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GCT Paris Rapid & Blitz Tournament

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave14.5/27(+11 -9 =7)[games]
Viswanathan Anand15.5/27(+9 -5 =13)[games]
Alexander Grischuk14/27(+8 -7 =12)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi15/27(+10 -7 =10)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda15/27(+11 -8 =8)[games]
Fabiano Caruana14.5/27(+12 -10 =5)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura14.5/27(+10 -8 =9)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov11.5/27(+8 -12 =7)[games]
Daniil Dubov10.5/27(+5 -11 =11)[games]
Anish Giri10/27(+5 -12 =10)[games]
* Chess Event Description
GCT Paris Rapid & Blitz (2019)

The Paris Rapid & Blitz was the third stage of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, a series of eight events in which the world's best players competed for a total prize fund of $1.75 million. The Paris event this year took place in the Head Office of sponsors Vivendi from July 27 to August 1. Seven of the 12 tour regulars, Caruana, Giri, MVL, Nepomniachtchi, Mamedyarov, Anand and Nakamura were joined by event wild cards Grischuk, Duda and Dubov. The rapid part was a 10-player round-robin and featured three rounds each day on the first three days, with a time control of 25 minutes for all moves and a 10-second delay from move 1. The final two days were a blitz double round-robin, with 18 rounds of 5 minutes + 3-second delay. Rapid games counted double, with 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. (1)

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won with 21/27 and collected 13 Grand Chess Tour points (GP):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts GP 1 Vachier-Lagrave *** 11 10 00 200 210 101 21 211 200 21 13 2 Anand 10 *** 11 21 11 111 11 00 100 21 20 10 =3 Grischuk 11 10 *** 21 000 20 201 10 2 11 20 7 =3 Nepomniachtchi 21 00 00 *** 20 211 2 001 11 11 20 7 5 Duda 011 10 211 01 *** 001 10 21 10 201 19 6 6 Caruana 001 100 01 000 210 *** 210 211 111 11 19 5 7 Nakamura 110 10 010 0 11 001 *** 210 211 11 18 4 8 Mamedyarov 00 21 11 210 00 000 001 *** 0 201 15 3 9 Dubov 000 111 0 10 11 100 000 2 *** 110 14 2 10 Giri 011 00 10 10 010 10 10 010 101 *** 12 1

Official site: ChessBase: TWIC:

Previous GCT event 2019: GCT Croatia (2019). Next: GCT St. Louis Rapid & Blitz (2019)

(1) chess24:

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Grischuk vs Nakamura  1-0562019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
2. J K Duda vs Grischuk 1-0282019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA09 Reti Opening
3. D Dubov vs A Giri  ½-½462019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE10 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Nakamura vs Mamedyarov  1-0602019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA04 Reti Opening
5. Anand vs Caruana  ½-½522019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
6. M Vachier-Lagrave vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1352019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzB12 Caro-Kann Defense
7. A Giri vs Anand  0-1632019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
8. Caruana vs J K Duda 1-0452019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzC42 Petrov Defense
9. Nakamura vs Caruana  0-1372019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
10. D Dubov vs M Vachier-Lagrave  0-1622019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA33 English, Symmetrical
11. Anand vs I Nepomniachtchi 1-0392019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzB91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation
12. Grischuk vs Mamedyarov  ½-½252019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA04 Reti Opening
13. J K Duda vs A Giri 1-0542019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzC50 Giuoco Piano
14. Mamedyarov vs M Vachier-Lagrave  0-1412019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE60 King's Indian Defense
15. I Nepomniachtchi vs D Dubov  ½-½392019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA33 English, Symmetrical
16. J K Duda vs Mamedyarov 1-0332019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA13 English
17. I Nepomniachtchi vs A Giri  ½-½322019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. Grischuk vs M Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½392019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE61 King's Indian
19. Caruana vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1632019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzB07 Pirc
20. J K Duda vs Anand  ½-½362019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA13 English
21. Mamedyarov vs A Giri  1-0432019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA45 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Nakamura vs D Dubov  1-0412019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzD33 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
23. Anand vs Nakamura  ½-½192019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
24. D Dubov vs Grischuk  0-1762019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzA06 Reti Opening
25. Grischuk vs Anand  ½-½492019GCT Paris Rapid & BlitzE10 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-31-19  csmath: Giri is still in the cellar, having two wins and three losses in blitz.

