''I stayed truthful to my tournament strategy……''
Anish' article on GrandPrix 2013 Beijing with video analyses from the official website


Jet-lag and meal…
My last two weeks were well spent in Beijing, where another stage of GrandPrix series took place.

To be very frank I am not a big fan of playing in China, as neither the jet-lag nor the Chinese food make me very happy, yet the playing conditions were pretty fine, mostly thanks to the good air-con and a broad selection of meals in the comfortable New Century Hotel.

As you may have guessed, the weather was quite hot and just one excursion (to the beautiful Forbidden City) was the maximum I could take.

Anyhow, we all came there to play chess, so let's talk about that as well.


Disappointing start
I have had no wins in my first two events of the GP series (not too many losses fortunately, but still), something that definitely bothered me and therefore my primary goal was clear, to play fighting chess and hopefully get some victories, even if that means taking bigger risks than usual.

My start was very disappointing as I have blown up an incredibly deep piece of preparation against Karjakin. Due to my blunder I even lost the game and my shape seemed somewhat doubtful. Yet I was fortunate enough when in round three (after a very short draw with Morozevich with white in round 2), in a very complicated endgame, my opponent Boris Gelfand has overstepped the time limit. I saw this unexpected gift as a reward for playing the dubious Dutch opening and to be very honest considering the outcome of the opening a draw would already be a good enough result.

Video analysis: A. Giri-A. Morozevich (Round 2)

Video analysis: B. Gelfand-A. Giri (Round 3)


Pleasant victory
After this victory I wanted to develop my success, but it was not meant to be as I played the rock solid Peter Leko, who by the way ended up to be the only player who hasn't lost a single game in the tournament.

Video analysis: A. Giri-P. Leko (Round 4)

After a solid draw it was a rest day and I had time enough to prepare against the unpredictable Kamsky.
His Bb5+ in Najdorf came as no surprise and I quickly equalized. Gata Kamsky took a very risky continuation instead of forcing a draw and eventually the pawn that I took stayed with me for no compensation. Till the very end I managed to stay in control and it was a very pleasant victory at the end of the day.

Video analysis: G. Kamsky-A. Giri (Round 5)

My next opponent was Vassily Ivanchuk (who, if you remember, I have played a match with, just a month ago). Unfortunately it was a wrong day to play the genius, as he has just achieved his first victory in a fantastic game with Wang Yue. Indeed Vassily Mikhailovich played well and aft few inaccuracies I ended up worse with white. In his time trouble however I stayed tough and managed to equalize the game.

Video analysis: A. Giri - V. Ivanchuk (Round 6)


Got punished!
I stayed truthful to my tournament strategy when playing another outsider (by this time he was on -3), the creative Chinese player, Wang Hao. Playing a risky opening I provoked an interesting sacrifice, quite daring of my opponent. I unfortunately haven't had a careful look at it, even though my friend, who has shown me this line, did, and soon I ended up on my own, thinking of how to protect my weak king. Being too aggressive I didn't want to enter the endgame where I thought my opponent had no risk of losing and very smoothly I got punished for that.

Video analysis: W. Hao - A. Giri (Round 7)

My game with Grischuk was a comedy of errors at one short moment and for the rest it was an uneventful draw.

Video analysis: A. Giri - A. Grischuk (Round 8)

Still a 50% before the rest day.

The mystery
Preparing against Mamedyarov with black I have repeated nearly all the Grunfeld variations, perhaps except one, which he played. Already a year ago I very neatly refuted the strange variation with Qa4+ and I was very happy with the result of my opening.


Unfortunately, I have mixed up the moves after Shakh attacked my bishop on e6 with Ng5. I very clearly remembered that the reaction should have been to let him take the bishop, with a very paradoxical Rad8! move. After doubting for 15 minutes I decided that nothing is more trustable than a combination of my memory and my engine Houdini, and for the coming hour I was trying to find out what was the point. Not being able to find it I was in a complete shock for all the game.

The mystery resolved when after I arrived home! I found out that I haven't analysed Ng5 in that particular position, since black is nearly better if he plays the logical move. However I have had Ng5 Rad8!! idea if white would have played differently on the previous move, protecting the e4 pawn not with Bd3, but with a dubious Qc4. Having solved this mystery I nevertheless was pretty upset as I was back to -1, a rather unpleasant score.

Video analysis: S. Mamedyarov - A. Giri (Round 9)

The miracle
I do not know what kind of miracle had happened, but one way or the other, the next day it was my opponent Veselin Topalov who did something inexplicable, giving up a whole piece for absolutely no reason and compensation. A gift as it was, I was incredibly happy to win this game, as I have always had difficulties playing the legendary trio Kramnik-Aronian-Topalov (somehow the World Champion and its challenger, Vishy and Magnus have been much kinder to me).

Video analysis: A. Giri - V. Topalov (Round 10)


Happy as I was, when preparing for my last round opponent, the solid Wang Yue, I decided to try and go for the win, even with the black pieces. My preparation went incredibly deep as I have guessed the opening with the absolute precision. Fortunately for me Wang Yue made a slip in the equal ending, where I was a pawn down for a lot of compensation (and still being in my preparation). I have managed to win the pawn back with a better position, but the drawing tendencies were too high and Wang Yue defended very well, leaving me no hope of victory.

Video analysis: W. Yue - A. Giri (Round 11)

The next...
The final 50% score can be considered pretty decent especially considering that I have stumbled quite a few times in this tournament, but it is mostly the fighting chess that I played that gave me the feeling of satisfaction.

The next event is the World Cup in Tromso, where I will have a chance, as the other 127 participants to qualify to the Candidate tournament. Unpredictable as it is, nobody knows what to expect from such event, so for the moment I should start preparing for my first round opponent a talented grandmaster from the Arab Emirates, Salem.

One should also not forget about the well deserved (or undeserved, doesn't matter…) rest and for the coming couple of days that shall be the priority.

Till soon!

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The game annotations and a new article by Anish about this event will appear in next number of New in Chess.
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All pictures and videos are courtesy of official website.