Throwback to 2019: Riga Grand Prix

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Let’s take a look at a game from 2019 played by Alexander Grischuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. I will not be looking at the full game, but if you would like to see it you can find it here. Vachier is playing as black while Grischuk is playing as white in this game.

The game begins with 1. d4 Nf6 which is commonly known as the Indian Defense. Black is allowing white to gain center control with the ultimate purpose to completely undermine white’s position on the board. White then plays 2. c4 and the board looks a bit like the beginning of the Queen’s Gambit which is not the Indian Defense. However black responds by playing 2. g6 which turns it into the King’s Indian Defense. Black generally then follows up with Bg7, but that is not the case here. White plays 3. h4 and then Vachier responds by moving c5 which looks to be the Queen’s Gambit. This is different from the King’s Indian Defense as generally black moves the bishop into bishop, but Vachier does not.

By the middle of the game the board state is a complete mess. Grischuk’s king is unprotected and Vachier seems a bit confined to the left side of the board as seen in this picture on the right. It seems that Vachier is in a much stronger position as he has better pawn placement than Grischuck.


Grischuck’s unprotected king is eventually his downfall. Vachier takes advantage of the unprotected king and checks Grischuck repeatedly not allowing him to have any breathing room. If Grischuk had better protection for his king he would have had a better chance in the endgame, but because he did not prepare he ultimately lost.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *