Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

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  • Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

    Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

    February 16, 2017


    2017 Sharjah GP Participants

    # Fed Name Elo
    1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2796
    2 Levon Aronian 2785
    3 Hikaru Nakamura 2785
    4 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2766
    5 Ding Liren 2760
    6 Pavel Eljanov 2759
    7 Michael Adams 2751
    8 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2749
    9 Alexander Grischuk 2742
    10 Li Chao 2720
    11 Evgeny Tomashevsky 2711
    12 Dmitry Jakovenko 2709
    13 Francisco Vallejo Pons 2709
    14 Richard Rapport 2692
    15 Alexander Riazantsev 2671
    16 Salem Saleh 2656
    17 Hou Yifan 2651
    18 Jon Ludvig Hammer 2628

    Update: note that, at the last minute, Wei Yi was replaced by Hou Yifan.

    These 18 players will play a nine-round Swiss. This is a big difference with the previous GP tournaments, which were 14-player round robins, similar to the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee.

    The six GP players who are not going to be in Sharjah: Anish Giri, Pentala Harikrishna, Peter Svidler, Ernesto Inarkiev, Boris Gelfand, and Teimour Radjabov.

    The first leg, in Sharjah, UAE, will be held February 18-27 (with a rest day on the 23rd) at the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club. The first prize is €20,000; the total prize fund is €130,000.

    The live broadcast of the commentary and the transmission of the games will be at Commentary will be provided by GM Viktor Bologan, Tyler Schwarz and's Peter Doggers.

    One guess as to who Tyler Schwarz is:

    So who is this Tyler Schwarz guy that will be commentating in sharjah?
    My guess is that he is the person who won AGON's youtube contest.

    (And I thought a ChessTalker was going to get that position:)

  • #2
    Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

    Sharjah FIDE 2017

    February 17, 2017

    After the cultural programme, the 18 participants of the first Grand Prix tournament climbed to the stage for the drawing of lots. Top seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave picked the white piece.

    Thus the round 1 pairings are as follows:

    GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796 - GM Li Chao B 2720
    GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2711 - GM Aronian Levon 2785
    GM Nakamura Hikaru 2785 - GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2709
    GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2709 - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766
    GM Ding Liren 2760 - GM Rapport Richard 2692
    GM Riazantsev Alexander 2671 - GM Eljanov Pavel 2759
    GM Adams Michael 2751 - GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2656
    GM Hou Yifan 2651 - GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2749
    GM Grischuk Alexander 2742 - GM Hammer Jon Ludvig 2628

    The games will start daily from 15:00 local time. The rest day is on 23rd February. Live broadcast is available on the official website:

    (this a pay site)

    Commentary on:

    Results on:

    Playing schedule

    Round Date Time

    1 2017/02/18 15:00
    2 2017/02/19 15:00
    3 2017/02/20 15:00
    4 2017/02/21 15:00
    5 2017/02/22 15:00
    6 2017/02/24 15:00
    7 2017/02/25 15:00
    8 2017/02/26 15:00
    9 2017/02/27 15:00

    15:00 Sharjah time is 6:00 a.m. Toronto/Montreal time


    • #3
      Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

      Sharjah GP 2017

      February 18, 2017

      Round One

      The official site has a beautifully clear broadcast with lots of cameras. The motif is black and white. All the players are in business suits.

      However, every time I click to get some information on players, the interviewers etc, I seem to be forwarded to the subscription service.

      Viktor Bologan (b. 1971), Moldovan grandmaster and author, is the main analyst. Peter Doggers, from, is one of the interviewers. Tyler Schwartz (b. 1984) is the other commentator. He is a chess teacher in Manhattan, teaching children as young as three. Since founding Chess At Three in 2011, Schwartz has grown the one-man-operation into a firm with 12 teachers.

      It is good to see Alexander Grischuk at play again and to hear his comments. I would have preferred Wei Yi to Hou Yifan, as originally stated. Peter Svidler and Anish Giri are not here. I believe they are playing in the Bundesliga at the moment. And Teimour Radjabov is going to be in a later part of the cycle.

      In the opening ceremony an artist came on stage and started doing finger painting of black shapes on four white panels. Then he went behind them and rearranged them. For the results see:

      The games:

      Tomashevsky-Aronian, Vallejo Pons-Mamedyarov and Riazantsev-Eljanov were early draws.

      Sharjah GP 2017
      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      MVL-Li, Chao b
      C42 Petrov, Classical Attack, Marshall variation

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Bf5 12.Ne5 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Qe7 14.Re1 Nd7 15.Qf3 g6 16.Qg3 Rfe8 17.Bf4 Qc5 18.Bb3 a5 19.a4 b5 20.h4 Be6 21.Bc2 b4 22.Bd3 b3 23.h5 Nf8 24.Bh6 b2 25.Rab1 Rab8 26.Qf4 Nd7 27.Qg5 Qe7 28.Qxe7 Rxe7 29.Re2 Ree8 30.Rexb2 Rxb2 31.Rxb2 Nxe5 32.Be2 gxh5 33.f3 Nd7 34.Rb7 Nc5 35.Ra7 Nb3 36.g3 Bd5 37.Kf2 Rb8 38.Bf1 Be6 39.Bd3 Bd5 40.Bf5 Re8 41.Bc2 c5 42.Rc7 c4 43.Bf5 Rb8 44.Bd7 f6 45.Bb5 Bf7 46.Rc6 Na1 47.Ra6 Nc2 48.Rxa5 Na3 49.Bc6 Nb1 50.Rb5 1-0

      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      Nakmura, Hikaru – Jakovenko, Dmitry
      A30 English, symmetrical, hedgehog

      1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.Nf3 e6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.d4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Rd1 d6 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Ba3 Nc5 12.b4 Ncd7 13.Rac1 a6 14.Nd2 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qc7 16.Nde4 Rfc8 17.Nxd6 Bxd6 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Rxc4 20.Na4 Rxc1 21.Bxc1 b5 22.Nc5 Nxc5 23.bxc5 Kf8 24.f3 Ke8 25.Bb2 Rc8 26.Rxa6 Rxc5 27.Kf2 Rc2 28.Be5 Rc5 29.Ra8+ Kd7 30.Ra7+ Ke8 31.Ra8+ Kd7 32.Ra7+ Ke8 33.Bd6 Rc6 34.Ra8+ Kd7 35.Bf8 g6 36.Rb8 Ra6 37.a3 Kc6 38.Bb4 Nd5 39.Rc8+ Kb6 40.Rh8 h5 41.Rf8 Ra7 42.h4 Kc6 43.e4 Nxb4 44.axb4 Kd6 45.Rb8 Ra2+ 46.Kg1 Ra1+ 47.Kg2 Ra2+ 48.Kh3 Rf2 49.f4 Re2 50.Rxb5 Ke7 51.e5 Kf8 52.Rb8+ Kg7 53.b5 Rb2 54.Rb7 Kg8 55.Rb6 Kh7 56.Rb8 Kg7 57.b6 Kh7 58.Rb7 Kg7 59.Rb8 Kh7 60.Rf8 Kg7 1/2-1/2

      Jakovenko shared the first place with Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana in the last stage, held in Khanty Mansyisk, of the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15

      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      Ding, Liren – Rapport, Richard
      E16 Queen’s Indian, Yates variation

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.O-O O-O 8.Bf4 Be7 9.Nc3 Ne4 10.Qd3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Qc8 12.e4 d6 13.Rfe1 Nd7 14.Rad1 a4 15.h4 Ra5 16.Bc1 Re8 17.Nh2 Qa8 18.Nf1 Nf6 19.d5 Bf8 20.Ne3 a3 21.f4 Ra4 22.e5 Nd7 23.h5 Nc5 24.Qf1 h6 25.Rd4 Qa5 26.Bd2 exd5 27.Nxd5 c6 28.Nb4 Qa8 29.exd6 Rd8 30.f5 Nd7 31.Rd3 Nf6 32.Bf4 Ra5 33.Qf3 Rxf5 34.Nxc6 Rxd6 35.Rxd6 Bxd6 36.Ne7+ Bxe7 37.Qxb7 Bc5+ 38.Kf1 Qxb7 39.Bxb7 Nxh5 40.Re8+ Bf8 0-1

      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      Adams, Michael – Salem, Saleh
      A34 English, symmetrical, Three Knights System

      1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e3 e6 6.Bc4 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qe2 Nc6 9.d4 cxd4 10.exd4 Nb6 11.Bd3 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Rd1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be4 e5 16.Bg2 Qf5 17.a4 a5 18.Be3 Nd7 19.Nd5 Bd8 20.Rac1 Kh8 21.Qb5 Nf6 22.Bc5 Rg8 23.Ne3 Qh5 24.Bd6 Ng4 25.Nxg4 Bxg4 26.Re1 Ra6 27.Bxe5 Rb6 28.Qd5 Qg6 29.Be4 Qh5 30.Rc5 Rh6 31.h4 b6 32.Rb5 Re6 33.Qd4 f6 34.Bxf6 Bxf6 35.Rxh5 Bxh5 36.Qc4 Rge8 37.Re3 Bxb2 38.Qb5 Rxe4 39.Rxe4 Rxe4 40.Qxh5 Bf6 41.Qd5 Rd4 42.Qc6 h6 43.Kg2 Rb4 44.Kh3 b5 45.axb5 a4 46.Qa8+ Kh7 47.Qa5 Be7 48.Kg2 Kg8 49.b6 Bf8 50.Qd5+ Kh7 51.b7 a3 52.Qd8 Rxb7 53.Qxf8 Ra7 54.Qc5 Ra8 55.Qd5 Ra7 56.Qa2 h5 57.Kf3 Ra5 58.Ke3 Kh8 59.Kd2 Ra7 60.Kc1 1-0

      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      Hou, Yifan – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
      B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams Attack

      1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.g3 Nbd7 9.Bg5 Be7 10.a4 b6 11.Bg2 Bb7 12.O-O Rc8 13.h4 O-O 14.Qd2 Rc7 15.Rfe1 Qa8 16.Nc1 Rfc8 17.N1a2 Rc4 18.b3 Rd4 19.Qe2 Nc5 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Rad1 g6 22.Nd5 Bxd5 23.Rxd4 exd4 24.exd5 d3 25.Qf3 Kg7 26.Nb4 dxc2 27.Rc1 Re8 28.Nxc2 Re7 29.Nb4 Qe8 30.Kf1 Ne4 31.Qd3 Nc5 32.Qc2 Qd7 33.Nc6 Re8 34.b4 Nb7 35.Re1 Rxe1+ 36.Kxe1 a5 37.bxa5 bxa5 38.Kf1 Qc7 39.Bf3 Qb6 40.Kg2 Qb2 41.Qxb2 Bxb2 42.Bd1 Ba3 43.Be2 Nc5 1/2-1/2

      Round 1, Feb. 18, 2017
      Grischuk, Alexander – Hammer, Jon Ludvig
      A20 English Opening

      1.c4 e5 2.d3 Bb4+ 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.a3 O-O 6.e3 Re8 7.Qc2 Bf8 8.b4 d6 9.Bb2 a5 10.Be2 Na6 11.Qb3 Bf5 12.O-O h6 13.Bc3 c6 14.Qb2 Nd7 15.Nb3 a4 16.Nbd2 Nc7 17.Rfe1 Bh7 18.Rad1 b6 19.Ne4 f5 20.Ng3 c5 21.Nd2 Rb8 22.Bh5 Re7 23.Bf3 b5 24.Qc2 Kh8 25.Bc6 Rb6 26.cxb5 Nxb5 27.Bxb5 Rxb5 28.Qxa4 Rb8 29.Qc6 Re8 30.Nc4 Qc8 31.Qf3 d5 32.Qxd5 Nf6 33.Qf3 e4 34.dxe4 cxb4 35.Bxf6 Qxc4 36.Ba1 fxe4 37.Qf4 bxa3 38.Qxh6 Kg8 39.Qf4 Rb7 40.Rc1 Qe6 41.Ne2 1/2-1/2

      Jon said that he was nervous playing against Alexander because of the disaster the last time they met. “Sasha violated all chess rules by putting his knight on the rim on one move and then back to its original square, the next. And he beat me. I never want this to happen to me again”.

