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Caruana & Gelfand Share Grand Prix Victory, Mamedyarov Reaches Candidates [UPDATE: VIDEO!]

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 2013.10.05. 4:26.

The FIDE Grand Prix in Élancourt was won by Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand, as all games in the final round ended in draws. This means that Shakhriyar Mamedyarov keeps his second place in the overall GP standings, and with it his ticket to the 2014 Candidates tournament (together with Veselin Topalov, who won the Grand Prix).

Photos by Leslie McAllister © Chess.com

*** Update: below is Jason Stoneking's video report on the last round! ***

A scenario like this is not unique, but still it feels like a big anti-climax: a potentially very exciting round, one that sponsors bring their money for (and chess fans their chips and drinks), petered out quickly with three short draws, deciding the whole tournament. Imagine what 21st century chess would look like without the existence of the draw!

Especially Caruana's game seemed a bit odd. Against Dominguez, in a game where it was most important to keep some play (it might be necessary to play for a win later on), the Italian picked the Taimanov Sicilian. Then, at move 14, the Cuban played Bxb5 (a novelty) and right after the moves were repeated. In her final report, Alina l'Ami writes:

“Caruana evaluated that the risk involved by avoiding the repetion would be higher than any reasonable limits. If he would lose and Gelfand would do the same, Caruana 'could never forgive himself for such a suicide'.”

Caruana: close, but no cigar

This strongly reminds of the final round of the 2013 Candidates Tournament where, in a similar situation, Kramnik chose the Pirc against Ivanchuk. There was nothing wrong with Caruana's choice of the Sicilian, as he could never have expected Dominguez to play like this.

And so the game between Boris Gelfand and Ruslan Ponomariov was going to decide the tournament. The start was promising: a Leningrad Dutch, against which Gelfand had suffered defeats against Kamsky and Nakamura recently.

“I tried to play not just some Queen's Gambit, but some sharp line.”

said Ponomariov, who felt he was some kind of "arbiter" deciding who would go to the Candidates!

Gelfand made a lot of healthy moves, but...

“...it led to nowhere unfortunately.”

And so these two players went for a move repetition quickly, securing Mamedyarov's ticket to the 2014 Candidates. According to the players. in the final position for both sides it's very difficult to make useful moves.

Gelfand's healthy moves were not enough for an advantage

Evgeny Tomahevsky was determined to win his game against Vassily Ivanchuk and thus finish on a 50% score. The Russian GM got quite close, as he reached a big advantage out of the opening. With many good moves in a number of positions, it wasn't easy to choose the best and eventually he ended up with an extra pawn in a queen ending that was impossible to win. 

Tomashevsky got a big advantage...
...but Ivanchuk escaped with a draw

Bacrot-Grischuk was hardly a game. In a Grünfeld, as early as move 13 the players repeated moves. What to say?

Bacrot said he had slept badly and had no energy left

Giri-Nakamura, however, was a great game in one of the most topical lines of the Berlin Ending. 16.c4 was the novelty and a tactical sequence followed after which White remained slightly better. After Giri chose the wrong square for his king on move 30, Nakamura could fully equalize.


The last game of the round, and the tournament, was Wang Hao-Fressinet. The Frenchman had to suffer quite a bit after a miscalculation which resulted in the loss of a pawn. However, in time trouble the Chinese GM didn't find the strongest plan and allowed counterplay. 


And so a long series of tournaments, which started with the London Grand Prix in September 2012 (organized by Agon!), has come to an end. On the final day, many players expressed their satisfaction about the events, the organization and the cities they had visited.

Fabiano Caruana, Ruslan Ponomariov and Wang Hao will immediately be travelling to Bucharest, to play in the Kings Tournament which starts on Sunday. And if you were wondering, Alexander Grischuk and Evgeny Tomashevsky are not playing in the Russian Championship which starts on Saturday. 

Live video with press conferences

Video feed courtesy of FIDE


Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings

Round 1 15:00 CET 22.09.13   Round 2 15:00 CET 23.09.13
Fressinet ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Giri
Grischuk ½-½ Wang Hao   Tomashevsky ½-½ Gelfand
Caruana ½-½ Bacrot   Dominguez ½-½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk ½-½ Dominguez   Bacrot ½-½ Ivanchuk
Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky   Wang Hao ½-½ Caruana
Gelfand 1-0 Giri   Fressinet 1-0 Grischuk
Round 3 15:00 CET 24.09.13   Round 4 15:00 CET 25.09.13
Grischuk ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Tomashevsky
Caruana 1-0 Fressinet   Dominguez 1-0 Giri
Ivanchuk 1-0 Wang Hao   Bacrot ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Wang Hao ½-½ Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Dominguez   Fressinet 0-1 Ivanchuk
Giri ½-½ Tomashevsky   Grischuk ½-½ Caruana
Round 5 15:00 CET 27.09.13   Round 6 15:00 CET 28.09.13
Caruana ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov


Ivanchuk 0-1 Grischuk   Bacrot ½-½ Tomashevsky
Nakamura ½-½ Fressinet   Wang Hao ½-½ Giri
Gelfand ½-½ Wang Hao   Fressinet ½-½ Gelfand
Giri 0-1 Bacrot   Grischuk ½-½ Nakamura
Tomashevsky ½-½ Dominguez   Caruana 1-0 Ivanchuk
Round 7 15:00 CET 29.09.13   Round 8 15:00 CET 30.09.13
Ivanchuk ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov 0-1 Bacrot
Nakamura 1-0 Caruana   Wang Hao ½-½ Dominguez
Gelfand 1-0 Grischuk   Fressinet ½-½ Tomashevsky
Giri ½-½ Fressinet   Grischuk 1-0 Giri
Tomashevsky ½-½ Wang Hao   Caruana 1-0 Gelfand
Dominguez ½-½ Bacrot   Ivanchuk 0-1 Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 CET 02.10.13   Round 10 15:00 CET 03.10.13
Nakamura ½-½ Ponomariov   Ponomariov ½-½ Wang Hao
Gelfand ½-½ Ivanchuk   Fressinet 0-1 Bacrot
Giri ½-½ Caruana   Grischuk ½-½ Dominguez
Tomashevsky ½-½ Grischuk   Caruana 1-0 Tomashevsky
Dominguez ½-½ Fressinet   Ivanchuk ½-½ Giri
Bacrot ½-½ Wang Hao   Nakamura 0-1 Gelfand
Round 11 14:00 CET 04.10.13        
Gelfand ½-½ Ponomariov        
Giri ½-½ Nakamura        
Tomashevsky ½-½ Ivanchuk        
Dominguez ½-½ Caruana        
Bacrot ½-½ Grischuk        
Wang Hao ½-½ Fressinet        


Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Final standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Score SB
1 Caruana,F 2779 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 7.0/11 37.00
2 Gelfand,B 2764 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7.0/11 36.50
3 Nakamura,H 2772 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 6.5/11 35.50
4 Bacrot,E 2723 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 6.5/11 33.00
5 Grischuk,A 2785 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 5.5/11 28.75
6 Dominguez,L 2757 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.5/11 28.50
7 Wang,Hao 2736 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 5.0/11 28.00
8 Ponomariov,R 2756 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.0/11 27.25
9 Tomashevsky,E 2703 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 5.0/11 27.00
10 Ivanchuk,V 2731 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 5.0/11 25.75
11 Fressinet,L 2708 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 4.5/11
12 Giri,A 2737 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.5/11


5515 megtekintés 18 hozzászólás
3 szavazat


  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Thank you _valentin_

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Caruana-Gelfand-Nakamura 3x3 square (up-left) is interesting.. Pawns, 1s and 0s with symmetry. Tongue Out 

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Gelfand dont get to be world championship challenger without good reason.  When he is in excellent form he is solid strong up there with top 5 players as it show here and other first place result.  Keep it up Gelfand..:)

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    P_G_M:  A version of the supertournament you're dreaming about (with the exception of Kramnik, Topalov, and Mamedyarov but with both Carlsen and Anand in addition to all the rest you want to see) will happen sooner than the Candidates 2014; only it will be a one round of classic chess, and one round of rapid chess.  

    Expect it in Jan-Feb 2014, in Zurich, the players will be: Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Nakamura, Caruana, Gelfand

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Finally _valentin_ is back with some chess comments!!!

    I agree, Caruana deserves the wild card.

    I also believe that Nakaruma and Gelfand should be in the candidates, instead of Karjakin and Andreikin. Both Naka and Gelfis are on fire.

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Caruana looks like a prime candidate for the wildcard slot in the Candidates.  It's hard to imagine anyone who's earned the spot more than him, given his results, rank, etc.

    In these Grand Prix events, he started by sharing 4th (in the 1st tournament), then sharing 3rd (in the 2nd tournament), then sharing 2nd (in the 3rd tournament), and now sharing 1st place (in the 4th and final tournament of his participation).  That's an impressive path and upward slope!  Best wishes to Fabiano, and looking forward to seeing him in the Candidates 2014 as well.

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Dora7777 really?  Maybe mods can remove your spam.  

    Thanks for the write up.  What did you mean by the reference to Kramnik's game in the pirc in the candidates?  Didn't he lose that game?  I was confused by this part of the article.

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Very outstanding draw in the 11th round for "Chucky." I did not see a way out for him in this "doom" game. He located his (escape hatch game) - Incredible! Chucky must have been thinking..."I'm gonna put'em in a chess crunch, put'em in a chess crunch, ha ha Laughing put'em in a chess crunch." Cool

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    chessdoggblack, your chips and drinks were taken by your sunshine friend Marcokim Yell

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    the cuban is the ivanchuk of this tournament

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    wanghao  1 lost 10 draaaaaaaw!!!

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Another "Great" tournament of superior power playing Chess: The Grand Prix is the bomb. Now onward to the WCC. Hey! Where's my chips and drinks. GOOOOOOOO ANAND! Cool

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt



  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    caruana looks angry! hahah

    congrats to mamedyarov!

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Gelfand and Caruana did their best with tremendous work.

    Nakaramura and Bacrot too earned much after tough task.

  • 11 hónap ezelőtt


    Good for Gelfand! Caruana did a fantastic job as well

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