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The Week in Chess


  • 3rd Karpov Trophy Cap D’Agde 2014 – Games and Results
    The 3rd Karpov Trophy in Cap D’Agde takes place 24th to 26th October alongside an open tournament. 4 player match between Russia and France. Karpov and Gunina for the Russian and Edouard and Sebag for France. Rapid and Blitz elements.
  • World Seniors 2014 – Games and Results
    The World Senior Championships for over 50, over 65 and women takes place in Katerini, Greece 24th October to 4th November 2014. Leading players: Nunn, Hebden, Sturua, Sveshnikov, Bischoff, Movsziszian etc.
  • Vachier-Lagrave leads after four rounds of Tashkent Grand Prix – 4
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave maintained a half point lead going into Saturday’s rest day after four rounds of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent. All the games were drawn in the fourth round but the games were generally hard fought.

    Vachier-Lagrave was the last to finish as he tried to use the extra pawn Sergey Karjakin gave him just out of the opening. The bishops of opposite colours gave black formidable drawing chances but it was suffering all the way for him before he got his half point.

    Anish Giri got a small opening advantage against Fabiano Caruana after playing a slightly unusual move order in the Catalan. The pressure was persistant rather than really dangerous and in the end Giri stopped believing in his chances to convert and the game became equal.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov uncorked a piece of Candidates preparation against Hikaru Nakamura. However Nakamura had seen the idea before even if he couldn’t actually remember what conclusion he came to. 14.Nf4 was the key idea sacrificing a piece, 14…fxe5! 15.Nxg6 Rg8? was a mistake with 15…Rh7 being at least all right for black. 18.Kd2 was a winning advantage for white according to both players. Instead 18.a4 followed and black was at least OK. Nakamura was better at some point but the game eventually drifted to a draw.

    Baadur Jobava and Teimour Radjabov drew a very interesting game in a Gruenfeld sideline where both players were soon on their own. Jobava kept the pressure up on Radjabov throughout the game but black defended very well and the game was drawn.

    Andreikin against Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Boris Gelfand against Dmitry Jakovenko saw black equalise out of the opening and the games finish in early draws.

    All the games have notes to them in the PGN file based on the player press conferences. Even the quick draws had a least some points of theoretical interest and the player comments were very interesting today.

    Round 4 standings: 1 Vachier-Lagrave 3/4 2-4 Nakamura, Andreikin, Karjakin 2.5pts 5-8 Radjabov, Giri, Mamedyarov, Jobava 2pts 9-11 Caruana, Gelfand, Jakovenko 1.5pts 12 Kasimdzhanov 1pt

    Round 5 pairings Sunday 26th October 2014 10am BST: Gelfand-Vachier-Lagrave, Jobava-Jakovenko, Andreikin-Karjakin, Giri-Radjabov, Mamedyarov-Kasimdzhanov, Nakamura-Caruana.

  • Vachier-Lagrave keeps the lead in Tashkent Grand Prix after a Round 3 draw – 3
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave kept a half point lead over the field after a draw with Teimour Radjabov in Round 3 of the Tashkent FIDE Grand Prix. Nakamura, Andreikin and Karjakin are half a point behind.

    Jobava Baadur won on the black side of a Fort Knox Variation of the French Defence against Rustam Kasimdzhanov after getting the better of the opening. Kasimdzhanov decided he could liquidate to a draw by grabbing a pawn on a7 but missed a fine series of ideas starting with 25…Nd4 and ending with 27…Qd7.

    Boris Gelfand felt he got a Benoni with an extra tempo for black, an interesting, playable position. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also thought it was fine for black but not in Gelfand’s style and he was willing to pay the price of that tempo. ”Black is, for sure, OK.” Mamedyarov went wrong with 16.Rae1 and after 16…Qb6 he returned with 17.Ra1 but he pointed out they lost an hour over this decision ”30 minutes for him and 30 minutes for me.” They later reached a ”for sure, drawn position” in an ending where white had bishop and two pawns for a Rook. It seems in fact that Mamedyarov could have kept perhaps a big advantage after 31.Qb6 but he feared Qg5 which looks dangerous but after 32.Rb1 doesn’t seem to be and the black a-pawn drops and white’s a-pawn runs. Mamedyarov found one final practical chance sacrificing the exchange for two pawns which required good calculation from both players and in the end Gelfand blundered with 47…Rxg2 instead of 47…Kd6 and suddenly Mamedyarov was queening a pawn.