      The game in question was Grischuk-Hammer, Norway Chess 2015. See:

      The opening, an English went this way:

      1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.d3 Be7 7.Nh3 g5 8.Ng1

      Pairings for Round Two

      1. Rapport (1) – MVL (1)
      2. Aronian (0.5) – Adams (1)
      3. Hammer (0.5) – Nakamura (0.5)
      4. Mamedyarov (0.5) – Tomashevsky (0.5)
      5. Eljanov (0.5) – Vallejo Pons (0.5)
      6. Nepomniachtchi (0.5) – Riazantsev (0.5)
      7. Jakovenko (0.5) – Grischuk (0.5)
      8. Li Chao B (0) - 0 Hou Yifan (0.5)
      9. Salem (0) – Ding Liren (0)
      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Monday, 20th February, 2017, 05:08 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

        Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

        February 19, 2017

        Round Two

        There has been a chap with close-cropped greying hair present at the post-game interviews but his name-plate is far too small to read. He sort of looked familiar but I couldn’t give him a name. Then I saw that he probably was tweeting throughout the games and have identified him as Sotirios Logothetis (b. 1974), a Greek Master.

        (Peter Doggers at - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the only player with a 100 percent score after two rounds at the Sharjah Grand Prix. The French grandmaster beat Richard Rapport today, who started the game with 1. b3.

        In this second round again some games ended in draws rather quickly; something we kind of have to get used to again after seeing so many top tournaments with anti-draw rules. Three draws: Jakovenko-Grischuk, Aronian-Adams and Hammer-Nakamura. Then near the time control, three decisive games Saleh-Ding Liren, Mamedyarov-Tomashevsky and Rapport-MVL.

        Around this time there was a short interruption of the round. Part of the light in the playing hall went off, and it took the organizers about five minutes to fix the problem.

        Richard Rapport began his game with 1. b3

        "I did consider it an option but I still was a bit unsure which [line] I should choose," said Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. He went for the line 1...d5 and 2...Bg4, which was played by the likes of Vishy Anand, Peter Svidler and Mikhail Tal.

        The Frenchman was more than fine out of the opening but in the middlegame things seemed unclear, until he found the 23...Qc8! idea. Suddenly White couldn't really solve his problems in a satisfactory way.

        A great start for MVL, who was the first to point out that it doesn't say much yet. "The problem is that I also started with 2/2 in the last Grand Prix but then I won one game out of the last 31!"

        The most famous “lights out” incident is that which occurred during the first game of the Fischer-Petrosian Match of 1971 in Buenos Aires.

        From Profile of a Prodigy by Frank Brady

        A Sicilian Defense, it followed the same moves as the sixth game of the Fischer-Taimanov match until Petrosian introduced a “novinka” on his eleventh move, an innovation no doubt supplied by the Russian theorists who toil ceaselessly to produce moves of this type, to be launched at just such necessary moments. Petrosian gave up a Pawn and gained the aggression. Fischer was forced to exchange pieces. In what was an apparently even ending, Petrosian began to repeat moves, thereby in effect offering a draw. but Fischer spied an opportunity of obtaining a passed Pawn and gained it.

        Suddenly, the lights went out. Literally. The theater was plunged into darkness. Fischer became alarmed: “What happened?” he said. He was told that a fuse had blown and that it would take a few minutes to replace. Petrosian left the board; Fischer and the audience of twelve hundred continued to sit in darkened silence. Eventually Petrosian complained that Fischer was studying the board (in his head without a light) and that his clock should be started. Fischer agreed and Schmid started the clock in motion. Fischer continued to evaluate the position without seeing it. Eleven minutes later the lights went back on.

        Petrosian soon strayed into time pressure and instead of trying to blockade the passed Pawn, he foolishly attempted some countermeasures of his own. It was too little and too late. He resigned on the fortieth move, giving Bobby Fischer his twentieth straight win.

        Sharjah GP 2017
        Round 2, Feb. 19, 2017
        Rapport, Richard – MVL
        A01 Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack

        1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.h3 Bh5 4.d3 Nd7 5.g4 Bg6 6.f4 e6 7.Nf3 h5 8.g5 Ne7 9.Nh4 Nf5 10.Nxf5 Bxf5 11.Bg2 e5 12.Qd2 exf4 13.Qxf4 Be6 14.Nd2 Bd6 15.Qh4 Ne5 16.Nf3 Ng6 17.Qa4+ Bd7 18.Qd4 c5 19.Qe3+ Kf8 20.O-O Qc7 21.Qd2 Re8 22.e3 Kg8 23.d4 Qc8 24.h4 Bh3 25.Ne5 Bxe5 26.dxe5 Bxg2 27.Qxg2 Qg4 28.Rad1 Nxh4 29.Qxg4 hxg4 30.Rxd5 Nf3+ 31.Kg2 Rh2+ 32.Kg3 Rxc2 33.Rf2 Rxf2 34.Kxf2 Nxg5 35.Kg3 Ne6 36.Rd7 Rd8 37.Rxb7 Rd2 38.Ba3 Rxa2 39.Rxa7 Re2 40.Bc1 Rc2 41.Ra1 Rc3 42.Kxg4 Rxb3 43.Kf5 Rd3 44.Ra8+ Kh7 45.Ra7 Rd1 46.Rxf7 Nd8 47.Rc7 Rf1+ 48.Ke4 Rxc1 49.Rc8 Nf7 50.Rc6 Nh6 51.e6 Ng8 52.Rc7 Nf6+ 53.Ke5 Kg6 54.e7 Re1 0-1

        Round 2, Feb. 19, 2017
        Mamedyarov-Shakhriyar – Tomashevsky, Evgeny
        E12 Queen’s Indian, Accelerated, Petrofina System

        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.Qc2 Nbd7 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bf4 a6 9.g3 Be7 10.Bg2 O-O 11.O-O Re8 12.Rac1 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Ne5 Bf8 15.Qb3 Qb6 16.Qxb6 Nxb6 17.Rfd1 Ra7 18.e3 h6 19.h4 Ba8 20.Nd3 Rd7 21.Bh3 Rb7 22.b4 cxb4 23.axb4 d4 24.exd4 Nbd5 25.Be5 Nxc3 26.Rxc3 Nd5 27.Rc4 Nxb4 28.Nc5 Bxc5 29.dxc5 Nc6 30.Bc3 Rbe7 31.Rd6 Rc7 32.Rg4 f5 33.Rgg6 Ne5 34.Bxe5 Rxe5 35.c6 Kh7 36.h5 Rc5 37.Bg2 1-0

        Round 2, Feb. 19, 2017
        Salem, Saleh – Ding, Liren
        C54 Giuoco Piano, d3 variation

        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 O-O 9.Nbd2 a6 10.a4 Ba7 11.O-O Nh7 12.h3 Kh8 13.d4 g4 14.hxg4 Bxg4 15.Be2 Rg8 16.Kh1 Qf6 17.d5 Ne7 18.Bh4 Ng5 19.Nh2 Bc8 20.Bg4 Qg6 21.Bh5 Qg7 22.g3 Bh3 23.Bxg5 hxg5 24.Bg4 Bxf1 25.Qxf1 Qg6 26.Kg2 Kg7 27.Nhf3 Rh8 28.a5 Ng8 29.Qc4 Nf6 30.Bf5 Qh6 31.Qd3 Qh5 32.Rf1 Rh6 33.Re1 Ng4 34.Bxg4 Qxg4 0-1

        Eljanov-Vallejo Pons, Nepomniachtchi-Riazantsev and Li Chao-Hou Yifan were all drawn

        Pairings for Round Three

        1. MVL (2) – Mamedyarov (1.5)
        2. Adams (1.5) – Eljanov (1)
        3. Grischuk (1) – Aronian (1)
        4. Nakamura (1) – Rapport (1)
        5. Ding Liren (1) – Hammer (1)
        6. Vallejo Pons (1) – Nepomniachtchi (1)
        7. Hou Yifan (1) Jakovenko (1)
        8. Riazantsev (1) – Li Chao B (0.5)
        9. Tomashevsky (0.5) – Salem (0)


        • #5
          Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

          Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

          February 20, 2017

          Round Three

          The dress code seemed a bit more relaxed today. Business suits or dinner jackets used to be the norm. Today Peter Doggers had on a grey suit jacket and a T-shirt underneath with a large green pawn where the tie would normally be.

          Viktor Bologan is quite solid, a good anchor. Most players have his books on the King’s Indian and the Rossolimo Sicilian. To them, he has recently added one on the Catalan and the Ruy Lopez for Black.

          Tyler Schwartz is still learning the ropes. After three rounds he says that he has finally succeeded in pronouncing the name of the tournament correctly “Sharjah”. Previously, he said, he has stumbled over Nepomniachtchi (we all have!). One is reminded that Yasser Seirawan still has difficulty with “Caruana”. Lest one should think I am making fun of the two commentators let me admit that I cannot get the name “Sacagawea” said correctly. She was the Shoshone woman who helped Lewis and Clark on their mission in 1804.

          I am describing the scene on the official site because I understand that they have only sold a couple of hundred subscriptions to the broadcast world-wide. The Candidates or World Championship is an easy sell, other tournaments not so much.

          Besides Magnus, there are other popular players that the public likes to see like Jobava, Giri, Wei Yi, Ivanchuk, Morozevich and Grischuk. They are players that bring in the money.

          Another, who should be on the list is Richard Rapport.

          Today, he played against Hikaru Nakamura and both commentators thought he had a won game near the time control. But, he said in the post-mortem, he followed up a good move 40….Nd2 with two indifferent moves and was worse. Richard said later – I get an interesting game and then someone blunders and that someone is usually me.

          Sharjah GP 2017
          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Nakamura, Hikaru – Rapport, Richard
          D07 QGD, Chagrin Defence

          1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.cxd5 Bxf3 5.gxf3 Qxd5 6.e3 e5 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Bd2 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Qd7 10.Rb1 O-O-O 11.Bg2 Nge7 12.Qb3 b6 13.Qxf7 Rhf8 14.Qc4 Kb8 15.O-O g5 16.Rb5 Rf6 17.e4 h6 18.dxe5 Na5 19.Qe2 Rc6 20.Be3 Ng6 21.Rd5 Qe7 22.Rfd1 Rf8 23.Qb5 Qe6 24.Rd8+ Rxd8 25.Rxd8+ Kb7 26.Qd5 Nc4 27.Qxe6 Rxe6 28.Bh3 Rxe5 29.Bc8+ Kc6 30.Bd7+ Kb7 31.Bc8+ Kc6 32.Bd7+ Kb7 33.Bd4 Ra5 34.Bc8+ Kc6 35.Bd7+ Kb7 36.Bc8+ Kc6 37.Be6 Kb5 38.Bd7+ c6 39.Be8 Nf4 40.h4 Nd2 41.Kh2 gxh4 42.Be3 Nxf3+ 43.Kh1 Nh3 44.Bh5 Nxf2+ 45.Bxf2 Rxa2 46.Bxf3 Rxf2 47.Rd3 Kc4 48.Re3 Rd2 49.e5 Rd7 50.e6 Re7 51.Bxc6 a5 52.Re4+ Kxc3 53.Bb5 a4 54.Bxa4 Kd3 55.Re1 1-0

          In the following game, Mamedyarov had the initiative but MVL was able to draw:

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          MVL – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
          C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 O-O 9.Nc3 Na5 10.Ba2 Be6 11.b4 Bxa2 12.Rxa2 Nc6 13.Bg5 Nd7 14.Be3 Nf6 15.Bg5 Nd7 16.Be3 Nf6 17.Qb1 d5 18.exd5 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 Qxd5 20.c4 bxc4 21.dxc4 Qe6 22.Qe4 Rad8 23.g4 h5 24.g5 Qg4+ 25.Qxg4 hxg4 26.Nh4 g6 27.Kh1 e4 28.Rg1 Ne5 29.Bf4 Nxc4 30.Rxg4 c5 31.bxc5 Bxc5 32.Rc2 Rd4 33.Rg3 Re8 34.Kg2 Bf8 35.Rgc3 Nxa3 36.Ra2 Rd3 37.Rc6 a5 38.Nxg6 fxg6 39.Rxg6+ Kh7 40.Rc6 Bb4 41.h4 Nb5 42.h5 Nc3 43.Rc2 Nd5 44.g6+ Kg8 45.Bg5 Rf3 46.h6 Nf4+ 47.Bxf4 Rxf4 48.Rc8 Rxc8 49.Rxc8+ Rf8 50.Rc7 Rf6 51.Rc8+ 1/2-1/2

          46….Nf4+? Better is 46…a4.

