2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

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  • #16
    2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

    June 30, 2019

    Round 5

    Round 5, June 30
    Karjakin, Sergey – Carlsen, Magnus
    D30 Queen’s Gambit declined

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 a6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 h6 6.Bf4 Nf6 7.e3 Bd6 8.Be5 Be6 9.Qb3 Ra7 10.Bd3 Bxe5 11.Nxe5 O-O 12.O-O Nbd7 13.f4 c5 14.f5 c4 15.Qa3 cxd3 16.fxe6 fxe6 17.Nxd3 Ra8 18.Qd6 Qb6 19.Qxb6 Nxb6 20.Nc5 Rf7 21.b3 Re8 22.Rac1 e5 23.h3 Nc8 24.Nd3 exd4 25.exd4 Na7 26.Nf4 Nc6 27.Nfxd5 Nxd5 28.Nxd5 Rd7 29.Rc5 Nxd4 30.Rd1 Ne6 31.Rc4 Red8 32.Re1 Rxd5 33.Rxe6 R8d6 34.Rxd6 Rxd6 35.a4 b6 36.b4 Rd1+ 37.Kf2 Ra1 38.Rc6 Ra2+ 39.Kf3 Ra3+ 40.Kf2 Ra2+ 41.Kf3 Ra3+ 42.Kf2 Ra2+ 1/2-1/2

    Initially it was thought that White’s 13.f4 would give him a very good game – Carsen obviously disagrees

    Position after 13.f4


    Round 5, June 30
    Caruana, Fabiano – So, Wesley
    C54 Giuoco Piano

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O O-O 7.h3 a6 8.a4 h6 9.Re1 Ba7 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.b4 Be6 12.Bxe6 Rxe6 13.Nb3 Ne7 14.Nh4 d5 15.Qe2 Rd6 16.Nc5 Bxc5 17.bxc5 Re6 18.Qf3 dxe4 19.dxe4 Qd7 20.a5 Rd8 21.Rb1 Qc6 22.Qe3 Kh7 23.Rb4 Ng6 24.Nxg6 fxg6 25.f3 Nh5 26.Qf2 g5 27.Kh2 Nf4 28.Bxf4 gxf4 29.Reb1 Rd3 30.Rxb7 Rxc3 31.Rb8 Qxc5 32.Qh4 Qe7 33.Qg4 Rc2 34.Qf5+ g6 35.Qf8 Qxf8 36.Rxf8 Kg7 37.Rbb8 Rd6 38.Rg8+ Kh7 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Rhg8+ Kh7 41.Rh8+ Kg7 1/2-1/2

    - Caruana is a very realistic guy; he knows he has nothing here. Draw in the objective now.

    Round 5, June 30
    Anand, Vishy – MVL
    B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 5.O-O Ngf6 6.Qe2 Rc8 7.b3 g6 8.Bb2 e5 9.d3 Bg7 10.Nc3 Nf8 11.Nd2 Ne6 12.Nc4 a6 13.a4 O-O 14.g3 Nd4 15.Qd1 Qd7 16.Ne3 Rce8 17.Rb1 h5 18.Ncd5 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 Nc6 20.Bc1 f5 21.f3 Ne7 22.Nxe7+ Rxe7 23.Bg5 Ref7 24.Qe2 Kh7 25.Kg2 Bh6 26.Bxh6 Kxh6 27.exf5 Rxf5 28.b4 cxb4 29.Rxb4 R8f7 30.d4 Qc6 31.dxe5 Rxe5 32.Qc4 Rc7 33.Qxc6 Rxc6 34.Rxb7 Re2+ 35.Rf2 Rxf2+ 36.Kxf2 Rxc2+ 37.Ke3 Rc4 38.Rb6 Rxa4 39.Rxd6 Ra3+ 40.Kf4 Ra4+ 41.Ke3 Ra3+ 42.Kf4 Ra4+ 43.Ke3 1/2-1/2

    Round 5, June 10
    Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Aronian, Levon
    D38 QGD, Ragozin, variation

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 d5 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Qd5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.g3 Bd7 11.Qc2 Na5 12.e4 Qd6 13.Bg2 Nb3 14.Rd1 Qxa3 15.O-O O-O-O 16.Qe2 Bb5 17.Rb1 c6 18.Rfd1 a5 19.Nd2 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Rxd4 21.Ra1 Qb2 22.Rab1 c3 23.Qf3 Rxd2 24.Rxb2 cxb2 25.Bf1 Rhd8 26.Rb1 Bxf1 27.Kxf1 Rc2 28.Kg2 Rdd2 29.Qxf6 a4 30.Kh3 Rxf2 31.Qh8+ Kc7 32.Qd4 f6 33.Qxa4 Rxh2+ 34.Kg4 h5+ 35.Kf4 Rhf2+ 36.Ke3 Rfe2+ 37.Kf3 Rf2+ 38.Ke3 Rfe2+ 39.Kf3 Rf2+ 1/2-1/2

    It looked like Aronian had the win in hand if he played 25….Be2

    Position after 25.Bf1


    Round 5, June 10
    Nakamura, Hikaru – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
    D85 Grunfeld, Exchange variation

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Na4 Bf5 6.f3 Nb6 7.e4 Nxa4 8.Qxa4+ Bd7 9.Qb3 Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.d5 b6 12.Rd1 Qe8 13.Rd2 c6 14.Ne2 e6 15.dxc6 Nxc6 16.Qa3 Ne5 17.Nc3 b5 18.Qa6 b4 19.Nd1 Qe7 20.Be2 Rfd8 21.O-O Bc8 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.Qa4 a5 24.Nf2 Bd7 25.Qd1 Nc6 26.b3 Be8 27.Qxd8 Rxd8 28.Rd1 Bd4 29.Bxd4 Nxd4 30.Kf1 Kf8 31.e5 Bc6 32.Ng4 Ke7 33.Nf6 h5 34.Rc1 Kf8 35.Kf2 a4 36.bxa4 Bxa4 37.Rc7 b3 38.axb3 Bxb3 39.Ke3 Ba4 40.Bd3 Nc6 41.Nd7+ Ke8 42.Nf6+ Kf8 43.Bc2 Bb5 44.Kf4 Ne7 45.Nh7+ Ke8 46.Nf6+ Kf8 47.Be4 Rc8 48.Ra7 Bc6 49.Kg5 Bxe4 50.Nxe4 Nc6 51.Rb7 Kg7 52.Nd6 Rf8 53.f4 Nd4 54.Rd7 Nf5 55.Nxf5+ gxf5 56.Rd3 Ra8 57.Rg3 f6+ 58.Kxh5+ Kf7 59.Rg6 fxe5 60.fxe5 Ra5 61.Kh6 Rxe5 62.Rg7+ Kf6 63.Rg6+ Kf7 64.Rg7+ Kf6 65.Rg6+ 1/2-1/2

    Round 5, June 10
    Giri, Anish – Ding, Liren
    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.Rad1 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Bc4 Nb4 15.Qe2 Qe7 16.a3 Nc6 17.b4 Nd7 18.Ne4 Be5 19.Bd3 Bxb2 20.Qxb2 Rcd8 21.Rd2 f6 22.Bb1 Nde5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Rc1 Rxd2 25.Qxd2 Rd8 26.Qe2 Qd7 27.Nc3 Rc8 28.Rd1 Qe7 29.Ne4 Bd5 30.f4 Nf7 31.Qd2 Qc7 32.Nf2 Nd6 33.e4 Bb3 34.e5 Nf5 35.Re1 fxe5 36.fxe5 Qc3 37.Qxc3 Rxc3 38.Ne4 Rc7 39.Kf2 Bd5 40.Rd1 h6 41.Nd6 Nxd6 42.exd6 Rc6 43.Be4 Rxd6 44.Ke3 Kf7 45.Rc1 Ke7 46.Rc8 Rd7 47.Bxd5 Rxd5 48.a4 Kd6 49.h4 Re5+ 50.Kd3 Rh5 51.Rd8+ Ke7 52.Rg8 Kf7 53.Ra8 a5 54.Ra6 axb4 55.Rxb6 Rxh4 56.a5 Rg4 57.a6 Rxg2 58.Kc4 Ra2 59.Kxb4 h5 60.Kb5 h4 61.Rc6 h3 62.Rc3 h2 63.Rf3+ Ke7 64.Rh3 g5 0-1

    Standings after Round Five

    1 Nepomniachtchi 4
    2-3 Carlsen, So 3
    4-8 Caruana, Ding, MVL, Aronian, Karjakin 2.5
    9-11 Mamedyarov, Anand, Nakamura 2
    12 Giri 1.5


    • #17
      2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

      July 1, 2019

      Round 6

      There was some interesting commentary today during the round. First, Alejandro Ramirez on Nepomniachtchi:

      A few years back Nepo was a 2700 player but not particularly distinguished because of so much strong competition from other Russians. He was a huge talent as a junior and he was also serious for a time about video games and at one time was a manager and player of Dota but then came back to chess and devoted all his time to it.

      In an interview he once said that Dota was his other great passion outside of chess. It is a popular online multiplayer game. His enthusiasm for the computer game is clearly expressed by his terse but no-nonsense Twitter bio, which reads: “Chess grandmaster, Hearthstone & DOTA fan.”

      A daunting Dota player in his own right, Nepomniachtchi said that he wasn’t surprised by the recent AI victory over Dota 2’s reigning world champion team. While the game’s immense complexity poses issues for artificial intelligence, the Russian chess master said that bots would soon reign supreme.


      Maurice has an interview with Blazenka Divjak, the Minister of Science and Education. She is a charming lady, looking much younger than her professed age. The Croatians are working on reforms of the education system and she believes that chess is conducive to algorithmic thinking and problem solving.

      Her bio: Blaženka Divjak was born on 1 January 1967 in Varaždin. After finishing elementary and high school, she enrolled at the Zagreb Faculty of Science from which she graduated in 1989 earning title of math and physics professor. In 1993, she got her master's degree in natural sciences, field mathematics, and in 1998 PhD in mathematics. Divjak also attended programs at the University of Kentucky (October–November 1997), University of Georgia and Duke University (March 2010), University of Leuven (2010), and University of Edinburgh (March–May 2015).

      She has published over 50 scientific papers and around 30 professional papers and has presented at many scientific and professional conferences. Divjak is the author of seven books, two of which are university textbooks.

      She enjoyed the basketball at Duke and was able to name several Croatian basketball stars who played in the NBA.


      The last guest was Rex Sinquefield, who talked about the Grand Chess Tour. He said that he doesn’t like the idea of mixed-mode chess. In particular, using blitz as a tie-break after classical chess. “It’s like having two guys tie after a marathon race and then making them run a 50-yard dash to get a result.”

      He favors matches with a longer rapid limit – of say 45 or 60 minutes. He said that Karpov and Kasparov played such a match in New York City about 20 years ago.

      What does a billionaire do in his time off? He is being tutored in chess by Jennifer Shahade. He said that she has given him exceedingly difficult exercises in the Grunfeld, which he worked on for five hours this past weekend!

      I don’t remember the K-K Rapids Match but here is the report from the New York Times:

      December 21, 2002: Anatoly Karpov, 51, scored an upset victory yesterday in a four-game match of rapid chess against his old nemesis Garry Kasparov, 39. He won two games, lost one, and drew one.

      ''I'm thrilled,'' Mr. Karpov said. ''I played very well and proved that chess is not just a young man's game.''

      The match between the two Russian former world champions was held over two days in the ABC studios in Times Square. The competition was sponsored by X3D Technologies, a company based in Lower Manhattan that sells a system for viewing computer images in three dimensions.

      Each player was given 25 minutes for each game, with an additional 10 seconds for each move.

      Mr. Kasparov won the first game on Thursday and seemed on his way to victory in the second game after winning a pawn. But both players were short of time, and in the ensuing scramble of moves, Mr. Karpov started to hunt down the younger man's king. Mr. Kasparov sacrificed his queen to stop the mating attack.

      When he subsequently lost another piece, he resigned and stormed out of the playing hall.

      Round 6, July 1
      Ding, Liren – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
      A20 English, Modern Nimzowitsch

      1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.O-O Be7 7.d4 e4 8.Ne5 f5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qc2 Nb4 11.Qa4 Bd7 12.a3 Nd5 13.Nc3 Bd6 14.f3 exf3 15.Bxf3 Nb6 16.Qb3 Qf6 17.Be3 Qg6 18.Bf2 h5 19.e4 h4 20.exf5 Qxf5 21.Rae1+ Kd8 22.Ne4 Qg6 23.Nxd6 cxd6 24.d5 c5 25.a4 Bxa4 26.Qa3 Re8 27.b4 Rc8 28.bxc5 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 hxg3 30.hxg3 dxc5 31.Kg2 Qc2 32.Qe3 Rc7 33.Qe6 Rd7 34.d6 Kc8 35.Rh1 1-0

      Round 6, July 1
      Carlsen, Magnus – 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.Qc2 Re8 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.Bd3 dxc4 13.Bxc4 h6 14.Bf4 Bd7 15.O-O Rac8 16.e4 e5 17.Be3 Nd4 18.Bxd4 Rxc4 19.Bxe5 Ba4 20.b3 Nxe4 21.Rd3 Rec8 22.Qb2 Nc5 23.Re3 Bxb3 24.Bxg7 Rg4 25.Bxh6 Bf6 26.Ne5 Bxe5 27.Rxe5 Qb6 28.Qd2 Rg6 29.Be3 Qc6 30.Nd5 Bxd5 31.Qxd5 b6 32.g3 Nd7 33.Qxc6 Rgxc6 34.Rd5 Nf8 35.Rfd1 Ne6 36.a4 Rc4 37.a5 Rb4 38.Rd7 bxa5 39.Rxa7 a4 40.Rdd7 Nd8 41.Rd5 Ne6 42.Rda5 Rcc4 43.Kg2 1-0

      Round 6, July 1
      So, Wesley – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
      A04 Reti, King’s Indian Defence

      1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 e5 5.Nxe5 O-O 6.Nf3 Re8 7.Bd3 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Bxc3 9.dxc3 Rxe4+ 10.Be3 d6 11.c5 d5 12.h3 b6 13.O-O Bb7 14.Re1 Nd7 15.Nd2 Re8 16.Nb3 Qh4 17.Qd2 f6 18.f4 Qh5 19.Bf2 g5 20.c6 Bxc6 21.Nd4 Bb7 22.Nb5 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Re8 24.Nxc7 Rxe1+ 25.Qxe1 d4 26.Qe7 Qf7 27.Qd8+ Nf8 28.Bxd4 gxf4 29.Ne8 Ne6 1-0

      Round 6, July 1
      MVL – Caruana, Fabiano
      C78 Ruy Lopez, Moeller Defence

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bb7 9.d3 h6 10.axb5 axb5 11.Rxa8 Qxa8 12.Nh4 Bc8 13.Na3 Bg4 14.Qc2 Qb8 15.Kh1 g5 16.Nf5 Bxf5 17.exf5 O-O 18.Qd1 Na5 19.Bxf7+ Rxf7 20.b4 Bxb4 21.cxb4 Nc6 22.Nc2 Qc8 23.g4 Qa8 24.f3 Qa2 25.d4 Re7 26.dxe5 dxe5 27.Qd3 e4 28.Qc3 Ne5 29.f4 Nd5 30.Qh3 Nf3 31.Ne1 Nxe1 32.Rxe1 e3 33.fxg5 hxg5 34.Qg2 Qc4 35.Qf3 Re4 36.h3 Rf4 37.Qg3 Rf1+ 0-1

      Round 6, July 1
      Aronian, Levon – Karjakin, Sergey
      C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Be7 10.Nc3 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Bxh4 12.f4 Bd7 13.Bd2 Kc8 14.Be1 Be7 15.f5 Bc5+ 16.Bf2 Bb4 17.g4 Re8 18.Bg3 Bc5+ 19.Kh2 Bd4 20.Rae1 b6 21.Nd1 Kb7 22.c3 Bc5 23.Nf2 Be7 24.e6 fxe6 25.fxe6 Bc8 26.Nd3 Bf6 27.Rxf6 gxf6 28.Nf4 Rd8 29.Re2 Rd1 30.Bh4 c5 31.Bxf6 Kc6 32.e7 Bd7 33.g5 Be8 34.Ne6 Bh5 35.Rf2 Bg6 36.h4 Kd7 37.Nf4 Bb1 38.a3 Rg8 39.Ng2 Re8 40.Ne3 Rd3 41.Re2 Ke6 42.Kg3 Kf7 43.Kf4 h6 44.Re1 hxg5+ 45.hxg5 Ba2 46.Ng4 Rh3 47.Ne5+ Ke6 48.Kg4 Rh7 49.Nf3+ Kf7 50.Kf5 Kg8 51.g6 Rh5+ 52.Kg4 Rh6 53.Nh4 Bf7 54.gxf7+ Kxf7 55.Bg5 1-0

      Round 6, July 1
      Giri, Anish – Anand, Vishy
      C81 Ruy Lopez, open, Howell Attack

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2 Be7 10.Rd1 O-O 11.c4 bxc4 12.Bxc4 Bc5 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 Qb8 15.Bb3 Na5 16.Nbd2 Qa7 17.Nxe4 Qxe3 18.fxe3 Nxb3 19.axb3 dxe4 20.Nd4 Rfb8 21.Rdc1 Bxb3 22.Rxc7 Be6 23.Rd1 Rxb2 24.Nxe6 fxe6 25.Rdd7 Rb1+ 26.Kf2 Rb2+ 27.Kg3 Kh8 28.Rxg7 Rg8 29.Rxg8+ Kxg8 30.Rc6 Kf7 31.Rxa6 Re2 32.h4 h5 33.Ra7+ Kg6 34.Re7 Rxe3+ 35.Kf4 Re1 36.Rxe6+ Kg7 37.Re7+ Kg6 38.Re6+ Kg7 39.Rf6 e3 40.Ke4 e2 41.Rf2 Kg8 42.g3 Rg1 43.Rxe2 Rxg3 44.Rf2 Kg7 45.Kf5 Kf7 46.Rf4 Ke7 47.Re4 Rg1 48.Ra4 Rf1+ 49.Kg6 Ke6 50.Ra5 Rh1 51.Kg5 Rh2 52.Kxh5 Kf5 53.Ra6 Kxe5 54.Kg5 Rg2+ 55.Kh6 Kf5 56.h5 Rh2 57.Rb6 Rh1 58.Ra6 Rh2 59.Kg7 Rxh5 1/2-1/2

      Five decisive games out of six.

      Standings after Round Six

      1-3 Carlsen, Nepo, So 4
      4-6 Caruana, Ding, Aronian 3.5
      7-9 MVL, Anand, Karjakin 2.5
      10-12 Giri, Mamedyarov, Nakamura 2

      Tomorrow is a rest day. On Wednesday, Nepo has White against Carlsen.


      • #18
        Blood on the waters. Only Anish Giri failed to convert.


        • #19
          Nepo goes down to Ding and there is a three way tie for first. Nepo, Wesley and Magnus with 3 others a half point back. Its now a huge fight for first.


          • #20
            Round 7 live stream



            • #21
              Rd 7 - Vintage Magnus. The game ends with the tickler gxf3+! How can you watch and not enjoy?


              • #22
                2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                July 3, 2019

                Round 7

                Round 7, July 3
                Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Carlsen, Magnus
                B30 Sicilian Defence

                1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 g6 5.d3 h6 6.h4 d6 7.h5 g5 8.Nh2 Bg7 9.Ng4 Nge7 10.Ne3 O-O 11.Bd2 Kh8 12.g4 Rb8 13.a4 Nd4 14.Ncd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Ne6 16.f3 Nf4 17.Qb1 Be6 18.Qa2 Qd7 19.Rg1 b6 20.Bc3 Bxd5 21.Bxd5 a6 22.Bd2 Qe7 23.Rf1 b5 24.axb5 axb5 25.Kf2 c4 26.Bxf4 exf4 27.Rad1 f5 28.gxf5 g4 29.d4 Qh4+ 30.Ke2 Qh2+ 31.Rf2 gxf3+ 0-1

                Position after Black’s 27…f5


                With his 27thmove, Magnus offers Nepo two choices, exf5 or gxf5. The first is correct and the second loses.

                Thus Carlsen beats Nepo for the first time in classical chess. The only other player he has not beaten is Ding Liren, who he plays tomorrow!

                Round 7, July 3
                Karjakin, Sergey – So, Wesley
                C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.a4 Be7 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bf1 e4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Rxe4 d5 11.Re1 d4 12.Bd3 O-O 13.Be4 Be6 14.d3 Bd5 15.Bf4 Bxe4 16.Rxe4 f5 17.Re2 g5 18.Bd2 g4 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.Rxe5 Bd6 21.Re2 Qf6 22.c3 Rae8 23.g3 dxc3 24.Bxc3 Qf7 25.Rxe8 Rxe8 26.Qd2 Qe6 27.Qg5+ Qg6 28.Qd2 Qe6 29.Qg5+ Qg6 30.Qd2 Qe6 1/2-1/2

                The game ended in a draw by perpetual. Karjakin came for his interview with Maurice, who revealed that he had a winning move with 21.Rxf5. Everyone seemed to see it. Exit Karjakin depressed. Enter Wesley So, who is told the same thing and exits not so depressed. No one likes to be chess blind.

                Position after Black’s 20…Bd6


                The correct move is 21.Rxf5! The line is:

                21. Rxf5 Bxh2+ 22. Kh1 Rxf5 23. Qxg4+ Kh8 24. Qxf5 Qd6 25. Re1 Rf8 26. Qh5 Bf4 27. Bxf4 Qxf4 28. f3 Rg8 29. Kg1 b6 30. Qe5+ Qxe5 31. Rxe5 Rg6 32. Re8+ Rg8 33. Re4 c5 34. Kf2 Rg6 35. f4 Kg8 36. Re5 Rc6 37. Re7 h5 38. Kf3 Rh6 39. Ra7 a5 40. f5

                Round 7, July 3
                Caruana, Fabiano- Giri, Anish
                C78 Neo-Grunfeld

                1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nbd2 a5 8.b3 Bf5 9.e3 a4 10.Ba3 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qc1 Nc7 13.Nc4 Nb5 14.Bb2 Be4 15.b4 Nb6 16.Nxb6 Qxb6 17.a3 Qd8 18.Nd2 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qd5+ 20.Kg1 Nd6 21.Qc2 e5 22.e4 Qe6 23.dxe5 Bxe5 24.Bxe5 Qxe5 25.Rae1 Nb5 26.Nf3 Qc3 27.Qxc3 Nxc3 28.Re3 Nb5 29.Ne5 Rfd8 30.Nc4 Rd4 31.Rc1 Nd6 32.Nxd6 Rxd6 33.Rc5 Rad8 34.b5 cxb5 35.Rxb5 Rd3 36.Rxd3 Rxd3 37.Rxb7 Rxa3 38.Ra7 g5 39.Kg2 Kg7 40.e5 Kg6 41.Ra6+ Kg7 42.h4 gxh4 43.gxh4 h5 44.f4 f5 45.exf6+ Kf7 46.Ra5 Kxf6 47.Rxh5 Rb3 48.Ra5 a3 49.h5 Kg7 50.Ra6 Kh7 51.Kf2 Rh3 52.Kg2 Rb3 53.Kf2 Rh3 54.Kg2 1/2-1/2

