Entries in Dmitry Andreikin (12)
Ian Nepomniachtchi won the Moscow Blitz Championship this past Sunday with a score of 14-5, half a point ahead of Dmitry Andreikin, who won their individual game. There's a nice report on it here, complete with the embedded video of the live coverage. (There's commentary in Russian by Sergey Shipov.)
I've been watching the video, a little at a time, and so far a couple of games have caught my attention. You can replay those games, with my light analysis and comments, here.
Maybe Dmitry Andreikin doesn't have any openings, but apparently he doesn't need them. His draw against Anish Giri (after a few mildly anxious moments) came after Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov both drew their games, and thus Andreikin finished in clear first in the Tashkent Grand Prix, half a point ahead of them. Mamedyarov played a crazy game with Baadur Jobava, and first Mamedyarov seemed to be in some trouble, and then later may have had a serious advantage had he played 23...Qxf4+. As for Nakamura, he may have been losing to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at one point, and never seemed close to achieving that tie for first place.
There were two decisive games today: Sergey Karjakin beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Fabiano Caruana beat Dmitry Jakovenko. Both winners finished the tournament at +1, and in the end that was enough to give Caruana the lead in the overall Grand Prix standings. Nakamura, who tied for third in the Baku Grand Prix and for second here, is second in the overall Grand Prix standings. The reason that's important is that the top two finishers qualify for the next Candidates event.
- 1. Andreikin 7 (of 11)
- 2-3. Nakamura, Mamedyarov 6.5
- 4-7. Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana, Karjakin, Jobava 6
- 8. Radjabov 5.5 (11 draws!)
- 9. Giri 5
- 10. Jakovenko 4.5
- 11-12. Kasimdzhanov, Gelfand 3.5
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)
It was another day of aggressive chess in Tashkent, and those who started the game with an advantage didn't necessarily finish it that way.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came up with an interesting but possibly dubious novelty in the Gruenfeld, and Boris Gelfand seemed to have a significant advantage. It soon slipped away though, and later it was "MVL" who stood better and could have obtained a rook ending with a solid extra pawn. He missed his chance too, and the game wound up drawn. Another drawn game with shifting fortunes was the battle of the Americans (thinking hopefully here): Fabiano Caruana had an extra pawn, and while Hikaru Nakamura had some compensation Caruana probably could have extinguished it with a sufficient stretch of precise play. By the end, however, Nakamura was even pressing a little, though it wasn't enough.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played an offbeat Vienna against Rustam Kasimdzhanov and was worse, but as the game grew more complicated and time grew short it was hard for Kasimdzhanov to keep Mamedyarov's initiative under control. A couple of serious errors later, Kasimdzhanov lost.
The other decisive game was won by Dmitry Andreikin, against Sergey Karjakin. Andreikin went for a sharp line of the Torre Attack, and while his opponent's initial reaction was good the decision to play 15...Ke7 and 16...g5 was not. Between the light-squared weaknesses and the exposed king plenty could go wrong, and after 28.c5! Black soon collapsed.
Jobava-Jakovenko and Giri-Rajdabov were more stable draws, and you can replay all the games, with my comments, here.
Round 7 Pairings:
- Caruana (2.5) - Gelfand (2)
- Kasimdzhanov (1.5) - Nakamura (4)
- Radjabov (3) - Mamedyarov (3.5) (count on a draw)
- Karjakin (2.5) - Giri (3)
- Jakovenko (3) - Andreikin (4)
- Vachier-Lagrave (3.5) - Jobava (3.5)
There was some possibility of a decisive result in the fourth and last (classical) game of the final round of the World Cup, but it was only Vladimir Kramnik who might have won. Instead, he took a draw from a position of strength, and so he won his match with Dmitry Andreikin with a 2.5-1.5 score and with it, the World Cup as a whole.
Both he and Andreikin have qualified from this event into the next Candidates' tournament, where they will be joined by the following players:
Levon Aronian & Sergey Karjakin (ratings qualifiers; Karjakin because Kramnik's World Cup success vacated a rating spot).
The loser of the Viswanathan Anand - Magnus Carlsen match coming this fall.
Veselin Topalov and either Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk or Fabiano Caruana as Grand Prix qualifiers. If either Grischuk or Caruana takes solo first in the final Grand Prix event in Paris, he will take that second spot; if not, then Mamedyarov goes through.
A wildcard to be selected later.
