Four Players Leading after the Second Round of FIDE Palma Grand Prix
ByEditorsNov 18 — 9:32 PM
Image by Valeriy Belobeev
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.
FIDE and World Chess announces today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018. The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.
After 9 days of intense chess battles at the last leg of the World Chess Grand Prix series 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, the two winners of the series were finally determined: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, overall 340 points in the series) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 336,4 points). They qualified for the Candidates Tournament – the next part of the World Chess Championship cycle, which leads up to the Championship match.
The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.
After seven rounds Aronian is in the lead with 4,5 points. A group of 8 players is half a point behind, including Vachier-Lagrave. In order to qualify for the Candidates, the Frenchman needs to win at least one more game. Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Riazantsev, Pavel Eljanov won against Jon Ludvig Hammer, while Teimour Rajabov outplayed Li Chao. After the victory the Azerbaijani Grandmaster still hopes to qualify, but in that case has to win both games.
Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.
In the Third Round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca games between the four leaders, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian and Rajabov-Giri, finished in a draw. Peter Svidler joined the group of leaders by beating Jon-Ludvig Hammer in the third round.
The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca – a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.
Katerina Lagno, one of the strongest Russian women-grandmasters won the historic Moscow Blitz Tournament, beating her fellow Russian Olympic team members Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya.
After a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimur Rajabov won the tournament. One of the strongest players, Rajabov had not won a major tournament lately, but has shown phenomenal form in Geneva and managed to overpower some of top world’s players