Sergio Paneque

Sergio Paneque

Caruana and Gelfand win on the opening day of the Baku Grand Prix

The first round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku saw two decisive games and four draws. Fabiano Caruana continued his rise by beating Sergey Karjakin on the black side of a Queen's Gambit where he was initially worse as he was surprised in the opening. Karjakin lost time watching an out of date electronic board and collapsed in time trouble at the end. Boris Gelfand destroyed Dmitry Andreikin's pet line in the Queen's Indian having waited several years to demonstrate the most critical line.

Nakamura vs Svidler, Tomashevsky vs Grischuk and Dominguez Perez vs Kasimdzhanov were all draw but not without adventures. Friends and home participants Mamedyarov and Radjabov just drew. Detailed report below.

Round 1 Standings: 1-2 Caruana, Gelfand 1pt 3-10 Grischuk, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Dominguez Perez, Svidler, Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov and Tomashevsky 0.5pts 11-12 Karjakin, Andreikin 0pts

Round 2 Pairings: Kasimdzhanov-Radjabov, Svidler-Mamedyarov, Andreikin-Nakamura, Caruana-Gelfand, Grischuk-Karjakin, Dominguez-Tomashevsky

The four tournament FIDE Grand Prix series for 2014-15 opened with in Baku today. The venue, the Cultural Event Center has a chess history having previously hosted the Soviet Championships of 1961 (won by Spassky) and 1972 (Tal). The other Grand Prix are in Tashkent 20th Oct to 3rd Nov 2014, Tehran 14th to 28th Feb 2015 and Moscow 13th to 27th May 2015. Each player will play three of the four events with all their results counting. The top two will qualify for the Candidates.

The first winner of the event was Boris Gelfand who destroyed Dmitry Andreikin's pet line 5...c5 in the Queen's Indian. Gelfand called it dubious after having studied a game he drew against the late Vugar Gashimov. Gelfand's 7.cxd5 came as a surprise to Andreikin and he quickly developed a huge advantage on the board and the clock. 9...d6 was an attempt to hold on and 11...g6 looked fairly desperate. Gelfand took his time from then on determined not to let his advantage go. 17.Nd5 moved in for the kill, and Gelfand was certain he was winning after 17...Rf8 with 18.e5 de 19.f5 ripping open black's position for a quick kill.

Gelfand,Boris - Andreikin,Dmitry [E15]
Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014 Baku AZE (1.4), 02.10.2014

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5?!

Andreikin along with Gashimov brought this into practice.

6.d5 exd5 7.cxd5!

Dmitry Andreikin

r n _ q k b _ r
p b _ p _ p p p
_ p _ _ _ n _ _
_ _ p P _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ N P _
P P _ _ P P B P
R N B Q K _ _ R

Boris Gelfand

Position after 7.cxd5

rn1qkb1r/pb1p1ppp/1p3n2/2pP4/8/5NP1/PP2PPBP/RNBQK2R b KQkq - 0 7

Leads to a big advantage for white according to Gelfand. He studied this after his game against Gashimov.

[7.Nh4 g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Bg5 0-0 10.Qd2 Qe8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 Nc6 14.Nf3 Rb8 15.Rc1 Nb4 16.b3 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Qe6 18.Rd1 b5 19.cxb5 Rxb5 20.0-0 Qxe2 21.Rd2 Qe6 22.Qxd7 Qxd7 23.Rxd7 Ra5 24.Rd2 c4 25.bxc4 ½-½ Gelfand,B (2739)-Gashimov,V (2761) Wijk aan Zee NED 2012]

7...Bxd5 8.Nc3 Bc6 9.e4

[Relevant: 9.0-0 Be7 10.e4 Nxe4 11.Nd5 0-0 12.Re1 f5 13.Bf4 d6 14.Qb3 Kh8 15.Rad1 Bxd5 16.Qxd5 Na6 17.Nd2 Nb4 18.Qe6 Rf6 19.Qb3 Qg8 20.Nxe4 fxe4 21.Rxe4 Re8 22.Rde1 Qf8 23.R4e2 d5 24.Bxd5 Nxd5 25.Qxd5 Rd8 26.Qc4 Rf7 27.Qa4 h6 28.Qxa7 Bg5 29.Qa4 Rd4 30.Qc6 Rf6 31.Qb7 Kh7 32.Be5 Rf7 33.Qxb6 Rd2 34.f4 Rxe2 35.Rxe2 Qa8 36.Qb3 1-0 (36) Tomashevsky,E (2695)-Iturrizaga Bonelli,E (2653) Dubai 2014]


Black agrees it's very bad for him.


"I remember 0-0 was good enough." Gelfand.

10...Be7 11.Nh4 g6N

Dmitry Andreikin

r n _ q k _ _ r
p _ _ _ b p _ p
_ p b p _ n p _
_ _ p _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ P _ _ N
_ _ N _ _ _ P _
P P _ _ _ P B P
R _ B Q _ R K _

Boris Gelfand

Position after 11...g6

rn1qk2r/p3bp1p/1pbp1np1/2p5/4P2N/2N3P1/PP3PBP/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 0 12

"It's a very big choice after it" Gelfand on g6.

