Sochi R6: Cheparinov back in lead, with Radjabov
After the first rest day on Tuesday, the Sochi Grand Prix tournament proceeded yesterday with the sixth round. Once more, Radjabov escaped, against Gelfand, and got a full point more than we expected, while Cheparinov won convincingly against Grischuk. Aronian and Gashimov beated Al-Modiahki and Navara respectively.
During their first rest day, most players didn't do anything special. Most of them visited one of the many sanatoriums that are spreaded around the neighbourhood of the hotel, or just visited the beach which is quite nearby (although most guests take the special hotel shuttle to get there).
Together with chief arbiter Geurt Gijssen I went to have a look at downtown Sochi, and we asked the cab driver to drop us off at the Russian Orthodox Church first.
About 500 meters downhill (not an easy task for the Dutchies on crutchies!) there's Sochi's beach and the harbour right next to it.
The Sochi beach behind the piers...
...and the harbor
Spontaneously, we decided to go on a boat trip, and of course we took some pictures of Sochi, viewed from the sea.
Let's quickly move on to the day of yesterday, which saw quite a good round of chess actually. Okay, the usual quick draw was there, and again first seeded Ivanchuk was involved, but the handful of spectators in the venue and over a hundred thousand online visitors didn't have to wait long for the real thing.
The third draw of the day, Kamsky-Karjakin, was a pretty good game in which the young Ukrainian refused to agree to Kamsky's silent draw offer and indeed Black got a slight advantage in the ending. Then, the American grandmaster had enough, and used a nice tactic to force a peaceful outcome anyway.
This was followed by a show of good technique (Aronian's) versus not so good technique (Al-Modiahki), slightly justful in my opinion after the Quatar player had shown no ambition at all to try to prove an advantage with the white pieces. We don't see an instructive knight ending being played at this level so much and endgame lovers must have enjoyed it a lot.
Thereafter, the first winner was welcomed in the press room, and it was Ivan Cheparinov, who had just beaten Alexander Grischuk in what was just an excellent game by the young Bulgarian. This way he took over the lead from his direct opponent.
Soon afterwards, it was Teimour Radjabov who joined Cheparinov in the lead, after a narrow escape against a luckless Boris Gelfand. The Israeli grandmaster had been playing one of the best games so far in the tournament, and after his brilliant 41.Nd5! he could have finished it off by playing his queen to c6 on move 43 or 45. But two blunders based on one oversight turned the evaluation from plus minus to minus plus...
The final game was what's becoming a familiar story for David Navara: after reaching a great position he spoilt everything in timetrouble. His opponent Vugar Gashimov did show some deep calculation, as he did in the previous round, and it made Geurt Gijssen remark that "these players just think like computers these days. Of the previous generation, only Kasparov could keep pace with them!"
Gelfand - Radjabov 0-1
Gashimov - Navara 1-0
Al-Modiahki - Aronian 0-1
Cheparinov - Grischuk 1-0
Kamsky - Karjakin ?Ç¬?-?Ç¬?
Svidler - Wang Yue ?Ç¬?-?Ç¬?
Jakovenko - Ivanchuk ?Ç¬?-?Ç¬?
Photos ?Ç¬© ChessVibes and Mark Gluhovsky. Below you'll find the games of the sixth round (with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov and myself), followed by videos by Robert Fontaine and G?É¬©rard Demuydt of Europe-Echecs.
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