Reports | September 27, 2013 23:50

Bacrot and Grischuk win in fifth round Grand Prix

Bacrot and Grischuk win in fifth round Grand Prix

On Friday Alexander Grischuk and Etienne Bacrot both won their black games at the Grand Prix in Élancourt (near Paris). In this fifth round, Grischuk beat Vassily Ivanchuk in a Grünfeld. Anish Giri's loss to Bacrot was his third in the tournament; the Dutchman went down in an ending that started as a Symmetrical English. Boris Gelfand kept his half point lead.

Photos by Alina l'Ami courtesy of FIDE

On the rest day a number of players joined a trip to the Palace of Versailles, which is located literally around the corner. 

The Palace of Versailles, which was as the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution (source: Wikipedia).

The players had the luxury of a private tour guide

The famous Hall of Mirrors

At the same time, an art exhibition was installed in the playing hall, the Chapelle de la Villedieu.

Whereas the tournament started with a few victories for White only in the first three rounds, the black pieces are seriously catching up! In the fifth round, four games ended in draws and two were won by black.

The young Dutch GM Anish Giri is not having a great tournament so far. It's not that he's playing that badly, actually, but somehow Caissa is clearly not on his side. In the fifth round, Giri got a slight endgame advantage (Bacrot felt that he was "under serious pressure"), but his 24.Nb2?! wasn't great and then he must have miscalculated the tactical phase that followed. The French GM could give a piece on f6 because he had an overwhelming advantage on the queenside.

PGN string

It was a good round for Alexander Grischuk, who got half a point closer to Fabiano Caruana and the others at the top thanks to beating Vassily Ivanchuk. The Ukrainian didn't handle the opening well, and was clearly worse as early as move 13 (look at that poor bishop on h2). Chuky seemed to doing reasonably well, but Black's last two moves suddenly made it clear how big his advantage was.

PGN string

Nakamura-Fressinet was a 4.d3 Berlin and in this line, an early Bxc6 is quite trendy these days. Following some top games for a while, Fressinet's 8...f6 was the novelty and after he castled queenside, Black looked very solid. Just when White seemed to get a slight space advantage, the Frenchman found the liberating 22...d5! which solved all his problems tactically. 

PGN string

Another topical opening is the Semi-Tarrasch, and Wang Hao successfuly employed it against the tournament leader, Boris Gelfand. The Israeli GM suggested a slight improvement on move 21, but in general White never came close to a clear advantage.

PGN string

Evgeny Tomahsveky and Leinier Dominguez played a Nimzo-Indian where White got the bishop pair and Black the better structure, as so often in this opening. Also in this game, the position was always about equal.

PGN string

Fabiano Caruana and Ruslan Ponomariov played a Berlin Ending and also here White didn't manage to get an advantage. On the contrary, it was Black who had an edge at some point, but his extra pawn in the rook ending wasn't worth much.

