Grand Prix, Tashkent, Rd. 7: Incredible Resource Missed by Karjakin

Время публикации: 29.10.2014 05:54 | Последнее обновление: 29.10.2014 20:59

Sergey won his game but could do it in a more spectacular way

Speaking about quality of games, round 7 of the Grand Prix tournament in Tashkent wasn't too impressive. Many mistakes or even blunders, premature draw agreements - all these are the indicators of the participants simply getting tired. The explanation is easy: for 8 players out of 12, it's the second Grand Prix stage in a row, as 5 days are clearly not enough to get restored from a long, dense and very strong round-robin like this. As for Giri and Jobava, they came to Tashkent straight after their 6-games matches vs Shirov and Timman respectively.

By the way, it's one of the leaders, Dmitry Andreikin (with his rating being only 10th in the tournament), who has been fresh at the start. Thus, it'd be logical to expect another Dmitry (Jakovenko, yet another player who came unwearied) to approach the leaders in the coming rounds - even though such "logical" prophecies aren't always self-fulfilling.

An obvious favorite of the tournament and the only 2800+ (by far) participant Fabiano Caruana has managed to climb to the 50% score at last by beating Boris Gelfand, his co-triumpher in Baku. The 46-years-old Israeli GM (who is by far the oldest participant of the Tashkent stage), in turn, is now tied for the last place with Kasimdzhanov - both have 2 points out of 7 without having scored a single victory.

Gelfand miscalculated in a quite simple situation being very close to equality.


Instead of 24...Rxc3 which could be followed by, for instance, 25.Qf4 Qxf4 26.exf4 Rc1+ 27.Kh2 R8c2 28.Rxe4 Rxf2 29.Rxa7 Rcc2=, Black played 24...Rxa5? 25.Rxa5 Qxa5 missing 26.Rxf7! with the idea of 26...Kxf7 27.Qd7+.
The draw has been out-of-the-reach at once: 26...Qxc3 27.Rxa7 Kh8 (27...Rf8 is no better due to 28.Ra8! Rxa8 29.Qd5+) 28.Rf7 - White is a pawn up, while the e4-pawn is about to fall too. Gelfand resigned 7 moves later.

Sergey Karjakin scored a well-deserved victory against Anish Giri, which could be much more spectacular had he found an incredible resource almost in the beginning of the game. First of all, he chose quite surprising 7.Qf3!? in a well-known Taimanov position instead of usual 7.Qd2.


7...Ne5 8.Qg3 h5 9. f3 b5 10. O-O-O d6?! 11. f4 Ng4 12.e5! dxe5?

White played 13.fxe5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 here. However, much stronger was 13.Ndxb5! axb5 14.Bxb5+ Ke7 15.fxe5. Now, some of the lines are more or less natural for Sicilian attackers; for example, after 15...Qxe5 16.Bf4; or 15...Nxe5 16.Bb6! Qxb6 17.Qxe5 Nf6 18.Rhf1 the black king won't live long. But what after 15...Nxe3 (if 16.Qxe3 then 16...f5! 17.gxf6+ Nxf6 holds somehow) ?

That's what: 16.Qf4!!
Ignoring the knight and creating a deadly threat of Qb4+. Black is helpless:
16...Nxd1 17.Qb4+ Kd8 18.Qxf8#;
16...Qc5 17.Qg5+ f6 18.exf6+ Kf7 19.Be8+! Kxe8 19.Qg6#;
16...Qa5 17.Qg5+ f6 18.Qg6!;
16...Nc4 17.Rhf1! Nh6 18.Qf6+! gxf6 19.exf6#!
Amazing lines! If 16...Nd5 then just 17.Rxd5 is enough.

Nevertheless, Karjakin kept pressing. Giri was holding somehow (probably 20...Be7 was better instead of 20...f5?!) up to his 28th move:

28...e5? 29.Qa6!, and Black had to give up an exchange, since 29...Kf7 30.Nb5 or 29...exd4 30.Qxf6+ are losing on the spot. Karjakin went on to win in 42 moves.

Four other games have been drawn.

Baadur Jobava was again very creative, perhaps even more creative than needed, since his compensation for a piece was hardly sufficient. Vachier-Lagrave has missed good winning chances more than once.


Black's position would have been extremely difficult had White chosen 32.Ng4! Nxd2 33.Ne5!. The final position could be also played for a win by the Frenchman, although his chances were already not as clear as before.

Dmitry Jakovenko has repeated 19 moves from his own game vs Alexander Onischuk (Poikovsky 2013) in which he had been Black.


19...Bf6!? (A. Onischuk - Jakovenko saw 19...h6; 19...b5 is also an option) 20.Nd1?!. This looks like a provocation for an interesting exchange sacrifice: 20...bxc5 21.bxc5 Rxf3! 23.Kxf3 Bxd4 with good chances for Black. Instead, Andreikin chose 20...b5 with calm equality and a draw on move 31.

Kasimdzhanov - Nakamura was a duel in the Dutch Defence which has been often favoured by Hikaru. The game was very complicated but White was always a bit preferrable.


The draw was agreed after 36...Nh5!?; however, White could try 37.Qe3!? Qxe3 38.fxe3 gxf4 39.e4! creating a strong fist of pawns in the center. Most likely, it wouldn't change the outcome, but Black would have to work for a while yet.

Neither of the players was especially ambitious in Radjabov - Mamedyarov, which isn't in fact too surprising.

Standings after 7 rounds: 1. Nakamura, Andreikin - 4.5 points each; 3-5. Mamedyarov, Vachier-Lagrave, Jobava - 4. Full crosstable and any other information about the tournament is here.

[Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.6"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2767"] [BlackElo "2758"] [ECO "B48"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Taimanov variation"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 Ne5 8. Qg3 h5 9. f3 b5 10. O-O-O d6 11. f4 Ng4 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 Bd7 15. Be2 g6 16. Qf3 Rc8 17. Rhf1 Rh7 18. Kb1 Bb4 19. Ne4 Qxe5 20. h4 f5 21. Ng5 Re7 22. Qb7 Bc5 23. Ngf3 Qc7 24. Qxa6 Bxd4 25. Nxd4 Kf8 26. c3 Nf6 27. Bxb5 Bxb5 28. Qxb5 e5 29. Qa6 Kg7 30. Ne6+ Rxe6 31. Qxe6 Re8 32. Qd6 Qb7 33. Rfe1 Re7 34. g3 Ne4 35. Qb4 Qxb4 36. cxb4 Nxg3 37. b5 f4 38. b6 f3 39. Rg1 Ne2 40. Rgf1 e4 41. a4 Ng3 42. Rf2 1-0 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2726"] [BlackElo "2764"] [ECO "D37"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "classical variation (5.Bf4)"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. a3 b6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 exd5 9. e3 c5 10. Ne5 Bf5 11. Bb5 a6 12. Bc6 Nxc6 13. Nxc6 Qd7 14. Nxe7+ Qxe7 15. dxc5 Qxc5 16. O-O Rac8 17. Rc1 Qxc1 18. Qxc1 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Rc8 20. Rxc8+ Bxc8 21. Kf1 f6 22. Ke2 Bf5 23. Kd2 Kf7 24. Bc7 b5 25. Kc3 Ke6 26. Kd4 h5 27. Kc5 Be4 28. f3 Bd3 29. Kb6 b4 30. axb4 Bf1 31. g3 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2706"] [BlackElo "2764"] [ECO "A88"] [Opening "Dutch"] [Variation "Leningrad, main variation with c6"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3 c6 8. b3 Na6 9. Bb2 Qc7 10. d5 e5 11. dxe6 Bxe6 12. e3 Rad8 13. Ne2 Rfe8 14. Nf4 Bc8 15. Rc1 Nc5 16. b4 Nce4 17. b5 Nc5 18. Qc2 Nfe4 19. Bd4 Qf7 20. Rfd1 Bd7 21. Qb2 Bf8 22. h4 h6 23. Bxc5 Nxc5 24. Qa3 Ne4 25. Qa5 g5 26. bxc6 Bxc6 27. Nd5 b6 28. Qa3 Bg7 29. hxg5 hxg5 30. Nd4 Bxd5 31. cxd5 Bxd4 32. exd4 f4 33. Rc2 Re7 34. Re2 Nf6 35. Rxe7 Qxe7 36. gxf4 Nh5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2844"] [BlackElo "2748"] [ECO "E35"] [Opening "Nimzo-Indian"] [Variation "classical, Noa variation, ed"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. e3 O-O 9. a3 Bf5 10. Bd3 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 c5 13. Ne2 Nd7 14. O-O Qc6 15. a4 Rfc8 16. Rfb1 Rc7 17. a5 Rac8 18. h3 Nf6 19. Ng3 Qe6 20. dxc5 Ne4 21. Nxe4 dxe4 22. Qd6 Qf5 23. Ra4 Rxc5 24. Rxb7 Rxa5 25. Rxa5 Qxa5 26. Rxf7 Qxc3 27. Rxa7 Kh8 28. Rf7 Re8 29. g4 Kh7 30. Qd7 Rb8 31. Qf5+ Kg8 32. Ra7 Qb2 33. Qxe4 Rf8 34. Qd5+ Kh7 35. Rf7 1-0 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Jobava, Baadur"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2717"] [ECO "B12"] [Opening "Caro-Kann"] [Variation "advance variation"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Nd7 6. O-O h5 7. Nbd2 Nh6 8. Ne1 g5 9. Nb3 g4 10. Nd3 Be4 11. Nf4 Nf5 12. f3 gxf3 13. gxf3 Rg8+ 14. Ng2 Bxc2 15. Qxc2 a5 16. a4 Qh4 17. Bd3 Nxd4 18. Nxd4 Qxd4+ 19. Kh1 Nxe5 20. Bh7 Rg7 21. Be3 Qc4 22. b3 Qxc2 23. Bxc2 Rg8 24. Nf4 h4 25. Rae1 Be7 26. Bd2 Nd7 27. Rg1 Rf8 28. Rg7 Bf6 29. Rh7 Ne5 30. Nh5 Nxf3 31. Nxf6+ Ke7 32. Rf1 Nxd2 33. Rf2 b5 34. Rxh4 bxa4 35. Rxa4 Rfb8 36. Nxd5+ cxd5 37. Rxd2 Rb4 38. Ra1 1/2-1/2 [Event "Tashkent FIDE GP 2014"] [Site "Tashkent UZB"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "7.5"] [White "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2747"] [BlackElo "2722"] [ECO "D37"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "classical variation (5.Bf4)"] [EventDate "2014.10.21"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 b6 10. b4 a5 11. a3 c6 12. O-O Qc7 13. g3 Ba6 14. Kg2 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 Ra7 16. Rfc1 Rfa8 17. Rab1 axb4 18. axb4 Ra3 19. Qc2 Bf6 20. Nd1 b5 21. Ne3 g6 22. Qd1 R8a4 23. Nc2 Ra2 24. Ne5 Bg7 25. Ra1 f6 26. Nxd7 Qxd7 27. Rxa2 Rxa2 28. Ra1 Qa7 29. Qe1 Kf7 30. Qc3 Rxa1 31. Nxa1 Qa2 1/2-1/2 

Photo by Julia Manakova (


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