by Tatev Abrahamyan
The Grand Chess Tour finals have kicked off in London drawing a large audience and a number of high profile guests, including Garry Kasparov and Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of DeepMind. The first classical game in the semi-finals didn’t yield any decisive results but both games were very exciting and of high quality. Tomorrow, the second round of classical games will be played before the tournament enters its rapid and blitz phase.
Demis Hassabis made the ceremonial first move in Caruana-Nakamura
Fabiano Caruana returned to London with vengeance shortly after his World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen. He faced his countryman Hikaru Nakamura with the white pieces, giving him the opportunity to seize the advantage. Caruana managed to build up an attack on the kingside – the computers even gave him a big edge. Nakamura found the most precise defensive moves to save his position. The high level game eventually petered out into a draw in a rook endgame.
The pre-game handshake
Levon Aronian repeated an idea he had previously played against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave earlier this year. The Frenchman essayed a different line and soon found himself in an unpleasant position, sacrificing the exchange for two pawns. The resulting position required precision from Aronian in order to create winning chances. The Armenian let the moment pass, allowing the game enter into a drawn endgame.