After losing in the first round of the Tashkent Grand Prix, Baadur Jobava battled his way into a tie for first after round 8. Very impressive! Unfortunately, he promptly lost to one of the co-leaders, Dmitry Andreikin, and now once again has his work cut out for him with just two rounds to go. Jobava has made a habit of playing 1.d4 2.Nc3 3.Bf4 lately, but Andreikin - another player who likes to avoid the main lines of theory - found an interesting approach against this and was already at least equal when he played 9...h5. Jobava sacrificed a pawn for the initiative, but nothing materialized for the material and he was soon lost; Andreikin won rather easily.
Hikaru Nakamura didn't manage to keep pace with Andreikin, but drew a quick game with the black pieces against Sergey Karjakin. It looked like Karjakin had an edge, but apparently he couldn't find anything he could do with it, so they repeated the position and called it a day after just 26 moves.
The day's only other decisive game was Dmitry Jakovenko vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. It seemed headed for a draw, but instead of rounding up Black's passed a-pawn while it was still easy to do so, Jakovenko went on what soon turned out to be a self-destructive mission for counterplay against Black's c-pawn. He won it, but in the end the strength of Black's a-pawn was about to leave White a full piece down, so he resigned. Now Mamedyarov is tied for second with Nakamura, only half a point behind Andreikin.
(Games here, with notes to both of the decisive battles.)
Round 10 Pairings:
- Gelfand (2.5) - Andreikin (6)
- Giri (4) - Jobava (5)
- Mamedyarov (5.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (5)
- Nakamura (5.5) - Jakovenko (4)
- Caruana (4.5) - Karjakin (4.5)
- Kasimdzhanov (3) - Radjabov (4.5)