Grischuk and MVL had lousy day today. MVL on 50% and Grischuk winning only once while losing 3 games.

Blitz only:

Naka 6.5
Nepo 5.5
Caruana 5.5
Anand 4.5
MVL 4.5
Giri 4
Duda 4
Grischuk 3.5
Dubov 3.5
Shak 3.5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: And the score by the end of round 9 in blitz and 27 games in total:

MVL still first with 17.5, followed by
Nepo and Grischuk both on 15.5, and
Caruana / Anand / Nakamura all on 14.5

Jul-31-19  jphamlore: A good day for Nakamura, except Caruana is having success versus him at <any> time control.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A good day for Nakamura, because in the context of chess history, Carlsen regained his #1 blitz rating from MVL.
Aug-01-19  csmath: So far Nakamura will be losing some rating points, he already lost three games today, to MVL, Anand (in a nice ending), and to Grischuk. MVL lost three games to Caruana, Giri and Nepo so his blitz rating is going down 80+ points, complete free fall.

Caruana is receiving some serious beating today, losing 4 games already in the first 6 rounds. Looks like Magnus Carlsen is safe on #1 rating.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Anand has a hattrick of wins against Caruana, Grischuk and Nakamura. Tied for third spot with three rounds to go.

Not probably gonna challenge the leader, but he's definitely playing like a rejuvenated person on third day of this kind of gruelling event, where he has struggled to win games consistently of late.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <csmath>: with due respect, if I may object, Carlsen wouldn't be a bit worried about who's losing rating points today, as it seems to be the trend of the posts here.

He definitely has a chip on his shoulder about his ratings and rankings but he's the kind of person who gets the required rating points through his games rather than following others' games for going up in the rankings indirectly.

Aug-01-19  csmath: Blitz only:

Naka 10.5
Anand 10.5
Duda 10.5
Nepo 10
Caruana 10
Shak 8
Grischuk 8
Giri 7.5
Dubov 7

Fabiano ended with three wins in the last three rounds and saved himself from a disaster. Duda won the day with 6.5/9, Anand had a good day as well. Nakamura not so, going below 50% for the day. MVL had a complete disaster in blitz, going with -2. Lost a ton of rating points.

Giri left Dubov in blitz cellar but overall Giri is dead last.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Anand gained 10 (rapid), 4.5 & 6 (blitz rounds) points in three days, finishing +1, =0, +3 respectively in these days. Ended up just half a point behind the winner. The last round win against Nepo must have impacted significant prize money earnings for both of them, as Anand jumped from 4th to sole 2nd place.

MVL started the day with seemingly well settled 17.5 points and just scraped enough to finish on 21 to be the sole top rank. He lost 102 rating points though.

Considering how well Anand has done competing with some guys half his age, I guess we can retire the retirement speculation and give him time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Surprisingly, Anand got only one draw each and 4 losses from 6 games against Dubov and Shak, who actually finished close to the bottom overall.

Anand did well against most other players, losing only one other game in the whole tournament to MVL among all other contestants.

A slightly better performance against these two players could have given him even better overall result.

Aug-01-19  jphamlore: Anand is playing for his son's future and therefore had dad strength.
Aug-01-19  botvinnik64: MVL pips Anand (21 1/2 out of 36 to 21 for Anand) to take this event. How does Vishy do it year after year!?!!! He is AMAZING!
Aug-01-19  csmath: Because he never lost a zeal for preparation. He is not sidetracked, he lives in Europe so they don't obsessively bother him which would happen if he were in India. He does nothing outside chess, no politics, no schools (at least nothing that require his effort), etc. He has stable marriage with full support from his wife, regular seconds and so on and so forth.

Chess is his whole life, like Korchnoi. What else he is going to do? Karpov has real business, Kasparov wonders in politics, Kramnik "education" (god help the kids), Grischuk poker (supposedly), Nakamura stock market (supposedly) etc.

