|Alexander Grischuk wins Sharjah Grand Prix on tie-break|
|Saturday, 25 February 2017 20:06|
The first stage in the new World Chess Championship cycle – the FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix – finished on February 27 at the beautiful Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, established in 2013. At the closing ceremony, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov thanked everyone who was involved in the organisation of the tournament. All participants of the tournament were awarded with presents produced by the organisers. At the ceremony also present was Al Sheikh Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, Chairman of Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club.
The ninth and final round of the FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix was played today at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk played a relatively short draw, and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov used the opportunity to defeat Hou Yifan and join them on the shared first place.
The final ranking was decided by the first tie-break criteria – mutual result. Grischuk scored best due to yesterday’s win against Mamedyarov and is awarded the winner’s trophy. Vachier-Lagrave is second and Mamedyarov is third.
The Azeri Grandmaster employed the sharp 4.f3 variation against the Nimzo-Indian. Black made several inaccuracies, as 13…Bxc3 and 15…e4, after which white launched a crushing attack by 17.Bb1. Hou Yifan tried to refute the threats, but there were too many and white claimed a win on 32nd move.
Ding Liren and Levon Aronian were involved in a typical Catalan Opening, where white claimed only a minimal advantage. But at some point, Aronian became careless and “just started playing some random moves”. White used this time to increase the pressure and put the bishop’s pair to work. The final mistake was 37…Bxd6, after which the Chinese player created the mating net.
Pavel Eljanov and Salem Saleh have agreed that the principled 17…d5 break in the center might have been the cause of all black’s trouble later. It was proposed to continue 17…bxa4 18.Rxa4 Qb6 as an improved line.
Eljanov temporarily sacrificed an exchange and assumed a strong initiative. Black could not steer clear of the storm and in the course of massive exchange white won a pawn. The Ukrainian Grandmaster proceeded to convert the advantage.
Round 9 results: