It seems that the time has come for the opening of suitcases full of thermonuclear preparation. Fresh from the rest day, the players entertainied the numerous online audience with some fresh discoveries, although it seems as though the drab pattern of results (one win, three draws every day) may be more than an imaginary threat.
Judge for yourself
Nakamura - Giri
22…Nc4 23.Bxc4 bxc4 24.f5
It would all be intriguing and exciting, were it not the fact that the players, especially Nakamura, were playing practically instantly. . «It's my opening repertoire», a delighted Evgeny Sveshnikov commented at first. The founding father of the most popular opening variation over the past 25 years was today assisting Sergey Shipov. And Evgeny Ellinovich felt every bit at home as in the labyrinth of his beloved Chelyabinsk Variation. He was able to enliven things with several examples from his own practice, but eventually, the maestro began to get bored. "The trouble is, so far they are still playing with the help of the computer". And, sure enough, the game did not last much longer: 24…с5 25.fxg6 Kxg6 26.Nxf7 Rf8 27.Nd5 Qxb2 28.Ne7 Kg7 29.Nf5 Kg6 30.Ne7 Kg7 31.Nf5 Kg6 32.Ne7 Draw (½ : ½) «What a boring life», – said Sergey – «A theoretical line which is in all the textbooks», – replied the veteran.
Peter Svidler seemed full of determination to open his winning account and played the opening energetically, winning a pawn.
A rare case where the commentators and the computer agree. White can fight for a win. But the Armenian GM disagreed and held the draw comfortably, for which he needed only another ten moves. Draw (½ : ½) Extra-class!
In the game between the two leaders, teh Russian player launched a flank diversion after only nine moves:
9.h2-h4 (!) – Outwardly, Anand was unmoved, but only he knows what was going on inside him at this moment./ The daring white pawn so unnerved Vishy that he settled on reinsurance (10…f7-f5), Sensing his opponent's uncertainty, Sergey played with great energy. The critical moment came at move 18.
18.g2-g3! – A move requiring great courage, as he weakens the long diagonal. But only apparently. Black cannot immediately play d5-d4 and Qd8-d5, nor does 18…Qb6 19.Qe2 work, and other moves are not obvious. Vishy was unable to find a way to punish his opponent and gradually went downhill.
There is no defence against 44.Nxd5 going into a winning pawn endgame. Black resigned (1:0). The Musovite exploited his trumps excellently, particularly his opponent's psychological problems. Sergey is now sole leader on 3/4.
Caruana - Topalov
was enough to see that the second decisive result of the day was not far away. And here Veselin blundered: 37…Qe7? 38.Nxd6 Nxh3 39.Qxh3 Rf6 40.Nc8 Qd8
Time to sign the scoresheet? But now there came the shocking 41.R1b5?? Veselin seized his chance: 41…Rxf2! The commentators had only just been discussing how a player copes with three losses in a row,m and suddenly Veselin saved himself. It seems Fabio gave his opponent a birthday present, as yesterday was Topalov's 41st birthday. Some time later, the darw was agreed. Draw (½ : ½)
Table after 4 rounds
Material: Sergey Kim
CANDIDATES' TOURNAMENT ROUND FOUR: A PRESENT IN THE STUDIO!