                Round 7, July 3
                Nakamura, Hikaru – Aronian, Levon
                C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Nbd2 Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.d4 c6 9.dxe5 cxb5 10.exf6 Qxf6 11.O-O O-O 12.Nf3 d6 13.Re1 Bg4 14.Be3 b4 15.Bxb6 axb6 16.Qd4 Bxf3 17.Qxf6 gxf6 18.gxf3 bxc3 19.bxc3 Rfc8 20.Reb1 Rxc3 21.Rxb6 Rxf3 22.Rxb7 f5 23.exf5 Ra4 24.Rb5 Kg7 25.Rd5 Rfa3 26.Rxd6 Rxa2 27.Rxa2 Rxa2 28.Rd3 h5 29.Rb3 Ra5 30.Rc3 Rxf5 31.Rb3 1/2-1/2

                Round 7, July 3
                Anand, Vishy – Ding, Liren
                C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed, anti-Marshall

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.a4 b4 9.d4 d6 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Nd2 Bc5 13.h3 a5 14.Qf3 Qe7 15.Nc4 Be6 16.Be3 Nd7 17.Rad1 Rfd8 18.Rd2 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Bxe3 20.Qxe3 Nb6 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bb3 Rd4 23.Qe2 Qc5 24.Qf3 Qe7 25.Qe2 Qc5 26.Qf3 Qe7 27.Qe2 1/2-1/2

                Round 7, July 3
                Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – MVL
                E60 King’s Indian

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.e3 O-O 5.Be2 c5 6.dxc5 Ne4 7.Nd4 Nc6 8.O-O Nxc5 9.Nc3 d6 10.b3 Ne6 11.Nxe6 Bxe6 12.Bb2 d5 13.cxd5 Bxd5 14.Qc1 Be6 15.Na4 Bxb2 16.Qxb2 Qa5 17.Rfc1 Rad8 18.Rc5 Rd2 19.Rxa5 Rxb2 20.Nxb2 Nxa5 21.Kf1 Rc8 22.Ke1 Kg7 23.Rd1 Rc2 24.Rd2 Rc1+ 25.Rd1 Rc2 26.Rd2 Rc1+ 27.Rd1 Rc2 1/2-1/2

                Standings after Round Seven

                1 Carlsen 5
                2 So 4.5
                3-6 Caruana, Ding, Nepo, Aronian 4
                7-9 MVL, Anand, Karjakin 3
                10-12 Giri, Mamedyarov, Nakamura 2.5

                Pairings in Round 8

                Ding Liren-Carlsen

                Comments from Chat:

                - This round shows why Carlsen is the World Champion and the others are just the pretenders

                - Carlsen got a haircut just to taunt his opponent. It paid off.

                - Why do they keep playing 1.e4 vs Carlsen?? After 1…c5!! White is already lost.


                In a phone-in, a guy from Texas asked, “If you guys hadn’t devoted yourself to chess, what profession would you have followed?”

                Jovanka – Learnt chess at 4 years. Got a law degree. In a gap year played chess and didn’t go into law. Would have done history perhaps

                Alejandro – Graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a master’s degree in arts and technology, video game design, which he worked at.

                Yasser – My father wanted me to be a medical doctor and I wanted this too but had a very successful chess year and didn’t do medicine.

                This is the golden era for chess – you can be a player, coach, author or do commentary.
                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 08:43 AM.


                • #23
                  2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                  July 4, 2019

                  Round 8

                  The big game, of course, is Ding Liren vs Magnus Carlsen. I decided to watch the endgame with the sesse supercomputer:


                  It analyses all of Magnus’s games. Today, there were about 3100 of us following the moves there.

                  The game might be a textbook example of the power of the bishop pair.

                  Round 8, July 4
                  Ding, Liren – Carlsen, Magnus
                  E05 Catalan, open, Classical line

                  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O dxc4 7.Qc2 b5 8.a4 b4 9.Nfd2 Nd5 10.Nxc4 c5 11.dxc5 Ba6 12.Ne3 Nd7 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.c6 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nc5 16.c7 Qd7 17.Nd2 g5 18.Be5 f6 19.Bd4 Rxc7 20.Qd1 Ne6 21.Nb3 Bc4 22.Na5 Nxd4 23.Qxd4 Kg7 24.Rfc1 Bxe2 25.Rxc7 Qxc7 26.Re1 Bc5 27.Qxd5 Re8 28.Qb7 Qxb7 29.Nxb7 Bf8 30.Bc6 Re7 31.f3 Bc4 32.Rxe7+ Bxe7 33.Kf2 f5 34.Ke3 Bg8 35.Kd3 g4 36.Na5 Bc5 37.Nc4 Bg1 38.Ne3 Be6 39.fxg4 fxg4 40.Ke2 h5 41.Bd5 Bd7 42.Bb3 Bxh2 43.Kf2 h4 44.gxh4 Be5 45.Nc4 g3+ 46.Kg1 Bf4 47.Bd1 Bc6 48.b3 Kh6 49.a5 Be4 50.Kf1 Kg7 51.Kg1 Kf6 52.Kf1 Ke6 53.h5 Kd5 54.a6 Kd4 55.Bg4 Kc3 56.Be6 Bc2 57.Na5 Bc7 58.Nb7 Bd3+ 59.Kg1 Bxa6 0-1

                  Final position


                  In round 7 Carlsen defeats Nepo for the first time
                  In Round 8 Carlsen defeats Ding for the first time

                  Both with the black pieces!

                  He plays Wesley So, but has the black pieces in Round 10.

                  Round 8, July 4
                  So, Wesley – Nakamura, Hikaru
                  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 Nf5 8.Nf3 d5 9.d4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nh4 11.Nxh4 Bxh4 12.Bb5 Ne7 13.Bd3 Bf6 14.Qh5 g6 15.Qf3 Bg7 16.Bg5 f6 17.Bd2 c6 18.Ne2 Nf5 19.g3 Nh6 20.c4 Bg4 21.Qg2 dxc4 22.Bxc4+ Kh8 23.d5 Nf7 24.Nf4 Ne5 25.Be2 Bd7 26.Rad1 cxd5 27.Bc3 Bc6 28.Nxd5 f5 29.f4 Nd7 30.Bxg7+ Kxg7 31.Bf3 Nf6 32.Nxf6 Qxf6 33.Bxc6 bxc6 34.Rd7+ Rf7 35.Qd2 Rxd7 36.Qxd7+ Kf8 37.Re5 Rd8 38.Qxh7 Re8 39.Qh6+ Kf7 40.Qh7+ Kf8 41.Qc7 Rxe5 42.Qxe5 Qxe5 43.fxe5 Kf7 44.h4 Ke6 45.Kf2 Kxe5 46.Kf3 c5 47.b3 Ke6 48.Kf4 Kf6 49.a3 a6 50.b4 c4 51.a4 Ke6 52.Ke3 Kd5 53.Kd2 Kd4 54.Kc2 c3 55.b5 Kd5 1-0

                  Round 8, July 4
                  Aronian, Levon – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                  D91 Grunfeld

                  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.Bf4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c6 8.e3 O-O 9.Qb3 b6 10.Be2 Ba6 11.a4 e6 12.O-O Nd7 13.Rfc1 Qe7 14.Bf1 Bxc4 15.Bxc4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 e5 17.dxe5 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Bxe5 19.a5 Rac8 20.Qa6 Bc7 21.Kf1 bxa5 22.Qxa7 Ra8 23.Qd4 Qe6 24.Qc5 Qe4 25.Qd4 Qe6 26.Qc5 Qe4 27.Qd4 Qe6 1/2-1/2

                  Round 8, July 4
                  Anand, Vishy – Caruana, Fabiano
                  B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

                  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 e5 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d3 g6 8.h4 Nf6 9.Nd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 Nb4 11.a3 Na6 12.h5 Bg7 13.Be3 f5 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.Rxh8+ Bxh8 16.Bg5 c4 17.dxc4 Nc5 18.Nd2 Qh7 19.Qe2 Qh2 20.Be3 Nd7 21.Nf1 Qxg2 22.exf5 Rc8 23.Ng3 Qg1+ 24.Qf1 Qxf1+ 25.Kxf1 Rxc4 26.fxg6 Rg4 27.Rc1 Kd8 28.Bxa7 e4 29.Rc2 Be5 30.Nf5 Rxg6 31.Be3 Nf6 32.Bb6+ Ke8 33.Rc8+ Kf7 34.Rc7+ Kf8 35.Rxb7 Nxd5 36.Ne3 Nf4 37.Nc4 Rh6 38.Ke1 Nd3+ 39.Kd2 Bf4+ 40.Be3 Bxe3+ 41.fxe3 d5 42.Nb6 Nxb2 43.Nxd5 Nc4+ 44.Kc3 Nxa3 45.Rb3 Rc6+ 46.Kd4 Nc2+ 47.Ke5 Nxe3 48.Nxe3 Rc5+ 49.Kd6 Ra5 50.Rb7 Ra3 51.Nc4 Ra6+ 52.Ke5 e3 53.Nxe3 Ra1 54.Nd5 Re1+ 1/2-1/2

                  Position after Black’s 40…Bxe3+ - best reply is 41.Nxe3


                  Round 8, July 4
                  Giri, Anish – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
                  B30 Sicilian, Nimzowitsch-Rossolimo Attack

                  1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.O-O Bd7 5.c3 Nf6 6.Re1 a6 7.Bf1 Bg4 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nc3 e6 12.h3 Bh5 13.g4 Bg6 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 15.Bg2 O-O-O 16.Ne5 Qxd4 17.Qf3 Rd5 18.Nxf7 Rg8 19.Ng5 Bd6 20.Nxe6 Qb4 21.Be3 Re5 22.a3 Qxb2 23.Rac1 Rxe6 24.Rxc6+ Kd7 25.Rxa6 Rb8 26.Ra7 Be4 27.Qf7+ Re7 28.Qc4 Rc8 29.Qa4+ Bc6 30.Bxc6+ Rxc6 31.Rc1 1-0

                  Round 8, July 4
                  MVL – Karjakin, Sergey
                  C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Be7 10.Nc3 h5 11.Bf4 Be6 12.Rad1+ Kc8 13.a3 b6 14.Bg5 Re8 15.Bxe7 Rxe7 16.Rfe1 Kb7 17.Ne2 g6 18.Nf4 Ng7 19.Ng5 Bf5 20.Re2 Rae8 21.g3 a5 22.c3 a4 23.f3 Be6 24.Nfxe6 Nxe6 25.Nxe6 Rxe6 26.f4 c5 27.Kf2 f6 28.Rde1 Rd8 29.exf6 Rxf6 30.Re6 Rxe6 31.Rxe6 Rd2+ 32.Re2 Rd3 33.Re3 Rd2+ 34.Re2 Rd3 35.Re3 Rd2+ 36.Re2 1/2-1/2

                  Wesley So is just behind Magnus in the standings

                  Standings after Round Eight

                  1 Carlsen 6
                  2 So 5.5
                  3-5 Caruana, Nepo, Aronian 4.5
                  6 Ding 4
                  7-10 MVL, Giri, Anand, Karjakin 3.5
                  11-12 Mamedyarov, Nakamura 2.5

                  Live Ratings

                  1 Carlsen 2881.3
                  2 Caruana 2819.6
                  3 Ding liren 2809.1
                  4 Nepomniachtchi 2781.3
                  5 So 2780.6
                  6 Giri 2775.3
                  7 MVL 2769.6
                  8 Grischuk 2766.0
                  9 Aronian 2763.4
                  10 Anand 2761.8


                  • #24
                    2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                    July 5, 2019

                    Round 9

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Nepomniachtchi, Ian – So, Wesley
                    C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

                    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Nbd2 Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.d4 c6 9.dxe5 cxb5 10.exf6 Qxf6 11.O-O O-O 12.a4 bxa4 13.Nc4 d5 14.exd5 Bd7 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Qe7 17.Qd4 Rfe8 18.e4 f6 19.Rfe1 b5 20.Nd2 a5 21.Nf3 Bg4 22.d6 Qd7 23.e5 Bxf3 24.gxf3 fxe5 25.Rxe5 Rxe5 26.Qxe5 Re8 27.Qd5+ Kh8 28.Rd1 h6 29.Rd4 Re6 30.Kf2 Rf6 31.h4 b4 32.c4 a3 33.bxa3 bxa3 34.c5 a2 35.Qxa2 Qh3 36.Qe2 Qh2+ 37.Ke3 Qg1+ 38.Kd3 Qb1+ 39.Ke3 Qg1+ 40.Kd3 Qb1+ 41.Kd2 Qb2+ 42.Kd3 1/2-1/2

                    Position after 35….Qh3. 36.Qd5 wins, 36.Qe2 gives an equal game


                    Alejandro called the following the best draw in a long time:

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Caruana, Fabiano – Ding, Liren
                    C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed, anti-Marshall

                    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.a4 b4 9.a5 d6 10.c3 Rb8 11.Bc4 Bg4 12.h3 Bh5 13.Qa4 Na7 14.g4 Bg6 15.d3 Nb5 16.Bg5 h5 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Kg2 bxc3 19.Nxc3 c6 20.Bxb5 axb5 21.Qd1 b4 22.Ne2 hxg4 23.hxg4 Qd7 24.Kh3 Rb5 25.Ng3 Ra8 26.Qb3 Bd8 27.a6 Bb6 28.Rf1 Kf8 29.Nh4 Bh7 30.Qc2 Bd8 31.Nhf5 Bg5 32.Ra4 f6 33.Ne2 Rb6 34.a7 Rb7 35.Ra6 Bxf5 36.gxf5 c5 37.Rfa1 Rbxa7 38.Qc4 Rxa6 39.Rxa6 Rxa6 40.Qxa6 g6 41.Kg2 gxf5 42.Ng3 fxe4 43.dxe4 d5 44.Qb6 dxe4 45.Qxc5+ Kg7 46.Qxb4 e3 47.fxe3 Bxe3 48.Qe4 Bf4 49.Nh5+ Kh6 50.Nxf4 Qg4+ 51.Kf2 exf4 52.Qh1+ Kg5 53.Qd5+ f5 54.Qg8+ Kf6 55.Qf8+ Ke6 56.Qe8+ Kf6 57.Qf8+ Ke6 58.Qe8+ 1/2-1/2

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Karjakin, Sergey – Giri, Anish
                    D37 QGD, Hastings variation

                    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Qc2 c5 8.Rd1 cxd4 9.Rxd4 Qa5 10.Bg3 Nb6 11.Nd2 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nbd5 13.Nb3 Qb6 14.Bxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.O-O Be6 17.Qb1 Rac8 18.Rd2 Bf6 19.Nd4 Bxd4 20.Rxd4 Rc4 21.Rfd1 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 Rc8 23.h3 Rc4 24.Be5 Rxd4 25.Bxd4 Qc7 26.Qd1 a6 27.Qh5 h6 28.f4 Kh7 29.f5 Qc1+ 30.Kh2 Qc7+ 31.Kg1 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Qc7+ 33.Kg1 1/2-1/2

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Nakamura, Hikaru – MVL
                    B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

