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FIDE Grand Prix Baku Tournament

Fabiano Caruana6.5/11(+4 -2 =5)[games]
Boris Gelfand6.5/11(+3 -1 =7)[games]
Sergey Karjakin6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Alexander Grischuk6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Peter Svidler6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Evgeny Tomashevsky6/11(+1 -0 =10)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Teimour Radjabov5.5/11(+1 -1 =9)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5/11(+1 -2 =8)[games]
Rustam Kasimdzhanov5/11(+1 -2 =8)[games]
Dmitry Andreikin4.5/11(+2 -4 =5)[games]
Leinier Dominguez Perez3/11(+0 -5 =6)[games]
* Chess Event Description
FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014)

Played in Baku, Azerbaijan 2-14 October 2014. This was the first tournament in the Grand Prix series 2014-15, the other ones being FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015) and FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015). Each player collected Grand Prix points (GPP) from three of the four events. Official site: Crosstable:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 GPP =1 Caruana * ˝ 1 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 0 1 6˝ 155 =1 Gelfand ˝ * ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ 1 ˝ 6˝ 155 =3 Karjakin 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 6 82 =3 Grischuk 1 0 ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 1 ˝ 1 6 82 =3 Svidler 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 6 82 =3 Tomashevsky ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 6 82 =3 Nakamura ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 1 1 ˝ 6 82 8 Radjabov ˝ 0 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 5˝ 50 =9 Mamedyarov 0 1 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ ˝ 5 35 =9 Kasimdzhanov ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ * 1 ˝ 5 35 11 Andreikin 1 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 * 1 4˝ 20 12 Dominguez 0 ˝ 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 * 3 10

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nakamura vs Svidler ½-½322014FIDE Grand Prix BakuC78 Ruy Lopez
2. Karjakin vs Caruana 0-1372014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Mamedyarov vs Radjabov ½-½312014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA20 English
4. Tomashevsky vs Grischuk ½-½322014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD97 Grunfeld, Russian
5. Gelfand vs D Andreikin 1-0232014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE15 Queen's Indian
6. L Dominguez vs Kasimdzhanov ½-½302014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA15 English
7. Kasimdzhanov vs Radjabov ½-½422014FIDE Grand Prix BakuC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Svidler vs Mamedyarov 1-0362014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. D Andreikin vs Nakamura 0-1482014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA80 Dutch
10. Caruana vs Gelfand ½-½372014FIDE Grand Prix BakuB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. L Dominguez vs Tomashevsky ½-½1002014FIDE Grand Prix BakuC78 Ruy Lopez
12. Grischuk vs Karjakin ½-½472014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE15 Queen's Indian
13. Mamedyarov vs D Andreikin  ½-½362014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Karjakin vs L Dominguez 1-0412014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA07 King's Indian Attack
15. Gelfand vs Grischuk 1-0602014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE17 Queen's Indian
16. Radjabov vs Svidler ½-½312014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
17. Nakamura vs Caruana ½-½502014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Tomashevsky vs Kasimdzhanov  ½-½442014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD85 Grunfeld
19. Caruana vs Mamedyarov 1-0342014FIDE Grand Prix BakuD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
20. D Andreikin vs Radjabov ½-½412014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
21. Kasimdzhanov vs Svidler ½-½452014FIDE Grand Prix BakuC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
22. Grischuk vs Nakamura ½-½482014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE97 King's Indian
23. Tomashevsky vs Karjakin ½-½312014FIDE Grand Prix BakuE00 Queen's Pawn Game
24. L Dominguez vs Gelfand ½-½332014FIDE Grand Prix BakuB33 Sicilian
25. Karjakin vs Kasimdzhanov  ½-½302014FIDE Grand Prix BakuA33 English, Symmetrical
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 25 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-09-14  Lupara: <jphamlore> I don't know what you do for a living but it is high time you give Caruana a call and tell him to get rid of that millstone he has for coach, Chuchelov, and offer up your services.

Your astute knowledge of the classical openings, and keen observations regarding the downfall of hypermodern kingside fianchetto openings will surely be a benefit to someone as young and inexperienced as Caruana.

Maybe you can also share your broad knowledge regarding pawn structures, middle-game strategy, endgame technique, etc.

I am sure you will be a boon to his up-to-now lackluster and failing chess career.

Surely he will not suffer any more embarrassments once you put him on the right track.

Oct-09-14  jphamlore: Time to reassess Caruana vs Carlsen from the Olympiad in the Scandanavian.

