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The Week in Chess


  • Andreikin beats Jobava to lead Tashkent Grand Prix after 9 rounds – 9
    Dmitry Andreikin could not have asked for an easier way to take the lead of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent when he defeated joint leader Baadur Jobava in Round 9. The only other game of the day was also a strange effort by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Hikaru Nakamura and Mamedyarov share 2nd place.

    Jobava said he came with great ambitions to beat Andreikin today but it all went wrong early on in a Veresov. Judging from the press conference it seemed the main problem was Jobava was simply missing almost everything. Andreikin didn’t even necessarily play the best but he was a pawn up in a winning ending in only a few moves and he eventually brought the full point home.

    Hikaru Nakamura played the King’s Indian against Sergey Karjakin and a sharp unclear position was reached. However Karjakin managed to leave himself 20 moves to play in 20 minutes so he repeated for a draw.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played the Dutch for only the second time in his career in response to 1.Nf3. Mamedyarov was already in trouble after 6…e5 and practically lost after 15.Bf7. 16.Qc2 (16.ef was very hard to meet) was a serious inaccuracy from Jakovenko as 16…c6 gave Mamedyarov something to play for. After 23…exf5 the position was nearly equal and 26.c5, gambling on a fast running c-pawn was seriously flawed and Mamedyarov brought home the full point with his a-pawn.

    Radjabov vs Caruana drew a heavyweight Berlin Defence that was very difficult to understand even for the players.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave against Anish Giri was a very sharp Ruy Lopez where white continually threatened to sacrifice material for an attack but Giri was accurate enough to avoid this and keep winning chances himself until they found a way to repeat.

    Rustam Kasimdzhanov played some deep preparation in Boris Gelfand’s favourite Najdorf Sicilian. Gelfand found a way to avoid serious disadvantage and even took the edge at one point before the game finished in perpetual check.

    Round 9 standings: 1 Andreikin 6pts 2-3 Nakamura, Mamedyarov 5.5pts 4-5 Vachier-Lagrave, Jobava, 5pts 6-8 Radjabov, Karjakin, Caruana 4.5pts 9 Jakovenko, Giri 4pts 11 Kasimdzhanov 3pts 12 Gelfand 2.5pts

    Round 10 Pairings Saturday 1st November 9am GMT: Gelfand-Andreikin, Giri-Jobava, Mamedyarov-Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura-Jakovenko, Caruana-Karjakin, Kasimdzhanov-Radjabov

  • Jobava joins Andreikin and Nakamura in the lead after 8 rounds of the Tashkent Grand Prix – 8
    30 year old Baadur Jobava has been the star of the Tashkent Grand Prix so far with his games and press conferences being by far the most interesting. Today he was the only winner and he joined Hikaru Nakamura and Dmitry Andreikin in the lead on 5/8 going into the final rest day on Thursday (it really is the rest day this time, I had it wrong initially yesterday).

    Jobava hit the mark completely with his opening choice against a struggling Boris Gelfand. Jobava allowed Gelfand to build a huge pawn centre but dragged his opponent into the kind of position where he felt uncomfortable. The players didn’t comment on 14.Qg3 but this might have been the point where black became better (14.Qg2 allows Gelfand to centralise the queen next) and black quickly had all the chances. 19…Kb8 was questioned by Jobava (19…f5) but it’s not clear it was better than played. 20.Bc2 was a ”horrible move” according to Gelfand and his position quickly became unplayable as Jobava opened the centre and took the e-file after which the game was quickly over. Gelfand looked thoroughly dejected as one might feel after such a going over.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin drew a theoretical 4.f3 Nimzo-Indian where Karjakin’s preparation took him to a drawn position. He decided to play on rather than go for perpetual but questioned why later as he only ended up with chances to lose although the position remained equal and was drawn.

    Dmitry Andreikin played a Gruenfeld sideline where his opponent Maxime Vachier-Lagrave clearly understood it better. Andreikin just gave in and repeated.

    A pragmatic Hikaru Nakamura was surprised by the Ragozin Defence from Teimour Radjabov and quickly just played for a draw rather than risk anything.

    Anish Giri talked about how frustrating it was to play against Dmitry Jakovenko’s ultra-solid opening repertoire although he added playing this was not to everyone’s taste as black. They repeated a line where black sacrifices his queen for a blockade. Giri needed to try to push on the kingside immediately to have any chances of breaking this (even then it’s not certain he can) and the game drifted to a draw.

    Fabiano Caruana admitted to another poor game today. He got nothing from the opening and nearly succeeded in getting himself into trouble before making the draw against Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

    Detailed notes from the press conferences in the PGN file.