[Predecessor (4): 11...0-0 12.Nf5 Re8 13.Bf4 Bf8 14.Re1 Nbd7 15.Nxd6 Bxd6 16.Bxd6 Ne5 17.Bxe5 Rxe5 18.Qxd8+ Rxd8 19.Rad1 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 g5 21.f4 gxf4 22.gxf4 Re8 23.e5 Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Nh5 25.Kf3 Kf8 26.Ne4 Ng7 27.Nf6 Rc8 28.Nxh7+ Ke7 29.Nf6 Nf5 30.Ke4 Ke6 31.h4 c4 32.Nd5 b5 33.h5 Ng3+ 34.Kf3 Nxh5 35.Ne3 Ng7 36.Rd6+ Ke7 37.f5 Ne8 38.Rd4 Rd8 39.Ke4 Rxd4+ 40.Kxd4 a6 1-0 (40) Sargissian,G (2666)-Socko,B (2631) Warsaw 2012]


[12.Bg5 h6]

12...Bf8 13.Bxf8

[13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 and Gelfand says if he can't find something straight away he may lose his advantage.; 13.Qd2 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Nbd7]

13...Kxf8 14.Qd2 Ne8

[14...Kg7 15.Rad1 Qe7 16.Qxd6 Qxd6 17.Rxd6 Rc8]

15.Rad1 Kg7 16.f4 Qc8 17.Nd5

Dmitry Andreikin

r n q _ n _ _ r
p _ _ _ _ p k p
_ p b p _ _ p _
_ _ p N _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ P P _ N
_ _ _ _ _ _ P _
P P _ Q _ _ B P
_ _ _ R _ R K _

Boris Gelfand

Position after 17.Nd5

rnq1n2r/p4pkp/1pbp2p1/2pN4/4PP1N/6P1/PP1Q2BP/3R1RK1 b - - 0 17

Nd5 is winning. All moves are probably good. Gelfand.


After Rf8 it's definitely lost. Gelfand.


18.e5 dxe5 19.f5 Qd8

[19...f6 20.fxg6 hxg6 21.Nxg6 Bxd5 (21...Kxg6 22.Ne7+ Kg7 23.Nxc8) 22.Ne7 Bxg2 23.Nxc8 Bxf1 24.Kxf1 Nc7 25.Qe2 Ne6 26.Qg4+ Ng5 27.h4 Nc6 28.Rd7+ Kg6 29.h5+ Kh6 30.Qf5 Ne7 31.Rxe7 Rg8 32.g4 Nf7 33.Qxf6+]

20.f6+ Nxf6 21.Nf5+

Dmitry Andreikin

r n _ q _ r _ _
p _ _ _ _ p k p
_ p b _ _ n p _
_ _ p N p N _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ P _
P P _ Q _ _ B P
_ _ _ R _ R K _

Boris Gelfand

Position after 21.Nf5+

rn1q1r2/p4pkp/1pb2np1/2pNpN2/8/6P1/PP1Q2BP/3R1RK1 b - - 0 21

21... Kh8 22.Qh6 Rg8 23.Nxf6

[23.Nxf6 Qxf6 24.Nd6 and it's all over as f7 drops with check.]


Fabiano Caruana had a much less comfortable time after being surprised in the Queen's Gambit Bf4 variation with 12.Ne2 by Sergey Karjakin. 13.Qb3 Qb6 14.Qc2 misplaced white's queen and Caruana was unhappy with 15.Rfe8 after which he thought he was definitely worse. Karjakin mentioned a curious tale of how he went to the players' rest area, watch the game on screen and found that the board wasn't up to date and he estimated he lost 15 minutes that turned out to be important later on. Caruana thought he was definitely worse until white had to sacrifice the exchange on move 32. The position was then unclear and with Karjakin now in quite bad time pressure and blundered horribly with 35.a4? (35.Rxd8 was necessary) 35...Rxd5 36.Qxd5 Rc2! Caruana's rise in the ratings continues.

The rest of the games were drawn. Hikaru Nakamura walked right into a line of the Ruy Lopez that Peter Svidler has just produced a video series on and Svidler indeed probably should have been able to press for a win but the game trailed out to a draw.

Leinier Dominguez Perez was struggling out of the opening against a well prepared Rustam Kasimdzhanov but took the position off him at the cost of his clock. Dominguez missed an immediate win 26.Ne7+ and on move 30 the players agreed a draw with Dominguez down to a minute and Kasimdzhanov 2.5 minutes.

I understand this will be the last of the Grand Prix without an increment. I prefer without until move 60 here and think this is the best and most "adult" time control but the players prefer increment every move and FIDE have listened. A question I don't know the answer to is how Aronian plans to qualify for the next Candidates. The previous series you had to play either the Grand Prix series or World Cup or both. Aronian isn't in this series and the World Cup will be in Baku too which whilst it's not impossible for an Armenian to play there it's at the very least problematic. I'm looking for the 2014-16 regulations but haven't found them yet.

Home participants Shahriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov are friends and clearly didn't want to damage each other's prospects so early and cleared most of the pieces off the board by move 30 and drew.

