The Fide Grand Prix 2014-15 is a series of four tournaments that form part of the qualification cycle for the World Chess Championship 2016. The top two finishers will qualify to the 2016 Candidates Tournament. In contrast to the two previous Grand Prix cycles, the number of tournaments was decreased from six to four and players playing just three tournaments. Each tournament is a 12-player, single round-robin tournament. Grand Prix points are allocated according to each player’s standing in the tournament: 170 Grand Prix points (and € 20 000) for first place, 140 (€15 000) for second place, 110 (€13 000) for third place, and then 90 down to 10 points. In case of a tie in points, the Grand Prix points are shared evenly by the tied players. The first event took place in Baku, Azerbaijan: 1st-2nd: F Caruana (Italy) and B Gelfand (Israel) 6.5/11. The second event was completed in Taskent, Uzbekistan: 1st D Andreikin, (Russia) 7/11; 2nd3rd H Nakamura (US) and S Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 6.5. The remaining tournaments will take place in Tbilsi, Georgia, from February 14-28, and Khanty-Mansiysk from May 13-27. Jobava won in dynamic fashion with the CaroKann, not an opening generally known for its virulent attacks! Karjakin, S (2 767) – Jobava, B (2 717) [B10] Tashkent Fide GP 2014 Tashkent UZB (5.1) 2014 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ exf6 6.Bc4 Qe7+ 7.Be2 Qc7 8.d4 Bd6 9.0–0 0–0 10.h3 Rd8 11.Be3 Nd7 12.c4 Nf8 13.Bd3 Ng6 14.Qc2 Be6 15.Rfe1 Qd7! (‘It is surprisingly hard to stop the ‘obvious’ Bxh3 threat. All Karjakin can do is brace himself for impact.” – GM Ramirez) 16.Bd2 Bxh3 17.gxh3 Qxh3 18.Bxg6 hxg6 19.Re3 g5 20.c5?! (The cold-blooded silicon defence 20.Rae1 g4 21.Ne5 Qh5 22.c5 Bc7 23.Nc4 Qh2+ 24.Kf1 g3 25.fxg3 Bxg3 26.Rxg3 Qxg3 leaves the game dynamically balanced) …Bf4!
21.Rb3 Bc7 22.Qc4 Qh5 (22…Qg4+!) 23.Kg2 (23 Rxb7! Was White’s last chance) … Qg4+ 24.Kf1 Re8 25.Re1 Qh3+ 26.Kg1 Rxe1+! 27.Bxe1 Qg4+ 28.Kf1 Re8 29.Ng1 Bh2 30.Ne2? (“30 Nh3 Qe4 31 Re3 Qh1+ 32 Ke2 Rx3+ 33 fxe3 g4 and Black’s g-pawn is SEE DIAGRAM
… Rxe2! 31.Rxb7 (31 Qxe2 Qg1#) … Re6 0–1 The French star plays the Sicilian Najdorf impeccably to inflict a defeat on the world’s 2nd highest ranked player. Caruana, F (2 844) – Vachier Lagrave,M (2 757) [B90] Tashkent Fide GP 2014 Tashkent UZB (1.4) 2014 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be3 Be7 9.Qd2 0–0 10.0–0–0 Nbd7 11.g4 b5 12.Rg1 Nb6 13.Na5 Rc8 14.g5 Nh5 15.Kb1 Qc7 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Qxa5 19.Bd3 g6 20.c4 Nf4 21.Bxf4 exf4 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Qxb5 Qa7 24.Be4 Rc7 25.Bd5 Qf2 26.Qb3 Qxh2 27.a4 Qf2 28.Rc1 Ra7 29.Qb4 Qe3 30.Rcd1 Qe5 31.Qb5 Kg7 32.Bc6 Rc8 33.Rg2 d5 34.Bxd5 Rc5 35.Qb3 Bxg5 36.Bc4 Bf6 37.Re2 Qf5+ 38.Re4 Re5 39.Rde1 Rxe4 40.Rxe4 Re7 41.Bd3 Rxe4 42.Bxe4 Qd7 43.Qb5 Qxb5 44.axb5 Bd4 45.Kc2 h5 46.b6 Bxb6 47.Kd1 f5 48.Bc6 g5 49.Bd7 Kf6 50.Ke2 g4 51.Kf1 Kg5 0–1 “When you look at them, kneel down or crouch in such a way that you can look through the glass straight into their faces and look them in the eye. You will see human beings across the passage of time. They have remarkable quality. They speak to you. (on the Isle of Lewis pieces) – British Museum curator Irving Finkel
extremely dangerous.” – GM Ramirez)