The FIDE Grand Prix in Jerusalem, organized by World Chess, lived today one of the shortest rounds we remember. The last game of the round finished barely an hour after the start, and the shortest (Sergey Karjakin – Wei Yi finished 8 moves into the game).
Sergey Karjakin made a decision to go for a quick draw that he justified with two reasons: he was tired after the longest tie-break match, and also felt uncomfortable to play the opening without any preparation after rare move 6…g5. “My opponent was very well prepared for the side line which is not very popular and I understood it only over the board. It was played by Anish Giri a few times before and since Wei Yi just played the match against him, he knew the existence of this line and obviously looked at it,” explained Sergei his decision during the post-game interview.
An interesting theoretical discussion in Gruenfeld Defence happened in the game Wesley So vs Ian Nepomniachtchi. Ian has played all correct moves of his home preparation to equalize the position but according to him, he had to make some decisions over the board as he was not sure if he remembered the line correctly. Wesley So preparation was interrupted as his computer went dead on the previous day and the internet was slow. Remembering their previous match against Ian in Fisher Random, he noted it would not be a problem to prepare without a computer in Norway, while it caused certain troubles here.
David Navara chose a line in the Italian Game, where black spends an extra tempo by playing a6-a5. Dmitry Jakovenko didn’t manage to get any advantage out of the opening, traded a few pieces and the draw was agreed on move 18.
In the Exchange French, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was hoping to get a slight advantage due to his pair of bishops versus bishop and knight of his opponent. Dmitry Andreikin ruined his hopes with 18… Ne4. The French grandmaster was about to play 19.Rad1 when he noticed 19…Rf2! with unnecessary troubles for white. After a precise 19.Be4 and followed exchanges, a peace has been signed.