echecs

FIDE Grand Prix Sochi 2008 – Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, July 31st

Svidler Peter
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Cheparinov Ivan
½-½
Gashimov Vugar
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Radjabov Teimour
1-0
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Grischuk Alexander
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Wang Yue
½-½
Aronian Levon
Navara David
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily

Round 2: Friday, August 1st

Kamsky Gata
1-0
Ivanchuk Vassily
Aronian Levon
1-0
Navara David
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Wang Yue
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Radjabov Teimour
Gashimov Vugar
½-½
Gelfand Boris
Svidler Peter
0-1
Cheparinov Ivan

Round 3: Saturday, August 2nd

Cheparinov Ivan
1-0
Kamsky Gata
Gelfand Boris
½-½
Svidler Peter
Radjabov Teimour
½-½
Gashimov Vugar
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Wang Yue
½-½
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Navara David
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Ivanchuk Vassily
1-0
Aronian Levon

Round 4: Sunday, August 3rd

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
1-0
Navara David
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Wang Yue
Gashimov Vugar
½-½
Grischuk Alexander
Svidler Peter
1-0
Radjabov Teimour
Cheparinov Ivan
½-½
Gelfand Boris

Round 5: Monday, August 4h

Gelfand Boris
½-½
Kamsky Gata
Radjabov Teimour
1-0
Cheparinov Ivan
Grischuk Alexander
½-½
Svidler Peter
Wang Yue
½-½
Gashimov Vugar
Navara David
½-½
Jakovenko Dmitry
Ivanchuk Vassily
½-½
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Aronian Levon
½-½
Karjakin Sergey

Round 6: Wednesday, August 6th

Kamsky Gata
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
0-1
Aronian Levon
Jakovenko Dmitry
½-½
Ivanchuk Vassily
Gashimov Vugar
1-0
Navara David
Svidler Peter
½-½
Wang Yue
Cheparinov Ivan
1-0
Grischuk Alexander
Gelfand Boris
0-1
Radjabov Teimour

Round 7: Thursday, August 7th

Radjabov Teimour
-
Kamsky Gata
Grischuk Alexander
-
Gelfand Boris
Wang Yue
-
Cheparinov Ivan
Navara David
-
Svidler Peter
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Gashimov Vugar
Aronian Levon
-
Jakovenko Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey
-
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
GamesReport

Round 8: Friday, August 8th

Kamsky Gata
-
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Jakovenko Dmitry
-
Karjakin Sergey
Gashimov Vugar
-
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Cheparinov Ivan
-
Navara David
Gelfand Boris
-
Wang Yue
Radjabov Teimour
-
Grischuk Alexander
GamesReport

Round 9: Saturday, August 9th

Grischuk Alexander
-
Kamsky Gata
Wang Yue
-
Radjabov Teimour
Navara David
-
Gelfand Boris
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Cheparinov Ivan
Aronian Levon
-
Svidler Peter
Karjakin Sergey
-
Gashimov Vugar
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
-
Jakovenko Dmitry
GamesReport

Round 10: Monday, August 11th

Kamsky Gata
-
Jakovenko Dmitry
Gashimov Vugar
-
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Svidler Peter
-
Karjakin Sergey
Cheparinov Ivan
-
Aronian Levon
Gelfand Boris
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Radjabov Teimour
-
Navara David
Grischuk Alexander
-
Wang Yue
GamesReport

Round 11: Tuesday, August 12rd

Wang Yue
-
Kamsky Gata
Navara David
-
Grischuk Alexander
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Radjabov Teimour
Aronian Levon
-
Gelfand Boris
Karjakin Sergey
-
Cheparinov Ivan
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
-
Svidler Peter
Jakovenko Dmitry
-
Gashimov Vugar
GamesReport

Round 12: Wednesday, August 13th

Kamsky Gata
-
Gashimov Vugar
Svidler Peter
-
Jakovenko Dmitry
Cheparinov Ivan
-
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
Gelfand Boris
-
Karjakin Sergey
Radjabov Teimour
-
Aronian Levon
Grischuk Alexander
-
Ivanchuk Vassily
Wang Yue
-
Navara David
GamesReport

Round 13: Thursday, August 14th

Navara David
-
Kamsky Gata
Ivanchuk Vassily
-
Wang Yue
Aronian Levon
-
Grischuk Alexander
Karjakin Sergey
-
Radjabov Teimour
Al-Modiahki Mohamad
-
Gelfand Boris
Jakovenko Dmitry
-
Cheparinov Ivan
Gashimov Vugar
-
Svidler Peter
GamesReport
Friday, August 15th
Departure

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