    Teimour Radjabov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a long line of theory of the Najdorf Sicilian where they had even studied the endgame in some detail. 27…Qf8 was the novelty taking queens off. White should be better according to Radjabov but in practice black seemed to know what he was doing.

    Sergey Karjakin beat Dmitry Jakovenko in a Reti. Jakovenko thought he had a bad position out of the opening after missing the move 7.Nb3 out of his preparation. Later he gave up a pawn to win the bishop pair and probably had enough compensation at some point but it turned out to be more tricky than he expected and he lost the endgame. Later the players wondered if 29…Bxd2 30.Bxd2 Bxc4 31.b6 Ba6 might be sufficient to hold in a bishops of opposite colours ending.

    Fabiano Caruana played 15.Nge4, a rare move, in a variation of the Berlin Defence he has played many times before in a game against Dmtry Andreikin. Caruana was highly critical of the accuracy of his play and he couldn’t make anything of any advantage he may have had and the game finished in a draw.

    Hikaru Nakamura played for a small technical advantage against Anish Giri. Play was very technical and required a lot of accurate calculation. Giri was worried but in the end he managed to simplify to a draw.

    Round 3 Standings: 1 Vachier-Lagrave 2.5/3 2-4 Nakamura, Andreikin, Karjakin 2pts 5-8 Radjabov, Giri, Mamedyarov, Jobava 1.5pts 9-11 Caruana, Gelfand, Jakovenko 1pts 12 Kasimdzhanov 0.5pts

    Round 4 Pairings Friday 24th October 2014 10am BST: Gelfand-Jakovenko, Vachier-Lagrave-Karjakin, Jobava-Radjabov, Andreikin-Kasimdzhanov, Giri-Caruana, Mamedyarov-Nakamura

  • 77th Tata Steel Masters 2015 – Games and Results
    The 77th Tata Steel Tournament takes place 9th- 25th January 2015. The venue is the traditional De Moriaan building in Wijk aan Zee. However two rounds will take place in satellite venues. Round 5 of 15th January takes place in De Rotterdam, the recently opened eye-catching building at the waterfront of the river Meuse in Rotterdam, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. Round 10 on 21st January takes place in the recently renovated press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague.

    World Champion and World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen returns after a year’s break. Number two Fabiano Caruana and defending champion Levon Aronian returns. The Masters group also is back to 14 players and 13 rounds and two more players will be added to the list below.

    Masters Group players and World Ranking in October: Magnus Carlsen (1), Fabiano Caruana (2), Levon Aronian (5), Anish Giri (7), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (13), Wesley So (14) Ding Liren (22) Vasilly Ivanchuk (24) Teimour Radjabov (25) Ivan Saric (66) Hou Yifan (72) and Loek van Wely (85).

    B-Group will be announced in November. Robin van Kampen and Anne Haast (Dutch women’ champion) will be playing.

  • 18th Corsican Circuit 2014 – Games and Results
    The 18th Corsican Circuit took place 18th-22nd Oct 2014. A rapid open qualified for a knockout event with Viswanathan Anand and Hou Yifan. Anand was knocked out by Sergey Fedorchuk 1.5-0.5 in the Semi-final after having won all his previous games. Hou Yifan survived an armageddon tie-break to beat Robert Ruck and reach the final All the games were in Bastia. The final in Ajaccio on the 22nd was won 2-0 by Hou Yifan over Fedorchuk.
  • Vachier-Lagrave races to 2/2 in the Tashkent Grand Prix – 2
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave scored his second consecutive win in the Tashkent Grand Prix to lead alone on 2/2. He beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov on the white side of a Berlin Defence with 4.d3. Vachier-Lagrave had a nice edge from the opening and put the pressure on, It does seems there was one possibility of escape for black with 20…Rxd3 with a minimal disadvantage but after 20…Nb3 Kasimdzhanov was just a pawn down for no compensation.

    Baadur Jobava is one of the most exciting players in the world to watch but his high risk style runs a lot of risks in a field as strong as this. Today it looked like Fabiano Caruana would take his 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Be2!?! apart. Caruana won Jobava’s Queen for Rook and Minor piece but maybe he could have done even better with 11…Ne7. Caruana found ways to make life extremely difficult but after 44…Ra8 (44…Rh1!?) the game was just equal and soon drawn.

