January 14, 2013 13:52

Giri's New Year present

Anish Giri with his girlfriend Sopiko Guramishvili

While he is playing in Wijk aan Zee as we speak, at the start of the new year Anish Giri visited Vienna, where he played a clock simul against talented Austrian players. Here's a small report with games and photos.

Report by Stefan Löffler, photos by Regine Hendrich for Spielend Schlauer

When Sopiko Guramishvili returned from a recent trip to Mexico she had to change planes at Schiphol. A nice surprise was waiting for her there. Her boyfriend, Anish Giri, visited her during the stop-over and presented the young Georgian grandmaster an air ticket to Vienna. There they were going to spend a week around New Year's Eve together.

Giri had been to the Austrian capital twice before, but felt that he hadn't nearly visited all the must-see-sights. The couple was accomodated by Spielend Schlauer, an Austrian provider of school chess instruction, who owed Giri a favour from a prior engagement. At short notice a clock simul was arranged in the Stilwerk Wien, a centrally located shopping mall for design objects.

The Stilwerk Wien design tower

Eight boards of alternating colour and 75 minutes for the first forty moves were agreed. The Austrian Federation secured four places for promising juniors.

When the nominally strongest opponent, Lukas Handler, who had just won the Open at Aschach with a performance above 2600, cancelled due to illness and was replaced by 12-year-old Bardhyl Uksini, Giri became optimistic that an 8:0 would be within reach. In the end he netted a slightly lucky 6.5-1.5.

Anish Giri versus 12-year-old Bardhyl Uksini, who blundered his queen in an equal position

12-year-old Bardhyl Uksini blundered his queen in an equal position. Martin Christian Huber, 14, who had beaten Topalov in a clock simul last year, had Giri on the ropes. However, when short of time and without an obvious winning plan, Huber accepted a draw offer.

PGN string

Martin Christian Huber preparing for the game

Florian Mesaros, 13, and Klaus Fritsch reached fair draws, too. The game with Lisa Hapala promised some fireworks when Giri offered a knight sacrifice on f5 in a Ruy Lopez (like against Anand in Tata's second round), but she missplayed it quickly. 

PGN string

The local commentators' favourite was a neat win over Christian Ebert, who resigned after Giri's knight made eight (!) consecutive moves.

PGN string

Giri praised the play of the youngsters and revealed a relaxed attitude about clock simuls: He is ready to play Chess960 in spite of no prior practical experience with it. Or even perform it jointly with Sopiko. After all, she immediately spotted his one missed opportunity against Mesaros, when her boyfriend reviewed the critical points of the games for a grateful audience.

Giri handing out a trophy to Florian Schmidt, winner of the preceding children's tournament


Editors's picture
Author: Editors


JanisNisii's picture

Aww, how frustrating! I was in Vienna during the same days, I missed this scoop (and this lovely couple!) ;)

saturnz's picture

yes they are a lovely couple and a very charming story

Greco's picture

So Giri got some action....

Anonymous's picture

PR like this is exactly what chess needs.

Anonymous's picture

You are surprised? I thought nerds/geeks were 'in'.

Latest articles