          - MVL always plays badly against Mamedyarov, but here he survived

          The rest of the games were drawn. Adams had a winning game and threw it all away in time trouble with his moves 36-38.

          Alexander Grischuk took an hour to make his 11th move, Bg5 and the game was drawn on the 20th.

          The two “outsiders” Hou Yifan and Jon Ludvig Hammer both have three draws now.

          There were three short draws with Vallejo Pons-Nepomniachtchi, Razantsev-Li Chao and Tomashevsky-Salem.

          It is said that if two players want a draw, nothing will prevent them from doing so. With this format though and no restrictions, it seems that almost everyone is playing it safe.

          Silvio Danailov with his usual bitterness - Makro&friends abolished on purpose the ‪Sofia rules in Sharjah Grand Prix. The result is ‪chess fans could enjoy exciting games as these.

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Adams, Michael – Eljanov, Pavel
          B31 Sicilian, Nimzowitsch-Rossolimo Attack

          1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Bf4 Nh5 9.Bh2 Bh6 10.Ne5 f6 11.Ng4 Bg7 12.Qd2 e5 13.O-O-O a5 14.Ne2 a4 15.Kb1 Kh8 16.Ne3 Bh6 17.Qc3 Qe7 18.Rhf1 Bg7 19.Qd2 f5 20.exf5 a3 21.b3 gxf5 22.g4 fxg4 23.hxg4 Nf6 24.f3 Nd5 25.Ng3 Qg5 26.Rde1 Qh6 27.Nh5 e4 28.Nxg7 Qxg7 29.Nd1 e3 30.Rxe3 Nxe3 31.Qxe3 Kg8 32.Be5 Qe7 33.Rh1 Rxf3 34.Qxf3 Qxe5 35.Rh5 Qg7 36.Qf4 h6 37.g5 Qf7 38.Qh4 Qf3 39.Nf2 Qe2 40.Kc1 Qe1+ 41.Nd1 Qxh4 42.Rxh4 hxg5 43.Rh5 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Grischuk, Alexander – Aronian, Levon
          C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.a3 Bc5 9.c3 Bb6 10.d4 Re8 11.Bg5 d6 12.Qd3 Na5 13.Bd5 c6 14.Ba2 c5 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.Qxd8 Rxd8 17.b4 Nb7 18.c4 bxc4 19.Bxc4 cxb4 20.axb4 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Ding, Liren – Hammer, Jon Ludvig
          A07 Reti King’s Indian Attack, Pachman System

          1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O e5 5.d3 Ne7 6.e4 O-O 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Re1 Nc6 9.Nc3 Nde7 10.Rb1 a5 11.a3 Nf5 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4 Nfd4 14.Nd2 Be6 15.b5 Na5 16.Nde4 Qc8 17.Bg5 f6 18.Be3 Rd8 19.Bxd4 Rxd4 20.Qf3 Qf8 21.b6 c6 22.Qe3 Bd7 23.Ne2 f5 24.c3 Bh6 25.f4 Rxe4 26.dxe4 Nc4 27.Qd3 Be6 28.Red1 Ra2 29.Kh1 Nb2 30.Qd6 Nxd1 31.Qxe6+ Qf7 32.Qxf7+ Kxf7 33.Rxd1 Rxe2 34.Bf1 Rxe4 35.Rd7+ Kf6 36.Rxb7 exf4 37.Rxh7 Re1 38.Kg2 Bg7 39.b7 Rb1 40.Ba6 fxg3 41.hxg3 Rb6 42.Kf3 g5 43.Ke3 Bf8 44.Kd4 Bd6 45.Rh6+ Ke7 46.Rh7+ Kf6 47.Rh6+ Ke7 48.Rh7+ 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Vallejo Pons, Francisco – Neopomniachtchi, Ian
          C41 QGD, Semi-Tarrasch, Modern line

          1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.g3 Nc6 4.Nc3 d5 5.d4 e6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.e4 Ndb4 10.d5 exd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Nxd4 cxd4 13.a3 dxc3 14.axb4 Bf6 15.Qb3 cxb2 16.Bxb2 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 Qd6 18.Qd4 b6 19.Rfc1 Bb7 20.b5 Rfd8 21.Rc3 h6 22.Rca3 Rac8 23.Rxa7 Bxd5 24.Bxd5 Qxd5 25.Qxb6 Rb8 26.Qc6 Qxb5 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Hou Yifan – Jakovenko, Dmitry
          C50 Giuoco Piano

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 a6 7.a4 h6 8.Nbd2 O-O 9.h3 Be6 10.b4 Ba7 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Nc4 Qe8 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Nxe3 Nh5 15.g3 Rd8 16.Qe2 Nf6 17.Kg2 Ne7 18.Ng4 Ng6 19.Nxf6+ Rxf6 20.a5 Qc6 21.Rac1 Rf7 22.h4 Nf8 23.d4 Nd7 24.dxe5 Nxe5 25.Nd4 Qc4 26.Qxc4 Nxc4 27.Nxe6 Re8 28.Nf4 Rxe4 29.Rfe1 Rfe7 30.Rxe4 Rxe4 31.Rd1 Kf7 32.h5 Ne5 33.Nd5 c6 34.Ne3 d5 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Riazantsev, Alexander – Li Chao
          E60 King’s Indian

          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg2 d5 6.b3 O-O 7.O-O Ne4 8.Bb2 Bf5 9.e3 Nd7 10.Qe2 a5 11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.Bxc3 Be4 13.Rfc1 e6 14.Bf1 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Re8 16.Rab1 Bf8 17.Rd1 Qc7 18.e4 dxe4 19.Qxe4 Bg7 20.Bg2 Nb6 1/2-1/2

          Round 3, Feb. 20, 2017
          Tomashevsky, Evgeny – Salem, Saleh
          A48 King’s Indian, London System

          1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.c3 O-O 5.e3 d6 6.h3 Nc6 7.Be2 Nd7 8.O-O e5 9.Bh2 f5 10.a4 Qe7 11.Na3 Nd8 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nc4 Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Nf7 15.Bd5 Be6 16.Na5 Bxd5 17.Qxd5 c6 18.Qb3 Be5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.Qb4 Rad8 21.Rad1 Rd7 22.Nb3 Ng5 23.Qd4 1/2-1/2

          Round Four Pairings

          1. Nakamura (2) – MVL (2.5)
          2. Mamedyarov (2) – Adams (2)
          3. Aronian (1.5) – Riazantsev (1.5)
          4. Jakovenko (1.5) – Ding Liren (1.5)
          5. Eljanov (1.5) – Hou Yifan (1.5)
          6. Nepomniachtchi (1.5) – Grischuk (1.5)
          7. Hammer (1.5) Vallejo Pons (1.5)
          8. Li Chao (1) – Tomashevsky (1)
          9. Rapport (1) – Salem (0.5)


          • #6
            Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

            Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

            February 21, 2017

            Round Four

            It is a pity that the commentating team did not work together on a few tournaments before this one. They don’t seem to mesh very well. Viktor Bologan is the crusty old veteran and Tyler Schwartz’s main experience is teaching chess to children.

            At one point, Viktor was concentrating on an analytical line and Tyler was going on about the last round game of Topalov-Aronian in the Sinquefield Cup 2016. After two minutes of description, Tyler asked Viktor, “Do you know the game?” to which Bologan replied, “No” and that was it.

            This prompted a rather rude observation in the chat room: Tyler Schwartz is ruining the viewing experience completely. Please replace him. Even Bologan is annoyed. Very weak chess player, no knowledge of the chess world (like Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam), no humor. He can only ask questions as a very weak chess player. Please replace him. How can I get my $30 refunded?

            The Nakamura-MVL game which would normally be a barn-burner was an 18-move draw. Six games were draws of under 30 moves. I wonder if the powers that be at Agon are pulling their hair at the way the tournament is going?

            The games:

            Sharjah GP 2017
            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Nakamura, Hikaru – MVL
            B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

            1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.O-O a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 7.c3 b5 8.Bc2 c4 9.a4 Bb7 10.d4 cxd3 11.Bxd3 bxa4 12.Qxa4 Be7 13.h3 O-O 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Nbd2 Rfb8 16.Qa5 Bd8 17.Qxc7 Bxc7 18.b4 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Adams, Michael
            D35 QGD, Exchange, positional line

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Nge2 Nh5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Qd2 Nb6 12.f3 Bd7 13.O-O O-O 14.g4 Nf6 15.Ng3 Ne8 16.Rae1 Nd6 17.e4 dxe4 18.fxe4 Ndc4 19.Qc1 Bxg4 20.b3 Rad8 21.Nf5 Bxf5 22.exf5 Qf6 23.Bxc4 Nxc4 24.bxc4 Qxd4+ 25.Kh1 Rfe8 26.f6 Rxe1 27.Qxe1 Qxc4 28.fxg7 Rd6 29.Rg1 Rg6 30.Qe5 Qe6 31.Qb8+ Kxg7 32.Qxa7 Qc4 33.Qe3 b5 34.a3 c5 35.Ne4 f5 36.Rxg6+ Kxg6 37.Nxc5 Qd5+ 38.Kg1 Qd1+ 39.Kg2 Qd5+ 40.Kh3 Qd1 41.Qe8+ Kf6 42.Nd7+ Kg5 43.Qg8+ 1-0

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Aronian Levon – Riazantsev Alexander
            A13 English

            1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Qb3 a5 4.a3 Bxc3 5.Qxc3 Nf6 6.b3 O-O 7.Bb2 d6 8.e3 e5 9.d4 Nc6 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Bd3 Bg4 12.Ne2 Bh5 13.Ng3 Bg6 14.Be2 h5 15.h4 Re8 16.Rd1 Qe7 17.O-O Ne4 18.Nxe4 Bxe4 19.g3 Qf6 20.f3 Bf5 21.b4 Qg6 22.Kh2 axb4 23.axb4 Nd4 24.exd4 exd4 25.Qd2 d3 26.Rfe1 dxe2 27.Rxe2 Rxe2+ 28.Qxe2 Be6 29.Rd2 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Jakovenko, Dmitry – Ding, Liren
            A15 Reti, Bremen

            1.c4 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.O-O d5 6.b3 Ne4 7.d4 O-O 8.Bb2 a5 9.Nc3 Bf5 10.e3 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 Be4 12.Qe2 e6 13.Rfd1 Nd7 14.Bf1 g5 15.Rac1 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 f5 17.Bd3 Nf6 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.b4 axb4 20.Bxb4 Rf7 21.Qe2 h5 22.Rc3 h4 23.Rdc1 Bf8 24.Bxf8 Qxf8 25.gxh4 gxh4 26.Kh1 Rg7 27.Rc7 Qd6 28.Rxg7+ Kxg7 29.h3 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Eljanov, Pavel – Hou Yifan
            E48 Nimzo-Indian

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Ne2 Re8 8.Bd2 c6 9.O-O Bd6 10.Ng3 Nbd7 11.Rc1 Nf8 12.f3 Ne6 13.Be1 a6 14.Bf2 c5 15.Re1 cxd4 16.exd4 Nf4 17.Rxe8+ Qxe8 18.Bb1 Bd7 19.Qd2 g6 20.Nf1 Qf8 21.Be3 Qb8 22.a3 Bc6 23.Ba2 Ne6 24.Re1 Qc7 25.Bf2 Bf4 26.Qd1 Rd8 27.Bh4 Bg5 28.Bxg5 Nxg5 29.Qd2 Ne6 30.Ne3 Qf4 31.Rd1 Kg7 32.Nc2 Qxd2 33.Rxd2 Kf8 34.Kf2 Ke7 35.h4 h5 36.Ne3 Nc7 37.g4 hxg4 38.fxg4 Kd6 39.g5 Nh5 40.Ng4 f6 41.gxf6 Rf8 42.Ke3 Ng3 43.Rf2 Nf5+ 44.Kd3 Nxh4 45.Ne3 Nf5 46.Nxf5+ gxf5 47.Rxf5 Bd7 48.Rh5 Be6 49.Rh6 Rf7 50.Na4 a5 51.Nc5 Ne8 52.Bb3 b6 53.Na4 Kc6 54.Nc3 b5 55.Rh8 Nc7 56.Rh6 Ne8 57.Rh5 Nc7 58.a4 b4 59.Nb5 Ne8 60.Re5 Rxf6 61.Bxd5+ Bxd5 62.Rxe8 Rf3+ 63.Kd2 Rf2+ 64.Re2 Rxe2+ 65.Kxe2 Bb3 66.Kd2 Bxa4 67.Nc3 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Grischuk, Alexander
            B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky variation

            1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.O-O Be6 9.Qd3 O-O 10.Bd2 a5 11.a4 Na6 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.exd5 b6 14.Rfd1 Nc7 15.Bf3 Nd7 16.Bg4 Nf6 17.Bf3 Nd7 18.Bg4 Nf6 19.Bf3 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Hammer, Jon Ludvig – Vallejo Pons, Francisco
            D35 QGD, Exchange variation

            1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Nf3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 O-O 11.Rc1 b6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.O-O Nd7 14.Qe3 Nf6 15.Ne5 Qe7 16.f3 Rfd8 17.Rc2 Rac8 18.Rfc1 h6 19.Be2 Qd6 20.a3 Rxc2 21.Rxc2 Nd7 22.Nc4 Qc7 23.Bd3 b5 24.Nd2 1/2-1/2

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Li Chao b – Tomashevsky, Evgeny
            E12 Queen’s Indian Accelerated, Petrofina System

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3 g6 8.h4 Bg7 9.h5 Nd7 10.Bd3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 e5 12.e4 Qe7 13.h6 Bf6 14.O-O O-O 15.Re1 Rfd8 16.Be3 Rac8 17.Qe2 Re8 18.Qa2 c6 19.a4 Rc7 20.Rad1 Bc8 21.Bc4 Rf8 22.Bc1 Bh8 23.Bb3 a6 24.Bc4 Bf6 25.d5 cxd5 26.Ba3 Nc5 27.exd5 Qd6 28.Nd2 Bf5 29.Bxa6 Ra8 30.Bb5 Qd8 31.Bc6 Nxa4 32.Bxa8 Nxc3 33.Qb3 Qxa8 34.d6 Rc6 35.Ra1 Qc8 36.Bb4 Be6 37.Qa3 e4 38.Qa8 Ne2+ 39.Kf1 e3 40.Ne4 1-0

            Round 4, Feb. 21, 2017
            Rapport, Richard – Salem, Saleh
            A45 Queen’s Pawn game

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nd2 d5 5.e3 O-O 6.Bd3 c5 7.Ngf3 Qb6 8.Qb3 Nc6 9.Bc2 Re8 10.O-O e5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.f4 Re8 14.f5 Qxb3 15.axb3 Ng4 16.h3 Nxe3 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Rfe1 Bf5 19.Bxe3 Bxc2 20.Bxc5 Bh6 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Nf3 a6 23.b4 Re2 24.b5 Bd3 25.bxa6 bxa6 26.Re1 Rxe1+ 1/2-1/2

            Round 5 Pairings

            Bo. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg

            1 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766 (3) - (2½) Nakamura Hikaru 2785
            2 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796 (3) - (2) Aronian Levon 2785
            3 Ding Liren 2760 (2) - (2) Nepomniachtchi Ian 2749
            4 Grischuk Alexander 2742 (2) - (2) Eljanov Pavel 2759
            5 Adams Michael 2751 (2) - (2) Hammer Jon Ludvig 2628
            6 Vallejo Pons Francisco 2709 (2) - (2) Li Chao B 2720
            7 Riazantsev Alexander 2671 (2) - (2) Jakovenko Dmitry 2709
            8 Salem A.R. Saleh 2656 (1) - (2) Hou Yifan 2651
            9 Tomashevsky Evgeny 2711 (1) - (1½) Rapport Richard 2692


            • #7
              Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

              Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

              February 22, 2017

              Round Five

              The commentators again are Viktor Bologan, Tyler Schwartz and Peter Doggers.

              Their summary of today’s action:

              Mamedyarov-Nakamura – Hikaru as black came up with a small novelty but he didn’t pursue his small advantage and there was a draw.

              MVL-Aronian was a draw from a classical Marshall Attack.

              Ding Liren hadn’t done enough home preparation for his game with Nepomniachtchi, he hesitated and a draw was the logical result.

              Grischuk-Eljanov had a normal opening for white and no time scramble and Sasha just outplayed Pavel. A good clean win.

              Michael Adams had a complete domination over Jon Hammer.

              Li Chao defended well against Vallejo Pons for the draw.

              Riazantsev blundered his rook on d1 and handed Jakovenko the win.

              Salem had some advantage against Hou Yifan but the moment she could she had a breakthrough and the draw.

              In the last game there was a draw by repetition. Richard Rapport’s play became much more solid – perhaps this is a new stage in his development.

              Tyler asks Viktor if Richard can play a whole tournament in an energetic and original way. Viktor says he played a round-robin tournament in such a style and was 6 out of 7 but at the end he lost a game in 9 moves because he didn’t have enough energy to finish.

              I’m not sure if this is the game he was describing:

              III Chess Masters Enghien-les-Bains
              Round 8, March 11, 1999
              Lautier, Joel – Bologan, Viktor
              B10 Caro-Kann Defence

              1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 a6 7.d4 Nb6 8.Ne5 Nbxd5 9.Qa4+ Bd7 10.Nxd7 1-0

              The games of Round Five:

              Sharjah Grand Prix 2017
              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Nakamura, Hikaru
              D37 QGD, Hastings variation

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.a3 Nc6 11.Bd3 Bb6 12.O-O Bg4 13.h3 Bh5 14.b4 a6 15.Rc1 d4 16.e4 f6 17.g4 Bg6 18.Re1 Rc8 19.b5 axb5 20.Qb3+ Kh8 21.Qxb5 Ra8 22.a4 Be8 23.Qb3 Bf7 24.Qa3 Ba5 25.Bd2 Bxd2 26.Nxd2 Qa5 27.Nf3 Qxa4 28.Qxa4 Rxa4 29.Bb5 1/2-1/2

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              MVL – Aronian, Levon
              C89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall Counter-Attack

              1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Be3 Bxd3 17.Nd2 Qf5 18.Bd4 Rfe8 19.a4 h6 20.Kg2 Qxf3+ 21.Nxf3 Rac8 22.axb5 axb5 23.Ra6 Rxe1 24.Nxe1 Nc7 25.Rb6 Bf5 26.Bc2 Be6 27.Be4 Nd5 28.Ra6 b4 29.c4 Nf6 30.Bf3 Bxc4 31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Bxc6 Kf8 33.Nc2 Nd5 34.Kf3 g6 35.Ne3 Nxe3 36.Bxe3 g5 37.Ke4 Ke7 38.Kd4 Be2 39.Bb7 f6 40.f4 gxf4 41.Bxf4 Bxf4 42.gxf4 Kd6 43.h4 1/2-1/2

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Ding, Liren – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
              E60 King’s Indian defence

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 e6 5.Nc3 d6 6.e4 Bg7 7.Bg5 O-O 8.Qd2 h6 9.Be3 exd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.a4 Nh7 12.a5 h5 13.Ra3 Nd7 14.Nh3 Rb8 15.Be2 b5 16.axb6 Qxb6 17.Ra2 Ne5 18.Nf2 a5 19.O-O Ba6 20.Bxa6 Qxa6 21.Rfa1 Nc4 22.Qe2 Ra8 23.Bc1 Rfb8 24.Nfd1 Nf8 25.Ra4 Rb4 26.b3 Nb6 27.Qxa6 Rxa6 28.Rxa5 Rxa5 29.Rxa5 Rxb3 30.Rb5 c4 31.Kf1 Nfd7 32.Bf4 Ne5 33.Be3 Nbd7 34.Ke2 Ra3 35.Rb4 Rb3 36.Ra4 Nb6 37.Ra6 Ned7 38.Kd2 f5 39.Kc2 fxe4 40.fxe4 Be5 41.h3 Kf8 42.Nb1 Rb4 43.Nd2 Ke8 44.Nf3 Bf6 45.g4 1/2-1/2

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Grischuk, Alexander – Eljanov, Pavel
              D38 QGD, Ragozin variation

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 O-O 8.e3 Bf5 9.Qb3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nbd7 11.Be2 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Qb4 Nce4 14.Nd4 Bh7 15.O-O g5 16.Bg3 Qb6 17.Qxb6 axb6 18.Rfc1 Rfc8 19.c4 Nxg3 20.hxg3 Rc5 21.Nb3 Rc7 22.cxd5 Rxc1+ 23.Rxc1 Nxd5 24.Nd4 Bg6 25.Bb5 Nb4 26.a4 Na6 27.f3 Nc5 28.e4 Rd8 29.Rc4 h5 30.Kf2 f6 31.Ke3 Bf7 32.Rb4 Ra8 33.Ne2 Rc8 34.Rd4 Be8 35.Rd6 Bxb5 36.axb5 Kf7 37.Nc3 Re8 38.Rxb6 f5 39.Rd6 fxe4 40.Nxe4 Nxe4 41.fxe4 Ra8 42.Rd7+ Kf6 43.Rxb7 Ra3+ 44.Kd4 Rxg3 45.b6 Rxg2 46.Rb8 Rb2 47.b7 Kg7 48.e5 g4 49.Ke4 1-0

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Adams, Michael – Hammer, Jon Ludvig
              C50 Giuoco Piano

              1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.c3 d6 7.a4 O-O 8.Re1 Kh8 9.h3 h6 10.Na3 Bxa3 11.Rxa3 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.d4 Qe8 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 dxe5 16.a5 Rd8 17.Qe2 Qc6 18.Rb3 Rd7 19.Rb4 Rfd8 20.Be3 Kg8 21.Qc4 Rd1 22.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 23.Kh2 Qxc4 24.Rxc4 c6 25.Rb4 Rd7 26.Kg3 Kf7 27.Kf3 g5 28.Ba7 Ng8 29.h4 gxh4 30.Kg4 Ne7 31.Be3 Ng8 32.Kxh4 Ke8 33.Rb3 Rg7 34.g4 Rf7 35.c4 Rd7 36.Ba7 Nf6 37.f3 Rf7 38.Bb8 Nd7 39.Bd6 Kd8 40.Kh5 Rf6 41.Rd3 Ke8 42.Bb4 c5 43.Bd2 Rf7 44.Bxh6 Nf6+ 45.Kg6 Ng8 46.Bg5 1-0

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Vallejo Pons, Francisco – Li, Chao b
              C42 Petrov, Classical Attack

              1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.O-O Be7 8.Nbd2 Bf5 9.Re1 Nxd2 10.Qxd2 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 O-O 12.c3 Qd7 13.Bf4 Rae8 14.Re2 Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Rae1 Rxe2 17.Qxe2 h6 18.g3 Rb8 19.Nh4 Qd7 20.g4 g6 21.Ng2 b5 22.b4 a5 23.a3 a4 24.h3 Rd8 25.Nf4 Qd6 26.Nd3 Kg7 27.Nc5 Rb8 28.Kg2 g5 29.Kg1 Rb6 30.Qe8 Rb8 31.Qe2 Rb6 32.Kf1 Rb8 33.Kg2 Rb6 34.Qe8 Rb8 35.Qe2 Rb6 36.Qe8 Rb8 37.Qe2 1/2-1/2

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Riazantsev, Alexander – Jakovenko, Dmitry
              A30 English, symmetrical

              1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.exd4 d5 6.Nc3 Bg4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qb3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 e6 10.Qxb7 Nxd4 11.Bb5+ Nxb5 12.Qc6+ Ke7 13.Qc5+ Ke8 14.Qxb5+ Qd7 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.Qb3 Bd6 17.O-O Rb8 18.Qe3+ Kf8 19.Rd1 Qh3 0-1

              If 20.f4 Qg4+ 21.Qg3 Qxd1+ 22.Kg2 Re8 23.Qg5 Kg8

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Salem, Saleh – Hou, Yifan
              D38 QGD, Ragozin variation