Caruana vs Carlsen, 2014

Some seem to think Carlsen is some backwards rube, and Carlsen sometimes seems to want to project that image, but in reality Carlsen is one of the carefully calculating players ever in all aspects of his life and chess career. So how is it that someone who is supposedly not that into opening preparation has employed Kasparov as his trainer for a year and now employs Nielsen? Maybe, just maybe, Carlsen's opening prep is as sound as detailed as anyone else's, especially since Carlsen almost never slips into time trouble.

Follow the game, what has Carlsen done as Black? What he has done is to transpose the position into something resembling a Semi-Slav, but better because he has exchanged his d-pawn for White's center e-pawn and not for the c-pawn in traditional Semi-Slavs.

Then one notices something familiar from Caruana's games playing the Semi-Slav: Black's light-squared bishop has been exchanged for a knight. Observe that Caruana has relatively recently had some complete disasters playing this type of Semi-Slav as Black when White has been able to reserve the bishop pair for a later tactical stroke:

Van Wely vs Caruana, 2013

M Bartel vs Caruana, 2012

Could it possibly be that Carlsen has a little bit of Emanuel Lasker's ability to tailor the game to arrive at positions that are uncomfortable for a particular opponent? Caruana does not seem to view the bishop pair as being that important as he seems to like to exchange off his light-squared bishop in this opening. Perhaps Caruana would not be that skilled using the bishop pair if he were to play White in a similar situation.

And that's exactly what happens in this game between Caruana and Carlsen. Note that van Wely and Bartel were able to keep the bishops in reserve, in particular, shift around their light squared bishop, and wait for the right moment when the pawn structure opens up after exchanges to strike tactically. Carlsen never lets that happen. Caruana's light squared bishop bites on granite at c6 and never gets much into play. The pawn position never opens up for Caruana's bishops to do much, Caruana is never able to push the d-pawn to d5, and eventually it is Black who obtains the passed pawn in the center.

So the supposedly lazy in opening prep Carlsen played a defense in which he had clear positional goals from the beginning and a clear plan on how to play the game. Carlsen then executed this plan as Black and prevented White from executing any of White's ideas.


Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: <do we have a Youth Champ?>

Of course! It's going on right now:

World Junior Championship (2014)

and the other age categories:


Oct-09-14  jphamlore: Sadly no Artemiev at the World Junior Championship. But I see Artemiev has already arrived, yes, he too can get blown off the board in 28 moves playing the Gruenfeld as Black unable to stop White from pushed a passed d-pawn to d6:

M Mchedlishvili vs V Artemiev, 2013

I guess it's better to be beaten sooner than suffer a longer defeat by the same d-pawn pushed to d6 in a different variation of the Gruenfeld:

S Volkov vs V Artemiev, 2013

Oct-10-14  breaker90: <jphamlore> Do you just look for Grunfeld losses and use that to say it's an inferior opening? I can look for QGD losses and claim the same thing.

I bet I can beat you in a game where I'm Black and I play a hypermodern kingside fianchetto. Let's go patzer.

Oct-10-14  jphamlore: A simple question for those who are asserting that openings don't matter: So why bother to defend the Gruenfeld? If openings don't matter then why not encourage the young to play the Queen's Gambit Declined, an opening that will never be refuted and that they can play all of their lives at any level. The Queen's Gambit Declined will be good for the young's chess education and will give them insight into many classic games.

Actually, try defending the Gruenfeld using rational arguments instead of attacking the messenger. Because the more irrationality I get, the more I'm going to use examples from this site to show just how badly the Gruenfeld is performing at top level play. On the other hand, give me a rational argument that teaches some chess and prove me wrong.

Oct-10-14  Pawn Dillinger: Thank you, Lupara! Reading his posts reminds me of listening to some of the over-caffeinated, know-it-all female grad students back in the day. And for the PC police, I'm referring only to the females germane to my college days, not in general.
Oct-10-14  1971: Gruenfeld carries significant risk, there is no debating that.
Oct-10-14  1971: <breaker90> I'll play you anytime.
Oct-10-14  breaker90: <jphamlore> you come off as a arrogant person. Your posts try to debunk acceptable openings. Its not like you're saying the grob is bad, its the grunfeld you're going after!

Some people play openings that suit their style. I personally play the Kings Indian because I like riskier play. My second choice against d4 is actually the semi slav.

Statistically, the hypermodern openings don't do any worse than the QGD.