                    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O a6 6.c4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.d3 O-O 9.h3 Ne8 10.d4 Nc7 11.Bxd7 cxd4 12.Bxc8 dxc3 13.Bxb7 Rb8 14.bxc3 Rxb7 15.Be3 Bxc3 16.Rc1 Bb2 17.Rb1 Ne6 18.e5 Qc7 19.exd6 exd6 20.Qd5 Rbb8 21.Rfd1 Bf6 22.Rbc1 Rfd8 23.Nd2 Nc5 24.Ne4 Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Rb2 26.Qf3 Be5 27.Qd5 Re8 28.c5 dxc5 29.Rxc5 Qb8 30.Qc4 Rb1 31.Rd5 Rxd1+ 32.Rxd1 Rd8 33.Rxd8+ Qxd8 34.f4 Qc7 35.Qxa6 Bxf4 36.Bxf4 Qxf4 37.a4 Qd4+ 38.Kh1 Qa1+ 39.Kh2 Qe5+ 40.Kh1 Qe1+ 41.Kh2 Qe5+ 42.Kh1 Qe1+ 43.Kh2 1/2-1/2

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Carlsen, Magnus – Aronian, Levon
                    D39 QGD, Ragozin, Vienna variation

                    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 c5 7.e5 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.exf6 Qxg5 11.fxg7 Qxg7 12.Qd2 O-O 13.Bxc4 Rd8 14.Qe3 Bd7 15.O-O-O Nc6 16.Bb3 Be8 17.Nxc6 Bxc6 18.h4 Qf6 19.Rh3 b5 20.Rg3+ Kh8 21.Rg4 a5 22.Rf4 Qg7 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.g4 b4 25.g5 bxc3 26.Bc2 Bd5 27.Rf6 Qf8 28.Qxc3 Rc8 29.Qd3 Qg7 30.f4 Kg8 31.Kd2 h6 32.a3 hxg5 33.fxg5 Rc4 34.Qg3 Be4 35.Bb3 Rd4+ 36.Ke1 Bf5 37.h5 Rd3 38.Qb8+ Qf8 39.Qxf8+ Kxf8 40.Bc2 Rh3 41.Bxf5 exf5 42.h6 Kg8 43.a4 Rh4 44.Rxf5 Rxa4 45.Kf2 Rg4 46.Kf3 Rg1 47.Kf2 Rg4 48.Kf3 Rg1 49.Kf2 1/2-1/2

                    Position after Black’s 29….Qg7. It looks full of possibilities but is equal


                    - Amazing game. Kudos to both
                    - Precision of the highest calibre
                    - Most impressive move for me was C’s realization that Qxf8 is the only way to go (move 39)
                    - You can’t win em all…...after your opponent has played such a precise defense
                    - This is one superb draw

                    Round 9, July 5
                    Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Anand, Vishy
                    D24 QGA

                    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qa4+ Nc6 9.Bg5 Bxc3 10.bxc3 O-O 11.Rfe1 Ne7 12.Bd3 Nf5 13.Rad1 h6 14.Bc1 b6 15.c4 Re8 16.Bb2 Bb7 17.Ne5 Ne7 18.Bb1 c5 19.Qc2 Qc7 20.dxc5 Rad8 21.cxb6 axb6 22.Ng4 Ne4 23.f3 Qc5+ 24.Kh1 h5 25.Nh6+ gxh6 26.fxe4 e5 27.Rd5 Bxd5 28.exd5 Ng6 29.Rf1 Re7 30.Qc1 Ra7 31.h3 Rd6 32.Qxh6 Re7 33.Qc1 b5 34.Ba3 b4 35.Bb2 Ra6 36.Rf5 f6 37.Qh6 Nf4 38.Bxe5 Rxe5 39.Rxe5 fxe5 40.Qxa6 Qf2 41.Qc8+ Kf7 42.Qf5+ Kg8 43.Qg5+ Kf8 44.Kh2 h4 45.Bf5 1-0

                    Standings after Round Nine

                    1 Carlsen 6.5
                    2 So 6
                    3-5 Caruana, Nepo, Aronian 5
                    6 Ding 4.5
                    7-9 MVL, Giri, Karjakin 4
                    10-11 Mamedyarov, Anand 3.5
                    12 Nakamura 3


                    • #25
                      2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                      July 6, 2019

                      Round 10

                      The top game is an early draw. Wesley did not try very hard and said he was tired and saving his energy for tomorrow.

                      Round 10, July 6
                      So, Wesley – Carlsen, Magnus
                      E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa variation

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.e3 c5 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 cxd4 9.Bxd4 Nc6 10.Bc3 O-O 11.Nf3 Rd8 12.Be2 Qe4 13.Rc1 Qxc2 14.Rxc2 Bd7 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Rac8 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18.O-O Nd5 19.Rd1 f6 20.Bd4 Ba4 21.b3 Be8 22.Bc4 b5 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.Bxa7 Ra8 25.Bc5 Rxa2 26.h4 Bf7 27.e4 Ra8 28.exd5 Rd8 29.b4 Rxd5 30.Rxd5 Bxd5 31.f3 h5 32.Bd4 Bc6 33.Bc3 Bd5 34.Bd4 Bc6 35.Bc3 Bd5 36.Bd4 1/2-1/2

                      Symmetrical final position


                      Round 10, July 6
                      Ding, Liren – Aronian, Levon
                      A14 English, Neo-Catalan declined

                      1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.O-O Be7 5.c4 O-O 6.b3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bb2 Nc6 9.Nc3 Bf6 10.Qc2 Ndb4 11.Qc1 b6 12.a3 Nd5 13.b4 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Ba6 15.d3 Rc8 16.bxc5 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 Na5 18.Rac1 Rxc5 19.Qb2 Rb5 20.Qa2 Bb7 21.Rc3 Bd5 22.Qc2 Rb3 23.Rxb3 Bxb3 24.Qc3 Bd5 25.Rc1 Nb3 26.Rc2 Bxf3 27.Qxb3 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qa8+ 29.e4 Qd8 30.Rc6 h5 31.h4 Qd7 32.Qc4 Rd8 33.Rc7 Qxd3 34.Qxd3 Rxd3 35.Rxa7 b5 36.Ra5 g6 37.Rxb5 Rxa3 38.e5 1/2-1/2

                      Round 10, July 6
                      MVL – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                      B10 Caro-Kann, Two Knights variation

                      1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ exf6 6.Bc4 Bd6 7.Qe2+ Qe7 8.d4 Be6 9.O-O Bxc4 10.Qxc4 O-O 11.Re1 Qd7 12.Bd2 Na6 13.a3 Rfe8 14.Qb3 h5 15.c4 Rad8 16.Rxe8+ Rxe8 17.Rd1 Qc8 18.Be3 Nc7 19.d5 cxd5 20.cxd5 a6 21.Rc1 Rd8 22.Bb6 Qd7 23.g3 Rc8 24.Nd2 Ne8 25.Rxc8 Qxc8 26.Qc4 Qd7 27.Ne4 Be5 28.Bd4 Nd6 29.Nxd6 Bxd6 30.Be3 Qf5 31.b4 h4 32.Qxh4 Qxd5 33.Qd4 Qc6 34.h4 Be5 35.Qd8+ Kh7 36.Qd3+ Kg8 37.Qd8+ Kh7 38.Qd3+ Kg8 39.Qd8+ 1/2-1/2

                      Round 10, July 6
                      Giri, Anish – Nakamura, Hikaru
                      C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Ke8 10.Nc3 h5 11.Bf4 Be7 12.Rad1 Be6 13.Ng5 Rh6 14.Rfe1 Bb4 15.a3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 h4 17.g4 hxg3 18.fxg3 Kf8 19.Kf2 Ne7 20.g4 Nd5 21.Bd2 Nb6 22.Kg3 Nc4 23.Bc1 Bd5 24.Re2 Re8 25.Rde1 Kg8 26.Ne4 Rhe6 27.Nc5 Rxe5 28.Rxe5 Rxe5 29.Rxe5 Nxe5 30.Nxb7 Nc4 31.Nc5 Nd6 32.Bf4 Ne4+ 33.Nxe4 Bxe4 34.Bxc7 f6 35.Bd6 Bxc2 36.Bc7 Bd3 37.Bd6 Bc2 38.Bc7 Bd3 39.Bd6 1/2-1/2