    Anish Giri looked to have a large advantage against a quick playing Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a Semi-Slav but it wasn’t all that easy in reality and may have been preparation. Stockfish wants to play 29.Kd4 which may lead to a white advantage after major complications but that wasn’t easy. In the end the players drew by repetition.

    Boris Gelfand had a comfortable but small edge in a Queen’s Indian against Sergey Karjakin but as played it was never more than that and the game was drawn on move 40.

    Dmitry Jakovenko got a nice endgame pull to torture Teimour Radjabov with in an English but couldn’t quite build it into a win.

    The first game to finish was that between Hikaru Nakamura and Dmitry Andreikin. It may be Andreikin was better prepared because after his 18…Kf7 novelty (Fressinet won with 18…c4+ against a weaker opponent) the players repeated to draw.

    Round 2 Standings: 1 Vachier-Lagrave 2pts 2-3 Nakamura, Andreikin 1.5pts 4-8 Karjakin, Gelfand, Radjabov, Giri, Jakovenko 1pt 9-12 Mamedyarov, Kasimdzhanov, Caruana, Jobava 0.5pts

    Round 3 Thursday 23rd Oct 2014 10am BST: Mamedyarov-Gelfand, Nakamura-Giri, Caruana-Andreikin, Kasimdzhanov-Jobava, Radjabov-Vachier-Lagrave, Karjakin-Jakovenko.

  • Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura and Andreikin start with wins in the Tashkent FIDE Grand Prix – 1
    The first round of the FIDE Grand Prix started with three decisive games and much enterprising play. Favourite Fabiano Caruana was defeated by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in what is now becoming a mini-slump. Caruana has lost almost 19 rating points in the last six games, surely as a result of finally running out of energy following an intensive programme of events going back to June.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a sharp Najdorf Sicilian as black against Fabiano Caruana. Perhaps Caruana expected 15…g6 (Svidler-Sjugirov this year) or 15…Nf4 (a number of recent games) but was instead faced with 15…Qc7. Caruana gave up a pawn with 16.Nd5 and a second one after 26…Qxh2. Maybe 22.cxb4 was a mistake (22.h4) but Caruana couldn’t find compensation and Vachier-Lagrave eventually stabilised his position and converted his material advantage.

    Hikaru Nakamura beat Baadur Jobava in a very enterprising game. Jobava was a last minute addition as the news came through that Tehran had been replaced as a Grand Prix venue by Tbilisi. Jobava played his usual exciting sharp chess but was soon having to justify the play. 28…Qxc1 was the decisive error with 28…Qe5 keeping things going at least for a while.

    Dmitry Andreikin was another player who tried to take the initiative as black and he too looked set for defeat. 19…Qd6 (19…Qf6) 20.f4! left Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in control and eventually winning on the run up to first time control but missed chances 37.Rd6! and 40.Rb6! through all of the advantage away. White needed to bail out with 45.Ra8 but instead after 47.Kh4? it was Andreikin who brought home the full point.

    Anish Giri seemed to run into some classic Boris Gelfand preparation and 10…Nh5 followed up with 12…Qh4+ black seemed to have almost no problems. Giri sacrificed a pawn which left him with a completely safe position where black definitely couldn’t undertake anything active but it seems white can’t either and the game was agreed drawn.

    Teimour Radjabov went for an interesting attack against Sergey Karjakin but black defended precisely and was perhaps slightly better at one point. Then pieces were traded and a drawn ending was reached.

    Rustam Kasimdzhanov obtained the two bishops out of the opening in a Berlin Defence but black never seemed in any real trouble and the game was drawn in 61 moves.

    Round 1 Standings: 1-3 Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Andreikin 1pt 4-9 Karjakin, Giri, Gelfand, Jakovenko, Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov 0.5pts 10-12 Caruana, Mamedyarov, Jobava 0pts

    Round 2 Pairings Wed 22nd Oct 10am BST: Gelfand-Karjakin, Jakovenko-Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave-Kasimdzhanov, Jobava-Caruana, Andreikin-Nakamura, Giri-Mamedyarov.

  • Tashkent FIDE Grand Prix 2014 – Games and Results
    The 2nd tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix series 2014-15 takes place in the Gallery of Fine Art in Tashkent Monday 20th October (opening ceremony) to 3rd November 2014. This follows hard on the heels of last week’s event in Baku. Remaining tournaments are in Tbilsi, Georgia 14th–28th February 2015 and Moscow, Russia 13th–27th May 2015. The prize fund is €120,000 with the winner getting €20,000.

