Five decisive games in the second round of the Geneva Grand Prix as the battle intensifies

Teimur Rajabov scored his second consecutive victory to emerge sole leader after two rounds of the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix in Geneva.

In the post-game interview Rajabov was very unhappy about his clock handling, stating that at some point he made a move with only one second left. But after calming down he said this is a very good start for such a strong tournament.

Speaking about the game itself, Rajabov was skeptical about Eljanov’s 15…Bb4, which allowed white to push d5. In the resulting position white was left with a dominant Nd5, and he skillfully outplayed his opponent.

Radjabov, Teimour vs. Eljanov, Pavel
FIDE Grand Prix | Geneva | Round 2.1 | 07 Jul 2017 | ECO: E16 | 1-0
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. e4 d5 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Ne5 O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. Bf4 Na5 13. Rc1 dxc4 14. Bxb7 Nxb7 15. Nxc4 Bb4 16. Bg5 Nd6 17. Nxd6 Bxd6 18. d5 exd5 19. Nxd5 Be5 20. Bxf6 Bxf6 21. b4 Qd6 22. Qf3 Rac8 23. Rcd1 Rfe8 24. b5 Be7 25. Rd4 Bf8 26. Rfd1 Rc5 27. a4 Qe6 28. Rg4 Kh8 29. Rf4 Kg8 30. h4 Rc2 31. Kg2 h6 32. h5 Rcc8 33. Rdd4 Bc5 34. Rde4 Qd7 35. Rg4 Kf8 36. Ref4 Bd6 37. Rd4 Qb7 38. Rxg7 Be5 39. Rg8+ Kxg8 40. Nf6+ Bxf6 41. Rg4+

To complete the happy day for the Azeri chess fans, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, the current overall leader in Grand Prix, defeated Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia. The black queen was pursued around the board until black made a terrible mistake and allowed his strongest piece to be trapped on f5.

Anish Giri bounced back after the yesterday’s loss by scoring against Salem A.R.Saleh. Black pressed the opponent’s queenside and after a timely queen’s exchange white position simply collapsed. The players analysed the game in great detail, party because, as Giri said, “in Swiss system we don’t know our pairings in advance, so I don’t have to rush to prepare for the next round”.

As a great expert in classical openings, Levon Aronian continuously pressed Dmitry Jakovenko on both flanks until the first cracks appeared in white’s position. Employing some imaginative tactics, Aronian convincingly brought the victory home.

Jakovenko, Dmitry vs. Aronian, Levon
FIDE Grand Prix | Geneva | Round 2.1 | 07 Jul 2017 | ECO: C50 | 0-1
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. c3 a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 d6 9. h3 b5 10. Bb3 b4 11. a5 Rb8 12. Nbd2 Be6 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Nc4 Qe8 15. Be3 Bxe3 16. Rxe3 Qg6 17. Ncd2 Nh5 18. Qf1 Rb5 19. Kh2 Qh6 20. Kg1 Qg6 21. Kh2 Qh6 22. Kg1 Kh8 23. d4 Nf4 24. h4 g5 25. hxg5 Qh5 26. Qc4 exd4 27. cxd4 Nxa5 28. Qf1 h6 29. e5 d5 30. Rc1 c6 31. Ne1 hxg5 32. Nd3 g4 33. Nxf4 Rxf4 34. Rd3 g3 35. Rxg3 Rh4 36. f4 Rh1+ 37. Kf2 Rxf1+ 38. Rxf1 Nc4 39. Nb3 Qh4 40. Kf3 a5 41. Ra1 Qh5+ 42. Kf2 Nxb2 43. Rh3 Qxh3 44. gxh3 a4 45. Nc5 b3 46. f5 exf5 47. e6 Nc4 48. e7 Nd6 49. Nxa4 Kg7 50. Nc3 Rb8 51. Ra6 Kf7

Alexander Grischuk was better in navigating the locked structure of Ruy Lopez than his opponent Richard Rapport. After the time control white established a powerful passed pawn and then with a neat tactics snatched one of the black’s. The rest of the game was only a matter of technique.

The other four games were drawn.