Round 2 summary by GM Stellan Brynell

Stellan Brynell
GM Stellan Brynell Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

A very exciting round, all four games had a winner!


Keymer opted for the Ruy Lopez, and Gukesh soon applied some pressure with the white pieces. However, it was not until Keymer allowed 22.Bxh6 that things got real bad for black. In the complications that followed, Gukesh made no mistake and secured the win with exact play.


Svilder made some risky choices in the opening, playing 5…Bf5 and 6…Qc8. This gave Gelfand a chance to dominate the center of the board. After having found a couple of clever moves, Svidler managed to get some counter-play. In time trouble, Gelfand made a serious error when he played 32.Bxe5, which put him in a close to hopeless position. The correct move would have been to exchange the other bishop with 32.Bxd7.

Photo: David Llada.
Gelfand – Svidler round 2.

Mishra-Van Foreest

With the black pieces, Van Foreest opted for an extremely sharp version of the Catalan Defence. He launched an early attack on the king side, which looked very dangerous. Mishra defended well and after some inexact moves from black, he seized the initiative with 24.e4. When Keymer played 25…b5 (the final mistake), Mishra could open up the a-file and bring his rook to a7, after which black was totally lost. Despite some serious time trouble, Mishra found the right moves, and by move 40, it was all over.


Grandelius surprised Erigiasi with an unusual setup in the Najdorf Sicilian, and things soon looked promising. Erigiasi must have missed that after 19…Qb6, he could not play 20.b3, due to loosing material after 20…Qe3+. A desperate rook sacrifice by white kept the game going, but Grandelius kept his cool and managed to simplify into a winning endgame.