    Round 1 Tuesday 21st October at 10am BST. The rounds seem to be scheduled an hour earlier than in Baku.

    Players: Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Boris Gelfand, Dmitri Jakovenko, Dmitry Andreikin, Teimour Radjabov, Baadur Jobava and Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Page for games and results.

    FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent Round 1 Tue 21st Oct 10am BST: Giri-Gelfand, Mamedyarov-Andreikin, Nakamura-Jobava, Caruana-Vachier-Lagrave, Kasimdzhanov-Jakovenko, Radjabov-Karjakin

  • World Juniors 2014 – Games and Results
    The World Junior Chess Championships took place in Pune, India 6th to 19th October 2014. Top seeds in the open: Vladimir Fedoseev, Robin Van Kampen, Wei Yi, Vidit Gujrathi. Jorge Cori, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Benjamin Bok, Karen H. Grigoryan etc. In the Girls event Aleksandra Goryachkina and Meri Arabidze are the top seeds. Games and results. Lu Shanglei of China took the title with 10/13 half a point clear of his compatriot Wei Yi who edged out top seed Vladimir Fedoseev who took bronze on tie-break from Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia dominated the Girls event winning with 11/13 one and half points clear of Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran and Ann Chumpitaz of Peru.
  • Chigorin Memoral 2014 – Games and Results
    The Chigorin Memoral takes place Fri 17th Oct to Mon 27th Oct 2014,. Denis Khismatullin won the blitz event on the first day. The top seeds in the open are: Maxim Matlakov, Evgeny Alekseev, Denis Khismatullin, Maxim Rodshtein, Boris Grachev, Sanan Sjugirov, Ilia Smirin, Ildar Khairullin, Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Dmitry Kokarev, Ivan Ivanisevic, Zaven Andriasian etc
  • Schachbundesliga 2014-15 – Games and Results
    The very strong German Schachbundesliga takes place Sat 18th Oct 2014 to Sun 12th Apr 2015. Games and standings on this page.
  • American Continental 2014 – Games and Results
    The American Continental Championship takes place in Praia da Pipa in Brazil. Games and results daily at http://chess-results.com/tnr147485.aspx and reports from Luis Rodi at: http://xadrezdiarionews.blogspot.com.br/. Top seeds: Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Jukio Granda Zuniga, Axel Bachmann, Rafael Leitao, Sam Shankland, Emilio Cordova, Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez etc
  • 18th Unive Chess 2014 – Games and Results
    The 18th Unive Chess tournament takes place 11th to 18th October 2014. The main events are 6 game matches Anish Giri vs Alexei Shirov and Baadur Jobava vs Jan Timman. These start Sunday. Alongside is the traditional open. Play starts 2pm local time 1pm UK time.
  • Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014 – Games and Results
    The Baku FIDE Grand Prix took place 2nd (Round 1) to 14th October 2014. This is the first of four in the series where Candidates places are at stake. Players: Caruana, Grischuk, Nakamura, Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Dominguez Perez, Gelfand, Svidler, Andreikin, Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov and Tomashevsky. Games and results page. Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand shared first place.
  • Gelfand and Caruana share first in Baku Grand Prix – 11
    Boris Gelfand and Fabiano Caruana shared first place in the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku. Gelfand was satisfied with this result but pointed out he will have to follow it with two more good results in the series, Caruana said ”I can’t say it’s bad to tie for first.” but was really disatisfied with the level of his play.

    Peter Svidler tried to surprise Boris Gelfand in a sideline of the Najdorf Sicilian ”The moment I realised Boris is not surprised by this my hopes of getting anything diminished greatly” and indeed Svidler thought he had to be careful to steer the game to a draw.

    Fabiano Caruana had a sharp struggle in a Ruy Lopez against Evgeny Tomashevsky where towards the end it seemed he might stand slightly worse. Tomashevsky himself pointed out that +1 against a field where he was the lowest rated player was a good result and in the final position where he accepted a draw he couldn’t think of any ideas. Caruana’s full assessment below and game annotated in the PGN.

    The only winner today was Alexander Grischuk who took advantage of Leinier Dominguez’ collapse in form to eventually score a victory but only after the position was not very good for him. Grischuk scored 3/4 in the final rounds, it was a turn around that occurred when he ”moved to the hotel with windows”. Detailed quote below and game annotated in the PGN.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was faced with a very sharp Queen’s Gambit Accepted from Rustam Kasimdzhanov. This led to a very interesting struggle and a draw. I compiled a detailed set of notes in the PGN from their comments.

