Reports | August 15, 2008 0:58

Aronian wins 2nd FIDE Grand Prix in style

In an excellent last round, Levon Aronian became the glorious winner of the 2nd FIDE Grand Prix Tournament in Sochi, Russia. And he did it in style, defeating Alexander Grischuk in a fine positional game. In a crazy game Radjabov beat Karjakin to finish clear second, followed by Wang Yue and Kamsky who share third place. Final report.

After Al-Modiahki and Gelfand had played a few obligatory moves they called it a day, and nobody really blamed them. Is life getting tougher for the veteran of the group? Who knows. Is elite play tough for the grandmaster from Quatar? Absolutely.


The winner of the second game of the round was also the glorious winner of the 2nd Grand Prix tournament: Levon Aronian. After a solid first half, he started to play even better in the second half and slowly but surely he climbed up to what became first place after round 12 already. In the last round he finished in style, with a clear and convincing win over Grischuk.


After trying it for a while, Ivanchuk suddenly was content with a draw again, also in his last round game against Wang Yue. The Chinese player again played a very good tournament and he's actually leading the general Grand Prix standings right now. Of course we cannot draw any conclusions before the third event, in December in Doha, has finished, and all participants have played at least one event (Pelletier and Leko are the last to appear).


Then Navara-Kamsky finished, and unfortunately Caissa decided that the Czech player hadn't had enough bad luck yet. He avoided a move repetition and instead... David blundered material. In both Grand Prix's he's lost rating points now and we really hope he'll do better next time.


The last three games were three very interesting endings. First, Jakovenko finished his game in study-like style against Cheparinov.


Then, after a crazy ending from a highly theoretical Dragon, Karjakin missed the draw in a very difficult position, where Radjabov probably had given away a win before.


In the very last game of the tournament, Peter Svidler again won a long ending (this time his knight vs knight) but this time it was clear that Gashimov could have drawn, as the tablebases showed.


Round 13 Results
Navara - Kamsky 0-1
Aronian - Grischuk 1-0
Karjakin - Radjabov 0-1
Jakovenko - Cheparinov 1-0
Gashimov - Svidler 0-1
Al-Modiahki - Gelfand ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Ivanchuk - Wang Yue ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


Below you'll find the games of the eighth round (with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov and myself), followed by videos by Robert Fontaine and G?ɬ©rard Demuydt of Europe-Echecs, and below some more photos (all ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky), of the closing ceremony.


Almost alll players during the closing ceremony, with Ivanchuk behind (between) Ivan Cheparinov and CEO of Global Chess Geoffrey Borg; on the far right organizer Alexander Bakh


One, two, three: Aronian, Radjabov, Wang Yue (third because he drew against Kamsky and his SB was higher)

Many more photos at the tournament website, or at the ChessVibes Flickr page on the Sochi Grand Prix!


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.


columbo's picture

no beard possible for the invisible man !!!

Theo's picture

Congrats Levon!!

Well done!!

We love your chess!

Lajos Arpad's picture

Very nice finish by Aronian. Congratulations.

TC's picture

Wang Yue really surprise me of his strength against such a tough competition

Norbert's picture

Wang Yue was the only player undefeated - in both Grand Prix events! In Baku he was even more impressive than in Sochi, where several times he was close to a loss in the final rounds but always survived. Another remarkable achievement of the Chinese. Looking forward to his next appearance on the circuit.

semipatz's picture

Congrats also to Cheparinov -- he finished 11th! Nice continuation of the 1st place he had for much of the way -- he simply doubled the digit.

semipatz's picture

Great going, Levon! Now you can grow the beard back!

Vak's picture

So proud of Levon, what a great season for'im- Wijk aan Zee, Amber, Asrian Memorial, Sochi. Hope he will join the club of champions, together with his greatest compatriots - Holy Trinity :) Father Kasparov, Son Aronian, and Holy Spirit Petrosian :)

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