Moscow Grand Prix, Round 3, Day 1: Two Draws
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:18PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 Grand Prix, 2019 Moscow Grand Prix, Alexander Grischuk, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Both games were drawn, but they were not perfunctory exercises in make-believe on the way to the blitz tiebreaks. They had genuine content.

With Black in a Giuoco Piano against Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk found a nice pawn sac in the opening that gave him excellent play with the bishop pair. At some point late in the game Grischuk obtained an advantage that was bordering on something serious, but it never quite consolidated into something tangible, and they called it a day shortly before the time control.

In the second game, Ian Nepomniachtchi went for the 6.Bd3 sideline against Radoslaw Wojtaszek's Najdorf, and was pressing for an edge throughout. As far as I can tell, both players performed very well. Maybe 16...Bf8 is a little more accurate, and perhaps White could pressed a little with a move other than 26.h3 at the end. Najdorf players should have a look at this line: it's not a barn-burner, but it isn't completely toothless, either.

Tomorrow they do it again with colors reversed; in the meantime, here are today's games, with my notes.

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