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qb3 c5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.Qxc3 Nd7 11.e3 O-O 12.Be2 b6 13.O-O Bb7 14.Rfc1 Rfc8 15.dxc5 Qxc3 16.Rxc3 Rxc5 17.Rcc1 Rac8 18.Rcb1 Nf8 19.Nd4 Ne6 20.Bg4 Re8 21.b4 Rc4 22.Be2 Rcc8 23.Nf5 Rc7 24.Rc1 Rec8 25.Rd1 Rd8 26.h4 Kf8 27.Bf3 Rcd7 28.a4 d4 29.Bxb7 1/2-1/2

              Round 5, Feb. 22, 2017
              Tomashevsky, Evgeny – Rapport, Richard
              E18 Queen’s Indian, old main line

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Bd2 d6 9.d5 Nxd2 10.Nxd2 e5 11.b4 a5 12.bxa5 Rxa5 13.Nb3 Ra8 14.a4 Bc8 15.a5 Na6 16.Nb5 f5 17.Ra3 f4 18.axb6 cxb6 19.Nd2 Bg4 20.Bf3 Bh3 21.Bg2 Bg4 22.Bf3 Bh3 23.Bg2 1/2-1/2

              Ranking after Round Five

              1. MVL 3.5
              2. Mamedyarov 3.5
              3. Adams 3.0
              4. Jakovenko 3.0
              5. Grischuk 3.0
              6. Nakamura 3.0
              7. Ding Liren 2.5
              8. Li Chao B 2.5
              9. Aronian 2.5
              10. Vallejo Pons 2.5
              11. Hou Yifan 2.5
              12. Nepomniachtchi 2.5
              13. Rapport 2.0
              14. Hammer 2.0
              15. Riazantsev 2.0
              16. Eljanov 2.0
              17. Tomashevsky 1.5
              18. Salem 1.5

              Note: Tomorrow is a rest day

              Round Six Pairings (for Feb. 24)

              1. Adams-MVL
              2. Jakovenko-Mamedyarov
              3. Nakamura-Grischuk
              4. Aronian-Vallejo Pons
              5. Hou Yifan-Ding Liren
              6. Nepomniachtchi-Li Chao B
              7. Rapport-Riazantsev
              8. Eljanov-Tomashevsky
              9. Hammer-Salem


              • #8
                Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                Sharjah GP 2017

                February 24, 2017

                Round Six

                Tyler and Viktor are still the commentators. At one point in the broadcast, Tyler asked Viktor what he knew about baseball (not very much) and talked about “hitting a ball out of the park”. Evidently Viktor has been schooling Tyler about the endgame and Tyler promised to read at least one page of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual before they worked together next time!

                The encounter which Bologan dubbed “the game of the tournament” was between Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Grischuk.

                On the rest day yesterday, Alexander was playing two hours of intense basketball while Hikaru was studying. In the game Hikaru used practically no time for his first 30 moves while Alexander was trying to remember his analysis. I think the last time he played this line in the Sicilian Najdorf was against Sergey Karjakin about nine years ago.

                Later: This note from Peter Doggers: The American player went for the extremely theoretical 6.Be3 Ng4 Najdorf line, and correctly judged that his opponent might not remember all the details from an earlier, very sharp game: Karjakin-Grischuk(!), Moscow 2010.

                They have had some notable games with this Defence – at the Russian Team Championship in 2007, at the FIDE Grand Prix in 2009, at the Amber Tournament in 2010 and the ACP World Rapid cup in 2010 – all games running to 70 moves or more.

                Alexander was defending all through the game. The critical point of the game seemed to be at move 46 when h5 would have been a very good move for Hikaru but instead he played Qg6.

                In the post mortem Alexander said with a straight face that the theory of the line has not changed in all these years but he has changed. In the past you could have woken him up in the middle of the night and he would have been able to recite all the lines, not so now.

                Good to hear Grischuk again - an excellent raconteur, analyst and commentator

                Sharjah GP 2017
                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Nakamura, Hikaru – Grischuk, Alexander
                B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Byrne Attack

                1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7 10.h3 Ne5 11.Nf5 Bxf5 12.exf5 Nbc6 13.Nd5 e6 14.fxe6 fxe6 15.Ne3 Qa5+ 16.c3 Nf3+ 17.Qxf3 Bxc3+ 18.Kd1 Qa4+ 19.Nc2 Bxb2 20.Rc1 Rc8 21.Bd3 Rf8 22.Qh5+ Ke7 23.Qxh6 Bxc1 24.Re1 Ne5 25.Rxe5 dxe5 26.Kxc1 Qa3+ 27.Kd2 Rxc2+ 28.Bxc2 Qb4+ 29.Ke2 Qb5+ 30.Ke1 Qb4+ 31.Kf1 Qc4+ 32.Kg1 Qxc2 33.Qxg5+ Kf7 34.Qxe5 Qd1+ 35.Kh2 Qd5 36.Qc7+ Kg8 37.Be5 Rf7 38.Qc3 Kf8 39.Qc8+ Ke7 40.f4 Qc6 41.Qg8 Qe8 42.Qg3 Kd8 43.h4 Rh7 44.Qg5+ Kd7 45.g4 Qc8 46.Qg6 Rxh4+ 47.Kg3 Rh1 48.f5 Rg1+ 49.Kh2 Qc2+ 50.Kxg1 Qc5+ 51.Kg2 Qxe5 52.Qf7+ Kd6 53.Qf8+ Kd5 54.f6 Qe4+ 55.Kh2 Qxg4 56.Qg7 Qf4+ 57.Kh3 Qf5+ 58.Kh4 Kd6 59.Qg3+ Kd7 60.Qg7+ Kd6 61.Qg3+ Kd7 62.Qg7+ 1/2-1/2

                The second that got a lot of coverage was Rapport vs Riazantsev. For Richard to be only 20 years old and to play the way he does, means that he has a brilliant future. Maybe this Grand Prix series will showcase his talents.

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Rapport, Richard – Riazantsev, Alexander
                E20 Nimzo-Indian, Romanishin-Kasparov System

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 O-O 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 b6 8.Ne5 Bb7 9.Bg5 Na5 10.Bxb7 Nxb7 11.Qa4 Nd6 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nd3 c5 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.O-O Qc7 16.Rfd1 Ne4 17.Qa3 Rfc8 18.Qc1 Kg7 19.Rb1 Rab8 20.Rb3 a5 21.Ra3 h6 22.f3 Ng5 23.Nf4 f5 24.Qd2 Rb7 25.Rb3 Rcb8 26.Qxd7 Qxd7 27.Rxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxb8 Rd2 29.Kf2 Rxa2 30.h4 Nh7 31.Nd3 Ra3 32.Rb7 Kg8 33.Rb5 Rxc3 34.Rxc5 a4 35.Ke3 a3 36.Kd4 Rc2 37.Nf4 Nf6 38.Ra5 Ra2 39.Kc3 Ra1 40.Kb3 Rg1 41.Rxa3 e5 42.Nd3 e4 43.Ne5 Rxg3 44.Ra8+ Kg7 45.Ra7 exf3 46.exf3 Ng4 47.Rxf7+ Kg8 48.Rxf5 Nxe5 49.Rxe5 Rxf3+ 50.Kb4 Rf4 51.h5 Kf7 52.Kb5 Kf6 53.Rd5 Ke6 54.Kc5 Ke7 55.Rd4 Rf5+ 56.Kb6 Rxh5 57.c5 Rh1 58.c6 Ke6 59.Rc4 Rb1+ 60.Ka7 Ra1+ 61.Kb8 Rb1+ 62.Kc8 h5 63.c7 Ke7 64.Rh4 Rb5 65.Rh1 Ke6 66.Re1+ Kf6 67.Rc1 Ke7 68.Rc4 Rb1 69.Rc5 h4 70.Rh5 Rb4 71.Rh6 Ke8 72.Rh7 Rc4 73.Kb7 Rb4+ 74.Kc6 Rc4+ 75.Kd6 Kf8 76.Kd5 Rc1 77.c8=Q+ Rxc8 78.Rh8+ 1-0

                Interesting R+p vs R+p endgame

                The other game of note was between Nepo and Li Chao where the former had some good prep in the Petrov

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Nepomniachtchi Ian – Li, Chao b
                C42 Petrov, Classical Attack, Marshall variation

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Bf5 12.Bg5 Qc7 13.Re1 h6 14.Nh4 Bh7 15.Bxh6 Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 Bf4 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qg4+ Kh8 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.Qxf5 Qd6 21.g3 Bh6 22.Kg2 b5 23.Bb3 Qg6 24.Qxg6 fxg6 25.Re7 g5 26.Re6 Kg7 27.Rh1 Rh8 28.Re7+ Kg6 29.Bc2+ 1-0

                The rest of the games:

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Adams, Michael – MVL
                A20 English, Modern Nimzowitsch

                1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.O-O Nb6 7.b3 Bd6 8.Bb2 O-O 9.Nc3 Re8 10.Ne4 Bf8 11.d3 f5 12.Ned2 e4 13.Ne1 e3 14.fxe3 Rxe3 15.Nc2 Re8 16.Nf3 Nd5 17.e4 fxe4 18.dxe4 Ndb4 19.Nxb4 Qxd1 20.Raxd1 Nxb4 21.Rd2 Nxa2 22.Be5 Bg4 23.Bxc7 Nc3 24.e5 Bc5+ 25.Kh1 Rac8 26.Bd6 Ne4 27.Ra2 Nxd6 28.exd6 h6 1/2-1/2

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Jakovenko, Dmitry – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
                D45 QGD, Semi-Slav

                1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O dxc4 9.Bxc4 a6 10.a4 c5 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.b3 b6 13.Bb2 Bb7 1/2-1/2

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Aronian, Levon – Vallejo Pons, Francisco
                D35 QGD, Exchange variation

                1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Rb1 Be7 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.d5 exd5 11.exd5 O-O 12.Nf3 Bf6 13.O-O b5 14.Bf4 Bxc3 15.Qd3 b4 16.Ng5 g6 17.Ne4 Qf5 18.Qf3 Nd7 19.Nxc3 bxc3 20.Rbc1 Ne5 21.Bxe5 Qxe5 22.Rxc3 Rac8 23.Rc4 Rfe8 24.h4 Qd6 25.Rd1 Re5 26.Qg3 Rce8 27.Kh2 R8e7 28.Rc3 f6 29.Re3 Kg7 30.Kg1 Rd7 31.Rxe5 Qxe5 32.Qd3 Qd6 33.g3 Rc7 34.Qc4 Rd7 35.a4 Rb7 36.a5 Rb4 37.Qc3 a6 38.Kg2 Rb5 39.Rd2 c4 40.Qxc4 Rxa5 41.g4 Rb5 42.g5 Rb4 43.Qc6 Qxc6 44.dxc6 fxg5 45.hxg5 Kf7 46.c7 Rc4 47.Rd7+ Ke6 48.Rxh7 Ke5 1/2-1/2

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Hou Yifan – Ding Liren
                C47 Four Knights, Scotch variation

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.exd5 O-O 9.O-O cxd5 10.Bg5 c6 11.Qf3 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Qxf6 gxf6 14.Ne2 Bd6 15.Rad1 Rb8 16.b3 Re8 17.h3 Rb6 18.Ng3 c5 19.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Be6 21.c4 dxc4 22.Bxc4 Bxg3 23.fxg3 Bxc4 24.bxc4 Rb4 25.Re8+ Kg7 26.Ra8 Ra4 27.g4 a5 28.Kh2 Rxa2 29.Rc8 a4 30.Rxc5 Rc2 31.Rc8 a3 32.Ra8 a2 33.c5 Rxc5 1/2-1/2

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Eljanov, Pavel – Tomashevsky, Evgeny
                E10 Queen’s Pawn game

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Qc2 c6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bg5 Be7 8.h3 Nb6 9.e3 Nh5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Ne5 Be6 12.Bd3 g6 13.g4 Nf6 14.f4 Nc8 15.O-O-O Nd6 16.Qa4 Nd7 17.Rhf1 Nb6 18.Qc2 f6 19.Bxg6+ hxg6 20.Nxg6 Qg7 21.Nxh8 Qxh8 22.f5 Bf7 23.Qh2 O-O-O 24.b3 Ne4 25.Kb2 Qf8 26.Nxe4 dxe4 27.Qd2 Qh6 28.Rh1 Nd5 29.Rde1 Rg8 30.Ka1 a6 31.Qc2 Re8 32.Qd2 Rg8 33.Qc2 Re8 34.Qd2 1/2-1/2

                Round 6, Feb. 24, 2017
                Hammer, Jon Ludvig – Salem Saleh
                B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb variation

                1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.b3 Bd7 9.O-O Nc6 10.Nce2 b5 11.c3 Rc8 12.Ba3 O-O 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.e5 Ne8 15.Bxc6 Rxc6 16.Rc1 Qc7 17.Nd4 Rb6 18.Qe2 dxe5 19.Bxe7 Qxe7 20.Qxe5 Qd6 21.Nf3 Qa3 22.Qe2 Nf6 23.Ne5 Rb7 24.Rfd1 Rc7 25.Rc2 h6 26.c4 bxc4 27.bxc4 Qa5 28.Rcd2 Rc5 29.f4 h5 30.Rd4 Rb8 31.Qd2 Qxd2 32.R1xd2 Rcc8 33.h3 g6 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 Rb1+ 36.Kg2 Kg7 37.Kf3 Rf1+ 38.Kg2 Rb1 39.Kf3 Rf1+ 40.Rf2 Rc1 41.Rb2 Rc7 42.g5 Nh5 43.Rb8 Rc3+ 44.Kf2 f6 45.gxf6+ Nxf6 46.Rb1 Nh5 47.Rb6 Kf6 48.Ng4+ Kg7 49.Ne5 Kf6 50.Ng4+ Kg7 51.Ne5 Kf6 1/2-1/2

                Standing after Round Six

                1. MVL 4.0
                2. Mamedyarov 4.0
                3. Adams 3.5
                4. Jakovenko 3.5
                5. Grischuk 3.5
                6. Nakamura 3.5
                7. Nepomniachtchi 3.5
                8. Rapport 3.0
                9. Ding Liren 3.0
                10. Vallejo Pons 3.0
                11. Aronian 3.0
                12. Hou Yifan 3.0
                13. Li Chao B 2.5
                14. Hammer 2.5
                15. Eljanov 2.5
                16. Tomashevsky 2.0
                17. Riazantsev 2.0
                18. Salem 2.0

                Round Seven Pairings

                1. MVL-Jakovenko
                2. Mamedyarov-Nepomniachtchi
                3. Grischuk-Adams
                4. Ding Liren-Nakamura
                5. Rapport-Aronian
                6. Vallejo Pons-Hou Yifan
                7. Li Chao B-Eljanov
                8. Tomashevsky-Hammer
                9. Salem-Riazantsev
                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Friday, 24th February, 2017, 06:09 PM.


                • #9
                  Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                  Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                  February 25, 2017

                  From Leonard Barden’s column in The Guardian:


                  Sharjah has had its share of problems for its organiser Agon, the commercial partner of the world chess body, Fide. Most of the biggest names in chess turned down the Grand Prix – no Carlsen, neither of the former champions Vlad Kramnik or Vishy Anand and no world No2 and No3, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So. This was not good news for Agon’s pay-per-view offer of $30 to watch all four GP tournaments live with videos and commentaries.

                  It is normal for major events now have a rule to stop early draws, requiring a minimum 30 or 40 moves or using the Sofia rules where draws must be approved by an arbiter. Sharjah had no such restrictions, leading to more than 70% of the games being drawn, several of them with much play remaining.

                  Then there was the curious case of Wei Yi. The 17-year-old Chinese champion is the world’s best teenage talent and was in serious competition for the first prize against the elite at Wijk aan Zee last month. A growing global army of fans follows his progress and he is freely compared with Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov at his age.

                  Wei Yi was announced in the Sharjah field but at the last minute was replaced by the world woman champion, Hou Yifan. It was apparently a mix-up, Hou was the original choice, withdrew, then was reinstated after the misunderstanding was sorted.

                  Wei Yi was the one player among exposed names capable of putting bums on seats, or more accurately credit cards online, especially if he got into contention for one of the candidates places. Yet Agon preferred Hou.

                  Why did the Chinese Chess Federation apparently bless the deal and ditch its national champion? The Grand Prix was Wei Yi’s best chance to qualify for the 2018 candidates. Now he can reach it only via the knockout World Cup, a far more uncertain route. China has won the 150-nation team Olympiad and has many GMs in the top 30 but Wei Yi in the Grand Prix represented Beijing’s opportunity to fulfil an ambition and break into the absolute world top. A bizarre episode.


                  • #10
                    Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                    Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                    February 25, 2017

                    Round Seven

                    (Peter Doggers at - With draws on the top seven boards in round seven, the field remains closely packed at the Grand Prix in Sharjah. On Saturday Salem Saleh won his first game and Li Chao his second.

                    "It's safety first," said commentator Viktor Bologan today, when four games ended in draws after about two hours: Ding Liren vs Hikaru Nakamura, Richard Rapport vs Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Dmitry Jakovenko and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Ian Nepomniachtchi. The drawing percentage after seven rounds is almost 75 percent.

                    So why exactly is this happening? Well, for starters, the Grand Prix is all about who finishes first or second after four events, so it's more important to avoid a disaster here, than try and go for a win. Besides, it's a self-enforcing process where more draws will lead to more draws...


                    The games:

                    Sharjah GP 2017
                    Round 7, Feb. 25, 2017
                    Grischuk, Alexander – Adams, Michael
                    E05 Catalan, open, Classical line

                    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 e6 4.O-O Be7 5.c4 O-O 6.d4 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Bg5 Bc6 10.Rd1 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Nxc4 Be4 14.Qb3 a5 15.Nfe5 Bd5 16.Rac1 Re8 17.Qc2 c6 18.e4 Bxc4 19.Qxc4 Qb6 20.d5 cxd5 21.exd5 Bb4 22.dxe6 Rxe6 23.Nd7 Nxd7 24.Rxd7 Rf6 25.Rc2 Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Qxd8 27.Qc8 Rd6 28.Bxb7 g6 29.Ba6 Kg7 30.Qxd8 Rxd8 31.Rc7 Re8 32.Bc4 Re7 33.Rc6 Re5 34.b3 h5 35.Kg2 g5 36.Rc7 Re7 37.Rc8 Re5 38.h3 h4 39.g4 Re7 40.Rd8 Kf6 41.Rd3 Re4 42.Bd5 Re7 43.Rf3+ Kg7 44.Bc4 f6 45.Rd3 Re4 46.Rd7+ Re7 47.Rd8 Re5 48.Rg8+ Kh7 49.Kf3 Re7 50.Rb8 Kg7 51.Rb6 Re5 52.Be6 Kf8 53.Rb8+ Ke7 54.Bc4 Kd7 55.Rb6 f5 56.Rb7+ Kd6 57.gxf5 Rxf5+ 58.Kg4 Rxf2 59.Kxg5 Rf3 1/2-1/2

                    Round 7, Feb. 25, 2017
                    Li Chao B – Eljanov, Pavel
                    E12 Queen’s Indian Accelerated, Petrofina System

                    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3 Be7 8.Bb5+ c6 9.Bd3 c5 10.O-O cxd4 11.exd4 Nd7 12.Qe2 O-O 13.Ne4 N5f6 14.Nc3 Qc7 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bh4 Qf4 17.Bg3 Qg4 18.Ba6 Bxa6 19.Qxa6 Qf5 20.Rac1 Qa5 21.Qb7 Rfe8 22.Nd2 Bf8 23.h3 Qf5 24.Nc4 a6 25.Rfd1 b5 26.Ne3 Qh5 27.Bc7 Qg6 28.b4 Nh5 29.Ne2 Ndf6 30.Rc6 Qg5 31.Be5 a5 32.Qxb5 axb4 33.axb4 Ra2 34.Rc2 Rea8 35.Rxa2 Rxa2 36.Qc4 Rb2 37.b5 Nd5 38.Nxd5 exd5 39.Qd3 Qg6 40.Qxg6 fxg6 41.Nc3 Rb3 42.Rc1 Ba3 43.Rb1 Rxc3 44.b6 Nf6 45.b7 Nd7 46.Rb5 1-0

                    Round 7, Feb. 25, 2017
                    Salem, Saleh – Riazantsev, Alexander
                    B12 Caro-Kann, Advance variation

                    1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.O-O Bg6 7.c3 h6 8.Na3 Nf5 9.b3 Be7 10.g4 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Bxh4 12.f4 O-O 13.f5 Bh7 14.Bd3 Nd7 15.f6 gxf6 16.Bxh6 Bg5 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Bxf8 Qxf8 19.Nc2 fxe5 20.Ne1 e4 21.Ng2 Qe7 22.Qe1 Bh6 23.Qf2 Rf8 24.Kh1 f5 25.gxf5 exf5 26.Qg3 Qf7 27.Rf2 e3 28.Nxe3 f4 29.Qh3 Nb6 30.Rg1 Qe7 31.Ng4 Qe4+ 32.Rf3 1-0

                    Interviews from Sharjah can be found on YouTube at:


                    One is with the Grand Prix Deputy Arbiter Jamie Kenmure, who, as Anti-cheating Arbiter, stopped Nigel Short during his game at the Baku Olympiad.

                    See post #31 in ChessTalk:


                    Round Eight Pairings

                    1 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2749 4 - 4½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796
                    2 Grischuk Alexander 2742 4 - 4½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766
                    3 Jakovenko Dmitry 2709 4 - 4 Adams Michael 2751
                    4 Aronian Levon 2785 3½ - 4 Nakamura Hikaru 2785
                    5 Li Chao B 2720 3½ - 3½ Ding Liren 2760
                    6 Hou Yifan 2651 3½ - 3½ Rapport Richard 2692
                    7 Salem A.R. Saleh 2656 3 - 3½ Vallejo Pons Francisco 2709
                    8 Hammer Jon Ludvig 2628 3 - 2½ Eljanov Pavel 2759
                    9 Riazantsev Alexander 2671 2 - 2½ Tomashevsky Evgeny 2711


                    • #11
                      Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                      Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                      February 26, 2017

                      Round Eight

                      In Aronian-Nakamura, Levon put forward a novelty on move 12 with g4 and had Hikaru under pressure during the game but didn’t have enough to win – but enough to exhaust Naka.

                      Sharjah GP 2017
                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Aronian, Levon – Nakamura, Hikaru
                      D37 QGD, Hastings variation

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.a3 Nc6 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Qxd1+ 11.Rxd1 b6 12.g4 Bb7 13.g5 Nh5 14.Bd6 Nd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd6 16.O-O Rfc8 17.Be2 g6 18.Nxe6 Bxa3 19.bxa3 Rxc3 20.Nd8 Be4 21.Rd4 Rc5 22.Nxf7 Kxf7 23.Rxe4 Rxg5+ 24.Kh1 Rc8 25.h4 Rgc5 26.Bxh5 Rxh5 27.Rd1 Rc7 28.Kg2 Rhc5 29.Kg3 Rb7 30.Rd8 b5 31.Rf4+ Kg7 32.Rfd4 Rcc7 33.R8d5 Rf7 34.h5 a5 35.a4 Rf5 36.Rxf5 gxf5 37.axb5 Rxb5 38.Rd7+ Kh6 39.Kh4 Rb2 40.Rd6+ Kg7 41.f4 h6 42.Rd5 Kf6 43.Rxa5 Rg2 44.Kh3 Rg1 45.Kh2 Rg4 46.Rb5 Rh4+ 47.Kg2 Rg4+ 48.Kf3 Rh4 49.e4 fxe4+ 50.Kxe4 Rh1 51.Kf3 Rf1+ 52.Kg3 Rg1+ 53.Kf2 Ra1 1/2-1/2

                      The guys say that Richard Rapport has settled down from the first half of the tournament. Tyler visualizes it like going from a 20-year-old to a comfortable solid citizen with five children, leather patches on the elbows of his jacket, a shelf of books on home repair and a diversified portfolio!

