1 March 2017

No Forgiving Quick Draws by Caissa

Maria Emeljanova’s picture report from the FIDE Grand Prix leg in Sharjah.

The midline of the FIDE Grand Prix series tournament in Sharjah has brought a lot of quick and explicable draws. Firstly, it is owing to the series having no-draw rules to bind players to go on fighting, like, for example, in the Gibraltar Open, where a 30-move rule is in force. Secondly, results of the first of a four-tournament series, by and large, bring no clarity whatsoever into the overall standings. With the Candidates Tournament participants determined in the two final legs, grandmasters willingly agree to draws. Francisco Vallejo, for one, admitted to not minding the enforcement of the Sofia rules, which otherwise creates too strong a temptation to play as “solid” chess as possible. Starting with round 5, the top three or four table players would happily shake hands following something like an hour of making move one so that the penultimate round was not expected to break this pattern... An “idyllic” picture was marred by Alexander Grischuk via exploiting Mamedyarov's opening inaccuracies. But first things first.