2013 World Cup: Round 6, Day 3: Kramnik & Andreikin Reach Finals; Andreikin & Karjakin Qualify for Candidates
Today's tiebreak session at the World Cup was a short one, as two 25-minute games were enough to determine the match winners. In the first session Evgeny Tomashevsky and Dmitry Andreikin had a fairly quick draw, but theirs was the marathon of the round. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played like he had lost his mind in his white game against Kramnik, and had to resign after just 22 moves. After 16 moves of that game the position was level and sharp, and here Vachier-Lagrave's decision to bring the rook into play with 17.Re4 quickly backfired. After 20...Bf5 White was already in some trouble and the c-pawn looked likely to fall after a subsequent ...Bd3. That would have been a dream scenario for the Frenchman compared to what actually happened. After 21.Rh4?? Bc2 White's best would have been to surrender an exchange for less than nothing with 22.Qe2 Bd3 23.Qd1. Instead, he uncorked the even more disastrous 22.Qxc2??, hoping for 22...Qxc2 23.Be4. That also loses to 23...Qxd2+ 24.Bxh7+ Kh8 25.Bc2+ Qh6, which will leave Black a rook up, but Kramnik's 22...Nxf3+ was even simpler, winning the house.
In the rematch Kramnik was a little slack, and his whole plan to swap everything with 13.d5, 14.Ne1 and 15.Nxd5 gave Vachier-Lagrave a little pull, but when Black played the premature 23...b5 the game started to tip back in Kramnik's favor. By the end Kramnik was close to winning, but took the opportunity to draw by repetition. That won him the match and a trip to the finals, but it didn't win him a ticket to next year's Candidates' tournament. That's because he had already qualified. What it did do was switch his ticket. Rather than qualifying by rating he qualifies as a World Cup finalist, and that means that the player who was the #3 finisher (and thus non-qualifier) on rating has now qualified: Sergey Karjakin.
Today was an interesting day for Kramnik, and it's not clear that he really benefited. There's the prestige of making it to the finals of the World Cup, and even more if he wins it. There's the added payday, too. On the other hand, his score against Karjakin isn't fantastic, to put it mildly. Since 2010, taking all time controls into account, the score is 7-1 for Karjakin, not counting five draws. Even just taking classical games into account it isn't good news for Kramnik: 2-0 for Karjakin, plus four draws.
Meanwhile, the other semi-final was also bad news for Kramnik. Kramnik did lose a blitz game to Tomashevsky last year, but their classical record shows that Kramnik has won both of their games: one in 2004 and one in 2012. As for Andreikin, Kramnik has lost both games they've played, both in the last couple of months.
So who advanced? Andreikin, of course. Tomashevsky was doing pretty well with Black into the middlegame, but it all went downhill after 28...Re1? He apparently missed 30.Qd2 after the trade of rooks, and after that Andreikin whipped up an initiative that quickly decided the game. Tomashevsky should have traded queens with 28...Qxd3 and after 29.Rxd3 played 29...Re6 so as to defend the f-pawn if necessary. The position would have remained equal and the match unclear.
Tomorrow is the one and only absolute day off in the entire event, and then the best-of-four game final begins on Friday.
The tiebreaks at the World Cup are getting shorter. There were Armageddon games in the first two rounds, while rounds 3 and 4 made it through the 5" minute games. (And with an 80-90 minute "ten minute" game in round 4 it took longer than a normal series making it to the Armageddon game.) Today, the tiebreaks finished as quickly as possible; to wit, after the initial pair of 25-minute games.
Dmitry Andreikin was the first one through, and a very convincing winner over Peter Svidler. In the first game Andreikin played one of his typical low-theory lines, in this case a Tromp-turned-Torre Attack, and it was a twofold success. Andreikin did obtain a small advantage, and Svidler was forced to solve problems over the board rather than relying on prep or anything like it. Svidler did manage to equalize at one point and perhaps got a bit too bold. 20...f5 seems to me a very risky move to make in a rapid game, as it offers White various opportunities to open the game up when Black will be short of time. A safer way was 20...Ne7, aiming to trade all the rooks on the c-file and go for the quick handshake. That inaccuracy was compounded by 23...Nxa2 - 23...Rxc1 and only then taking on a2 seems more accurate, as Svidler's version allowed 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 and now, as advertised, 25.e4. After 28.Re6 Black was still objectively okay but as a practical matter it was starting to look dangerous. 28...Kg8 was an error, and after 29.Qg3! Black has some annoying threats to deal with like 30.Nh5 and 30.Rxh6. Svidler's reply, 29...Nd5 was natural and logical...and an absolute blunder. After the sneaky shot 30.Qb3! there was nothing for Black to do but resign, as the knight is lost - at least it is unless Black wants to lose the queen, e.g. 30...Nxf4 31.Re7+.
