Teimur Rajabov won again, joining his compatriot Shakhriyar Mamedyarov as one of the leaders of the Series.

In a harmless looking opening where queens were traded as early as on move six, white gradually increased the pressure until he created serious weaknesses in the black’s pawn structure.

White’s advantage was already substantial when black cracked under the pressure and lost a piece.


Pavel Eljanov chose an ambitious setup against Salem A.R.Saleh’s Benoni defence. Black reacted poorly to the sneaky 17.Qe1 and white was able to blast through the center with 21.e5.

The poor coordination of black pieces forced him to concede an exchange. This was sufficient for white to claim the victory.

As if the rule, Alexander Riazantsev once again played the longest game of the day. But the Russian Grandmaster is on fire after the rest day as he won two games in a row, his first victories in the whole Grand Prix series. For this he is rewarded with a top board clash against the leader Radjabov in the next round.

From the early opening white assumed the bishops’ pair, and then a timely exchange of the group of pieces in the middlegame allowed him to win a pawn. Li Chao, for his part, was hoping to hold the ending with all rooks on the board.

Seeing no other way to progress, Riazantsev returned the pawn in order to trade one pair of rooks and activate the king. His maneuvering paid back when he transposed to a notorious queens ending, again with an extra pawn. The Russian’s technique was impeccable and he converted into win on 84th move.

The remaining six games were drawn.

The honorary first move was made by Mr Sergei Garmonin, Ambassador of Russia to Switzerland.

With two rounds to go in Geneva Grand Prix, the preliminary calculation of the overall standings is clearly stating that the final leg in Palma de Majorka will be very exciting, with possibly as many as six players fighting for the two tickets to Candidates Tournament.

The current series leader Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk are aiming for the best possible result here as this is their final event.

The second-placed Ding Liren, as well as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov will all compete in Palma.