    Round 8 Standings: 1-3 Andreikin, Nakamura, Jobava 5pts/8 4-5 Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov 4.5pts 6-9 Radjabov, Jakovenko, Karjakin, Caruana 4pts 10 Giri 3.5pts 11 Kasimdzhanov 2.5pts 12 Gelfand 2pts

    Round 9 pairings Friday 31st October 9am GMT: Kasimdzhanov-Gelfand, Radjabov-Caruana, Karjakin-Nakamura, Jakovenko-Mamedyarov, Vachier-Lagrave-Giri, Jobava-Andreikin,

  • Andreikin and Nakamura continue to lead after seven rounds of Tashkent Grand Prix – 7
    There was no change at the top of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent with the leaders Dmitry Andreikin and Hikaru Nakamura both holding draws as black. Perhaps the most important result was Caruana’s win against Gelfand, he needs to avoid a disaster here to back up his joint win in Baku in the chase for places in the Candidates and returns to 50%. Sergey Karjakin won a rather odd game against Anish Giri. There is apparently not a rest day on Wednesday but on Thursday.

    Hikaru Nakamura felt obliged to try at least to win as black against Rustam Kasimdzhanov but drew a fascinating Dutch Defence. The players showed an awful lot in the press conference, notes in the PGN.

    Dmitry Andreikin drew a Bf4 Queen’s Gambit in much the same way his opponent Jakovenko did against Gelfand earlier in the event. This whole line sees black trying to avoid a bad ending but having quite a bit of activity. There was an interesting exchange sacrifice available at one point. The game finished in a draw.

    Baadur Jobava said there was a reason for his very wild play today but he couldn’t explain to the press conference. He played the over the board inspiration of 6…h5 vs the Advanced Caro Kann against Maxim Vachier-Lagrave and maybe if he’d met 8.Ne1?! with f6 in the next couple of moves it would have been justified. He did keep finding ways to complicate an increasingly bad position 30.Bc3 was absolutely the cleanest finish missed by MVL. In the end he allowed the Georgian to escape with a draw.

    Fabiano Caruana played a very soft variation of the Nimzo-Indian against Boris Gelfand and most likely black had completely equalised after only a few moves. Instead Gelfand never quite killed Caruana’s chances 20…dxc5 Gelfand had to be accurate and frustrated 23…Rxc5 made life harder and 24…Rxa5 lost to a relatively simple tactic. Still important in the race for qualification as both led the Grand Prix after Baku and were struggling here.

    Teimour Radjabov vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished in a quick draw after all the pieces came off. It could have got exciting but the players seemed happy enough to share the point.

    Sergey Karjakin won the final game to finish beating Anish Giri in a Taimanov Sicilian by transposition. To be honest it looked like Giri didn’t really know what he was doing and he didn’t really believe in his his rare 8…h5 against 7.Qf3, itself not the main line. Karjakin got a big advantage but couldn’t quite finish things off. Giri was right back in the game until 28…e5? blundered his entire position away after 29.Qa6!

    Round 7 Standings: 1-2 Andreikin, Nakamura 4.5/7 3-5 Jobava, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov 4pts 6-9 Radjabov, Caruana, Jakovenko, Karjakin 3.5 10 Giri 3pts 11-12 Kasimdzhanov, Gelfand 2pts

    Round 8 Pairings Wednesday 29th 9am: Gelfand-Jobava, Andreikin-Vachier-Lagrave, Giri-Jakovenko, Mamedyarov-Karjakin, Nakamura-Radjabov, Caruana-Kasimdzhanov

  • Andreikin and Nakamura lead Tashkent Grand Prix after 6 rounds – 6
    Dmitry Andreikin got himself a share of the Tashkent Grand Prix lead with Hikaru Nakamura after he defeated Sergey Karjakin whilst Nakamura just held on against Fabiano Caruana. Andreikin hadn’t played since the Candidates until he played in the recent Baku Grand Prix and was awfully rusty there. Here he seems to be back to his best.

    Andreikin tried the Torre variation and took things in an original direction. After 12 moves Sergey Karjakin was down to 20 minutes to make move 40 and admitted he didn’t play well after that.

    Nakamura tried to play it safe against Caruana’s Nimzo-Indian, allowed almost instant equalisation and then after giving up a pawn could only try and hold on for a draw. Play remained difficult and Caruana eventually managed to lose his extra pawn and have to be accurate to draw. A game that won’t make either’s best game compilations.

    Probable game of the day and certainly press conference of the day was the draw between Baadur Jobava and Dmitry Jakovenko in a Nimzo-Indian. Jobava said he was trying to play it safe with his solid choice but soon he again made play very difficult for both sides. I’ve rounded up some of the lines in the PGN file, the players agreed a draw with 4 moves and about 20 seconds each to make time control.