PGN string

Live video with press conferences

Video feed courtesy of FIDE

Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings

Round 1 15:00 CET 22.09.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 23.09.13
Fressinet ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Giri
Grischuk ½-½ Wang Hao   Tomashevsky ½-½ Gelfand
Caruana ½-½ Bacrot   Dominguez ½-½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk ½-½ Dominguez   Bacrot ½-½ Ivanchuk
Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky   Wang Hao ½-½ Caruana
Gelfand 1-0 Giri   Fressinet 1-0 Grischuk
Round 3 15:00 CET 24.09.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 25.09.13
Grischuk ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Tomashevsky
Caruana 1-0 Fressinet   Dominguez 1-0 Giri
Ivanchuk 1-0 Wang Hao   Bacrot ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Wang Hao ½-½ Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Dominguez   Fressinet 0-1 Ivanchuk
Giri ½-½ Tomashevsky   Grischuk ½-½ Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 27.09.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 28.09.13
Caruana ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Dominguez
Ivanchuk 0-1 Grischuk   Bacrot - Tomashevsky
Nakamura ½-½ Fressinet   Wang Hao - Giri
Gelfand ½-½ Wang Hao   Fressinet - Gelfand
Giri 0-1 Bacrot   Grischuk - Nakamura
Tomashevsky ½-½ Dominguez   Caruana - Ivanchuk
Round 7 15:00 CET 29.09.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 30.09.13
Ivanchuk - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Bacrot
Nakamura - Caruana   Wang Hao - Dominguez
Gelfand - Grischuk   Fressinet - Tomashevsky
Giri - Fressinet   Grischuk - Giri
Tomashevsky - Wang Hao   Caruana - Gelfand
Dominguez - Bacrot   Ivanchuk - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 CET 02.10.13   Round 10 15:00 CET 03.10.13
Nakamura - Ponomariov   Ponomariov - Wang Hao
Gelfand - Ivanchuk   Fressinet - Bacrot
Giri - Caruana   Grischuk - Dominguez
Tomashevsky - Grischuk   Caruana - Tomashevsky
Dominguez - Fressinet   Ivanchuk - Giri
Bacrot - Wang Hao   Nakamura - Gelfand
Round 11 14:00 CET 04.10.13        
Gelfand - Ponomariov        
Giri - Nakamura        
Tomashevsky - Ivanchuk        
Dominguez - Caruana        
Bacrot - Grischuk        
Wang Hao - Fressinet        

Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Round 5 standings


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


:-$'s picture

The 'american' acting like a schoolboy at press conference...what is his major malfunction?

Anonymous's picture

"what is his major malfunction?"

his huge ego?

Dirk's picture

His "major malfucntion" was his lack of patience for Tiviakov's bullsh#t. He simply got tired of it and responded with an incredulous laugh. Tiviakov was silenced after that and good riddance.

An0nym0us's picture

I have just watched the press conference and I don't think Mr. Nakamura acted like a schoolboy. He was respectful to his opponent, Fressinet, and to the female interviewer. He just thought that Tiviakov was an idiot.

OK, now I am going on a limb: I don't think it is a good idea that strong 2600s comment on games by strong 2700s. 2400 or even 2500 players acting as commentators are fine - they *know* they are weaker, but 2660 players probably believe they are virtually the equals of strong 2700s, which is, generally, not true.

Bottom line, I don't think inviting Tiviakov to commentate was not a good idea - his rating is too high, but not high enough. I am afraid Svidler is too expensive. He is the best.

An0nym0us's picture

Correcting my own text: sorry:

I don't think inviting Tiviakov to commentate was a good idea - his rating is too high, but not high enough

Thomas Oliver's picture

"I don't think inviting Tiviakov to commentate was a good idea - his rating is too high, but not high enough."
I see your point, but I think the problem still is Tiviakov rather than rating. Nigel Short is currently roughly at Tiviakov's level, has achieved more in his chess career, and doesn't act like Tiviakov. At the most, he claims or pretends to be +- equal to the current world top (he may well be right in terms of analysis rather than actual playing strength) but not superior. Weaker players commentating, e.g. Lawrence Trent, can fall into another trap: "Oh Magnus you're such a genius ...".

Tiviakov actually is stronger than the current world top - not on his own, but because he consults engines during the games. I watched only one other press conference, Gelfand-Dominguez. Tiviakov kept saying "this is winning, this is winning, ..." - Gelfand clearly didn't appreciate this but stoically replied "Ah, computer moves". It became crystal-clear towards the end: the players discussed a possible position from the ending Q+P vs. R+B+P, Tiviakov said "the truth is known, seven-men tablebases already exist but aren't yet publicly available". It may well be interesting to know 'the truth', but it has little bearing on what could have happened in the actual game. Alina l'Ami correctly remarked "anything can happen after seven hours of play" - Tiviakov's reaction including body language was "anything can happen with these patzers playing" - they are patzers compared to engines, not by any human standards.

There was no way to 'test' Tiviakov before the event, I wonder if he will be invited again elsewhere, but it's probably not an option to fire/replace him now at this particular event - they might try to make him change his attitude a bit, that's all. This doesn't mean that other/all players with comparable ratings would "do a Tiviakov", e.g. Sutovsky didn't act like Tiviakov at the ACP Rapid Cup.