The rematch didn't go any better for Svidler, except insofar as he received a charity draw offer in the end. For a few moments Svidler looked as if he might get to enjoy a relatively safe extra pawn in another Advance Caro-Kann with 3...c5, but the critical moment came on move 18. Had Svidler played 18.a3 he would have enjoyed some advantage. He chose 18.Nf3 instead, and while this is a move White wants to play it's too soon. After 18...axb4 19.cxb4 Ra3! followed soon by ...Qa6, ...Rd3 and ...Qa3 Black managed to infiltrate and regain the material (with positional interest) without allowing White any real attacking chances on the kingside. Had Andreikin needed to win he probably would have played differently on move 34; instead, it was enough to force a draw with 34...Rg4 35.Rf2 Qe1+ 36.Rf1 Qe2 37.Rf2 Qe1+. The draw was agreed and the match was over, earning Andreikin the chance to play his friend and teammate Evgeny Tomashevsky for a shot at the finals and an automatic berth into the next Candidates' event.
In the other quarter-final Vachier-Lagrave was a nominal underdog against Fabiano Caruana, but the former's play in both the classical and rapid disciplines in the event rendered the rating difference immaterial. In the first game Caruana had White and was the one pressing, at least in theory, but Vachier-Lagrave defended so accurately that Caruana never came close to a genuine edge. In game 2, however, the Frenchman called the tune from early on. Caruana played the Dutch, which isn't normally part of his opening repertoire, and while both players occasionally seemed a little unsure of themselves Vachier-Lagrave's play came across as more purposeful and coherent. There was never any question about who stood better, only whether White's advantage would grow into something major. Practically speaking, the decisive error may have come at move 33 when Black played 33...Bf6. The upshot was that after 34.b3 Black's knight could no longer safely retreat to d6, and after 34...Na5 the misplaced knight and Black's weak dark squares were a serious problem. The last chance, objectively speaking, came on move 48. Caruana, who was very short of time and way behind on the clock, needed to take the knight. Vachier-Lagrave would soon regain the piece and maintain an advantage, but it was a small chance for Caruana. He declined the sac with 48...Qg7, and the rest was a rout. In the final position the d-pawn can't be captured without allowing the h-pawn to queen, and if 66...Kf8 67.Kd4 Kg7 68.Kc5 Kh6 69.Kxb5 Kxh5 70.Kb6 followed by 71.Kc7 leads to the knight's elimination and the d-pawn's promotion. That means that Vachier-Lagrave will face Vladimir Kramnik in the other semi-final.
Who will win these matches? At this point it's crazy to pick against any of these guys. Kramnik is surely the strongest player of the four, but he's also the oldest and possibly the most tired. He has less motivation, as he has already qualified for the Candidates', and if it comes down to tiebreaks one might wonder if he's (that much) better than Vachier-Lagrave in rapid and blitz. In the other semi Andreikin has been an absolute assassin in the rapid tiebreaks, going 3.5/4 against Sergey Karjakin and Svidler combined - and it could have been 4-0. On the other hand, his play in the classical games hasn't been as out of this world, while Tomashevsky has been playing like a super-hero, rising to the occasion every time. I am going to go with Kramnik and Tomashevsky, with a codicil: if they don't win in the classical stage I think they will lose in the tiebreaks.
When I last reported on the friendly match between Dmitry Andreikin and Ian Nepomniachtchi, the score was 2-1 in the former's favor going into a rest day. Since then, they have played the remaining three games, with the last one finishing just a little while ago. All three games were drawn, so by virtue of winning the first and drawing the rest Andreikin finished with victory in the match.
More interesting posts later today, when I have a bit more time!
We're two games in, with four to go, and so far Dmitry Andreikin leads Ian Nepmoniachtchi 1.5-.5 in this battle of young 2700s. Somewhat like the Kramnik-Aronian match earlier in the year, the audience gets a guarantee of sorts: if the game is drawn in under three hours, the players will face off in a pair of 15' + 10" games after a short break. (Those games won't count towards the official match scores.) So far that threat hasn't had to be carried out, but depending on how the slow games go it might be nice if it were.