Noticed that Gelfand drew with Black against Giri, which has been a difficult opponent to him lately. And Caruana lost to Vachier-Legrave with White. Obviously there is a long way to go, but at the moment it looks to me as if Gelfand is leading the Grand Prix!

I continue to believe that age is less important than motivation and that the fact that people lose motivation as they age is what people usually speak about. Chess does not look younger to me than 50 years ago. And will probably look quite old by 2019!

Mamedyarov’s endgame technique is by the way under criticism after today’s game. What a shocker!

5 thoughts on “Tashkent”

  1. I think MVL makes a strong case for himself as well, looking forward to this youngster’s game against old hand Gelfand, given your thesis. I was rather surprised by the techniques displayed in today’s Giri-Mamedyarov (which looked like a fairly standard chapter 10 from Shereshevsky) and Jakovenko-Radjabov. I imagined a diagram after Black’s 14th move with Dvoretsky asking what would be the best way to make use of the open c-file. Starting with doubling rooks before playing Rc7 looks that much more logical than immediately trading one pair of rooks. Practice and theory :).

  2. @Janman
    Giri is a brilliant player of course, but we can all do things wrong from time to time. I think the conversion of technical advantages is not his main force yet. Against Gelfand at the Olympiad he fumbled before winning. And today he was clearly much better, but struggled to go deep and form a strong long term plan.

    It was quite clear that f3 was not well thought through. How can I say so? Because afterwards he played h3 and f4, clearly losing a tempo.

    The computer might have overstated White’s advantage, but clearly Giri underperformed. And he knew it; which can be seen from the slightly premature draw offer. He was not on form today; maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

    Btw. I like Gelfand’s position after 24 moves. Karjakin did not play the opening well.

  3. I should maybe add that I think it is close to impossible to predict who will win the Grand Prix. Last time Caruana and Nakamura were big favourites of mine, but neither qualified. Mamedyarov?? I never considered it for a second that he would qualify! Though of course it is hard to write off Topalov ever…

  4. @Jacob Aagaard

    Funny. Yesterday I visited a friend of mine (IM) who insured me he had seen Radjabov’s position before. I questioned him about how to save black’s position after doubling on the c-file and then entering with a rook upon which he opened his chessbase – turns out this is some topGM drawing variation where black holds with Rd6/7 followed by Kd8!? (for instance Van Wely-Polgar, Corus 2005; Gelfand-Leko, Beijing GP 2013; Fressinet-Radjabov, EU-cup 2014). Bigmouth me…

    As for Giri, I can only agree with you, Jacob. I was under the impression that converting that kind of an advantage (play against iso d5 and LSB, whilst controlling the c-file) for such great players is the same as the Lucena for me – but sure they can have an offday and I should know my place :).

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