28 Dec 2008

ELISTA final round

In the frozen North, Elista to be precise, they are hard at it: one of the Grand Prix tournaments is taking place with 14 players taking part.

Grischuk versus Radjabov is the decisive game today, especially now that the third shared leader, Jakovenko, has already drawn.

Position after the Queen exchange on =f8=

As usual, I forgot that the final day starts two hours earlier, so I missed the beginning.

I can see Grischuk crumble before my eyes, and giving the game to Radjabov. He played 29.Be2 instead of a more sensible option such as Bh3 of Bd1.
But the real crux was his initiating the Queen swap on =f8=. Why??
Having it take place on =f3= was much better for White.

Plus of course, the minor detail of time:
Grischuk has 2 minutes for nine moves, Radja has more than one hour left.

However, Grischuk plays like a trooper and is on move 38 with 1 minute left. So far no blunders, but then, Radja isn't pressuring him with challenging moves.

Grischuk had set up so much space, that he could play his King up and down and sideways, seeing that Radja hadn't approached enough to prevent that.

Well done! Safely through the time portal. Eval -1.40, but not hopeless.
Just one Pawn in it and opposite coloured Bishops. So every chance of a draw for Grischuk. I am not taking sides here, but I would have liked a clear winner.
Everything to play for, but it seems like gridlock.
What a wonderful display from Grischuk to get scotfree through the time portal.
I reckon Radja simply didn't challenge him at that vulnerable stage, unlike Carlsen who then comes up with weird and wonderful moves that throw his opponent off more times than not.
Magnus, I miss you. Hope Corus will take place in spite of the credit crunch.
Time Grischuk 1 hr, Radja 2 hrs.

No life left in this game.

They trundle on regardless. Will Radja make Grischuk miss his plane? I have seen him go to move 90 before. Maybe he wants another shot at the time pressure.Or maybe he hopes Grischuk will lose concentration and play g4 too early?

There is a lot more to winning a game than wood-pushing. Maybe Grischuk gets rattled or maybe he will simply throw in the towel out of boredom. I know I would. My boredom threshold is very low.

We shall see.

Time 30 mins vs 2 hours.
Maybe Radja is dreaming up a challenging move to be thrown at Grischuk in 29 minutes' time?

Well, I've just come back from a 3 mile run and they are still playing silly beggars. It actually IS Move 90 now and no chance of anything but a draw.

And they finally give in on move 93.
Pity that this had to end in a draw, but worthy opponents.
So it is a three-way split at the top, which gives Radjabov the overall lead in the Grand Prix so far.

Grand Prix Standings after three events

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