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Grand Prix Riga Tournament

Sergey Karjakin8.5/17(+2 -2 =13)[games]
Wesley So7.5/14(+2 -1 =11)[games]
Yu Yangyi6/13(+1 -2 =10)[games]
Alexander Grischuk6/10(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5.5/8(+3 -0 =5)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave4.5/6(+3 -0 =3)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda4/8(+1 -1 =6)[games]
Anish Giri4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Veselin Topalov3/6(+1 -1 =4)[games]
Pentala Harikrishna1.5/4(+0 -1 =3)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura1.5/4(+0 -1 =3)[games]
Peter Svidler1.5/4(+0 -1 =3)[games]
Nikita Vitiugov1/4(+0 -2 =2)[games]
David Navara0.5/2(+0 -1 =1)[games]
Daniil Dubov0.5/2(+0 -1 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
Grand Prix Riga (2019)

The Riga FIDE Grand Prix is taking place in the National Library of Latvia from July 12-24 2019. The 16-player knockout is the 2nd of four legs of the 22-player Grand Prix series that will determine two places in the 2020 Candidates Tournament. Players compete in 3 of the 4 tournaments, which each have a 130,000 euro prize fund, with 24,000 for 1st place. There are from 1 (quarterfinal loser) to 8 (winner) Grand Prix points available, plus an additional bonus point for each match win without tiebreaks. The overall series prize fund is 280,000, with 50,000 for 1st place.

Each round consists of two games of classical chess, with a time control of 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 min to the end of the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. If the match is tied two 25+10 rapid games are played. If still tied, there are two 10+10 games, then two 5+3. Finally a single Armageddon game is played, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4 (with a 2-second increment from move 61) but Black wins the match with a draw. Leading partners of the series are PhosAgro and Kaspersky Lab. (1)

Round 1 July 12-14 Quarterfinals July 15-17 Semifinals July 18-20 Final July 22-24

Karjakin ˝˝ 10 ˝˝ ˝˝ 1 5 Giri ˝˝ 01 ˝˝ ˝˝ 0 4 Karjakin ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 0˝ - 3˝ So ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 1˝ - 4˝ So ˝˝ 1˝ -- -- - 2˝ Harikrishna ˝˝ 0˝ -- -- - 1˝ Mamedyarov 1˝ -- -- -- - 1˝ So 0˝ -- -- -- - ˝ Svidler ˝˝ ˝0 -- -- - 1˝ Duda ˝˝ ˝1 -- -- - 2˝ Duda ˝˝ ˝0 -- -- - 1˝ Mamedyarov ˝˝ ˝1 -- -- - 2˝ Mamedyarov ˝1 -- -- -- - 1˝ Dubov ˝0 -- -- -- - ˝ Mamedyarov -- -- -- -- - 1x Vachier-Lagrave -- -- -- -- - 0x Vitiugov ˝˝ 00 -- -- - 1 Grischuk ˝˝ 11 -- -- - 3 Grischuk ˝˝ 1˝ -- -- - 2˝ Yu Yangyi ˝˝ 0˝ -- -- - 1˝ Aronian ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 10 0 4 Yu Yangyi ˝˝ ˝˝ ˝˝ 01 1 5 Vachier-Lagrave ˝1 -- -- -- - 1˝ Grischuk ˝0 -- -- -- - ˝ Nakamura ˝˝ ˝0 -- -- - 1˝ Topalov ˝˝ ˝1 -- -- - 2˝ Topalov 0˝ -- -- -- - ˝ Vachier-Lagrave 1˝ -- -- -- - 1˝ Vachier-Lagrave 1˝ -- -- -- - 1˝ Navara 0˝ -- -- -- - ˝

Official site:

Previous (and 1st) GP event: FIDE Grand Prix Moscow (2019)

(1) chess24

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 60  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Karjakin vs A Giri  ½-½162019Grand Prix RigaC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
2. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Navara 1-0192019Grand Prix RigaB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
3. Nakamura vs Topalov  ½-½392019Grand Prix RigaC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
4. Aronian vs Yu Yangyi  ½-½292019Grand Prix RigaD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. Vitiugov vs Grischuk ½-½452019Grand Prix RigaC58 Two Knights
6. Mamedyarov vs D Dubov  ½-½352019Grand Prix RigaD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
7. Svidler vs J K Duda  ½-½422019Grand Prix RigaC24 Bishop's Opening
8. W So vs Harikrishna ½-½452019Grand Prix RigaC53 Giuoco Piano
9. Navara vs M Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½462019Grand Prix RigaB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
10. Topalov vs Nakamura  ½-½252019Grand Prix RigaC53 Giuoco Piano
11. Yu Yangyi vs Aronian  ½-½252019Grand Prix RigaE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
12. Grischuk vs Vitiugov ½-½102019Grand Prix RigaE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
13. D Dubov vs Mamedyarov 0-1782019Grand Prix RigaA34 English, Symmetrical
14. J K Duda vs Svidler  ½-½422019Grand Prix RigaA15 English
15. Harikrishna vs W So  ½-½292019Grand Prix RigaE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
16. A Giri vs Karjakin  ½-½302019Grand Prix RigaE01 Catalan, Closed
17. Vitiugov vs Grischuk 0-1242019Grand Prix RigaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. Yu Yangyi vs Aronian  ½-½322019Grand Prix RigaC50 Giuoco Piano
19. Aronian vs Yu Yangyi  ½-½462019Grand Prix RigaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. Aronian vs Yu Yangyi  ½-½632019Grand Prix RigaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. Yu Yangyi vs Aronian  ½-½452019Grand Prix RigaE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
22. Aronian vs Yu Yangyi 1-0572019Grand Prix RigaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
23. Yu Yangyi vs Aronian 1-0442019Grand Prix RigaE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
24. Aronian vs Yu Yangyi  ½-½532019Grand Prix RigaD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
25. Nakamura vs Topalov  ½-½502019Grand Prix RigaA04 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 60  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-20-19  BOSTER: <Bugrit:SO in fact is a very smart player>. It is very difficult to accept this watching his move 15...c3 in game vs Mamedyarov.After 16.e5 forking the Queen and the knight the game was lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Humorous comment over on the So page:

<chessobserver: Federer lost in Finals, Tiger did not make the cut, Now Wes.>

Jul-20-19  john barleycorn: We need to see the full Mully.
Jul-20-19  botvinnik64: MVL v Shak tomorrow - what's the betting line, folks? I would make MVL the slight favorite, say, -115, if we were in Vegas. Thoughts? It's gonna be a tactical melee. A Gruenfeld, for sure; maybe a sharp Sicilian as well, I hope.
Jul-20-19  jphamlore: <botvinnik64: MVL v Shak tomorrow - what's the betting line, folks?>

As pointed out in another comment, I believe tomorrow Jul 21 is a rest day.

I am kind of hoping Mamedyarov as Black revists the Ruy Lopez fianchetto 3... g6 he used versus Karjakin at Candidates 2018.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Thanks for the response, <parmetd>. I know well that my viewpoint is idealistic and that reality shows different approaches to the game. Approaches like some of them you describe:

- I took a quick draw because then I was sure to qualify for the next tournament

- I went for a draw since it maintained my rating, thus increasing my chances for new invites

- I made a deal with my opponent before the game that we should draw because in the tournament standings it would serve us better than risking a defeat

- I chose an opening line which would lead to a draw unless my opponent was really set on winning

... and so forth - all good reasons if you want to earn a good living as a professional chess-player, and who could blame anyone for wanting that?

But there is a sort of exchange economy here. The sponsors enable players to earn a living, and in return they expect great games from them. If players in general begin to think the cash-flow is there regardless of their efforts, they will slowly kill the motivation by the sponsors. Who wants to finance a tournament with 80 % draws, with players unwilling to risk anything, just sitting on their a.... cashing the starting fee and get a share of the price fund? True, often players get away with it, and some players seem to go from one tournament to the next with the mind-set of only serving their own purse while expecting sponsors to finance them endlessly regardless of their attitude.

Desperate to avoid that sponsors and organisers set rules to prevent intentional draws, create formats which offer benefits to those willing to fight and give the spectators moments of thrill and entertainment. But sponsors should also begin to analyse which players so-to-speak give a bang for the buck and which players are just travelling businessmen.

It's a great side-effect of Carlsen's colossal success this year that his aggressive, dynamic play demonstrates that his approach pays off that everybody expects his participation with enthusiasm and joy. Who would expect anything like that from the drawmasters, the Mister Fifty-percents, who fill a chair in one tournament after the other?

In the broad perspective - keeping our game attractive to sponsors and organisers - I have no doubts that my idealistic notion will be much better than the viewpoint of the businessmen. Time will show.

PS: Besides Carlsen, uncompromising players like Fischer and Larsen showed the way.

Jul-21-19  jphamlore: Emanuel Lasker was skeptical of the existence of stalemate, and I have to agree with him. Simply change the rules of the game to what everyone learning wants: The object is to <capture> the other king, and there is no such thing as an illegal move putting one's king in check. If it gets captured, too bad, end of game.
Jul-21-19  devere: Two days off before the finals start, one for the playoffs that weren't needed and once for the rest day. I suppose that once you publish a schedule you have to stick to it, but it does seem excessive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: I fully concur, <devere>, this is a rather inflexible execution of pre-laid schedule. giving almost too much time to reflect on who'll win the match.

A sober assessment would say it's pretty equal - nevertheless, I think this is MVL's momentum. What say you?