                      Round 10, July 6
                      Anand, Vishy – Karjakin, Sergey
                      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.Re2 Nc4 11.b3 Nb6 12.a4 Nd5 13.Re1 c6 14.c3 Re8 15.Rxe8+ Qxe8 16.Qf3 Nc7 17.Bf4 Nd5 18.Bd6 Qe6 19.Ba3 Qe1 20.Bb2 d6 21.Na3 Qe7 22.Nc4 Be6 23.Re1 Qd7 24.Nd2 Bf5 25.Ne4 Bxe4 26.Rxe4 Nc7 27.g3 d5 28.Re2 Re8 29.Bc1 Rxe2 30.Qxe2 g6 31.b4 Qe7 32.Qxe7 Bxe7 33.Be3 Ne6 34.Kg2 Kf8 35.Kf3 Ng5+ 36.Bxg5 Bxg5 37.b5 Bd2 38.bxc6 bxc6 39.c4 dxc4 40.Bxc4 Bc3 41.d5 cxd5 42.Bxd5 Bd4 43.Bc4 Bc3 44.Bd5 Bd4 45.Bc4 Bc3 1/2-1/2

                      With all the games but one drawn early, the guys in chessbomb chat talk about everything – politics, prostitution, religion and chess. Did read a Woody Allen quote that I never heard of before: “Eternity is really long, especially near the end.”

                      Round 10, July 6
                      Caruana, Fabiano – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
                      B01 Scandinavian Defence

                      1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bd2 Bb4 8.a3 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 Qb6 10.O-O O-O 11.b3 Rd8 12.Re1 Nbd7 13.Bb2 c6 14.Qc1 h6 15.h3 Rac8 16.Bf1 Bh7 17.Nd2 Qc7 18.c4 b5 19.cxb5 cxb5 20.Qxc7 Rxc7 21.Rac1 Rb7 22.Bc3 Nf8 23.Bb4 g5 24.Rc5 a6 25.Rec1 Kg7 26.Rc6 Ra7 27.Ba5 Rdd7 28.a4 Ng6 29.axb5 axb5 30.b4 Nf4 31.Nb3 Bd3 32.Rd1 Bxf1 33.Kxf1 e5 34.Rc5 exd4 35.Rxb5 Ne6 36.Re5 Kg6 37.g3 Nd5 38.Rd2 Rab7 39.Nc5 Nxc5 40.bxc5 Rb1+ 41.Re1 Rb5 42.c6 Ra7 43.Bd8 Rb8 44.c7 Nxc7 45.Bxc7 Rxc7 46.Rxd4 Rcb7 47.Rd2 Rb1 48.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 49.Kg2 Rb6 50.Kf1 Rb1+ 51.Kg2 Rb6 52.Kf1 Rb1+ 1/2-1/2


                      We talked earlier about Vladimir Chuchelov (Round 5 of the Altibox Norway 2019 tournament). He stopped in today to speak with Maurice.

                      He didn’t start by being a trainer and coach but was a second to Piket, helping him at Wijk in 2002 and then with Loek Van Wely in 2003, again at Wijk. He didn’t really feel himself a coach until 2009 when he formulated certain concepts which he began to teach. He worked with Caruana from 2011 to 2015 and with Giri 2010 to 2013. Then he had a relationship with Giri from 2017 to present. He is more than sympathetic watching his player in the tournament. He also gets angry, saying to himself, “Why did he make thatmove?”

                      Standings after Round 10

                      1 Carlsen 7
                      2 So 6.5
                      3-5 Caruana, Nepo, Aronian 5.5
                      6 Ding 5
                      7-9 MVL, Giri, Karjakin 4.5
                      10-11 Mamedyarov, Anand 4
                      12 Nakamura 3.5

                      Final Round Pairings



                      • #26
                        2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                        July 7, 2019

                        Round 11

                        Maurice says that a summer thunderstorm has rolled into Zagreb. You can hear the thunder inside. He remembers at tournament in 2012 at the Harper Concert Hall (Reykjavik) in 2012, the winds coming through in the winter sounded like banshees. Pretty distracting but the players kept playing

                        Jovanka was playing in a tournament in London – in a hall basement and they heard relentless drilling in the street above. Then they had thunder and lightning and the drilling stopped and the rain continued. Rain started pouring into the basement through the electrical fixtures. She offered her opponent a draw so the game would finish.

                        Alejandro remembers a tourney at St. Louis where the tornado sirens started whining and everyone stopped their clocks and went to the basement.

                        One is reminded of the Fischer-Petrosian Candidates Match, Buenos Aires, First Game 1971. In mid-game, the lights went out, the theatre was in darkness. Petrosian left the board but Fischer still sat over it and the audience of 1200 sat in their seats, waiting. Petrosian complained that Fischer was still studying the position (even though one could see nothing), and his clock should be started. Fischer agreed, Schmid started the clock and eleven minutes later, the lights went on.

                        Maurice gives a paean to Croatia – to the parks and beaches on the Adriatic. He says that the playing hall has been packed with spectators every day.

                        Lennart Ootes, the photographer comes in to talk to Maurice. He is also a DGT specialist. He enjoys the fact that his photos become part of history or rather, that he is a spectator at chess history being made.

                        It doesn’t happen often that the DGT boards go down but he is there to fix them.

                        He is also a fan of the Netherlands team in the Ladies’ Soccer World Cup and the game is tied 0-0 at half time as this interview is taking place.

                        Spoiler– Later – the United States team wins 2-0


                        Round 11, July 7
                        Carlsen, Magnus – MVL
                        D85 Grunfeld, Modern Exchange variation

                        1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Be3 Qa5 9.Qd2 Nc6 10.Rb1 cxd4 11.cxd4 O-O 12.Qxa5 Nxa5 13.Bd3 Bg4 14.O-O Bxf3 15.gxf3 e6 16.Rfd1 Rfd8 17.Bf1 b6 18.Ba6 Rd6 19.Rbc1 Rad8 20.Bg5 f6 21.Be3 h6 22.Bb5 f5 23.d5 g5 24.Bd2 fxe4 25.fxe4 a6 26.Ba4 exd5 27.Bb4 Re6 28.Rxd5 Rxd5 29.exd5 Re4 30.Rc8+ Kf7 31.a3 Be5 32.Be8+ Kg7 33.d6 Rd4 34.d7 Nb7 35.Be7 Re4 36.Rc6 Bd4 37.Rc7 1-0

                        Final position


                        Chessbomb comment – Everyone should just quit chess until Carlsen retires


                        - That’s Carlsen’s 8thtournament win in a row

                        - 79 games without a loss now

                        (Sam Shankland) – MVL has been well over 2800, and basically never loses in the open Grunfeld to literally anyone. It is mind-boggling how easy Magnus makes it look

                        (Olimpiu G. Urcan) – In the last 190 days, Magnus Carlsen won 8 consecutive elite tournaments with the overall game record of +54=55-3. A surreal year for the world champion and it’s only early July.

                        - Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen on yet another tournament victory! He beat MVL and wins $90,000, 20 GCT points and will match his highest ever 2882 official FIDE rating on the August rating list.