                      Round Eight, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Hou Yifan – Rapport, Richard
                      B19 Caro-Kann, Classical, Spassky variation

                      1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 a5 12.O-O-O Bb4 13.Ne4 Ngf6 14.c3 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Nf6 16.Qe2 Be7 17.g4 Qd5 18.c4 Qe4 19.Qxe4 Nxe4 20.Be3 f5 21.gxf5 O-O 22.Nh4 exf5 23.Ng6 Rfe8 24.Nxe7+ Rxe7 25.Rh4 Nf6 26.Rf4 Nxh5 27.Rxf5 Ng3 28.Rf3 Ne4 29.d5 cxd5 30.Rxd5 a4 31.Kc2 Rc8 32.b3 axb3+ 1/2-1/2

                      Viktor talked about his early training. His father taught him chess at the age of 7. Ion Solonar was his first coach. Later he studied chess under the guidance of Vyacheslav Chebanenko, Zigurds Lanka and Mark Dvoretsky.

                      Chebanenko was a really good coach but regrettably famous in the USSR for a long time only as the man who sent Petrosian a letter containing a novelty that Tigran used afterwards against Fischer.

                      The game is Fischer-Petrosian, Candidates Final 1971


                      This note there: Petrosian discussed 11... d5 in an article about his match versus Fischer, reproduced in "Petrosian's Legacy." (Editions Erebouni, 1990.)

                      The move itself was not new. The value, said Petrosian, lay in 15... Rhg8, discovered by Chebanenko. Tigran was provided with his analysis. Chebanenko, incidentally, was influential on players like Sveshnikov; in fact what we call the Sveshnikov is called the Chebanenko Sicilian by Russians! He is also the man behind the Chameleon Slav (1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 a6)
                      An interesting point is Petrosian had analysed 16... Rxg2 at home but was at a loss as to why he didn't play it in the game. He noted that the variation is good for Black after Chebanenko's 15... Rhg8.

                      The longest game and the last to finish is between Alexander Grischuk and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. At the end, the players discuss the endgame while the Deputy Arbiter, Jamie Kenmure, picks up the signed score sheets.

                      Alexander said that Shakh has mixed something up in the opening and he had an advantage but then started playing like in bullet chess.

                      An endgame was reached with each player having three pawns and a rook.

                      A few chessbomb kibitzer comments:

                      - great play from grischuk
                      - till move 50, Grischuk has played like Capablanca
                      - if he continues playing like Capa, he will win for sure this ending

                      And Alexander wins the game either by himself or by channelling the great Capablanca!

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Grischuk, Alexander – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
                      D42 QGD, Semi-Tarrasch

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.e3 Nc6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bd3 cxd4 8.exd4 Bb4 9.O-O O-O 10.Bc2 Bd7 11.a3 Bxc3 12.Qd3 f5 13.bxc3 b5 14.a4 a6 15.Re1 Qc7 16.Ng5 Qd6 17.Qd2 h6 18.Nf3 Rfc8 19.Ba3 Qf4 20.Qxf4 Nxf4 21.Bc5 Na5 22.Ne5 Be8 23.g3 Nd5 24.Ra3 bxa4 25.c4 Nf6 26.Bxa4 Bxa4 27.Rxa4 Nc6 28.Nd3 Ne4 29.Bb6 Rcb8 30.c5 Kf7 31.Rea1 Nc3 32.Rxa6 Rxa6 33.Rxa6 Ne2+ 34.Kg2 Nexd4 35.Bc7 Rc8 36.Bd6 g5 37.f4 gxf4 38.gxf4 Ke8 39.Rb6 Ra8 40.Ne5 Ra2+ 41.Kg3 Ra3+ 42.Kg2 Ra2+ 43.Kg3 Ra3+ 44.Kh4 Nxe5 45.Bxe5 Nf3+ 46.Kh5 Nxe5 47.fxe5 Kd7 48.Kg6 f4 49.Rd6+ Ke7 50.c6 f3 51.Rd7+ Ke8 52.Rf7 Rc3 53.c7 h5 54.Rxf3 Rxc7 55.Rh3 Kd7 56.Rxh5 Rc4 57.Rh7+ Kc6 58.Kf6 Kd5 59.Rd7+ Ke4 60.Rd1 Rc2 1-0

                      The other games:

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
                      A29 English, Bremen

                      1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.O-O Be7 8.d3 O-O 9.a3 Re8 10.b4 a5 11.b5 Nd4 12.Rb1 Bf8 13.Nd2 a4 14.e3 Ne6 15.Nf3 Nc5 16.Nxe5 Rxe5 17.d4 Re8 18.dxc5 Qxd1 19.Rxd1 Bxc5 20.Bb2 Nc4 21.Nd5 Nxb2 22.Rxb2 Bxa3 23.Rc2 Be6 24.Nxc7 Bb3 25.Ra1 Bxc2 26.Rxa3 Bb3 27.Nxa8 Rxa8 28.Bxb7 Rb8 29.Bc6 Kf8 30.b6 Rxb6 31.Bxa4 Bxa4 32.Rxa4 h5 33.Kg2 g6 34.Ra2 Kg7 35.e4 Rb4 36.Kf3 Rb3+ 37.Kg2 Rb4 38.Re2 Kf6 39.Kh3 Kg5 40.f4+ Kf6 41.Kh4 Ra4 42.Kh3 Rb4 43.Kg2 Ra4 44.h3 Ra3 45.h4 Ra4 46.Kf3 Ra3+ 47.Re3 Ra1 48.Rb3 Kg7 49.Ke3 Ra4 50.Rd3 Rb4 51.Kf3 Rb1 52.e5 Kf8 53.Ra3 Ke7 54.Ke3 Re1+ 55.Kf2 Re4 56.Ra6 Kf8 57.Ra3 Ke7 58.Ra7+ Kf8 59.Ra6 Kg7 60.Rd6 Ra4 61.f5 gxf5 62.Rf6 Ra2+ 63.Kf3 Ra3+ 64.Kf4 Ra4+ 65.Kg5 Rg4+ 66.Kxh5 Rxg3 67.Rxf5 Re3 68.Rg5+ Kh7 69.Kg4 Re1 70.Rf5 Kg7 71.h5 Rg1+ 72.Kf4 Rf1+ 73.Ke4 Re1+ 74.Kd5 Rd1+ 75.Kc5 Ra1 76.Rf6 Rh1 77.Rf5 Ra1 78.h6+ Kxh6 79.Rxf7 Kg6 80.Rf6+ Kg7 81.Kd5 Ra5+ 82.Ke4 Ra4+ 83.Kf5 Ra7 84.Rg6+ Kf8 85.Rh6 Kg7 86.Rf6 Rb7 87.Rc6 Kf7 88.Ra6 Kf8 89.Rf6+ Kg7 90.Rg6+ Kf8 91.Ra6 Kf7 92.Rh6 Kg7 93.Rh3 Rb6 94.Rd3 Kf7 95.Rd6 Rb7 96.Rf6+ 1/2-1/2

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Hammer, Jon Ludvig – Eljanov, Pavel
                      E18 Queen’s Indian, old main line

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Bd2 Bf6 9.Ne5 Nxc3 10.Bxc3 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 c5 12.Ng4 Bxd4 13.Bxd4 cxd4 14.Qxd4 Nc6 15.Qd6 Qg5 16.Ne3 Rfd8 17.Rad1 Qc5 18.a3 a5 19.b3 Rab8 20.a4 Nb4 21.Rd2 Qxd6 22.Rxd6 Kf8 23.Rfd1 Ke7 24.g4 Na6 25.R6d3 Nc5 26.Rc3 h5 27.h3 Rh8 28.f3 Rbc8 29.Nc2 hxg4 30.hxg4 Rh6 31.Rh1 Rxh1 32.Kxh1 Rc6 33.Kg2 Rd6 34.Kf2 Rd1 35.b4 axb4 36.Nxb4 Ra1 37.Nd3 Rxa4 38.Nxc5 bxc5 39.Ke3 Kd6 40.Rc1 g5 41.Ke4 f6 42.f4 gxf4 43.Kxf4 Ke7 44.Kf3 e5 45.e3 Ke6 46.Rh1 Rxc4 47.Rh6 Rc1 48.Kf2 Rc2+ 49.Kf3 d5 50.g5 e4+ 51.Kg3 Re2 52.Rxf6+ Ke5 0-1

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Jakovenko, Dmitry – Adams, Michael
                      C54 Giuoco Piano

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O h6 7.Re1 O-O 8.h3 a5 9.Nbd2 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nf1 a4 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.Rxe3 d5 14.Re1 Nd7 15.d4 exd4 16.cxd4 Nf6 17.Ng3 dxe4 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 Qd5 20.Qe2 Rf6 21.a3 Raf8 22.Qe3 Na5 23.Re1 Nc4 24.Qc3 b5 25.R1e2 c6 26.Qc2 R8f7 27.Qc3 Rf8 28.Qc2 R8f7 29.Qc3 Rf8 30.Qc2 1/2-1/2

                      Adams will be paired against Nakamura tomorrow.

                      Comment in the English Chess Forum - So a very unfortunate last round pairing for Adams - 5 Blacks over the 9 games, despite getting White in round 1, and he finishes with 3 Blacks in a row.

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Li Chao – Ding, Liren
                      D78 Neo-Grunfeld

                      1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 c6 7.Qb3 a5 8.cxd5 a4 9.Qd1 cxd5 10.Nc3 Ne4 11.Nd2 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Qa5 13.Ba3 Qxc3 14.Bxe7 Qxd4 15.Rc1 Re8 16.Bc5 Qe5 17.e4 Nd7 18.Ba3 Nf6 19.exd5 Bg4 20.Qc2 Bf5 21.Nc4 Bxc2 22.Nxe5 Be4 23.Bxe4 Nxe4 24.f4 Rad8 25.Rfd1 Nd6 26.Bb2 a3 27.Bxa3 Bxe5 28.fxe5 Rxe5 29.Bb4 Rd7 30.Bc3 Re2 31.a4 f5 32.Bb4 Kf7 1/2-1/2

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Salem, Saleh – Vallejo Pons, Francsco
                      C17 French, Winawer

                      1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.b4 cxd4 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.bxa5 dxc3 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.h4 Nge7 11.h5 h6 12.a6 bxa6 13.Bd3 Rb8 14.Be3 Nf5 15.Bc5+ Kg8 16.Qa4 Qd7 17.Qf4 f6 18.exf6 gxf6 19.g4 e5 20.Qxf5 Qxf5 21.Bxf5 Bxf5 22.gxf5 Rb5 23.Bb4 d4 24.Rd1 Kf7 25.Rg1 a5 1/2-1/2

                      Round 8, Feb. 26, 2017
                      Riazantsev, Alexander – Tomashevsky, Evgeny
                      D38 QGD, Ragozin variation

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 O-O 8.Be2 dxc4 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nc6 11.Bxc4 b6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.Be4 Qe7 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.Bxb7 Rab8 16.Be4 Nc4 17.Qe2 Nd6 18.Bc6 Nb7 19.Qa6 Na5 20.Bf3 c5 21.dxc5 1/2-1/2

                      The standings after Round Eight:

                      1. MVL 5.0
                      2. Grischuk 5.0
                      3. Mamedyarov 4.5
                      4. Adams 4.5
                      5. Jakovenko 4.5
                      6. Nakamura 4.5
                      7. Nepomniachtchi 4.5
                      8. Rapport 4.0
                      9. Li Chao B 4.0
                      10. Ding Liren 4.0
                      11. Aronian 4.0
                      12. Hou Yifan 4.0
                      13. Vallejo Pons 4.0
                      14. Eljanov 3.5
                      15. Salem 3.5
                      16. Hammer 3.0
                      17. Tomashevsky 3.0
                      18. Riazantsev 2.5

                      Tomorrow is the last round

                      Round Nine Pairings

                      1. MVL-Grischuk
                      2. Nakamura-Adams
                      3. Jakovenko-Nepomniachtchi
                      4. Mamedyarov-Hou Yifan
                      5. Ding Liren-Aronian
                      6. Rapport-Li Chao B
                      7. Vallejo Pons-Tomashevsky
                      8. Eljanov-Salem
                      9. Riazantsev-Hammer
                      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Sunday, 26th February, 2017, 02:51 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                        Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                        February 27, 2017

                        Round Nine

                        Mamedyarov had to win today to join the two leaders who had drawn. He beat Hou Yifan, however at the post-mortem he was still thinking of his loss yesterday against Sasha Grischuk. He said that he is going to have to study Dvoretsky’s endgame book some more.

