Riga Grand Prix 2019 / Quarter-Finals / Tie-Breaks

by National Life Master Loal Davis



Grischuk played a fairly decent game against Yu; it would have been interesting to see if more resistance could have been made with a more reasonable time control.

The same comment might be made with Mamedyarov’s victory over Duda.  I must say though that Duda hanging his Queen on the last move smacks of the clock.

I’m at a loss as to what to say about the So versus Karjakin game. It’s a disgusting piece of what appears to pass for chess nowadays during fast time controls in a so-called tie-break.

When the Louis Paulsen’s of the world sat for close to an hour “contemplating” a move and/or waiting for an opponent to fall asleep or expire at the board, it became “obvious” that a time control was needed.
They started off with egg timers; little hour glasses filled with salt. Eventually this migrated to mechanical clocks and more recently electronic clocks.  The original purpose was to enhance the game of chess. It has now “evolved” or denigrated to a game of “Slap The Clock”.
When real chess becomes the focus, then “all is well”. When the clock becomes the focus, then real chess suffers.
For what it is worth, I have annotated the So versus Karjakin game; the last game at the bottom of this post.  I probably should have let it “rest”, but it is/was such a disgusting piece of “poo” I felt it was worth pointing out some of what was going on.


The good part of this post is the nice collection of images below by Derrick Bartotto.


[Event “Riga Grand Prix 2019 round 12-tiebreaks”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2019.07.17”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Grischuk, Alexander”]
[Black “Yu, Yangyi”]
[Result “1-0”]
[PlyCount “123”]
[EventDate “2019.07.14”]
[SourceDate “2019.07.17”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Be2 dxc4 8. O-O a6 9. a4 c5 10. d5 exd5 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Nf6 13. Qxd8 Rxd8 14. Bc7 Re8 15. Bxc4 Bg4 16. h3 Rac8 17. Bf4 Be6 18. Bxe6 fxe6 19. a5 Nd5 20. Be5 Red8 21. Rfc1 Nb4 22. Kf1 Nd3 23. Rc2 c4 24. Ke2 Nb4 25. Rd2 Rd5 26. Bc3 Nd3 27. b3 Bb4 28. Bxb4 Nxb4 29. bxc4 Rxc4 30. Ra4 Rdc5 31. Rd8+ Kf7 32. Nd2 Nc6 33. Rxc4 Rxc4 34. Rd7+ Ke8 35. Rxb7 Ra4 36. Rxg7 h5 37. Rg5 Rxa5 38. Rxa5 Nxa5 39. Ne4 Nb7 40. Nf6+ Ke7 41. Nxh5 a5 42. Nf4 a4 43. Kd2 a3 44. Kc2 Nc5 45. f3 Kf7 46. Kb1 e5 47. Ne2 Nd3 48. g3 Nb4 49. Nc3 Kg6 50. h4 Kh5 51. e4 Nc6 52. Nd5 Nd4 53. f4 exf4 54. Nxf4+ Kg4 55. h5 Kg5 56. e5 Nf5 57. e6 Ng7 58. Ka2 Nf5 59. Kxa3 Kf6 60. g4 Ne3 61. h6 Nxg4 62. e7 1-0

Final Position


[Event “Riga Grand Prix 2019 round 13-tiebreaks”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2019.07.17”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Duda, Jan-Krzysztof”]
[Black “Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar”]
[Result “0-1”]
[PlyCount “73”]
[EventDate “2019.07.14”]
[SourceDate “2019.07.17”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. b3 Nf6 4. Bb2 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. Nc3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 c5 8. Rg1 a6 9. g4 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. g5 Nd5 12. Qb1 Nd7 13. Ne4 Qc7 14. Rg4 e5 15. a3 Rfe8 16. Qc2 Bf8 17. h4 Qc6 18. d3 a5 19. a4 Nb4 20. Qc3 Qe6 21. Nfd2 bxa4 22. bxa4 Nb6 23. Nc4 Nxc4 24. dxc4 Rad8 25. Kf1 Bc8 26. Rg3 Bb7 27. f3 Qg6 28. Nf2 h5 29. Rg1 Qc2 30. Bd1 Qf5 31. Kg2 Nd3 32. Be2 e4 33. f4 Nxf4+ 34. exf4 e3+ 35. Bf3 Bxf3+ 36. Kxf3 exf2 37. Qxg7+ 0-1

Final Position



OK – Here We Go ? ? ?

Riga Grand Prix 2019 round 16-tiebreaks
Date “2019.07.17”
White “So, Wesley”
[Black “Karjakin, Sergey

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. Nd5 Bc5 7. O-O d6 8. e3 Re8 9. d4 Bg4 10. dxc5 e4

The position is “maybe” equal.

11. Nc3



White is now flat busted.  Notice a mere 11 moves.

12. Nxe5


Bxd1 13. Nxf7 Qe7 14. Nxd6 cxd6 15. cxd6 Qxd6 16. Rxd1 Qe5

Better is  16… Qb4  with a target. Nevertheless White is still busted with the move actually played.

17. Bd2 Rad8 18. Be1 b6 19. b3 Rd3

19… a6  Again the text is good, but this a6 prepares a good minority attack.

20. Rxd3 exd3 21. Rd1 Rd8 22. Bf1 Qf5

22… Ne4  Probably better than the text, but Black is still well on top.

Analysis Diagram

23. Nd5 Nxd5 24. Rxd3 Kf8

Once again  24… b5  with a good minority attack manufactures some good targets.

25. cxd5 a5 26. Rd4 Qb1 27. Bc3 Qxa2 28. Bc4 Qc2 29. Rf4+ Ke7 30. Bxg7 Rd6

Awful.  (30… Rxd5 31. Bxd5 Qd1+ 32. Kg2 Qxd5+  is crushing.

Analysis Diagram

Notice the weak White Pawn for a target and Black’s Queenside majority.)

31. Bf8+ Kd7 32. Bb5+ Kc7 33. Rc4+  1-0

A sad game. 






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