Reports | August 06, 2008 0:35

Sochi R5: Radjabov beats Cheparinov

"A game of patzers," that's how Radjabov described his victory against Cheparinov, in the fifth round of the Sochi Grand Prix tournament. Besides that game there were six draws, and so Radjabov joined Cheparinov,in the standings, together with Grischuk.

A few minutes before the start of the fifth round, it was Peter Svidler who came to his board as one of the first players. But this didn't mean he was walking fast; on the contrary, he had some difficulties moving forward actually. He explained: "There's something with my back, I almost cannot move. Yesterday we played football and me and football don't seem to go along very well."

Therefore a quick draw with Grischuk was quite welcome for the grandmaster from St Petersburg, and this is exactly what happened. In a line from the Najdorf that's been analysed (and played several times!) to a forced perpetual, the players shook hands after about 45 minutes. The tournament's 'expert' Azmaiparashvili, who just as in Baku is here to advice the arbiter when a draw is offered, summoned the players for a quick talk, but of course there was nothing he could do.

But after the game it was a bit ironic to see Grischuk playing blitz for about an hour in the press room! One round before he stated that he isn't really enjoying classical chess, but Sasha, aren't you exaggerating it a bit now? ;-)



The game of the round was of course Radjabov-Cheparinov, and not just because it was the only decisive game. It was full of mistakes and despite having won the game, Radjabov was quite upset afterwards. "Good that there's a rest day tomorrow!"


One of the nice things of working in the press room in Sochi, to create the report and bulletin, is that you often get the players themselves standing right next to you and telling you the story of the game, looking over your shoulder while you're entering the variations into Chessbase. This way I learnt, from first hand, how much Vugar Gashimov had seen in his game against Wang Yue, and what incredible defence he had just to hold this game to a draw. Do check it below!

Round 5 results
Radjabov - Cheparinov 1-0
Gelfand - Kamsky ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Grischuk - Svidler ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Wang Yue - Gashimov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Navara - Jakovenko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Ivanchuk - Al-Modiahki ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Aronian - Karjakin ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


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


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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.


arne's picture

Indeed, Michael. Actually, on Wikipedia this variation is also called 'Capablanca variation'! Perhaps we could also call it Euwe variation...?

Oak's picture

In one of his books, Euwe himself calls 4.Qc2 Capablanca's move. Perhaps just modesty? :-)

Oak's picture

Isn't 4.Qc2 in the Nimzo not just called the Classical (instead of the Alekhine variation)?

Michael's picture

Well, the Russians have their own nomenclature for some openings, so both names could be right. E.g. they call the Sveshnikov "Cheliabinsk Variation". Alekhine played all sorts of lines against the Nimzo, but he played 4.Qc2 just as frequently as the Alekhine Defence, so why not name this line after him, too? Although according to this logic you could name just about any opening after him :-)

arne's picture

Actually, it seems the Russians may have a point; it was apparently Alekhine who played 4.Qc2 first (in 1915, against Zubarev, in Moscow). According to the database, Rubinstein followed in 1925, Euwe in 1926, and Capablanca only in 1928! How nice and slow did openings advance in these days! :-)

semipatz's picture

We could just call it the Between the Wars World Champion Variation to be on the safe side. :)

peter's picture

I'm not a specialist - Shipov called it that way. Perhaps you're right!

arne's picture

Yes, you're right Oak, 4.Qc2 is of course the Classical variation!

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