Reports | August 14, 2009 1:26

Jermuk R5: Kasimdzhanov beats Aronian, Ivanchuk & Leko lead

Jermuk GPWith five decisive games, today's round of the Grand Prix tournament in Jermuk was even more spectacular than yesterday's, but a bad one for the local fans. Both Aronian and Akopian lost, while Ivanchuk won his second game in a row, against Cheparinov. The Ukrainian climbed up to shared first place with Leko. Full 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 5

The Grand Prix in Jermuk celebrates the 80th birthday of the 9th World Champion, Tigran Petrosian, on June 17, 1929. However, as we all know Petrosian died much too young, and in fact it was exactly 25 years ago yesterday. A sad day for Armenia and on top of that both their local heros Aronian and Akopian lost their first game of the tournament.

The biggest surprise was Aronian's loss against Kasimdzhanov, which for one thing means that we're just not used to see him losing anymore. And indeed, it's been a while: the previous Grand Prix in Nalchik was Aronian's last classical tournament and there he lost only once, to Karjakin - before that his last loss was against Ivanchuk in the penultimate round of Linares this year.

It took a former FIDE World Champion and his strong preparation to bring Armenia's number one down: Rustam Kasimdzhanov came up wit the new move 19.e6!? and according to online commentator GM Petrosian Black should have answered with 19...Nde5. (It's a pity that he's not using any words or even symbols anymore to describe the positions at the end of all those variations.)

Jermuk GP

Very strong play by Kasimdzhanov, these days playing with glasses, against Aronian

With 26...Ra3 Aronian sacrificed an exchange but this was a risky decision and after the probably inaccurate 30...Qe7 White was clearly better. On top of that Kasimdzhanov started to deliver blow after blow, a series of really strong moves, which culminated in the decisive 38.e5!. Impressive!

Thanks to a solid draw with Black against Alekseev, Leko kept his lead in the standings, but now finds Ivanchuk next to him. The Ukrainian switched places with Cheparinov after surviving strong pressure by the Bulgarian. 23.Rf3 was a too mysterious rook move where 23.cxd7 Bxd7 24.Nc3 keeps the advantage. Then, after winning the c6 pawn, Ivanchuk gave a fine demonstration of active defence.

Jermuk GP

Cheparinov reached a promising position but eventually lost to Ivanchuk

Akopian came very close to equalizing against Gelfand but it's strange that he didn't go for either 26...Nc3 or 27...Nd7 (unfortunately it seems that the organizers have stopped providing videos of the press conferences after round 2). Forest Gump was on TV this week in The Netherlands and when looking at White's a-pawn in this game one can hardly avoid mumbling "run Forest, run!"

Jermuk GP

At some point pushing the pawn did the trick - Gelfand beat Akopian

Karjakin showed no sign of a setback after his loss yesterday and ground down Bacrot in a Ruy Lopez ending which Black should have been able to hold. In the meantime Vachier-Lagrave has surpassed Bacrot again in the live ratings - the Biel winner currently leads the French Championships with 3.5/.4.

Jermuk GP

Karjakin squeezed a full point out of an almost equal ending, against Bacrot

Down the standings things got even worse for Inarkiev, who spoilt so many nice positions in the first four rounds. The Russian was beaten by Kamsky in an ending that seemed drawish, but was easier to play for White thanks to the strong e6 knight.

Jermuk GP

Kamsky scored his first win against luckless Inarkiev

In the last game we didn't mention yet, Eljanov had some advantage against Jakovenko but accurate defence by the Russian held the draw. Friday is the first rest day in Jermuk.

Round 5 games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 5 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results

All photos © Arman Kharakhanyan


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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.


Mauricio Valdes's picture

Chucky is back!!!
He is a veteran player but he has played non-stop all year long!!!
Go Chucky!!!

Coco Loco's picture

Yes, nice to see Ivanchuk climbing back up into the top 10. But today it looked like Chepa was wiping him off the board. Just my impression?

V's picture

Don't you think that saying something on the way Petrosian is commenting the games becomes boring. When you do it in each report that makes me think that you simply don't like this guy. You really want a high-quality commentary from a person, who, unlike Shipov, is commenting all (!) the games? Hm...

Peter Doggers's picture

Of course I don't expect the same quality as Shipov's over seven games - in fact I've mentioned in a previous report that it might have been better to focus on one game, like Shipov does. But yes, I do expect more from a GM commentator than just entering a few moves. Anyone can do that by pushing the space bar. Especially because he's a strong player I want text and evaluation, not just moves.

Misja's picture

"according to online commentator GM Petrosian Black should have answered with 19…Ng4."

There already is a knight on g4. Petrosian gives a variation with 19...Nde5.

"With 26…Ra3 Aronian sacrificed an exchange"

Did 26...Ra3 already force Aronian to sacrifice the exchange or did you mean "With 28...Rxe3"?

Being a patzer I also miss comments about WHY certain alternatives are better/worse. Just moves I can also get from a computer. So where does Shipov post his analysis? Thanks!

Peter Doggers's picture

First: corrected. Second: that's my interpretation of the game - otherwise the rook move doesn't make much sense to me. Shipov posts at Crestbook.

Misja's picture

Thanks Peter, I will check out Shipov. But first your site of course! :)

"The Ukrainian switched places with Cheparinov after surviving strong pressure by the Bulgarian. 23.Rf3 was a too mysterious rook move where 23.cxd7 Bxd7 24.Nc3 keeps the advantage."

It did not look mysterious to me. Ivanchuk had just played 22...a5 and was threatening to win an exchange with Ba6. So with 23.Rf3 Cheparinov moved the rook away and chose an "active" field, maybe dreaming of a crushing kingside attack.

Then Fritz showed me that after 23.cxd7 Ba6? 24.Nc6 Bxd3 25.Rxd3 the black queen cannot escape and white keeps the d7 pawn after 25...Nd5 26.Nxd8 Rfxd8 27.Nf2 (27...Rxd7?? 28.e4)

Perhaps Cheparinov missed 24.Nc6 because his own pawn was still at c6 when he was considering his 23rd move??

Mauricio Valdes's picture

I am glad Ivanchuk is leading the tournament but after watching his game against Cheparinov I must accept that Ivanchuck did not play very convincingly.
Personally I don´t understand why Cheparinov resigned, the position does not look totally lost.
Anyway, kudos for Chucky!!!

Thomas's picture

@Coco Loco: Cheparinov certainly tried .... but maybe his space advantage and kingside expansion only _looked_ impressive and threatening? After all, black didn't have any weaknesses - and from the moment when he finally developed his light-squared bishop (move 23) things went downhill for white rather quickly.

Not sure where white went wrong, maybe the "showy" 22.c6 wasn't suh a good idea?

Call Zorbin's picture

Don't miss KAsimdzhanov's victory over Aronian. It is a splendid battle!. Kasim looks in good form now...

rajeshv's picture

yep! For the record, the lowest Elo rated player in the field beating the highest rated player! Proof for how strong the field is!! Aronian was the man to beat, being 2 time winner and on lead and good form.. Way to go Kasim!

V's picture

Let's not forget that Shipov's commentary is in Russian. Thanks to ChessBase it's being translated. If only they could do the same with the Armenian commentary of another GM, i guess his name is Yegiazarian, which is in video format and more complete.

Petr's picture

Yes, Chucky is the man! Tomorrow he will beat Kamsky!

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