Tashkent 01: Anything but boring

by Alejandro Ramirez
10/21/2014 – Whether it was the change of venue, the fact that it was the first round or because of the new players added to the field, it is clear that this round was nothing like the final rounds in Baku which were filled with relatively dull draws. Caruana fell to MVL, Jobava to Nakamura and Mamedyarov self-destructed in the endgame. However, not everything is rosy in far away Tashkent.

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The second stage of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix is taking place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The tournament will run from October 20th to November 3rd, 2014. Some of the strongest players in the world will compete in a Round Robin event. The winner and runner-up of the Grand Prix series will earn their spot at the 2016 Candidate's Tournament.

Round One

Round 01 – October 21 2014, 15:00h
Giri, Anish 2768
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
0-1
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2717
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
0-1
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767

Giri, Anish ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
Gelfand keeps showing good preparation everywhere... this time in a Benoni! His powerful opening almost left him better, but Giri pulled the breaks just in time to paralyze the position with a pawn sacrifice and keep the game completely locked and level.

Giri was not exactly thrilled when his opponent blitzed out what was clearly some dangerous preparation

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 0-1 Andreikin, Dmitry
A rather strange game. Andreikin was fine from the opening, but underestimated how weak his d-pawn was. After losing it he entered a worse rook endgame, simply down a pawn but with excellent drawing chances. Then, in time pressure, Mamedyarov imploded and he panicked. Andreikin played precise moves to take advantage of the situation and his passed pawns proved more powerful than his opponent's.

Mamedyarov did something very unusual: he lost a pawn up endgame!

Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 Jobava, Baadur
The American's opening was good enough for a slight advantage; Jobava tried to complicate things with a mistimed knight maneuver. Nakamura powerfully broke through the center and the Georgian tried to further muddy the waters with a knight sacrifice. Nakamura's precise calculation precisely thwarted the treats and he ended up a rook in a position that was still not 100% clear, but definitely favoring him. Jobava made it easier on him with a bad queen trade and Nakamura took the full point.

Nakamura's precise moves stopped any tactical counterplay from Jobava

Caruana, Fabiano 0-1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
MVL's understanding of the Najdorf is just superb. It is not just his opening theory, but he knows precisely when to accept a pawn sacrifice and when to return it, and how to continue the game. His precisely timed counter-sacrifice gave him a great amount of activity. He was able to get back his material and even reap some benefits. He converted his advantage in a winning opposite colored bishop endgame. A nice birthday present for himself!

MVL turned 24 today!

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½ Jakovenko, Dmitry
Despite the recent popularity of this variation of the Berlin, it is hard to imagine White ever has too much of an advantage. White's pair of bishops was more symbolic than anything and Jakovenko drew without too many issues.

The FIDE president again doing the opening move on Kasimdzhanov's board

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
Not a boring draw; Radjabov tried to create quick chances on the kingside by taking some risk, but Karjakin was never willing to enter into complicated waters. He kept trying to drag the position back into safety, and he eventually succeeded into forcing a draw.

Karjakin will always be happy with a draw with black

Giri analyzing his game for the press conference... which was watched by no one. For some reason there is no live transmission from Tashkent. No video, no live commentary. It is disappointing that a tournament of this level of importance and with such a caliber does not even have a commentary team that can be watched online at the official website.

Photos by Yulia Manakova from the official website

Round One Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Schedule

Round 01 – October 21 2014, 15:00h
Giri, Anish 2768
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
0-1
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
1-0
Jobava, Baadur 2717
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
0-1
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Round 02 –October 22 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Jobava, Baadur 2717   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Giri, Anish 2768   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Round 03 – October 23 2014, 15:00h
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Giri, Anish 2768
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Jobava, Baadur 2717
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Round 04 – October 24 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Jobava, Baadur 2717   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Giri, Anish 2768   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Round 05 – October 26 2014, 15:00h
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Giri, Anish 2768
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Jobava, Baadur 2717
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Round 06 – October 27 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Jobava, Baadur 2717   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Giri, Anish 2768   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Round 07 – October 28 2014, 15:00h
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Giri, Anish 2768
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747   Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757   Jobava, Baadur 2717
Round 08 – October 29 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Jobava, Baadur 2717
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Giri, Anish 2768   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Round 09 – October 31 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757   Giri, Anish 2768
Jobava, Baadur 2717   Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Round 10 – November 01, 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Andreikin, Dmitry 2722
Giri, Anish 2768   Jobava, Baadur 2717
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Round 11 – November 02, 2014, 13:00h
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Jakovenko, Dmitry 2747   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2757   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Jobava, Baadur 2717   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Andreikin, Dmitry 2722   Giri, Anish 2768

Links

The games are being 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics: Grand Prix, Tashkent

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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cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 10/21/2014 07:34
Tragic that there is not internet coverage of this important tournament. Who does a guy need to bribe to get something done from FIDE on this matter.

Somehow expected Caruana to lose today but think he will go on to win it! Also expect a strong show from the in-form Giri.
Josue Josue 10/21/2014 06:51
The beautiful gaze and presence of Anastasiya Karlovich.
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