    Boris Gelfand seemed to get a substantial advantage out of the opening against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s Gruenfeld after surprising him with the Bf4 variation but play remained complex and in fact he had to be careful to draw in the end.

    Shakriyar Mamedyarov beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov in a messy Vienna game where fortunes swung back and forth but in the end Kasimdzhanov missed something and lost quickly.

    Anish Giri tried a long line against Teimour Radjabov’s Berlin Defence. Radjabov took over an hour to get to a known position and then blundered. 25…f5? but 26.g5 returned the favour (26.Rxc7 was very dangerous) leading to an ending where white was pressing but it wasn’t easy to see how he would break through and he didn’t.

    Detailed notes in the PGN from all the press conferences except the last game to finish between Nakamura and Caruana which was messy and the players didn’t seem very happy with their play either.

    Round 6 Standings: 1-2 Nakamura, Andreikin 4pts 3-5 Mamedyarov, Jobava, Vachier-Lagrave 3.5pts 6-8 Radjabov, Jakovenko, Giri 3pts 9-10 Caruana, Karjakin 2.5pts 11 Gelfand 2pts 12 Kasimdzhanov 1.5pts

    Round 7 Pairings Tuesday 27th Oct 2014 9am GMT. Caruana-Gelfand, Kasimdzhanov-Nakamura, Radjabov-Mamedyarov, Karjakin-Giri, Jakovenko-Andreikin, Vachier-Lagrave-Jobava.

  • Nakamura leads the Tashkent Grand Prix after marathon win against Gelfand in Round 5 – 5
    Hikaru Nakamura leads the FIDE Grand Prix after grinding out a win in 97 moves against Boris Gelfand. Meanwhile leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave lost a rather depressing game in the Gruenfeld against Dmitry Jakovenko. He played an inferior line having missed the line in his preparation and was struggling. Baadur Jobava moved into joint second with a sacrificial win against Sergey Karjakin.

    Jakovenko beat leader Vachier-Lagrave in a topical line of the Gruenfeld. Vachier-Lagrave repeated a line of the Gruenfeld Jakovenko was pleased to see as black could only hope for a draw but Vachier-Lagrave thought it a line he might remember but he didn’t and soon got into trouble and eventually lost. ”If you don’t remember the line it’s a tough day.” – Vachier-Lagrave.

    Hikaru Nakamura assumed the lead after griding out a win against Boris Gelfand. Gelfand equalised in a Moscow Variation of the Sicilian but never quite killed the game and his resistance weakened in the run up to move 40. Nakamura wasn’t sure the knight ending was winning for him (Gelfand thought it was) and so ground away and after 88 moves of tiresome defence Gelfand blundered and the game was over.

    The game of the day almost didn’t happen as Sergey Karjakin arrived at the board with only 30 seconds to spare after losing track of time. He played a sideline of the Caro-Kann and Jobava, initially surprised find a concrete way of getting counter-play. Jobava was allowed to sacrifice a piece to open up white’s king for what he thought was at least a draw. Karjakin fell into deep thought a few moves later, considered the two best moves, couldn’t make them work and after half an hour played a third inferior move and although play remained difficult he lost in only a few more moves.

    Rustam Kasimdzhanov played a sideline of the Gruenfeld after being surprised by Giri’s choice of the opening. Giri got some advantage but in the bid to win probably got himself in a small amount of trouble but Kasimdzhanov couldn’t find a way through. ”Black got a really sad endgame but as usual I didn’t show enough technique.” Kasimdzhanov.

    Fabiano Caruana and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played a topical line of the Slav Defence that Mamedyarov knew better. He equalised, maybe could have pushed for more but seemed more than happy with the draw. ”If I play on I could easily get worse.” Caruana.

    Teimour Radjabov and Dmitry Andreikin followed an Anand game in the Berlin Defence from the Candidats for 22 moves after which white didn’t have enough resources left to set any real problems and the game was drawn.

    Round 5 Standings: 1 Nakamura 3.5pts 2-4 Andreikin, Jobava, Vachier-Lagrave 3pts 5-9 Radjabov, Karjakin, Jakovenko, Giri, Mamedyarov 2.5pts 10 Caruana 2pts 11-12 Kasimdzhanov, Gelfand 1.5pts

    Round 6 Pairings: Gelfand-Vachier-Lagrave, Jobava-Jakovenko, Andreikin-Karjakin, Giri-Radjabov, Mamedyarov-Kasimdzhanov, Nakamura-Caruana

  • 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.