Grischuk bounced back after yesterday’s loss by winning against Baadur Jobava.
The remaining four games were drawn.
Press conferences will be available in the video gallery. Next round is on 20th February.
Photos by Maria Emelianova
Brazilian Grandmaster Alexandr Fier commented:
“It’s nice to see so many strong players in Tbilisi now, it’s not so often that we have such strong tournaments here. I’m happy to watch and analyse here in the press room, we have some interesting games because the players are in fighting mood. I hope it will continue like this until the end of the tournament.”
Dominguez – Kasimdzhanov 1/2
Kasimdzhanov defended with the Rubinstein French, reasoning that “Dominguez didn’t have this opening since 2009 and perhaps he doesn’t remember the sharp lines he played back then.”
The Cuban agreed and said he wanted to avoid the tactical lines because he feared opponent’s preparation.
Kasimdzhanov said that his training partner convinced him that after 11…c5 black has nothing to worry about.
White couldn’t get the advantage from the opening, the point being that 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Bxb7 Rb8 18.Rd1 g6 doesn’t work because b2-pawn is hanging. Draw was agreed on move 31.
Giri – Andreikin 1/2
The opening saw the very popular Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez.
Giri admitted that he didn’t have advantage at any point during the game. He considered 15.Bxe4 exd4 but black is okay in all lines.
During the press conference the players devoted lots of time to exploring the pawn ending after 27.Nxe5 Rxe5 etc, but the conclusion is that black should hold the ground. Draw signed on move 31.
Mamedyarov – Tomashevsky 0-1
Black defended with the Chebanenko Slav and white employed the idea of world champion Magnus Carlsen from the game with Hikaru Nakamura in Gashimov Memorial. The point is that after 6.Be2 h6 black no longer has Bg6 at disposal and white can force the bishop exchange on d3.
Mamedyarov later said that if Carlsen can play this way, it doesn’t mean that other players can follow the same steps. He now believes that the line does not suit his style. Finally, he said that when Carlsen’s games are shown, a TV-like scroll should warn the audience “do not try this at home”.
Tomashevsky said he played “the tricky” 14…Re8 because he didn’t like the look of 14…a4 15.b4 Nd6 16.c5 Nc4 17.Bc1, and wanted to see what will white do next.
Mamedyarov added that after 18.a4 white is slightly better, but then he missed 20…b5. He understood that the trend is shifting and believes that from then on he should have played to salvage a draw.
But during the match white was still showing great ambition (22.c5), which only allowed “black knight to find a good square (c6) for the first time in the game” (Tomashevsky comment).
The Russian suggested 22.cxd5 Qxd5 23.Rb1 as more restrained approach. He added that from then on white can perhaps hold with perfect play, but the black position was just much easier to develop.
Immediately after the time control white committed a grave error 41.Rb1 and was soon forced to resign.
Svidler – Vachier-Lagrave 1/2
Both players are world-leading experts in the Gruenfeld Indian defence and the match attracted great attention. Svidler is “persistent to make the lines with h3 work, but without much success”. He added that this is some sort of his personal quest, which might as well be abandoned soon.
Black sacrificed an exchange early on in order to anchor the knight on dominant square d4. Vachier-Lagrave pointed that his preparation was up to 17…Bd7. The players have shown 17…Bxh3 18.Bxd4 Bxd4 19.Rad1 as not that great for black.
The game was very complicated and the press conference was quite entertaining as many nice variations were presented.
At one point Svidler said he didn’t like 20.Qa5 because of simple 20…a6. Vachier-Lagrave replied that he planned 20…b6 21.Qxa7 b5, which invited Svidler’s sincere comment – “You are very exciting chess player, I would just protect the pawn and continue the game.”
White invested lots of effort to force 26…e5, but later admitted that it was not such a great achievement. After some maneuvering the game was finally drawn by repetition.
Grischuk – Jobava 1-0
The Caro-Kann Advance variation was seen in many games of both players. Grischuk remarked that Jobava always comes up with original ideas and this was the first time that he employed the plan with Bxf3, g6 and h5.
Grischuk said that black position is very passive but still solid. White didn’t have time for slow 14.g3 because black immediately strikes in the center with c6-c5. In the game, 14…c5 did not work because there comes 15.c4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 cxd4 17.Qa4 and black is lagging with development.
White maintained certain advantage and then black made a mistake with 23…Nc8 allowing the central breakthrough.
From then on it was only matter of technique for white. Still, there were certain issues to deal with. Grischuk proposed that 34…Rd2 was a better try, then 35.b4 Rb2 36.Rb6 Nc4 37.Rb5 Na3 or 35.b3 Ra2 36.Be4 g5!? 37. Ra4 g4. White was afraid that if black can sacrifice the knight for queenside pawns the ending might not be winning anymore.
Black checked the opponent’s king and allowed its passage to the center. He resigned after the time control.
Official commentator Tornike Sanikidze noted that Grischuk played a model game from the white side of Advance variation.
Radjabov – Jakovenko 1/2
In the longest game of the day Radjabov tried to convert an extra pawn for almost six hours, but in the end had to concede a draw.
The play started quietly, with a positional line in the Queen’s Indian defence. Everything revolved around the a-file and the e4-square.
Black decided to change the pawn structure, removing the white d4-pawn and hoping to open up the long diagonal for the bishop. But then he missed the neat opportunity to force a perpetual with 28…c5! 29.Rxc5 Nf3+ 30.gxf3 Rxc5 and Qg6-b1.
White won a pawn and black was able to at least break opponent’s pawn structure.
Radjabov tried to win the queen ending with small material advantage for more than 40 moves, but black defended tenaciously and finally earned a tie.