From October 10 to November 3, the Uzbek capital Tashkent hosted the second tournament of the current FIDE Grand Prix Series. A total of four tournaments will be carried out in the World Championship cycle 2014/15, which is quite extraordinary, as usually six tournaments are staged during the Grand Prix Series. The FIDE, unfortunately, names no reasons for cutting two competitions, but people are speculating, though, that there haven’t been enough applicants willing to host the tournaments.
The total prize fund for each tournament holds 120,000 EUR, of which the victor receives 20,000 EUR. Both winner and runner-up are also granted the right to participate in the Candidates’ Tournament.
Sixteen chess players participate in the Grand Prix Series, the rule set of which suggests that each player competes in three of the four events.
Contestants in Tashkent: Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Sergey Karjakin, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, HIkaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Boris Gelfand, Dmitry Jakovenko, Teimour Radjabov, Dmitry Andreikin, Baadur Jobava, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Therefore, the ELO-ratings ranged between 2706 (Kasimdzhanov) and 2844 (Caruana) points.
The Grand Prix schedule has been the target of critiques, as the first tournament in Baku ended only 5 days prior to the beginning of the second tournament. The conditions are not exactly a walk in the park for the players who participated in the first event (Caruana, Gelfand, Karjakin, Nakamura, Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Kasimdzhanov, and Andreikin).
In the first round already, Caruana (who won shared 1st place in Baku with Gelfand) had to comply with a tough defeat:
Round 1. October 21, 2014. 2 p.m.
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||0 – 1||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||1 – 0||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||0 – 1||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||½ – ½||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
Winning run for Vachier-Lagrave, who was the only player to achieve a victory in the second round.
Round 2. October 22, 2014. 2 p.m.
|12||Gelfand, Boris||2748||½ – ½||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
|8||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||½ – ½||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||6|
|9||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||1 – 0||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||5|
|10||Jobava, Baadur||2717||½ – ½||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||4|
|11||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||½ – ½||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||3|
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||2|
Boris Gelfand, second victor of the first series event, had to admit the first defeat in round 3:
Round 3. October 23, 2014. 2 p.m.
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||1 – 0||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||½ – ½||Giri, Anish||2768||1|
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||½ – ½||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||0 – 1||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
|7||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||1 – 0||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
A round of draws. No player was able to improve his ranking on day 4:
Round 4. October 24, 2014. 2 p.m.
|12||Gelfand, Boris||2748||½ – ½||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
|9||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||½ – ½||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
|10||Jobava, Baadur||2717||½ – ½||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||6|
|11||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||½ – ½||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||5|
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||4|
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||½ – ½||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||3|
The second defeat for Gelfand followed quickly. This time Nakamura prevailed, against whom he played a draw in the 8th round of the first tournament only two weeks ago:
Round 5. October 26, 2014. 2 p.m.
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||1 – 0||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||½ – ½||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||2|
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||½ – ½||Giri, Anish||2768||1|
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
|7||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||0 – 1||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
|8||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||1 – 0||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
Andreikin, who only made it to 11th rank in the previous tournament, caused a surprise in round 6. He managed to beat Sergey Karjakin in third place (their last duel on October 14 ended in a tie):
Round 6. October 27, 2014. 2 p.m.
|12||Gelfand, Boris||2748||½ – ½||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
|10||Jobava, Baadur||2717||½ – ½||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
|11||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||1 – 0||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||6|
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||1 – 0||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||5|
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||½ – ½||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||4|
Finally: First victory for Fabiano Caruana with which he could neutralize the defeat in round 1. Moreover, defeat for Anish Giri, who is the only player called to participate through the President’s nomination. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to score a single win in the second tournament:
Round 7. October 28, 2014. 2 p.m.
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||1 – 0||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||½ – ½||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||3|
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||2|
|7||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||1 – 0||Giri, Anish||2768||1|
|8||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||½ – ½||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
|9||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||½ – ½||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
The fourth defeat for Boris Gelfand who seemed to be in unusual bad shape. Owed to the lack in time for rest and preparation?
Round 8. October 29, 2014. 2 p.m.
|12||Gelfand, Boris||2748||0 – 1||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
|11||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||½ – ½||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||½ – ½||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||½ – ½||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||6|
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||½ – ½||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||5|
Andreikin takes single lead in round 9 through his victory over Jobova:
Round 9. October 31, 2014. 2 p.m.
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||½ – ½||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||4|
|7||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||½ – ½||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||3|
|8||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||0 – 1||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||2|
|9||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||½ – ½||Giri, Anish||2768||1|
|10||Jobava, Baadur||2717||0 – 1||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
Unaltered ranking after round 10, which is already the second round of draws in the tournament.
Round 10. November 1, 2014. 2 p.m.
|12||Gelfand, Boris||2748||½ – ½||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||11|
|1||Giri, Anish||2768||½ – ½||Jobava, Baadur||2717||10|
|2||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||½ – ½||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||9|
|3||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||½ – ½||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||8|
|4||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||½ – ½||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||7|
|5||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||½ – ½||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||6|
Andreikin needed only a draw in round 11 to secure the overall tournament victory. The duel remained suspenseful until the very end, as for his opponents Nakamura and Mamedyarov the victory was only an arm’s length away, if only they hadn’t played draws in the final round:
Round 11. November 2, 2014. 1 p.m.
|6||Radjabov, Teimour||2726||½ – ½||Gelfand, Boris||2748||12|
|7||Karjakin, Sergey||2767||1 – 0||Kasimdzhanov, Rustam||2706||5|
|8||Jakovenko, Dmitry||2747||0 – 1||Caruana, Fabiano||2844||4|
|9||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||2757||½ – ½||Nakamura, Hikaru||2764||3|
|10||Jobava, Baadur||2717||½ – ½||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2764||2|
|11||Andreikin, Dmitry||2722||½ – ½||Giri, Anish||2768||1|
Luckily, all players will have time to catch their breath until the opening of the third tournament of the Grand Prix Series which is set for February 14, 2015.
All participants of the Grand Prix
written by Sarah, translated by Birthe