Round 1 summary by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund


Erigaisi chose an extremely sharp variantion in the Catalan and seemed to be well prepared, playing very fast. Gelfand made a terrible mistake, allowing 20…Rxc1, followed by Bxd2 or Qxd2 and Nf3+. This cost him a piece and the game.


Svidler went for the Moscow variation (Bb5+) in the Sicilian. He seemed to be better off, with a strong knight on e4, but after rooks and queens were removed from the board, Mishra had no problems securing a draw.


Grandelius chose the Slav Defence as black, and played the unusual 11…a5. Keymer seemed to be prepared for this, but should perhaps have played 15.f4, to stop black from solving all his problems with 15…e5. When Grandelius found the clever 24…g4, this led to a clearly drawn position with opposite-colored bishops.

Van Foreest-Gukesh

Gukesh also went for the Slav Defence. The players castled in opposite directions, leading to a complicated game. Black soon looked to have the better attacking prospects, and when van Foreest felt that he had to play b4, it did not look good for him. Gukesh was clearly better, but inexact play gave van Foreest a chance to get back in the game. The best alternative for van Foreest might have been to capture on f5 with the queen at move 45. Instead, he played 45.gxf5 and followed up with 46.f4, a move that clearly did not work. After that, Gukesh had no problems winning the game.

Photo: David Llada
Van Foreest – Gukesh round 1.