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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    FIDE Grand Prix Astrakhan

    May 9-25

    Final leg of the 2008-9 (yeah right) Grand Prix.

    Participants

    Vladimir Akopian (Armenia)
    Evgeny Alekseev (Russia)
    Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine)
    Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan)
    Boris Gelfand (Israel)
    Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia)
    Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
    Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia)
    Peter Leko (Hungary)
    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan)
    Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine)
    Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan)
    Peter Svidler (Russia)
    Wang Yue (China)

    Of these Radjabov, Wang Yue, Gashimov, Leko, Jakovenko, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov and Alekseev are still in some sort of mathematical contention for the second GP spot in the Candidates Matches. In the cases of Mamedyarov, Alekseev and also Grischuk who has finished, it would be a freak event for them to qualify. Radjabov is in the best position followed by Wang Yue and Gashimov.

    I'll probably pay more attention to this once the WC is over.

    Aronian who has already qualified based on three GP events is not playing, and nor is Kasimdzhanov who has already failed based on three. Instead Ponomariov who has not played in any is competing.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 09-05-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Vladimir Akopian (Armenia)
    Evgeny Alekseev (Russia)
    Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine)
    Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan)
    Boris Gelfand (Israel)
    Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia)
    Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
    Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia)
    Peter Leko (Hungary)
    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan)
    Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine)
    Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan)
    Peter Svidler (Russia)
    Wang Yue (China)
    I think the most 'interesting' thing about the look of this field is that except for Boris Gelfand, there are no players from any of the so-called western countries.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator
    I think the most 'interesting' thing about the look of this field is that except for Boris Gelfand, there are no players from any of the so-called western countries.
    Yes and if you include the rest of those who stayed for the whole GP, only Bacrot (France) and Kamsky (USA) are "western" and 14 of the 20 participants are from ex-Soviet nations.

    The World Top 30 currently contains about six "westerners" so it is not a dramatic underrepresentation of "the west", but still it is notable that what was envisaged as a "world" Grand Prix has failed to deliver on that promise in terms of locations where events have been held.

    Round 1: Gashimov beats Ivanchuk after Chucky traps his own queen with grace and artistry.

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    All the rest were draws.

    Round 1 was tonight and rounds appear to start 9 pm our time.
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  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Oh, and this sort of thing just makes it clear what a farce the Sofia Rule is (for those not already convinced of its demerits): What is the point of policing draw offers when unnecessary draws can still occur through very early repetitions? In this position white may well have had an overall edge despite bad pawn structure after 15.Ne4 Nxe4 (forced) 16.Bxe4 but we'll probably never know.

    Wang Yue - Leko

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  5. #5
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    Quite often position does not allow for three-fold repetition.
    I remember well a case where I had an extra pawn, but my opponent had an ample compensation. After swapping of queens I would have a choose one of four or five lines (each of them committing). Feeling uneasy about the position, I took the queen and offered a draw (which was accepted). Under Sofia or Gibraltar rule we would have to play on (with draw not necessary being the likely outcome).

    While Sofia or Gibraltar rules do not eliminate all short draw, they greatly reduce the number.
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  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    After 4 rounds:

    +1 Leko, Pono, Gashimov, Gelfand, Inarkiev, Eljanov
    = Radjabov, Wang Yue, Jakovenko
    -1 Mamedyarov, Svidler, Akopian, Alekseev
    -2 Ivanchuk
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  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Eljanov, who can't qualify, beat Wang Yue to move into the outright lead in round 5. Wang Yue will be struggling to land the World Champs spot from here but with the field still very bunched there is still time.

    Ivanchuk recovered to -1 by beating Pono.

    Wang Yue - Eljanov

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  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Last round is tonight. Scores before this round:

    7.5 (+3) Eljanov
    6.5 (+1) Pono, Jakovenko, Mamedyarov, Alekseev, Radjabov, Gashimov
    6 (=) Svidler, Wang Yue
    5.5 (-1) Gelfand, Leko
    5 (-2) Ivanchuk, Akopian
    4.5 (-3) Inarkiev

    One of Radjabov, Wang Yue, Gashimov and Jakovenko will come second in the Grand Prix after tonight's games (which are on now - early start.) Radjabov is in the best position because he has the best total from his best two previous events. Assuming Radjabov can score 60 or more points from this event, which seems prettty much certain even if he loses, Wang Yue needs to get 30 more points than Radjabov to tie him, Gashimov needs 40 more, Jakovenko needs 60 more. (10 points is normally one placing but there are bonus points for top three placings or shares thereof.)
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  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Jakovenko has drawn with Akopian and by my calculations is now out of the running.
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  10. #10
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    Eljanov won the tournament with 8/13, and Radjabov qualified for the Candidates matches.

    Round 1 Pairings for the Candidates Matches:

    1. Topalovs vs Kamsky ( 1 vs 8 )
    2. Carlsen vs Radjabov ( 2 vs 7 )
    3. Kramnik vs Nominee ( 3 vs 6 )
    4. Aronian vs Gelfand ( 4 vs 5 )

    The nominee will be Gashimov or Mamedyarov.

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