Reports | August 12, 2009 4:56

Alekseev only winner in round 3 Jermuk

Jermuk GPEvgeny Alekseev was the only winner in the 3rd round in Jermuk - the Russian GM beat his compatriot Ernesto Inarkiev. The standings of the 5th Grand Prix tournament didn't change much: Aronian, Cheparinov and Leko lead with 2/3. Full, pictorial report.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series takes place in Jermuk, Armenia. It's a 14-player round-robin with Aronian, Jakovenko, Leko, Gelfand, Bacrot, Kamsky, Karjakin, Eljanov, Alekseev, Akopian, Ivanchuk, Cheparinov, Inarkiev and Kasimdzhanov. More info on the GP and Jermuk in our preview.

Round 3

As we've seen in previous Grand Prix events, the drawing percentage is quite high with such a big number of strong grandmasters who level each other closely. A draw with Black is almost always a good result, and with 13 rounds, every player can use one or two semi-restdays. However, despite the fact that there was only one decisive game, this third round was a good one.

Evgeny Alekseev, who had lost the day before, survived another lost position and eventually even defeated Ernesto Inarkiev. Black's piece sacrifice for two central pawns looked very interesting and immediately Alekseev decided to give back an exchange, but after 29 moves he was still in dire straits. However, with 28...R8c2 Inarkiev allowed his rooks to be exchanged for the queen after which it was suddenly very unclear. On top of that, with 33...Qf8? he blundered a very important pawn, missing the idea 38.Nxe4! Bxg1 39.Ng5. Poor Inarkiev got half a point out of two winning positions in the last two rounds.

Jermuk GP

Having a drink together: Alekseev defeated Inarkiev in round 3

The quickest draw lasted a mere 30 minutes, between co-leaders Cheparinov and Aronian, who followed mutual preparation in a topical line of the Anti-Moscow. Not long after that Kamsky and Akopian entered the press room, probably not having much to say about their Petroff.

After lots of slow manoeuvring in a 5.Bf4 QGD that had some Chebanenko tendencies, Kasimdzhanov suddenly threw in the very interesting 38.d5!? against Jakovenko. It seems the Uzbek GM then got confused as 41.Qxb5 looks quite promising.

Gelfand-Bacrot was another good game, which luckily didn't end in an early move repetition. White's new opening set-up left Black with the long-lasting problem of how to develop the queenside, and it needed all of Bacrot's creativity, who found 19...d3!?. After Gelfand decided to pick up that pawn at a later stage, the Frenchman then sacrificed an exchange in return for a strong knight protecting that passed pawn. An excellent idea, Gelfand thought as well, and the Israeli immediately changed back the material which left the position completely equal. According to GM Petrosian the immediate 19.Qd3! would have been better for White.

Jermuk GP

Online commentator GM Tigran Petrosian

These days the main line of the Latvian Gambit of the Semi-Slav (7.g4) seems to be the moves 7...h6 8.h3, but they take the sting out a bit. In Ivanchuk-Leko, White suddenly started playing positionally again, eyeing the d4 square and castling kingside! After all minor pieces were exchanged Leko finally found away to profit from White's weakened kingside, but it wasn't more than a perpetual.

Jermuk GP

Leko still thinking where he lost his advantage, and Ivanchuk listening to press officer Lilit Mkrtchian

The game between Eljanov and Karjakin, now a "UKR" vs "RUS" (although officially Karjakin cannot play for the Russian Federation yet), was another long and good fight. White's new move 14.Bh3!? was a success since he enjoyed a slight plus after the opening. However, Karjakin defended well all the way into the rook ending.

Round 3 games

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. More info on our new game viewer can be found here.

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 3 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results

Jermuk GP

Picturesque Jermuk

Jermuk GP

Two chess fans having their own thoughts

Jermuk GP

A little break for the 'movers'...

Jermuk GP

...and for the Bulgarian team, consisting of Ivan Cheparinov and his second Aleksander Delchev

Jermuk GP

Leko and Ivanchuk pondering on the position

Jermuk GP

Kamsky watching Aronian's position

Jermuk GP

Cheparinov and Aronian, in the press room about 30 minutes after the start of the game

Jermuk GP

Adding another '1/2' - assistant head of the technical team, Angelina Mkrtchyan, is all smiles

Jermuk GP

GMs watching the Jakoveno & Kasimdzhanov press conference

Jermuk GP

...and the same GMs (Lputian & Gligoric) at the piano

Jermuk GP

Commentators Petrosian and Yegiazarian (responsible for the Amernian language) analyzing live

Jermuk GP

Coach (and father-in-law) Arshak Petrosian with some words of advice for Leko

Jermuk GP

OK, one more pic of the newly weds

All photos © Arman Kharakhanyan


Share |
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.


steven's picture


Do you have any idea what happened with Morozevich in Zurich ?
All of a sudden, he disappaered from the pairings of the 5th round ?!


Peter Doggers's picture

Not only Morozevich, but also a few other GMs, who... decided to take a bye which is possible there.

V's picture

Any video reports from Jermuk by Peter and Co.? Would love to watch'em.

Serdal's picture

Pour Ernesto: 0.5 points from 2 winning positions...

me's picture

What is this "deciding to take a bye" crap? Who's bright idea is this?

V's picture

Bizarre, i'm watching now live game Sandipan - Morozevich. Or one may take a bye for round 5 and keep on playing later? what a crap

Great Gatsby's picture

FYI, it is the norm to allow byes in open tournaments in the U.S...whether it is a bright idea is another question...

V's picture

This "bye" is like a timeout on the very last second of american football. But we play chess, huh?

me's picture

"FYI, it is the norm to allow byes in open tournaments in the U.S"

I know that, but why does the rest of the world has to take up all the crap americans invent? What do americans know about chess? I mean really, what do they know about chess?

Thomas's picture

In the first and maybe second round, a bye might make sense - if players cannot arrive at the start of a tournament due to travel problems. About ten years ago, I missed the first round of a weekend tournament in The Hague, I came from abroad at the time and simply couldn't find the playing hall in time .... . The organizers generously "put me on bye" (of course I had been pre-registered). Then in the second round, I got a free point - my paired opponent had arranged for a first-round bye and then didn't show up at all. If I remember correctly, thereafter I played three 'OTB draws' for a "final score" of 3/5.

In the "Zurich case", Morozevich and others presumably didn't like the idea of a double round, with the first game of the day starting at a 'cruel' 9:30AM. And another extreme was the recent (American) World Open: Nakamura finished the tournament with two byes in the final(!) rounds because he already had to leave for the San Sebastian tournament. He finished shared first, but missed out on some prize money because he couldn't play the blitz or Armaggedon playoff.

Latest articles