How long was Korchnoi in elite curcuit? I think somewhere until early 1990ies. That means into his 60ies. I think Anand can probably do the same.

Aug-01-19  chessfanprag: ... and so many voices and disrespect in past days about Anand... he should retire and similar talk... great performance and congrats to Vishy...
Aug-01-19  csmath: I wouldn't put too much stock on any great performance here.

After all the difference between players (with possible exception of Giri and Dubov) is really small and one or two more blunders (and there were a lot of them) could have turned the final standings upside down. You can see that with individual players. Rapid was somewhat better for judgment but there was only 9 rounds of it so ...

The blitz part is a complete hogwash in my view, nothing worth looking into.

I think we need more classical supertournaments to see the form of players, I don't think one can see that in these circus competitions.

I mean classical chess is a real serious chess, perhaps rapid to some degree but these competitions are nothing more than a chess circus.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <chessfanprag: ... and so many voices and disrespect in past days about Anand... he should retire and similar talk... great performance and congrats to Vishy...>

Man, you really want to twist and misinterpret a completely justified discussion about a player, who has been at the top for ages and now - after the younger Kramnik's retirement - is the oldest player in the elite. There was not a iota of "disrespect" in that discussion, unless you think age is a taboo. In the past decades it has become much tougher to stay in the elite after you have passed 45 or been a long time in the game. Just look at the average age of the top ten.

No-one here disrespects Anand, the nobleman in chess, on the contrary! I have expressed my deep admiration for him numerous times, others have done the same. Age comes to us all, there's no shame in that whatsoever.

What Anand did today bears witness of his enormous talent, a flare once again demonstrating his genius.

Aug-01-19  botvinnik64: So we all agree: Viva Vishy!!!
Aug-01-19  Pedro Fernandez: No doubt that the great "winner" of this tournament was GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 21yo!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <Pedro Fernandez: No doubt that the great "winner" of this tournament was GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 21yo!>

My dear Pedro, dare I ask why so? Because he is 21? Both Tal and Carlsen were around 23, when they became world champions. Because of his result? Being no. 5 of 10? Was it his play? He lost 8 games (if I count correctly). Or you simply find the man sympathetic - I'd acknowledge that without any explanation! :-)

The winner without quotation marks is, of course, MVL, and I congratulate him on this victory, particularly because it may give him a boost of self-confidence, enabling him to get into the candidates and rise to his former glory there.

The winner with q.marks is IMO Vishwanathan Anand, who at 49 managed to become the clear second, only half a point behind the winner and in the company of such strong players in the quicker formats. He also had relatively few losses. Very remarkable, I'd say!

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: MVL needs to get back the form he was in the last world cup. Since then, it has been up and down, but I guess it is how it goes among the elite except for Carlsen. MVL is very sharp, and hopefully few better performance like this could boost him in time for qualifying for the candidates.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Maybe, because Duda beat Grischuk thrice, MVL twice, Caruana and Nepo once each. But his consistency was not there and must have been good experience playing in the grand chess tour nevertheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Maybe, going by the original point system for all formats, Duda finishes joint second along with Grischuk behind Anand, as in the points table above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <How long was Korchnoi in elite curcuit? I think somewhere until early 1990ies. That means into his 60ies. I think Anand can probably do the same.>

Depends on the definition of "elite".

He was 58 at his last top 10 appearance and 68 at his last top 20 one. Interestingly, in between the two he even fell out of top 50 (his lowest ranking between the two lists in question was 73, just two years after his last top 10 appearance).

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Top 20 in the world at the age of 68 still sounds elite to me, you can't expect someone to keep up the rankings at a senior age, but if they had bounced back to the top level again that's impressive.

There are many legends who reached the top but retired not willing to show their longevity, but they are also elite because they achieved something unique and great in their playing says.

Just like how you don't take away the Title norms, you don't over analyze the eliteness of the great players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: While we recall the greatness of magnificent players who remained very strong almost until their death (Lasker, Smyslov and Korchnoi being the most prominent), let it be noted that they were rare exceptions. Let us hope Anand will join this distinguished club, but we shall have to wait until he has reached his 60s in order to make a proper comparison.
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