RG13's picture

I think FIDE could have had him do a test interview by Skype or just use someone who has done this well in the past. It is another instance of FIDE amateurism.

Thomas Oliver's picture

A Skype interview may not be revealing: Tiviakov has a monotonous voice during live commentary, not as much during press conferences. And he - or anyone else - can be nice and polite during a job interview, and "be himself" once he got the job.

"use someone who has done this well" - who? Most people seem to like Svidler, but he was initially supposed to play himself. It would be odd if he dropped out as a player to re-appear as a commentator, and they may have chosen the commentator before Svidler declined to play. Opinions are already mixed on Short. And the selection process, if there was one, also depends on other factors: availability, financial demands, ... .

"FIDE amateurism" - I suspect that local organizers, not FIDE, hired Tiviakov. Else there would probably be FIDE press officer Anastasia Karlovich rather than Alina l'Ami - I like l'Ami's round reports, but, at least by comparison, she's a bit pale as press conference host.
Same story (I suppose) for the World Cup: local organizers hired Susan Polgar, even if Karlovich was in town and available when needed - as a Russian-English translator for Andreikin.

anna's picture
evanhaut's picture

Open you eyes dude and don't drag Lawrence into this. He's by far the most eloquently speaking, enthralling while funniest chess commentator around. He is like the fresh air I need after reading one of your comments.

Oh Lawrence where are thou?

Dirk's picture

Agreed. Svidler is very articulate and understands what is happening. He also has humility and will admit when a position is unclear but he generally can give very objective commentary on the pros/cons aspirations of a particular position and insight to the players styles and what not. The guy should be in politics. Hope he sticks around for many years in the elite chess community.

RG13's picture

I watched the Nakamura press conference.

I didn't see anything funny about the moves suggested by Tiviakov. They were interesting moves and I appreciated hearing the players weigh in on them.

Thomas Oliver's picture

It's not about what Tiviakov suggested, but how he made his suggestions - not "did you consider this?" but "this would have been MUCH better". It would have been odd and rude even if the game had been played and subsequently discussed between Tiviakov and, say, Smeets and a stronger player (e.g. Nakamura) then tried to take over rather than just joining in.

Not always, but at this occasion I fully understand Nakamura. After reading the comments here (and before watching the press conference myself), I expected "much more" than an occasional laugh which could also arise under different circumstances: for example if a complicated variation "suddenly" leads to perpetual check, or simplifications to a drawn ending.

It was a bit funny to watch the press conference from the very start, knowing what was going to happen: In the beginning, Nakamura and Fressinet were "on their own", with Alina l'Ami in between and silently interested. Tiviakov's body language - of which the three others weren't aware - suggested that he was just waiting for a 'chance' to show his 'preparation'.

RG13's picture

I see your point, but his very inappropriate body language as well as lack of tact may relate to this Aspergers that others have mentioned.

Anonymous's picture

Pono was wearing those horrid red pants again.

Aditya's picture

I think Naka and Laurent were kind of 'getting back' at Tiviakov. I dont think they'd do what they did to any other commentator. It certainly looked rude though, both of them laughing at Tiviakov's suggestions.

Anonymous's picture

I just watched that press conference on youtube. It's hilarious! LOL
Why do they have so little respect for Tiviakov? Also Tiviakov seems not too interested in the whole thing. He's looking away a lot.

Dirk's picture
paul's picture
Bob Engels's picture

Tiviakov clearly has poor social skills. He has treated players rudely throughout. Just watch the videos.
Imagine the players got fed up, agreed to retaliate.
Not pretty, but treat people badly, they eventually respond.

Bronkenstein's picture

Giri´s fine positional game mysteriously turned into nightmare, also it´s a mystery to me what was Fabiano´s idea vs Pono.
PS Sasha is back! (on 50%...=)

Richard Slater's picture

Nakamura has zero tact. Just another loud boorish American. Its too bad there isn't a trace of Japanese Culture in him at all.