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: The Shakh vs MVL matchup should b great! They have played many interesting games vs each other over the years. Shakh definitely plays a much wider variety of openings than MVL does. This makes him much tougher to prepare for. MVL has the most limited opening repertoire of any super GM today. Although MVL has gotten this far for a reason & he does have some surprises in his bag of tricks sometimes. In his match w/ Grischuk, he played the Benko Gambit! To make it even more 😎, Benko’s birthday was a week ago from today! I’m willing to bet that it was a tribute to Benko who is 91 years old now b/c it’s been a really long time since MVL has played it in a big my knowledge anyway
Jul-22-19  botvinnik64: The Gruenfeld on the board! Not looking good for MVL so far; he will need to strike back...tomorrow?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: It takes some in-depth dedication to know Benko's birthday! :-)

His original, Hungarian name is Pál Benkö (in spite of being born in French Amiens). In the German tournament book of the Candidates in 1959 - his entry on the world stage of chess, so to speak - he is spelled Paul Benkö. The Germanistic vowels ä, ö and ü are transscribed into English by a, o and u, although it results in a significant twist of their sound.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: MVL is in a huge doo doo. I'm mad, his only task was to make a logical draw.
Jul-22-19  csmath: Shak eviscerated the whole opening MVL was playing, this is important game and MVL will need to examine the opening. By the move 13 white has serious advantage and black has no easy way to equalize.

This is important game and Shak has put a question mark on the opening MVL played. It has to be something better in the first 12 moves by black. What followed is not attractive to me at all.

Jul-22-19  Everett: Shak wins. A pretty smooth crush vs MVL's Grunfeld
Jul-22-19  john barleycorn: yes, is not it strange? MVL labelled one of the leading experts in the world and being dismantled like this? What are those labels worth?
Jul-22-19  csmath: It happens just because people can prepare for him.

Shak was prepared for this, he spent 5-6 minutes for the first 12 moves so he had a trap for MVL. MVL was playing slower but I think only for the reason that he was not sure what to do faced with opening Shak's speed.

MVL played 7....Qd7 before so when Shak played 7.Qa4 he did expect MVL to do that again. Svidler's analysis goes 7. ...Bd7 but you can see that MVL planned another development for that bishop through b6 which is also an old idea.

Jul-22-19  csmath: This is Shak-MVL previous encounter in this variation.

Mamedyarov vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2018

Shak did not play the same now and he did not play typical 8.Qb3 which is usual.

Another thing is this 12. Bf4 development of bishop. Ordinarily you would expect to have Be3 earlier exactly to counter black playing c5 which doesn't really stop c5 anyway.

So I am sure Shak has analyzed this opening after Sinquefield Cup game.

Svidler played 7. ...Qd7 as well so he might have some insight. Too bad he is not a commentator.

Jul-22-19  csmath: There is also recent game by Shak as black in the variation so he is well versed in the whole thing.

A Riazantsev vs Mamedyarov, 2017

Jul-22-19  john barleycorn: <csmath: It happens just because people can prepare for him. ...>

yeah, but he prepares against, doesn't he ? It just does not make sense to see an "expert" in a particular opening going bankrupt after a dozen of moves. there is a miracle I can't get.

Jul-22-19  csmath: Well, this is indeed second Grunfeld disaster in a month for MVL. But the last one in Zagreb against Magnus was due to MVL playing inferior and risky move against Carlsen machine.

This time I do not see him doing anything like that, he just got smothered in the opening variation he has been playing for 6-7 years, at least since 2013. Nevertheless, we sort of expected something aggressive and decisive and I think we'll have that tomorrow as well since Shak does not play for draws.

Jul-22-19  john barleycorn: < csmath: Well, this is indeed second Grunfeld disaster in a month for MVL. But the last one in Zagreb against Magnus was due to MVL playing inferior and risky move against Carlsen machine. ...>

<This time I do not see him doing anything like that, he just got smothered in the opening variation ...>

well, well. where is the expertise?

Jul-22-19  ColdSong: I'm afraid MVL has still to think seriously to the Grunfeld.Of course he belongs easily to the top ten so far,but I'm skeptical about better achievements.Now I know it's easy to say it.Wish him fruitful work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: The Grünfeld is a very tricky, complex opening full of pitfalls. Perhaps MVL felt too confident because of his enormous experience with it, and he may have thought Mamedyarov isn't Carlsen, so ... Nevertheless, a bit shocking that he'd suffer such a plain and straight defeat with his favourite weapon.
Jul-22-19  john barleycorn: <Sokrates: The Grünfeld is a very tricky, complex opening full of pitfalls. Perhaps MVL felt too confident because of his enormous experience with it, ...>

<The Grünfeld is a very tricky, complex opening full of pitfalls.>

I would expect an expert like MVL to know that much better than we do.

<Perhaps MVL felt too confident because of his enormous experience with it ...>

Well, that speculation is less than useful ...

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