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Sunday, 10 Nov 2019 18:11
FIDE Grand Prix: Dubov squeezes into semi-finals

For the tiebreaks of the second round, the stage of the Kehrwieder theatre was set for two players and a high-ranking visitor.

As Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Grischuk and Jan-Krzysztof Duda qualified through the classical portion of the knockout round, the remaining spot of the semi-final would either go to Daniil Dubov or Peter Svidler based on the results of the tiebreaks played with shorter time control.

Mr. Darion Akins, the Consul General of the United States of America, ceremonially opened the first rapid game between the two Russian grandmasters. Mr. Akins showed a great understanding of the royal game, which he used to play in college. Afterwards, fascinated by the two grandmasters, he stayed for half an hour to follow the moves.

The players repeated the same line from their first classical game until Svidler deviated on move ten by pushing his pawn to b6. Dubov reacted with a rarely played advance of the h-pawn. Svidler reacted perfectly by bringing his queen to h4. The crisis erupted on the 21st move when Dubov allowed an excellent tactical shot by Svidler to force an endgame with a bishop and two pawns against a rook. The older of the two Russian grandmasters pushed for a win, but Dubov was able to save a half-point.



Svidler opened the second encounter with 1.c4, but the game transposed into a sharp line of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Dubov opted for a risky setup that involved weakening his kingside and castling queenside. After both players finished their development, Svidler had the upper hand due to better control over the center. Peter managed to win a pawn, but Dubov, who was playing much faster, started to bother the white king on f2.

Svidler was controlling the course of the game. He exchanged pieces and even threatened mate in one with his queen. Dubov parried the mate and Svidler could have gone for a second pawn. Instead, he preferred to continue the attack, but Dubov found a tactical way to complicate matters. The players reached a queen and rook endgame with White being a pawn up. Svidler had a weak king and Dubov created enough counterplay to hold the balance. In the end, it was a question of nerves. The game turned in favor of Svidler, but in severe time trouble, he allowed a perpetual after having a winning position for several moves.

After starting the day with two draws, the tiebreak rules required two further rapid games with a time control of 10 minutes + 10 seconds per move.

Svidler avoided theory by playing a rare line of the Queen's Pawn Opening but soon found himself in a worse position. After finishing his development, Dubov was in total control of the game. He won a central pawn and was ahead on the clock with four minutes against three minutes. Daniil forced a rook endgame that was winning due to his four vs two pawn majority on the queenside. White could not salvage his position and soon threw in the towel.

In a must-win-situation, Svidler chose the Dutch Defense with Black. Dubov offered the chance to simplify the position in the opening, but this was not Svidler's intention. Instead, he undertook some risky maneuvers. but did not get closer to achieving his goal. Dubov was on the verge of winning this game as well but offered a draw after 18 moves that Svidler accepted.



Round 2, tiebreak results:

Daniil Dubov - Peter Svidler 2,5-1,5

The pairings for the semi-finals:

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Alexander Grischuk
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Daniil Dubov

Time control tiebreak: 

25‘+10‘‘ in the first two games. The next game will always start ten minutes after the end of the session. If the scores are level after the match (i.e. the overall result is 1:1), the colors are drawn for the first game of the next match immediately after the game. The match will continue with two games 10‘+10‘‘ if needed. Further stages will be two games 5‘+3‘‘ and finally a sudden death game 5‘ against 4‘ with 2‘‘ increment from move 61, if needed. The player who draws white for the armageddon game immediately chooses his color. 

Official website and LIVE broadcast: https://worldchess.com

FIDE Press officer for the event: Georgios Souleidis

Official Photographer: Valeria Gordienko

World Chess contact: media@worldchess.com

Photos are available for the press from the following link to Dropbox.

Leading partners supporting the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series 2019 include:
 
Algorand as the Exclusive Blockchain Partner
PhosAgro as the Official Strategic Partner
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner
Pella Sietas Shipyard as Official Partner
Prytek as the Technology Transfer Partner