    Teimour Radjabov tried to follow in Mamedyarov’s footsteps with his choice of anti-King’s Indian weapon against Hikaru Nakamura but he didn’t quite get it right and the game quickly traded to a draw. According to Mamedyarov he should have tried 15.f4 not 15.b4.

    Dmitry Andreikin finished the event with a rather disappointing draw against Sergey Karjakin. Karjakin traded into an ending that could have been nasty for him but 29.Kf3? (29.f4!) lost the advantage as he missed the 29…Ra8 30…Rd8 regrouping that relieved the pressure.

    Final standings: 1-2 Gelfand, Caruana 6.5pts (155 Grand Prix points) 3-7 Tomashevsky, Nakamura, Grischuk, Karjakin, Svidler 6pts (82 Grand Prix points) 8 Radjabov 5.5pts (50 Grand Prix points) 9-10 Mamedyarov, Kasimdzhanov 5pts (35 Grand Prix points) 11 Andreikin 4.5pts (20 Grand Prix points) 12 Dominguez 3pts (10 Grand Prix points)

    Next Grand Prix starts in exactly 1 week’s time in Tashkent. Round times likely to be the same as in Baku, same time zone.

    Below quotes and link to the PGN file with three games annotated with the player comments in quite a lot of detail.

  • Millionaire Chess 2014 – Games and Results
    The Millionaire Chess tournament took place in Las Vegas 9th to 13th October 2014. American razzmatazz and a million dollar prize fund. Leading players Wesley So, Bu Xiangxi, Le Quang Liem, Yu Yangyi, Rauf Mamedov, Aleksey Dreev were at the top of the draw. Wesley So won the title beating Zhou,Jianchao 3-1 in the semi-finals and Ray Robson 1.5-0.5 in the final.
  • Caruana and Gelfand lead going into Baku Grand Prix final round – 10
    The FIDE Grand Prix goes into Tuesday’s final round with Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand back in the joint lead following the most decisive round of the event yet.

    Caruana defeated a clearly struggling Leinier Dominguez-Perez with a calm performance. ”Considering my tournament situation I decided to experiment a little bit. After move 15 Iwas already seriously worse. 9.Nb5 was probably too ambitious.” (9.Nf3 was probably better). Caruana brought home the point easily enough.

    Boris Gelfand also had a relatively straightforward day when he won a Catalan straight out of the opening ”I just blundered the transposition in the opening” Radjabov after which [white's knight ended up on d2 rather than c3 accelerating his play down the c-file] black’s position is extremely unpleasant.

    Peter Svidler took most of the interest early on when he first thought for 40 minutes over 14.. Nh5 after 14.Qe2. Karjakin said he was banking on 16.Ne3 and this turned out not to work after which Svidler was winning. However finding the kill was certainly not easy. Svidler thought he was just winning after 17…Nxg2 although 17…Nd4 was perhaps the better way. 23.Qf4+ Kg2 24.Qe4+ was the computer preference but both 23…Rad8 and 23…Ne6 were also very dangerous. After a long think 23…Bd6 24.c3! Svidler took the draw. Obviously very cross with himself and Karjakin had an extremely lucky escape.

    Alexander Grischuk played the fairly outrageous 5…Nh6 in the Semi-Slav the kind of move Boris Gelfand would take as a ”personal insult” was how he described it. But it did at least force one of the world’s great theoreticians Rustam Kasimdzhanov onto his own resources. Grischuk thought 20.Rhe1 careless as he then generated huge play on the kingside and he broke through there to win in only 13 more moves.

    Hikaru Nakamura said he was seeing very little clearly in his game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and was fairly lucky that the game ended in such a quick draw.

    Evgeny Tomashevsky finally won a game in an extremely sharp struggle against Dmitry Andreikin, not his usual preference but he did have the better of it throughout and was finally winning after a time scramble to reach first time control.