Oct-10-14  breaker90: <1971> look me up one anytime!
Oct-10-14  Pawn Dillinger: Epic!
Oct-10-14  jphamlore: Look at the comments about this Gruenfeld game from this event:

Tomashevsky vs Kasimdzhanov, 2014

Hint: There aren't any. ZERO. The only person who has discussed this game on this site is apparently none other than me. And I disparaged neither of the players Evgeny Tomashevsky vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov. In fact I pointed out how both could be expected to be well versed in the Gruenfeld with Tomashevsky having been one of Gelfand's seconds in 2012 and having defeated as White Wesley So in World Cup 2013, and Kasimdzhanov a former longtime second for Anand. I can add now that from what I have read apparently Kasimdzhanov is a mad genius in theory when acting as a second who was sometimes annoying Anand with all the crazy ideas he could generate.

And guess what, Kasimdzhanov, who has won a FIDE world championship knockout event, is not in bad shape in the event's standings at this point in time, although admittedly he has yet to play Caruana.

Oct-10-14  1971: <breaker90: Some people play openings that suit their style. I personally play the Kings Indian because I like riskier play

Look me up one anytime!>

Speaking of garbage openings, I dare you to play the Kings Indian on me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The KID will get black crushed.
Oct-10-14  Troller: <jphamlore>

OK. Below stats from 2010 till now in CG database.

<Queen's Gambit Declined>

White wins 7347
Draw 7117
Black wins 4105

White scores 58,73%


White wins 1586
Draw 1682
Black wins 1109

White scores 55,45%

Obviously Black scores significantly better with Grünfeld than QGD, at least in contemporary top chess.


Oct-10-14  fgh: <Troller>: not that I agree with <jphamlore>, but your statistical research is flawed. First of all, your searches include games by all kinds of players, no matter what their ratings are. Looking only at "2700+ vs. 2700+" or "2600+ vs. 2600+" games would be more meaningful. Secondly, at the top level, a single subvariation can render an opening unplayable, even if it scores well in databases.
Oct-10-14  breaker90: <1971> yawn. Will do. Now hurry up and challenge me.
Oct-10-14  Troller: <fgh> I partly agree, but as you well know, it is not possible to filter on ratings when searching the cg database. Even then, the distribution of professional and amateur games in these numbers quite possibly evens out. If you have a database ready (I do not), you can refine the search and check for yourself.

<Secondly, at the top level, a single subvariation can render an opening unplayable, even if it scores well in databases.> This does not apply to these openings, as the searches are not limited to any specific subvariation. That is, unless either QGD or Grünfeld is entirely <unplayable> at top level. But a brief look shows +2700 players employing either side also in 2014, so that cannot be the case. If all top players had abandoned e.g. the Grünfeld in 2012, then there would be a point to this.

Oct-10-14  1971: <breaker90> Dead man walking.

We can play on

Oct-10-14  SirRuthless: I am on FICS if you want to play some bullet or blitz. All comers welcome. My handle there is SirRuthless.
Oct-10-14  Catfriend: <jphamlore> You are aware Carlsen used Gruenfeld quite a few times, aren't you?

To a lesser degree so did Kramnik, Aronian, Karjakin and Nakamura.

Furthermore, Caruana's Gruenfeld results aren't too bad. In particular, he recently employed it to defeat one Andreikin.

Domniguez enjoyed lots of Gruenfeld victories, even during his slumps. So did Topalov, Ivanchuk and Navara,

Another notable practitioner is Grischuk, with recent victories against Kramnik, Kasimdzhanov, Ivanchuk.

Wesley So is all about computer-like play. He plays it all the time.

Just to complete this brief review - Carlsen's embarrassing opening fiasco against Giri was... let's recall... yeah, a Gruenfeld. By the way, Giri is yet another "frequent flyer".

Personally, I also don't like it. But unless you have clear statistical evidence to support you and to counter the fact <every top player> plays it, most of them with some regularity, your claim remains only that. A claim that no strong player agrees with, apparently.

Final remark: <A simple question for those who are asserting that openings don't matter: So why bother to defend the Gruenfeld?> Really? I do hope you're able to spot the huge logical blunder in that one.

Oct-10-14  fgh: Well, Caruana has gone for a Grunfeld against Kasimdzhanov. Brace yourselves for another round of <jphamlore>'s scathing criticism. :P
Oct-10-14  Pulo y Gata: <Oct-10-14 fgh: Well, Caruana has gone for a Grunfeld against Kasimdzhanov. Brace yourselves for another round of <jphamlore>'s scathing criticism. :P>

Gawd. This Caruana guy is pitiless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Why isn't <hamhock> seconding one of these top players, particularly Caruana, for whose choice of openings he displays such contempt? <hamhock> must be a 3000 strength player who is bored with the game, such is his cavalier attitude towards the world number two.
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