                        Bologan and Schwartz in their commentary both praised the heroic defense exhibited by Hou Yifan in her games in this tournament, Viktor likening it to the heroic defence of Sebastopol.

                        Throughout more than eleven months during the Crimean War (1854-1855) Russian soldiers and sailors, though outnumbered, did not spare themselves and defended Sebastopol with indescribably courage and valour against the French and English.

                        Richard Rapport and Li Chao came on after their draw. Richard wore a long, flowered tie, of a type I haven’t seen since the early ‘70s. The guys say after the interview that Rapport is an ornament to any tournament and should get a good manager who could get him into events like the Sinquefield Cup.

                        Pavel Eljanov beats Salem Saleh and goes to 50%. Salem, was born in 1993 in Sharjah and should benefit by his experience in the Grand Prix series.

                        Ding Liren beats Aronian. Viktor says that the most fighting players in the tournament were Rapport, Li Chao and Ding Liren.

                        Ding Liren says that he has played this opening twice before and won one, lost one. Levon says with disgust at the end, “Clearly White is winning here but I don’t have to lose in two moves!” Levon admits that the good thing for him is that the tournament is finished. His next is the Grenke in Karlsruhe in April.

                        In the Riazantsev-Hammer, there might have been a draw offer, which wasn’t accepted. Viktor said that he was playing in the 2003 Aeroflot Open and in the first three rounds he offered draws to each opponent and they rejected them and he went on to win the games. Then he had three draws and a few more wins and went on to win and qualify for Dortmund. There he won ahead of Kramnik, Anand and Leko.

                        There were three early safe draws – MVL-Grischuk, Jakovenko-Nepomniachtchi and Vallejo Pons-Tomashevsky. Nakamura-Adams, also a draw, is the last to finish.

                        The number of Grand Prix points earned is given in the table at:


                        These are the top eight:

                        1. MVL 140
                        1. Mamedyarov 140
                        1. Grischuk 140
                        4. Ding Liren 70
                        4. Adams 70
                        4. Nepomniachtchi 70
                        4. Jakovenko 70

                        The games of Round Nine

                        Sharjah GP 2017
                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        MVL-Grischuk, Alexander
                        C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 O-O 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.Bf4 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8 13.c3 d5 14.Nd2 g6 15.Nf3 Ng7 16.Qe3 c6 17.Re1 Be6 18.Ne5 Qa5 19.a3 Re8 20.Nd3 Qd8 21.Qd2 Bf5 22.Rxe8+ Qxe8 23.Qe3 Qxe3 1/2-1/2

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Nakamura, Hikaru – Adams, Michael
                        A07 Reti, King’s Indian Attack

                        1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 c6 4.c4 e6 5.O-O Nf6 6.d3 Be7 7.cxd5 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 cxd5 9.b3 Nc6 10.Bb2 O-O 11.e3 Rc8 12.a3 Ne8 13.d4 Nd6 14.Qd3 Na5 15.Nd2 f5 16.Rfc1 Qb6 17.Bd1 Ne4 18.Nf3 Bf6 19.a4 Rc6 20.Rxc6 Nxc6 21.Qb5 Qc7 22.Rc1 a6 23.Qe2 Qb6 24.Ne1 Nb4 25.f3 Nd6 26.Ba3 Be7 27.Qd2 Nc8 28.Be2 Na7 29.Nc2 Rc8 30.Kf2 a5 31.Ne1 Nd3+ 32.Nxd3 Bxa3 33.Rxc8+ Nxc8 34.Qc2 Ne7 35.Nf4 Kf7 36.Bb5 Bd6 37.Nd3 Qd8 38.Ke2 b6 39.h3 Qc8 40.Qxc8 Nxc8 41.g4 g6 42.Ba6 Ne7 43.Bb7 Kf6 44.e4 fxe4 45.fxe4 dxe4 46.Nf2 Nd5 47.Nxe4+ Ke7 48.Bxd5 exd5 49.Nxd6 Kxd6 50.h4 h6 51.Ke3 g5 52.h5 Kc6 53.Kd3 Kd6 54.Kc3 Kc6 55.b4 Kd6 56.b5 1/2-1/2

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Jakovenko, Dmitry – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                        A30 English, symmetrical

                        1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ndb4 8.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 Nxc6 10.Nc3 Bd7 11.Be3 g6 12.Rc1 Bg7 13.Ke1 O-O 14.f4 e5 15.Kf2 exf4 16.gxf4 Be6 17.Rhd1 Rfd8 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8 19.Bxc6 bxc6 20.b3 Bf6 21.Ne4 Bh4+ 22.Ng3 Bd5 23.Rc5 a6 24.Ra5 Ra8 25.f5 gxf5 26.Ra4 Be4 27.Kg1 Bxg3 28.hxg3 Kg7 1/2-1/2

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Hou Yifan
                        D20 Nimzo-Indian, Koch variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5 5.d5 O-O 6.e4 b5 7.e5 Ne8 8.f4 d6 9.Nf3 exd5 10.cxd5 Nc7 11.a4 Bb7 12.Bd3 h6 13.O-O Bxc3 14.bxc3 dxe5 15.axb5 e4 16.Bxe4 Bxd5 17.Bb1 Nd7 18.c4 Bb7 19.Ra3 Ne6 20.Qc2 Nf6 21.Bb2 Ne4 22.Rd3 Qc7 23.f5 Nd4 24.Nxd4 cxd4 25.Bxd4 a6 26.b6 Qc6 27.f6 Rfd8 28.fxg7 Rd6 29.c5 Rg6 30.Ba2 Ng5 31.Rg3 Nh3+ 32.Kh1 1-0

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Ding Liren – Aronian, Levon
                        E05 Catalan, open, Classical line

                        1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Bf4 Bd6 11.Qc1 a5 12.Nc3 Na6 13.Bd2 Nb4 14.Qb1 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 c6 16.Rd1 Qe7 17.Ne4 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 Rfd8 19.Bc3 Rd7 20.Rd2 Qd8 21.Rad1 Be7 22.h4 Rb8 23.e3 Nd5 24.Qc2 Qc7 25.Kg2 g6 26.h5 Bf8 27.e4 Nb4 28.Qb3 c5 29.dxc5 Rxd2 30.Rxd2 Qxc5 31.Rd7 b5 32.axb5 Qxb5 33.Qd1 Nc6 34.Be2 Qb6 35.Bc4 Rb7 36.b3 Qa7 37.Rd6 Bxd6 38.Qxd6 Qb6 39.Qf4 Kf8 40.Bxe6 Nb4 41.Qf6 Nd3 42.Bd4 Qd6 43.Be3 Ne1+ 44.Kf1 1-0

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Rapport, Richard – Li Chao
                        A16 English, Anglo-Grunfeld Defence

                        1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nxc3 5.bxc3 g6 6.h4 Bg7 7.h5 c5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.a4 Nc6 10.Nf3 Qc7 11.Qe2 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Bb2 a6 14.Bc4 Rc8 15.Qf3 e6 16.a5 g5 17.h6 Rg8 18.g3 Rg6 19.Qe3 Bd6 20.Be2 c4 21.Bh5 Rg8 22.O-O e5 23.d4 cxd3 24.Qxd3 Be6 25.Rfd1 Ke7 26.g4 1/2-1/2

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Vallejo Pons, Francisco – Tomashevsky, Evgeny
                        E32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 d6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 b6 10.Ne2 Bb7 11.O-O Be4 12.f3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Re8 14.e4 Nf8 15.Rad1 Ng6 16.Bf2 c6 17.b4 e5 18.dxe5 dxe5 19.a4 Qc7 20.c5 bxc5 21.Bxc5 a5 22.Rb1 1/2-1/2

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Eljanov, Pavel – Salem, Saleh
                        B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

                        1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 e6 6.Bc2 b5 7.d4 Bb7 8.Nbd2 Be7 9.O-O cxd4 10.cxd4 O-O 11.Re1 Rc8 12.Nf1 e5 13.Ng3 g6 14.Bb3 exd4 15.Bh6 Re8 16.Ng5 Ne5 17.a4 d5 18.exd5 Bb4 19.Rxe5 Rxe5 20.Qxd4 Bd6 21.Nf3 Qb6 22.Qh4 Nxd5 23.Nxe5 Bxe5 24.Qe4 Qe6 25.axb5 Bxb2 26.Qxe6 fxe6 27.Rxa7 Rc3 28.Rxb7 Rxb3 29.Ne4 Bd4 30.g3 Rb2 31.Kh1 Rb1+ 32.Kg2 Rb2 33.Ng5 Rxf2+ 34.Kh3 Be5 35.Ra7 Nb6 36.Re7 Bd6 37.Re8+ Bf8 38.Nxe6 1-0

                        Round 9, Feb. 27, 2017
                        Riazantsev, Alexander – Hammer, Jon Ludvig
                        D45 QGD, Semi-Slav

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.b3 O-O 8.Be2 b6 9.O-O Bb7 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rfd1 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.cxd5 Nce4 14.Qd3 Nxc3 15.Bxc3 Nxd5 16.Bb2 Qe7 17.Qd4 f5 18.Bc4 Rfd8 19.a4 Bb4 20.Qh4 Qxh4 21.Nxh4 Kf7 22.Nf3 Ke7 23.Rac1 Bc5 24.Ra1 Bb4 25.Rd3 Nf6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Nd4 Nd5 28.Nc2 Bc3 29.Ba3+ Ke8 30.Bb5+ Kf7 31.Rd1 Bf6 32.Bc4 g6 33.h3 Nc7 34.Rxd8 Bxd8 35.Bd6 Nd5 36.Nd4 Bf6 37.Nb5 a5 38.Bc5 Be7 39.Bd4 Bc6 40.Na7 Bb7 41.Nb5 Bc6 42.Be5 Bf6 43.Bb8 1/2-1/2

                        Final Standing

                        1. MVL 5.5
                        2. Mamedyarov 5.5
                        3. Grischuk 5.5
                        4. Nakamura 5.0
                        5. Ding Liren 5.0
                        6. Adams 5.0
                        7. Nepomniachtchi 5.0
                        8. Jakovenko 5.0
                        9. Eljanov 4.5
                        10. Li Chao 4.5
                        11. Vallejo Pons 4.5
                        12. Rapport 4.5
                        13. Aronian 4.0
                        14. Hou Yifan 4.0
                        15. Tomashevsky 3.5
                        16. Salem 3.5
                        17. Hammer 3.5
                        18. Riazantsev 3.0

                        Quote of the Day from the Chat Room - so to sum up the tourney, many people won and most people came 2nd.

                        The tournament had a difficult start. Everything was new, the two commentators had never met before, no one knew how the absence of a no-draw rule and a nine-round Swiss with 18 participants would go.

                        The clever combatants conserved their strength with lots of draws and played for the marathon win rather than the quick footrace.

                        It appears that the Grand Prix here has not caught the imagination of the public, who were not buying subscriptions for the broadcasts.
                        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Monday, 27th February, 2017, 05:05 PM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                          Sharjah Grand Prix 2017

                          February 28, 2017

                          The official wrap-up of the tournament from Agon:

                          GRAND PRIX 2017

                          Sharjah Grand Prix, Round 9: Grischuk Wins, Vachier-Lagrave Is Second

                          Alexander Grischuk of Russia has won the Sharjah Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates. He did it on tiebreakers over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, who finished second and third, respectively.

                          Grischuk and Vachier-Lagrave were tied for first before the last round and faced each other. Their game had the potential to produce an outright winner. Instead, they played a rather anemic game and drew quickly.

                          Mamedyarov, who had lost to Grischuk in the penultimate round, came back by winning his last round game against Hou Yifan of China, the current Women’s World Champion (whose reign will end in a few days when a new winner is crowned at the World Championship tournament in Tehran). The game was short and brutal as Hou played a tricky opening and played it badly. After 20 moves, she was all but lost.

                          The Sharjah Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates is the first in a series of four tournaments that will determine two qualifiers for next year’s Candidates tournament to select a challenger for the World Championship. In addition to Sharjah, the tournaments will be held in Moscow, Geneva and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

                          The prize fund for each Grand Prix is 130,000 euros, with 20,000 for first place. The series is being organized by Agon, the company that holds the commercials rights to the World Championship cycle, under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, also known as FIDE, which is the game’s governing body.