"While my tale is not the most fun, neither the most inspirational, such tournaments certainly help one to reflect, analyze and rebound."
Anish on his performance on Grand Prix Paris 2013 with the game annotations.

©Official website
The modest position
The last tournament of the Grand Prix series took place in Paris, Versaille to be more precise, the city, famous for the Chateau, the winter residence of the French Kings and Queens, before the revolution.

Although the first spot in the whole Grand Prix cycle was already taken by ex-world champion Veselin Topalov, there was still some intrigue concerning the second qualification spot, as two of the participants, Caruana and Grischuk still had some chances of taking over the second ranked player-Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Myself, I was enjoying a modest position along the last lines of the ranking and the eventual last place in this tournament didn't affect that unfortunate situation. From the very first round I was full of ambitions and very quickly I got a comfortable game with the black pieces against one of my favourite opponents, Boris Gelfand.

Game analysis: B. Gelfand A. Giri (click arrows to view the annotation)

©Official website
At the bottom!
This unfortunate loss placed me at the bottom of the tournament table and as the fate had it, I never got any higher than that. Although I showed many interesting ideas in the opening and the middlegame, my play lacked stability and already in the fourth round I lost another game due to a simple miscalculation.

Game analysis: P. Dominguez - A. Giri (click arrows to view the annotation)

Although I still had some hopes to come back, my bad shape was clearly visible in the next game as well, when after beautiful regroupement in a Maroczy-like endgame I managed not only to allow counterplay by my tenacious opponent, Etienne Bacrot, but also lose the control entirely and get another zero in the tournament table.

Game analysis: A. Giri E. Bacrot (click arrows to view the annotation)

©Official website

Another problem, adding to my many losses, was that even in the games where I played good I hardly came close to winning. My black games with Ponomariov, Wang Hao and Ivanchuk were very solid, but perhaps it was possible to try and get more out of those games, considering that these great players also weren't enjoying their best times in the city of Versailles.

Versaillles and the second half
Speaking of Versailles, the city is definitely a must visit. The chateau and the garden impress even the most spoilt travellers and unless you are planning to play some bad games of chess, you will certainly have a great day in this little paradise, right next to the city of Paris.

The second half of the tournament I started playing a little more decent, but the situation was already hard to rescue. Missing a unique tactical shot against Fressinet and having Nakamura showing his defensive skills at his best didn't contribute to my overall score.

Fragment: A. Giri L. Fressinet (click arrows to view the annotation)

©Official website

My loss against Grischuk definitely stood out though, as in this game, I really did get outplayed from the beginning till the end.

The tournament was won by Gelfand and Caruana, who were both in their sharpest states of mind and ready to punish their inaccurate opponents. The rise of Fabiano and Gelfand's refusal to fall is definitely to be admired and learnt from.

While my tale is not the most fun, neither the most inspirational, such tournaments certainly help one to reflect, analyze and rebound.

Having a very busy tournament calendar ahead, it remains to be seen, whether the lessons have been learned, but one way or the other, for now, that's definitely what I am very much looking forward to.


Video analyses of Anish' games:

R1 (Gelfand - Giri)      R2 (Ponomariov - Giri)      R3 (Giri - Tomashevsky)      R4 (Dominguez - Giri)

R5 (Giri - Bacrot)      R6 (Hao - Giri)      R7 (Giri - Fressinet)      R8 (Grischuk - Giri)

R9 (Giri - Caruana)      R10 (Ivanchuk - Giri)      R11 (Giri - Nakamura)