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Round 10: All games drawn, Andreikin maintains lead

All six games in round 10 of the FIDE Grand Prix in Tashkent were drawn, but not without the excitement both on and off the board!

The two most entertaining games of the day, Mamedyarov-Vachier-Lagrave and Giri-Jobava, kept the audience for long time in front of the screens.

As the games finished, the press conferences provided valuable insights into players' thinking process. There were huge disagreements in position evaluations!

In the other games, Caruana escaped from unpleasant position, while Andreikin held Gelfand to remain in the lead with one round to go.

Results and pairings are here, crosstable is here. Visit also the photo gallery and replay the games.

The final round will start one hour earlier at 1 p.m. local time.

Nakamura - Jakovenko

Nakamura - Jakovenko 1/2

In the Lasker Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined Nakamura followed the plan from Topalov-Anand, 2011, which includes a quick e4-break in the center.

Jakovenko improved on black's play with 13...Be6, as recommended by GM Krasenkow.

The minor pieces were quickly exchanged and the position simplified with structural weaknesses balancing each other.

With black pieces moving to counterattack on white king, Nakamura decided to force perpetual check.

Kasimdzhanov - Radjabov

Kasimdzhanov - Radjabov 1/2

On the attempted Taimanov Sicilian, white responded with 5.Nb5, an old favourite of Anatoly Karpov.

Black did everything right in the Hedgehog structure, and later pushed e6-e5, reaching a position that resembled his favourite Sveshnikov Sicilian.

With the dark-squared bishops going off black position looked good. And after he pushed b6-b5, the total equality was secured. Draw agreed on 34th move.

Caruana - Karjakin

Caruana - Karjakin 1/2

After some transpositions in the early stage, the game finally shaped into Gruenfeld Fianchetto, which is not regular in Karjakin's repertoire.

But black played really well and quickly gained counterplay against the backward c3-pawn. After the knights were exchanged it was clear that white's attack is futile.

With better placed pieces black even enjoyed a slight positional advantage.

But white covered his weak spots and the proceeded to build against the black king which ultimately resulted in perpetual check.

Gelfand - Andreikin

Gelfand - Andreikin 1/2

In the Chebanenko Slav the tournament leader employed an early novelty in 8...Qc7. The setup proved its worth as black gradually achieved equality.

With more inspired play in the middlegame, black liquidated into rook ending.

White still had several motives to play for a win and he tried his best, but black defended well and draw was agreed on move 54.

Mamedyarov - Vachier-Lagrave

Mamedyarov - Vachier-Lagrave 1/2

Mamedyarov wanted to avoid the Gruenfeld Indian and Vachier-Lagrave agreed to play the English opening.

The position after move 7 was completely original. And the position after 23...Kh7 was subject of heated discussion during the press conference - both players thought they were better!

Mamedyarov said that he had an extra pawn, while Vachier-Lagrave argued that his bishops pair is very strong.

As the game progressed, white emerged with two extra pawns - connected passers.

But Vachier-Lagrave had a point, as his bishops constantly harassed white pieces and prevented the pawns from advancing.

At some point white lost his advantage and the game ended in a draw.

Giri - Jobava

Giri - Jobava 1/2

The game started as English opening, which after white's 11.e4 took the shape of Labourdonnais Sicilian.

The opening looked good for black, as white never had the time to establish the knight on excellent e3-square.

The position after 24...Bh4 was subject of post-mortem debate. Jobava thought that he had a strong attack, while Giri kept his cool - "I am long way from being checkmated."

The "threat" of moves repetition forced Jobava to go back and regroup his forces. But white was quick to make his own break with 30.Nb4 and 31.c5!.

After some exchanges black was left a pawn short and had to fight for equality.

Giri will feel that he had let the victory slip away as draw was reached on move 69.

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