Round Two of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca finished last night, bringing forward four players.

Teimour Rajabov and Levon Aronian scored their first victories in the tournament. Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave drew their game.

Maria Paula Guinard, the Mallorca Tourism director, made the first symbolic move in the game Giri - Vachier-Lagrave. The encounter turned out to be a very interesting theoretical battle in Najdorf, Poisoned Pawn Variation. After an exchange sacrifice, Anish Giri got a promising position, however failed to find the way to increase his advantage. In the post-game interview Giri noted that 26.h5 was not the right decision as after 26…Qc4, 27…Qc8 queens were exchanged and MVL had nothing to worry about.

After a quiet draw in the first round Teimour Rajabov got a chance to play his favorite King’s Indian Defence against Francisco Vallejo Pons. According to Rajabov, he declined a draw offer in the middle game because he already liked Black’s position and his tournament situation allowed him to play on. The Azerbaijani Grandmaster sacrificed a pawn in order to solve a problem of dark-square bishop and suddenly all his pieces became active. It seems Paco was unhappy with his position when he chose to play 29.Nf2 and 30.e5, but after Black’s precise response, his position became hopeless.

A long theoretical line led to the spectacular position in which Levon Aronian had more knowledge than Ernesto Inarkiev. The Russian Grandmaster was obviously surprised by 16.Nd5 followed by 17.b4 and spent almost an hour over the board on 17…Qa6. According to Aronian, he never analyzed this move before, so he tried to use his intuition to find the right choices afterwards. The Armenian Grandmaster was sure that after 25.g4 White’s position would improve, as Black had no resources to continue his attack.

All other games finished in a draw.

Watch the games broadcasted at https://worldchess.com/gp2017/. 
 
Photos from day two by Valeriy Belobeev are available here.