Baku FIDE Grand Prix 2014 Baku AZE (AZE), 2-15 x 2014cat. XXI (2752)
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2844 * . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1  
2. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2748 . * . . . . . . . . . 1 1  
3. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2797 . . * . . . . . . ½ . . ½ 2701
4. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2764 . . . * . . ½ . . . . . ½ 2732
5. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2764 . . . . * . . ½ . . . . ½ 2726
6. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2751 . . . . . * . . ½ . . . ½ 2706
7. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2732 . . . ½ . . * . . . . . ½ 2764
8. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2726 . . . . ½ . . * . . . . ½ 2764
9. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2706 . . . . . ½ . . * . . . ½ 2751
10. Tomashevsky, Evgeny g RUS 2701 . . ½ . . . . . . * . . ½ 2797
11. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2767 0 . . . . . . . . . * . 0  
12. Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2722 . 0 . . . . . . . . . * 0  
Round 1 (October 2, 2014)
Gelfand, Boris - Andreikin, Dmitry 1-0 23 E15 Queens Indian
Nakamura, Hikaru - Svidler, Peter ½-½ 32 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ 31 A20 English Opening
Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½ 30 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto
Tomashevsky, Evgeny - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 32 D97 Gruenfeld Russian
Karjakin, Sergey - Caruana, Fabiano 0-1 37 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
  • Published in Sports

"Authentic Cuba" tourism campaign extended across Russia

From Monday, the tourism campaign “Authentic Cuba” will promote the holiday resorts on the island in the east central region of Russia -- an untapped market, according to Edilberto Riverón, the representative of the ministry of tourism (MINTUR) in Russia.

The official told the Prensa Latina news agency that this outreach strategy has been focused on the west, especially Moscow and St Petersburg, but will now also extend to the northern and eastern areas, where some of the most populous and most economically developed cities are concentrated, such as Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan and Samara.

This announcement was made in the context of the Cuban Night at the International Fair Obdij 2014, an event that brings to the biggest Moscow hotels over 1,000 exhibitors from around the world to negotiate accommodations during the winter season, when the Russian travelers tend to plan their holidays abroad.

Odij granted an opportunity to the MINTUR promotional campaign, in which companies such as Barceló, Sol Meliá, Memory DIMMs and Havanatur participated and which in 2015 is expected to reach even more remote areas such as Oms, the Urals, Yekaterinburg, Ufa and Volgograd.

Culinary, mixology and musical and dance traditions of the Caribbean nation are some of strengths in this marketing strategy, supported by advertising spots. Russia is currently the tenth largest source of tourists to the island, but since the Authentic Cuba began in 2011 the number of travelers has increased, and in July 2014 had grown by 25% over the same quarter of 2013, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics and Information.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba will Face El Salvador in Futsal

Havana team will represent Cuba in the first North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCACAF) Futsal Champions Clubs, which began yesterday in Guatemala.

The Cuban squad, coached by Clemente Reynoso, will debut today in Group A against the club El Salvador National University (UES), while tomorrow they will face the host Glucosoral.

The event, based in Guatemala City Sports Dome, will include six teams of the region, divided in two groups. Borussia from Costa Rica, Mexico’s Sidekicks and Canadian Toronto FC appear in Poole B.

The Cuban team was made up by the best players in the recently concluded national championship, held in Las Tunas province, which was won by Granma.

The side includes several men with World Cup experience as the goalkeeper Wilfredo Carbo, the defender Ronald Egozcue, winger Jhonet Martinez and the pivot Itsven Rom?n.

The rest of the players are Daniel Hernandez, Denis M?rquez, Fernando Chapman, Alejandro Marrero and Luis Jerez.

According to the competitive schedule, the top two teams of each group will fight for the tournament scepter next Sunday.

  • Published in Sports

Cuba dominates Nicaragua

Led by opposite Osniel Rendon, Cuba beat 3-0 Nicaragua 25-6, 25-11, 25-10 to secure first place in Pool C at NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental Championship.


Rendon scored 15 points leading Cuba’s offense that included 34 spikes, eight blocks and eight aces. Nicaragua couldn’t play against the tall and talented Cuba. Roberto Espinoza got six points for Nicaragua.


Cuba (3-0) secured one of the two spots in the semifinals with a better point-ratio (1.710) than Barbados (1.120), who is idle on Thursday and finished with a 2-0 record in Pool A.




Ricardo Calvo, Cuba’s Captain: "We knew it wouldn’t be complicated and we went with a lot of confidence. Some changes were made. We played well and ended as expected.”


Pavel Pimienta, Coach of Cuba: "I think we met the goal of finishing first in the group and go directly to the semifinals. With the difference of points I think we will rest tomorrow and play the semifinals on Saturday. We made a few mistakes, but we should not commit those in this game."


Bryan Orozco, Nicaragua’s Captain: “We were in a tough group and our goal was to get the experience and improve. What I learned here I hope to take it with me to Nicaragua and be better in the next tournament.”


Osman Hernández, Nicaragua’s Coach: “The important thing is that the players got the experience and tried to improve. Six players from this group will go to the Central American U23 Championship and hope they raise the level.”

  • Published in Sports
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