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Grand Swiss Tournament – Fireworks in Riga!

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Grand Swiss Tournament – Fireworks in Riga!

The 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament and the Women’s Grand Swiss are taking place in Riga, the historic capital city in Latvia that continues to delight chess fans. The events run from 25th October to 8th November 2021.

The playing hall of the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament and the Women’s Grand Swiss.
The playing hall of the 2021 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament and the Women’s Grand Swiss.

Alireza Firouzja, the tournament leader, was on board one playing as White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence, MVL quickly got rid of his backward d6-pawn by playing 23…d6-d5 and equalising completely. Eight moves down the road, the game ended with a draw. Firouzja is still in the lead but is now joined by Alexei Shirov and Evgeniy Najer.

Alireza Firouzja, the tournament leader, on board one playing as White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Alireza Firouzja, the tournament leader, on board one playing as White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Alireza Firouzja v Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Four Queens on the board!

Rinat Jumabayev and Volodymyr Onyshchuk on board 37 was another exciting game of the day. The Pirc Defence was played, developing into a sharp position where each side pushed a pawn down the opposite flank. White was ultimately lost, but the ending position saw four queens on the board!

Rinat Jumabayev from Kazakhstan.
Rinat Jumabayev from Kazakhstan.
Rinat Jumabayev v Volodymyr Onyshchuk

Women’s Grand Swiss

Nino Batsiashvili v Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Nino Batsiashvili v Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Nino Batsiashvili on board two had a spectacular victory against former women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. The game went along the Declined Queen’s Gambit, leading to a strategical battle where White built a strong formation in the centre. Nino Batsiashvili set it in motion and then delivered a crushing blow 17.Nh6+ destroying the Black king’s fortress. The former Women’s World Champion was trying to find a way to counter the threats, but it was just not possible. Batiashvili is now on 4/5.

Nino Batsiashvili v Alexandra Kosteniuk

Fair Play Officer at the event - the charming Bojana Bejatovic from North Macedonia.
Fair Play Officer at the event – the charming Bojana Bejatovic from North Macedonia.

All Photo credits – Anna Shtourman and Mark Livshitz.

Links

African chess stars begin their campaign in the Grand Swiss Tournament.

Grand Swiss Tournament – two interesting games.