Despite having 7.5 out of 8 points after eight rounds and one point ahead of GM Yakubboev, Jobava needed at least a draw in the final ninth round to secure the title. As it turned out Jobava chose to play the Slav Defense and the players entered a variation that is known to be equal, without taking too many risks. In this way, Yakubboev could secure the second place and Jobava the first place.
Below some quotes from the interview:
Congratulations Baadur! Could you share us some thoughts on the game?
Well, we both played solidly all the time and experienced chess players will understand that this is an equal line that ends in a forced draw. Not much more to say. Especially for me this was a good result, since a loss would be a complete disaster today. It was really surprising for me to enter the ninth round with 7.5 out of 8 and still not granted the first prize (laughing)! Very strange…
What is your general impression about this tournament?
It is always a pleasure for me to come back to Emirates and I have played here since the beginning of 2000’s. Since then it’s always been nice to come here because usually I have good results here. I don’t know why, but maybe because the conditions are good and everything here helps you to create good chess. People are trying to help with everything. I really appreciate the organizers and sponsors of this event. In the early years the budget was pretty low, but still a lot of grandmasters were coming. Nowadays the prize fund is much higher and is just rising every year. It’s like a rush between Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, who seem to be trying to compete with the highest prize fund (laughing).
What are your plans to play further on this year?
I was surprised that I received an invitation to play FIDE chess.com Isle of Man Grand Swiss in October, with the winner qualifying for the Candidates Tournament*. It is a tournament where anything is possible: If I am in good shape I normally can do good results.
There will also be the European Team Championships in your home country Georgia in October. Will you play and be a part of the Georgian team?
Yes, I am planning to play but it is going to be tough since the team competitions are starting right after the Isle of Man tournament.
I hope you can score the same good results in Isle of Man.
It is harder to get a VISA than to win that tournament, so let’s see… (laughing).
* In the interview it is said that the winner qualifies for World Cup, which is incorrect. The qualifier will make it directly to the Candidates Tournament where the challenger for next year’s World Championships will be decided.
Below you can watch the complete interview with the winner Jobava and the runner-up Yakubboev.
Below another winning interview by Chessbase India: