Tashir 03: Grischuk does it again!

by Alejandro Ramirez
11/6/2014 – The man is simply on a roll! He is now being compared with Caruana; the Italian's legendary seven victories in a row in one tournament cannot be overcome in Tashir (after all, the tournament is only seven rounds long) but Grischuk is on his sixth victory in a row if one includes his last three games in Baku. We bring you annotations of Grischuk's hattrick.

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The International Tashir tournament to remember Tigran Petrosian takes place in Moscow from November 3rd to November 11th. The format of the event is a seven-round Round Robin. The time control: 100 minutes for 40 moves + 50 minutes for 20 moves + 15 minutes to the end of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from the first.

Round Three

Round 03 – November 06
Leko, Peter 2731
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
Aronian, Levon 2797
½-½
Ding Liren 2730
Grischuk, Alexander 2795
1-0 
Morozevich, Alexander 2724
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2759

A true red carpet welcome

Leko, Peter ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
Leko's interesting sacrifice of two rooks for a queen left the position in a strange gridlock. Somehow neither side could improve, and although we have seen many games in the past in which players simply try to do nothing, the more this position is analyzed the clearer it is that there really was no way to improve for either player!

[Event "Petrosian Memorial 2014"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2014.11.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Leko, P."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2731"] [BlackElo "2760"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2014.11.03"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 b6 10. b4 a5 11. a3 c6 12. O-O Qc7 13. g3 Ba6 14. Bxa6 Rxa6 15. Qe2 Rfa8 16. b5 cxb5 17. c6 (17. Nxd5 exd5 18. Qxe7 Rc8 {led to a Kramnik victory in a very important game between Ivanchuk-Kramnik, Tromso World Cup 2013.}) 17... Qxc6 18. Nxb5 Rc8 19. Rac1 {A new idea that was certainly prepared at home. White is trying to prove that the lack of coordination of the two rooks can lead to problems for Black.} (19. Nd6 Raa8 20. Nb5 {was a draw in Miton-Doettling, 2008}) 19... Qxc1 20. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 21. Kg2 Ra8 22. f5 { Of course White has to use the little itme he has before Black consolidates his position to create serious threats.} Rc6 23. fxe6 fxe6 24. Ne1 a4 25. Nd3 Ra5 26. Nf4 Nf8 27. h4 $1 {A strange gridlock. White cannot put further pressure in the position as his pieces are basically maximized. Black, on the other hand, cannot improve either.} (27. Nxd5 Bxa3 {looks dangerous for White, though maybe he has some resources involving Nf4 and d5.}) 27... Bf6 28. Kh3 g6 29. Kg2 Bg7 30. g4 h6 31. g5 h5 32. f3 Kh7 33. Kg3 Kg8 34. Kg2 Kh7 35. Kg3 Kh8 36. Kh3 Kg8 1/2-1/2

Leko's novel idea paid no dividends this time around

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Ding Liren
The Armenian player truly tried to draw blood from the rock solid position that Ding Liren had. He managed to create serious problems, but the draw was always at the Chinese player's grasp.

[Event "Petrosian Memorial 2014"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2014.11.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "Ding Liren"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2797"] [BlackElo "2730"] [PlyCount "154"] [EventDate "2014.11.03"] 1. c4 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 c6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Ne5 (7. Nc3 { was Inarkiev-Gelfand.}) 7... Ne4 8. Nd2 Nd7 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Bf4 Qa5+ 11. Bd2 Qd5 12. Bc3 f5 13. f3 O-O 14. O-O Nxe5 15. fxe4 fxe4 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. dxe5 Be6 18. Qd4 Qxd4+ 19. Bxd4 Bd5 20. Rc1 {The symmetrical position presents some danger for Black. The main issue is that White controls the c-file and has realistic possibilities to pressure e4, unlike Black's attempts to pressure e5. } Ke8 {Ding Liren hurries to d8 so as to not allow the rook coming to c7.} ( 20... Kf7 21. Rc7 $14) 21. h4 Rd8 22. a3 e6 23. e3 Kd7 24. Rf1 Ke8 (24... Ke7 25. Rf4 b6 26. Bxe4 Bh6 27. Rg4 Rf8 $11) 25. Rf4 Bh6 26. Rf2 a6 27. Rc2 Kd7 28. g4 Bf8 (28... g5 $1 {prevents White from ever entering f4.}) 29. Rf2 Ke8 30. Rf4 Be7 $6 31. g5 {Finally White has nothing to worry about from taking e4. He will have an extra pawn, though not a particularly significant one.} Rc8 32. Bxe4 Bxe4 33. Rxe4 Rc2 34. Rf4 b5 35. Kf1 a5 36. Ke1 b4 37. axb4 Bxb4+ 38. Kd1 Rc6 (38... Rd2+ 39. Kc1 Re2 $11) 39. b3 Ra6 40. Bb2 Rc6 41. Rf2 Rc5 42. Bd4 Rc7 43. Rh2 Rc6 44. Rh1 Bc3 45. Ke2 Bb4 46. Kd3 Rc7 47. Ra1 Rc6 48. Bb2 Rc7 49. Ba3 $5 {Finally some way to distrub the status quo.} Rc3+ 50. Kd4 Rxb3 51. Bxb4 axb4 $1 (51... Rxb4+ 52. Kc5 Rxh4 53. Rxa5 Re4 54. Kd6 Rb4 55. Ra8+ Kf7 56. Ra7+ Ke8 57. Kxe6 Rb6+ 58. Kd5 Rb5+ 59. Kd6 Rb6+ 60. Kc5 {is winning for White. }) 52. Ra8+ Kf7 53. Ra7+ Kf8 54. Rxh7 Rb1 55. Rb7 b3 56. Rb4 Ke7 57. Kc3 Re1 58. Re4 Rb1 59. Kb4 $1 {The best try. The king "wraps around" the pawn so that when the rook takes b3 it will defend e3. However this is still not winning.} Kd7 60. Rd4+ Ke7 61. Ka3 Re1 62. Re4 Rb1 63. Rb4 Kd7 64. Rxb3 Rh1 65. Kb4 Kc6 ( 65... Rxh4+ 66. Kc5 Re4 67. Rb7+ Kc8 68. Rg7 Rxe5+ 69. Kd6 Rxg5 $11) 66. Rc3+ ( 66. Rd3 Rxh4+ 67. Rd4 Rh5 68. Rd6+ Kc7 $11) 66... Kd5 {White is up two pawns, but it is now very clear he cannot keep them. The game will end in a draw very soon.} 67. Rc5+ Ke4 68. Kb5 Kf5 69. Rc4 Rh3 70. e4+ Kxe5 71. Kc6 Rxh4 72. Rc5+ Kd4 73. Kd6 Rxe4 74. Ra5 Re1 75. Ra4+ Kd3 76. Ra5 Kd4 77. Ra4+ Kd3 1/2-1/2

"I tried!" Aronian tried to squeeze Ding Liren for many hours

Grischuk, Alexander 1-0 Morozevich, Alexander
The duel of the Sashas was a crushing victory by Grischuk who, again, exhibited amazing chess.

[Event "Petrosian Memorial 2014"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2014.11.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Grischuk, A."] [Black "Morozevich, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2795"] [BlackElo "2724"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2014.11.03"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. Qc2 $5 {Somehow or another White has tried basically every legal move against the ...a6 Slav. 5.c5 and 5.e3 are still the most popular moves, while others (such as 5.g3, 5.a4, 5.h3, 5.Ne5) have gone in and out of fashion.} g6 (5... dxc4 {seems like a more logical approach to the position. Karjakin himself played it last year.}) 6. e4 {it's unusual White can get away with breaking the center like this, but with Black's inclusion of the move a6 this becomes possible.} dxe4 7. Nxe4 Bg7 (7... Bf5 8. Nxf6+ exf6 9. Qb3 $14) 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Bf5 10. Nxf6+ Bxf6 11. Qb3 Qc7 {Passive, but b7 had to be defended somehow.} 12. h3 c5 $6 {Since Black will not have the chance to break with e6 in this game, it doesn't seem like a good idea to force White's pawn to d5.} 13. d5 a5 14. Bh6 Re8 15. g4 $1 {Using the space advantage Grischuk kicks Black's pieces back.} Bc8 16. Rad1 Nd7 17. Rfe1 Ra6 {Unorthodox, but this rook sortie is questionable.} 18. Bf1 Rb6 19. Qe3 Bxb2 20. Bf4 Qd8 21. Ng5 {Black is up a pawn but he is under intense pressure. With his uncoordinated pieces and targets on the kingside he has to, at the very least, be very careful.} Bd4 22. Qg3 e5 23. dxe6 fxe6 24. Bg2 e5 $6 {This weakening of the d5 diagonal is fatal in many ways. Grischuk does not exploit it tactically, but the weakness will be apparent in many variations.} (24... Qf6 $14) 25. Bd2 $6 (25. Qh4 $1 Nf6 26. Bd5+ Be6 (26... Kg7 27. Nf7 Nxd5 $1 ( 27... Qc7 28. Rxd4 $18) 28. Bxe5+ $1 {A very important resource!} (28. Nxd8 Nxf4 $13 {Here Black has plenty of compensation.}) 28... Bxe5 29. Nxd8 {and now Black's position does not have the solid anchor of the e5 pawn.}) 27. Nxe6 Rbxe6 28. Bg5 $16) 25... Rf6 26. Nf3 {White preserves a huge initiative. Morozevich cannot figure out how to hold his position together and it collapses very quickly.} Nb6 (26... Qb6 {was more resilient, but not pretty.} 27. Nxd4 cxd4 28. Bd5+ Kh8 29. Bg5 Rff8 $16) 27. Nxd4 exd4 28. Bg5 {Simple and effective. White will win material and the initiative is not going anywhere.} Ref8 29. Qe5 (29. Rb1 {is also good.}) 29... Nd7 30. Bxf6 Qxf6 31. Qxf6 Nxf6 ( 31... Rxf6 32. Re8+ Rf8 33. Re7 $18) 32. Rb1 {The endgame is completely hopeless. Once b7 falls it will be hard to keep the other pawns alive. Moreover Black has no clear counterplay as advancing the d-pawn will only make it weaker.} Rf7 $2 33. g5 {Now White wins even more material.} Nd7 34. Re8+ Rf8 35. Bd5+ Kh8 36. Rbe1 {Black is paralyzed and he will soon lose a full piece. A crushing game against from Grischuk!} 1-0

In the last six games that he has played Grischuk has, in a row, beaten Caruana, Kasimdzhanov, Dominguez, Inarkiev, Gelfand and Morozevich. He now sits comfortably on the third spot in the live rating list, seven points ahead of Topalov but twenty two points away from Caruana.

Inarkiev, Ernesto ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
Black equalized easily in this symmetrical Fianchetto Grunfeld.

[Event "Petrosian Memorial 2014"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2014.11.06"] [Round "3"] [White "Inarkiev, E."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2688"] [BlackElo "2759"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2014.11.03"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Qa4+ {So's idea that he uncorked against Robson in the final series of the Millionaire Chess tournament last month.} Nc6 9. Ne5 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxe5 { Gelfand's way of handling this system is ultra-solid.} 11. dxe5 Be6 12. Rb1 Qa5 13. Qxa5 Nxa5 14. Rb5 b6 15. Bxd5 Rc8 {White is up a pawn currently, but Black has a lot of strategical advantages. For starters he has strong pressure against c3, to followup White's extra pawn is a big weakness on e5.} 16. Bh6 Kd7 $1 {Bringing the key to the center is very exact. It will be very well placed on e6 in case of a bishop trade, and if not it can allow the rook to come to d8 and then go back to e8.} 17. O-O Rhd8 18. e4 Nc4 19. Bf4 Ke8 $11 { White has no advantage whatsoever.} 20. Rd1 Rc7 21. Kg2 Rdc8 22. Rd3 a6 23. Rb3 b5 24. Rd4 Rc5 25. Bxc4 Rxc4 26. Rxc4 Rxc4 {With the opposite colored bishops in play it is obvious this is leading towards a draw.} 27. Ra3 Rxe4 28. Rxa6 Bd5 29. Kh3 h6 30. Bxh6 Rxe5 31. g4 Re2 32. Be3 Rxa2 33. Rxa2 Bxa2 34. Kg3 f6 35. h4 Kf7 36. f4 Bb1 37. Bd4 Bc2 38. g5 Ke6 39. Bc5 Bd1 40. Kf2 fxg5 41. hxg5 1/2-1/2

Sergey Karjakin paying the tournament a visit

Last task of the day, some autographs for the fans

Behind every great tournament is a great production team

At the moment only Kramnik is in striking distance of Grischuk. The tournament is very short, with only seven rounds a full point lead as Grischuk has as the moment is definitely commanding. It doesn't mean that the tournament is over, by any means, but much like Caruana's victories in Saint Louis, Grischuk's victories in Moscow are clean, consistent and precise. Can anyone stop him in this tournament? That is yet to be seen after tomorrow's rest day he will face Ding Liren with the black pieces.

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili and Boris Dolmatovsky

Standings

Round Three Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Schedule

Round 01 – November 04
Ding Liren 2730
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
Leko, Peter 2731
 ½-½
Morozevich, Alexander 2724
Aronian, Levon 2797
½-½ 
Gelfand, Boris 2759
Grischuk, Alexander 2795
1-0 
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
Round 02 – November 05
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
1-0
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
Gelfand, Boris 2759
 0-1
Grischuk, Alexander 2795
Morozevich, Alexander 2724
½-½ 
Aronian, Levon 2797
Ding Liren 2730
½-½
Leko, Peter 2731
Round 03 – November 06
Leko, Peter 2731
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
Aronian, Levon 2797
½-½
Ding Liren 2730
Grischuk, Alexander 2795
1-0 
Morozevich, Alexander 2724
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2759
Round 04 –November 08
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760   Gelfand, Boris 2759
Morozevich, Alexander 2724   Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
Ding Liren 2730   Grischuk, Alexander 2795
Leko, Peter 2731   Aronian, Levon 2797
Round 05 – November 09
Aronian, Levon 2797   Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
Grischuk, Alexander 2795   Leko, Peter 2731
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688   Ding Liren 2730
Gelfand, Boris 2759   Morozevich, Alexander 2724
Round 06 – November 10
Kramnik, Vladimir 2760   Morozevich, Alexander 2724
Ding Liren 2730   Gelfand, Boris 2759
Leko, Peter 2731   Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688
Aronian, Levon 2797   Grischuk, Alexander 2795
Round 07 – November 11
Grischuk, Alexander 2795   Kramnik, Vladimir 2760
Inarkiev, Ernesto 2688   Aronian, Levon 2797
Gelfand, Boris 2759   Leko, Peter 2731
Morozevich, Alexander 2724   Ding Liren 2730

Links

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Topics: Moscow, Tashir

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.
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Rama Rama 11/7/2014 09:22
When was the last time Grischuk won an elite tournament?
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