Dirk's picture
Richard Slater's picture

66% Draw percentage. I expect it to go higher. Classical chess is played out and boring. Need Chess960 to replace it.

Dirk's picture
jussu's picture

Then go play Chess960 and don't waste your time in a chess site.

chessvibes_fan's picture

comments here used to be decent previously. now there is a lot of the use of disrespectful words and is left unfiltered. the site owners should be concerned. peter it's high time you use a filter effective enough, it's a question about the credibility of the site...

Anonymous's picture

Nah....censorship is a bad thing.
Just let everyone vent.
The unfriendly ones will get back what they send out anyway.

RG13's picture

Well some children may also be interested in reading Chessvibes.

vlad's picture

Objectively, Giry and Fressinet are the weakest in this group of GMs. Therefore, it is not strange they are at the bottom of the table.

Cancrizans's picture

Nothing wrong with the press conference. Tiviakov, after being silent for a long while (as well he should be), started behaving like a prize ass and got his just desserts. I found the press conference hilarious.

europatzer's picture

My worst knightmare . that, Tiviakov and Jenni Shahade

team up and cover the WC match.. No !!!!!

Anonymous's picture

oh no!!! That's a real nightmare!
My worst nightmare would be Jennifer Shahade team up with Zsuzsa Polgar as commentators!! :O

baladala's picture

Good point. It is high time to let the world know about our preferred WC match commentators! Anyone rooting for Tiviakov?

Remco Gerlich's picture

The WC match should be commentated by Svidler, Kramnik and Short, together.

Thomas Oliver's picture

All three together might be too much - talkative and enthusiastic as they are, they might end up talking exactly at the same time, or constantly interrupting each other. The last WCh match (Anand-Gelfand) actually had these three on different days, plus Timman, Lautier and Leko (even people who do not like him as a player did like him as a commentator).

Another one who made a very good impression ("ambassador of chess") at the World Cup is Vachier-Lagrave. I wonder why the Paris GP didn't hire him - maybe he wasn't available or didn't want to comment on games by Bacrot and Fressinet.

jussu's picture

I'd add Grischuk to the list. Giri is very good, too.

RG13's picture

I like Yasser Seirawan and Daniel King. Svidler and Aronian are also great.

baladala's picture

Seirawan & Svidler would be my dream team

anna's picture

But Tiviakov is alone and isn't a easy job.

teplitz's picture

Who's the hottie standing next to Giri in the photo?

James Maskell's picture

At the top of the page, on Giri's left is strong Dutch GM Robin van Kampen, reported to be Giri's second. Between Giri and Ponomariov is Pono's second GM Vladimir Baklan.

JanisNisii's picture

LOL! It's Robin Van Kampen, a truly good looking (and very young, sigh) GM.

Anonymous's picture

The commentators for the Worldchampionship will be Tiviakov and Nakamura!

Anonymous's picture

Marie Sebag = smart girl for refusing to do interview with Tiviakov.

Dirk's picture

I apologize to chessvibes staff and you contributors to this discussion for my foul language. I was out of line. That being said Tiviakov toned it down considerably today. His suggestion Re2 in the grischuk-nakamura was a nice one. He was insightful and not so rambunctious today.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Tiviakov toned it down" - I agree, and wonder if he got a hint from the organizers, in response to complaints by players or even to discussions here on Chessvibes (or at other chess forums).

Fabrice's picture

The commentaries of Tiviakov are very interesting. He is a very strong player with a very high palmares. As Chuchelov explained, you don't have to be stronger than the players. The behaviour of both players were not correct. The question was essential. e4-e5 seems to be a very good plan. And now, we don't have the answer... A press conference doesn't exist to be kind to the players but to help the watchers. And I'm very frustrated that the players didn't respond correctly. The big problem for this tournament is the very amateur organisation.

europatzer's picture

ok lets start a poll for our fav WC commentators

i vote for Simon Williams and Danny king
Svidler and Short spend too much time on eccentric English things cricket

Anonymous's picture

Agdestein and Tiviakov!


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