In the fifth round of Geneva Grand Prix Alexander Grischuk scored a win against Pavel Eljanov and caught up with Teimour Radjabov on the top of the crosstable.
Grischuk made a good use of black pieces, “The point is that being tempo down is actually to my advantage”, he joked as he explained the subtle difference between his position and the game Jakovenko-Gelfand which was the same setup with colors reversed. “The extra move usually confuses them and they don’t know what to do”, he continued in the same style.
On the more serious note, Grischuk criticized white knights dance on the queenside, which allowed him to build strong presence on the central files. A timely break 18…e4 and white collapsed with his next move. Black snatched a pawn and proceeded to win the game.
Richard Rapport ended the bad streak with a fighting victory against the top rated woman Hou Yifan. The queens were exchanged and the position looked innocent enough when white grabbed the a7-pawn and black replied with ingenious 20…Rg8.
Suddenly, white found herself in big trouble as black piled the pressure along the g-file. Two mistakes, 23.Red1 and 28.Kf1, and white’s position was beyond salvation.
The clash between two fearless fighters, Ernesto Inarkiev and Salem A.R.Saleh, lived up to the expectations as we saw the Naidorf Sicilian with opposite castling and mutual attacks and counterattacks.
Salem surprised his opponent with 13…Qh4+, but Inarkiev did not flinch, castling long despite the porous pawn shield in front of the king.
White was first, however, to launch an assault by sacrificing two pawns in order to open up the h-file. As Inarkiev said in the post-game interview, this was his only advantage in the position, but he used it well.
Inarkiev believes that 31…Qf5 was a mistake after which black position deteriorated, and that the only move was 31…e3. Despite being in huge time trouble, white managed to reach the control and score a victory. “I am very proud of my game today”, Inarkiev concluded.
The remaining six games were drawn.
The honorary first move was made by GM Gilles Miralles, President of Geneva Chess Federation.
Round 5 standings:
1-2. GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2761 and GM Radjabov Teimour AZE 2724 – 3,5
3-6. GM Aronian Levon ARM 2809, GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2800, GM Svidler Peter RUS 2749 and GM Harikrishna Pentala IND 2737 – 3,0
7-14. GM Giri Anish NED 2775, GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2742, GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2739, GM Adams Michael ENG 2736, GM Li Chao B CHN 2735, GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2728, GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2707 and GM Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2703 – 2,5
15. GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2654 – 2,0
16-17. GM Rapport Richard HUN 2694 and GM Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2638 – 1,5
18. GM Hou Yifan CHN 2666 – 1,0
Round 6 pairings (Wednesday 12th July):
GM Grischuk Alexander 2761 – GM Radjabov Teimour 2724
GM Aronian Levon 2809 – GM Harikrishna Pentala 2737
GM Svidler Peter 2749 – GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2800
GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2703 – GM Giri Anish 2775
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2742 – GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2707
GM Li Chao B 2735 – GM Eljanov Pavel 2739
GM Gelfand Boris 2728 – GM Adams Michael 2736
GM Rapport Richard 2694 – GM Riazantsev Alexander 2654
GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2638 – GM Hou Yifan 2666