Radjabov did it!

My man Radjabov won the event! Who would have guessed that (except me of course)? Did he get lucky? Of course he did. Let’s go through his openings.

White (7 wins 7 draws 0 losses):

  • KID/Grünfeld with g3
  • QGD with e3
  • QGD with Nf3
  • Caro Kann Two Knights
  • English Symmetrical with Nf3 and Nc3
  • Italian with d3
  • Grünfeld with Nf3 and Rb1
  • Grünfeld witb Bb5
  • English Symmetrical with Nf3 and Nc3 again
  • Marshall Attack with d3
  • again
  • Semi Tarrasch transposing to QGA
  • Semi Tarrasch transposing to Panow Attack
  • Sicilian Rauzer with Be2

Black (2 wins 11 draws 1 loss):

  • d3-Italian with h6, a6 and Be6
  • Bf4-QGD with Nbd7 and Nh5
  • Catalan mainline with dxc4
  • Nimzo Indian
  • Berlin Defense
  • QGD allowing the Exchange Variation
  • again
  • Sicilian Rossolimo with g6
  • English Mikenas
  • Reversed Dragon with Bc5
  • again
  • again
  • Catalan mainline with dxc4

What I find interesting is that he played the d3-Marshall in a must-win situation and won. That’s actually quite amazing. He got lucky when Ding forced him to play dynamically in the Panow structure. Theoretically important are the two games in the QGD-Exchange against Mamedyarov. That may have had something to do with the fact that they played on the Azeri Team and shared some analysis.

In later rounds he avoided any further discussion, even though Ding clearly gave him the chance to repeat this line.

You can’t blame the guy for playing “solid”, because it is correct. In a game with complete information it is game theory optimal to play the best move, even if it leads to a dull position. If your opponent forgets his analysis or blunders, good for you. Patience is required.