                        (to be continued)


                        • #27
                          2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

                          July 7, 2019

                          Round 11 (continued)

                          Round 11, July 7
                          Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Giri, Anish
                          B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

                          1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 g6 6.Bc2 Bg7 7.d4 O-O 8.O-O b5 9.e5 Ne8 10.e6 fxe6 11.Ng5 Nc7 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Nxh7 Kxh7 14.Qh5+ Kg8 15.Bxg6 Rf6 16.Qh7+ Kf8 17.Bh6 Rxg6 18.Qxg6 Bxh6 19.Qxh6+ Ke8 20.b4 Na4 21.Na3 Kd7 22.c4 bxc4 23.Nxc4 Ba6 24.Rac1 Nb6 25.Nxb6+ axb6 26.Rfe1 Bb7 27.Qe3 b5 28.a3 Bd5 29.Rc3 Qg8 30.Qh3 Qg7 31.Rec1 Bc4 32.Re1 Qd4 33.Rf3 Qd2 34.Rb1 Nd5 35.Qg3 Be2 36.Rfb3 Bd1 0-1

                          Tweet by Giri:"I'd like to thank for this game someone I never really thank & I definitely should, my helper who's always there for me, always helping me day & night, working in the most inhumane conditions, never asks for anything & just keeps on doing his thing - my personal computer!"

                          Round 11, July 7
                          Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – Ding, Liren
                          D41 QGD, Semi-Tarrasch

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 O-O 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.O-O b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.Bb3 Re8 16.h3 Nf6 17.Qf4 Nh5 18.Qh2 h6 19.Nd2 b5 20.Qe5 Qg5 21.Qxg5 hxg5 22.Nf3 g4 23.hxg4 Nf6 24.Ng5 a5 25.Rb1 Bc6 26.f3 Nh7 27.Nxh7 Kxh7 28.Kf2 Kg8 29.Rec1 Bd7 30.d5 e5 31.d6 Rxc1 32.Rxc1 Rc8 33.Rxc8+ Bxc8 34.Bd5 Kf8 35.g5 b4 36.Ke3 Ke8 37.f4 exf4+ 38.Kxf4 a4 39.g6 f6 40.e5 fxe5+ 41.Kxe5 Bg4 42.Kd4 Bd1 43.Bc6+ Kd8 44.Kc4 b3 45.axb3 a3 46.Kc3 a2 47.Kb2 Bxb3 48.Bb5 Bd5 49.Ka1 Be6 50.Kb2 Bd5 51.Ka1 Be6 52.Kb2 1/2-1/2

                          Ding Liren said he was very tired after playing 4 tournaments in a row in Europe. Maurice asks if he's going to get a rest now: "About a week" before he plays a match against Andreikin in Wenzhou, China!

                          Round 11, July 7
                          Nakamura, Hikaru – Anand, Vishy
                          E35 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa variation

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 O-O 7.e3 Re8 8.Bd3 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Qa4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 c6 12.Ne2 Bf5 13.Bxf5 Qxf5 14.c4 Nd7 15.cxd5 Qxd5 16.O-O c5 17.Rfd1 Red8 18.Rac1 b6 19.Qa3 Qb7 20.h3 cxd4 21.Rxd4 Nc5 22.Rg4 Ne6 23.Ng3 Rd5 24.e4 Rg5 25.Rd1 Rxg4 26.hxg4 Qc7 27.Nf5 Rd8 28.Rxd8+ Qxd8 29.Qxa7 Qd1+ 30.Kh2 Qxg4 31.Qxb6 Qxe4 32.Ne3 Qe5+ 33.g3 h5 34.Qc6 h4 35.Qe8+ Kh7 36.Qxf7 hxg3+ 37.Kg2 gxf2 38.Qf5+ Qxf5 39.Nxf5 Nc5 40.a4 Nxa4 41.Nxg7 f1=Q+ 42.Kxf1 Kxg7 1/2-1/2

                          chess24: Nakamura and Anand are happy to end a tournament in which neither of them won a game!

                          Round 11, July 7
                          Aronian, Levon – So, Wesley
                          C53 Giuoco Piano

                          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Nc3 O-O 10.Be3 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.Qc2 Nxc3 13.bxc3 f6 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Be2 Na5 16.O-O Rae8 17.Ne5 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Qe6 19.Rae1 Nc4 20.Nxc4 dxc4 21.Qd1 Qd5 22.Bc1 Ba5 23.Qc2 Re6 24.Rxe6 Qxe6 25.Qb2 b6 26.Be3 Qd5 27.a4 c6 28.Qa3 Rf6 29.Bd2 Rg6 30.f3 c5 31.Be3 Qe6 32.Qc1 Qxh3 33.Qc2 Qe6 34.Kf2 Qd6 35.Qe4 h6 36.dxc5 bxc5 37.Qxc4+ Kh7 38.f4 Qf6 39.Qe4 Bxc3 40.Bxc5 Qc6 41.Qxc6 Rxc6 42.Bxa7 Ra6 43.Be3 Rxa4 44.g4 1/2-1/2

                          Wesley So takes 2ndplace and gets 15 GCT points and $60,000.

                          Wesley So: "It feels like second place is always a victory when [Carlsen's] playing nowadays! It's like with Bobby Fischer..."

                          Aronian on Carlsen: "He started going into the main lines... he trained pretty well for his match with Fabiano. For example today, this was a very direct and very good game. It’s good to see that he’s working on himself. I think it’s a good example to follow!"

                          In four days, the Grand Prix tournament at Riga, Latvia starts. From here the players going to Latvia are Mamedyarov, MVL, Giri, So, Aronian, Nakamura and Karjakin.

                          Wesley says that he and his mother have been away from home for 85 days! And now to Riga.


                          Round 11, July 7
                          Karjakin, Sergey – Caruana, Fabiano
                          A61 Benoni Defence

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 a6 8.a4 Qe7 9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.e3 Bg7 11.Be2 O-O 12.O-O Rb8 13.Re1 Ne8 14.e4 Ne5 15.a5 b5 16.axb6 Rxb6 17.Qd2 Nxf3+ 18.Bxf3 Be5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.Nd1 Nc7 21.Ne3 Rb4 22.Rac1 Rd4 23.Qe2 Nb5 24.Nc4 Qg5 25.Qe3 Qh4 26.b4 Re8 27.bxc5 dxc5 28.Qb3 h5 29.Qc2 Kg7 30.Qb2 Qf6 31.Re3 h4 32.Nd2 Qe5 33.Nc4 Qg5 34.Kh1 Kh7 35.Qe2 Qf4 36.Nb2 Qc7 37.Qc2 Bd7 38.Qxc5 Qxc5 39.Rxc5 Rd2 40.Nd3 Nd6 41.Rc7 Bb5 42.Nc5 Rxf2 43.Re1 Kh6 44.e5 Nf5 45.Kg1 Ra2 46.e6 fxe6 47.dxe6 Nd4 48.Bd5 Rd2 49.Bf3 a5 50.e7 a4 51.Ne4 Rc2 52.Rxc2 Nxc2 53.Rc1 Nd4 54.Nf6 Nxf3+ 55.gxf3 Ra8 56.Re1 a3 57.Ra1 Bc6 58.e8=Q Bxe8 59.Nxe8 Rxe8 60.Rxa3 Kg5 61.Kf2 Kh6 62.Ra4 g5 63.f4 Rf8 64.Kf3 Rxf4+ 65.Rxf4 gxf4 66.Kxf4 1/2-1/2

                          Finally, after five hours, the last game is finished.

                          Caruana: "I don’t know how to explain this game... I played the Benoni, so I guess that pretty much explains everything that happened afterwards - it's just such a bad opening!"

                          Final Standings - Points and Prizes

                          1 Carlsen 20 GCT Points, $90,000
                          2 So 15 GCT Points, $60,000
                          3-4 Aronian, Caruana 11 GCT Points, $35,000
                          5-7 Nepo, Giri, Ding 7 GCT Points, $17,333
                          8 Karjakin 5 GCT Points, $13,000
                          9-11 MVL, Anand, Mamedyarov 3 GCT Points, $10,000
                          12 Nakamura 1 GCT Point, $10,000


                          1 Carlsen 8
                          2 So 7
                          3-4 Caruana, Aronian 6
                          5-7 Ding, Giri, Nepo 5.5
                          8 Karjakin 5
                          9-11 MVL, Mamedyarov, Anand 4.5
                          12 Nakamura 4