    Round 10 Standings: 1-2 Caruana, Gelfand 6pts 3-6 Karjakin, Nakamura, Tomashevsky, Svidler 5.5pts 7-8 Grischuk, Radjabov 5pts 9-10 Mamedyarov, Kasimdzhanov 4.5pts 11 Andreikin 4pts 12 Dominguez 3pts

    Round 11 Pairings. Tuesday 14th Oct. 2hrs earlier than other rounds 9am UK time: Mamedyarov-Kasimdzhanov, Radjabov-Nakamura, Svidler-Gelfand, Andreikin-Karjakin, Caruana-Tomashevsky, Grischuk-Dominguez

  • PokerStars IoM Masters 2014 – Games and Results
    The PokerStars IoM Masters took place 4th to 12th October 2014. Leading players: Michael Adams, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Laurent Fressinet, Gabriel Sargissian, Julio E Granda Zuniga, Sergei Tiviakov, Gawain C B Jones, David W L Howell, Nigel D Short, Abhijeet Gupta, Daniel Fridman, Mihail Marin, Tiger Hillarp Persson, Alon Greenfeld, Mark L Hebden, Jonathan Hawkins, Anatoly Vaisser, etc. Games and results. Nigel Short fell out of the top 100 in September but made a quick return with an impressive victory with 7.5/9 a point clear of the field. On Short’s twitter account he commented ”Nice to be back in the top 100 (85th) after briefly exiting for the 1st time in 30 years. I am ecstatic. So pleased with my result. Actually I would have contented just to stop the rot. But I know I can play well when not distracted.”
  • Six way tie for first after leaders Gelfand and Caruana beaten in Baku Round 9 – 9
    The result of the Baku FIDE Grand Prix was thrown wide open with the leaders Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand both being defeated in round 9 of 11 of the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku. Caruana, Nakamura, Karjakin, Gelfand, Radjabov and Svidler are tied on 5/9 with Kasimdzhanov and Tomashevsky just half a point back. All to play for almost everyone but Dominguez after this round.

    Fabiano Caruana has been playing almost continuously since June and in fact flies almost directly from Baku to Tashkent for the next Grand Prix. Today he looked very weary. He admitted his loss to Grischuk was coming. ”Most of my games have been pretty bad.”

    Alexander Grischuk played a suggestion of Anish Giri 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.dxc5 e6! and immediately Caruana went into a half hour think, far too long as he admitted. Caruana was on top in a very sharp struggle but he let the advantage go and with both players down to about 4 minutes for 8 moves Caruana blundered decisively with 32.Kg1 (32.Kf1=) allowing Grischuk to execute an idea he’d seen a few moves before with 32… Rd2 33.Ra2 Nxg2! after which it was all over.

    Boris Gelfand had already gone down to a bad loss against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Mamedyarov’s preparation left him with a pleasant advantage almost for the first time in the tournament. Gelfand played a Benoni structure a tempo up but it didn’t make it easy to handle and after allowing 23.b5 Gelfand seemed to not believe in his chances anymore and his position quickly collapsed.

    Hikaru Nakamura admitted he achieved absolutely nothing against Rustam Kasimdzhanov’s Berlin Defence. Nakamura thought for a long time over his 22.Bg3 before spotting that 22…Rxe4 couldn’t be played. He turned out to be right in thinking that the refutation 23.Rd8 Bd7 24.Re1 with the win of material maybe wasn’t that easy to see and he won this way. Instead 22…Ne6 and the game should be drawn.

    Dmitry Andreikin and Leinier Dominguez have been horribly out of form in this tournament and they demonstrated this again with a strange game together. Andreikin sacrificed a piece with 18.Nxd5 but after 20…Nb8! he had nowhere near enough compensation. However Dominguez started missing things, a lot of things, he listed them after the game, but he was still winning until 32…Qd3 which allows white near equality. ”After move 40 I was just so depressed I just couldn’t think anymore.” Dominguez who went on to lose.

    Peter Svidler pointed to 12.c3 as a poor move against Evgeny Tomashevsky after which he had no advantage. In the end black probably didn’t have enough of an edge to justify continuing so he allowed a repetition on move 22.

    Teimour Radjabov isn’t yet a natural player of the English Opening and allowed a quick trade into a drawn endgame. Probably neither was all that unhappy.

    Round 9 Standings: 1-6 Caruana, Nakamura, Karjakin, Gelfand, Radjabov, Svidler 5pts 7-8 Kasimdzhanov, Tomashevsky 4.5pts 9-11 Grischuk, Mamedyarov, Andreikin 4pts 12 Dominguez 3pts

    Round 10 pairings Monday 11am BST: Kasimdzhanov-Grischuk, Dominguez-Caruana, Tomashevsky-Andreikin, Karjakin-Svidler, Gelfand-Radjabov, Nakamura-Mamedyarov