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Anish Giri dominates Tolstoy Cup, performs at over 3000

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/09/2021

Anish Giri started Tolstoy Cup scoring five consecutive victories on the first day against Gelfand, Alekseenko, Matlakov, Vitiugov and Abdusattorov. He finished day 1 at 5.0/5, with a massive 2.5 points lead over the competition. The Dutch no.1 finished the event with a score of 8.0/9 and 2.5 points ahead of others, maintaining the difference till the very end. He performed at 3003, gained 55.2 Elo rating points, moving from world no.35 to world no.8 in the live rapid ratings list. This was definitely one of the best performance of Giri's career so far, which he even tweeted after the event in his own humorous way by quoting a tweet by his compatriot and protégé Max Warmerdam. Check out some fantastic games by Giri in this article. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Giri delivers his career best

Anish Giri is a fan-favorite, no matter which tournament he plays and where. There is no doubt that Giri has at his best in his career. It became evident as early this year when he got very close to winning Tata Steel 2021 and also Candidates. He missed them both by a whisker. That did not deter him from getting stronger which is now evident to the world as he annihilated his competition at the inaugural Tolstoy Cup. He received a cup manufactured at the Imperial Porcelain Factory specifically for this event.

Champion - Anish Giri 8.0/9 | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Giri performed at 3003 and gained 55.2 Elo rating points

“I enjoyed my performance in Yasnaya Polyana. The result proved somewhat too high because on the second day I definitely did not play at the corresponding level. However, luck sided with me to the extent that nothing could stop. It goes without saying that I am a big fan of Leo Tolstoy’s creative works and I am very happy that this tournament has been organised. I have not been aware that Tolstoy was a chess fan, but my taking part in the sightseeing tour filled this gap. I hope this event will become traditional”, Anish Giri on his triumph and the Tolstoy Cup.

How Anish Giri won the Leo Tolstoy Cup Part I | Unbelievable Opening Prep against Gelfand | Video: ChessBase India

Round 1: Giri - Gelfand: 1-0

Giri's maverick attack caused Gelfand to blunder.

Position after 20...Ke7

20...0-0 or Rb8 would have been fine for Black. However, 20...Ke7 ends the game for Black. Find out the trick which Giri had up his sleeve.

Giri's first over-the-board win over Gelfand since 2016 | Photo:Eteri Kublashvili

Round 2: Alekseenko - Giri: 0-1

Giri avenged his loss against Alekseenko early this year at the Candidates.

Position after 65...Kf4

White can still save the game if he plays 66.Rf8+. However, he made a grave mistake of playing 66.Kh7 and lost the game.

Round 3: Giri - Matlakov: 1-0

Giri has never lost a game against Maxim Matlakov so far and that fact did not change in this event. He arguably had the most beautiful finish in this very game.

Position after 33...Nd7

White has tied all Black's pieces and he is completely winning here. Find out the beautiful finish.

Round 4: Giri - Vitiugov: 1-0

Giri played magnificent in the endgame against Vitiugov.

Position after 34.f5

34.f5 is an excellent move as 34...Rxf5 is met with 35.Rxh6+ followed by Ra1. Black opted for 34...exf5 35.Nf4 Rcc6 36.Rxf6 Bxf6 35.Nxd5 and Giri showcased fantastic technique to convert his advantage into a full point.

Round 5: Abdusattorov - Giri: 0-1

Giri avenged his FIDE World Cup 2021 third round elimination by the Uzbekistan no.2 Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Position after 15...f5

White's mistake 15.Be3 allowed Giri to launch a devastating attack 15...f5. 16.h3 only accentuated it, 16...Bxf3+ 17.gxf3 f4 18.Bd2 Nd4+ 19.Kd3 Rad8 20.Rcd1 Nxf3+ put White in deep trouble.

Anish Giri shows his class at the Leo Tolstoy Cup with 5.0/5 start | Video: ChessBase India

Giri avenged his World Cup loss against his almost mirror image Abdusattorov | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Round 7: Tomashevsky - Giri: 0-1

Evgeny Tomshevsky is yet to beat Giri in any format of the game. The Dutch no.1 made sure that the statistics remained in favor of him.

Position after 18.Qc2

It would have been a very pretty finish if Black played 18...Bxf2+ but he opted for the more orthodox way 18...Nh5 and won the game in another nine moves.

Round 8: Giri - Paravyan: 1-0

GM David Paravyan decided to play Dutch against the Dutch. His knight sacrifice to make things difficult for Giri backfired the Russian.

Position after 26...Ne5

Giri called Paravyan's bluff and took the knight 27.fxe5. Black needed to play 27...Qxf2+ immediately. Instead he opted for 27...c3 and White found a nice defense 28.Nf3. He soon returned the extra knight to protect the king, rid of the passed c-pawn and eventually used his own passed e-pawn to win the game with a beautiful underpromotion.

Final position after 43.e8=N+
Anish Giri wins Leo Tolstoy Cup with 8.0/9 | Moves to world no.8 from 35 on the rapid rating list | Video: ChessBase India

Anish Giri tweeted on one of his best career performance so far

Replay all games of Giri

Photo Gallery

Giri finished 2.5 points ahead of the competition | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

All ten participants of Leo Tolstoy Cup | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Tolstoy Cup playing arena | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

State Leo Tolstoy Museum-Estate in Yasnaya Polyana | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Spectators observing the live analysis of GM Sergey Shipov | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

The tournament was hosted by the Leo Tolstoy Museum-Estate Yasnaya Polyana and the Chess Federation of Russia with the support of the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation.

Replay the live stream

Tolstoy Cup 2021 | Rounds 1-5 | Live commentary by GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko | Video: FIDE
Tolstoy Cup 2021 | Rounds 6-9 | Live commentary by GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko | Video: FIDE

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12GMGiri AnishNED2712Нидерланды8,00,073,5
24GMAbdusattorov NodirbekUZB2542Узбекистан5,50,041,5
39GMGelfand BorisISR2631Израиль5,00,022,5
47GMParavyan DavidRUS2676Россия4,51,041,0
55GMAndreikin DmitryRUS2705Россия4,50,021,5
68GMKorobov AntonUKR2740Украина4,01,012,5
710GMMatlakov MaximRUS2663Россия4,01,012,0
86GMTomashevsky EvgenyRUS2635Россия4,01,002,0
91GMAlekseenko KirillRUS2656Россия3,50,020,5
103GMVitiugov NikitaRUS2619Россия2,00,000,5




Tolstoy Cup

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