Grand Prix: Ivanchuk Joins Gelfand in the Lead
Leinier Dominguez and Vassily Ivanchuk won their games in the fourth round of the Grand Prix in Élancourt (near Paris). Dominguez beat Anish Giri in a rook ending that started as a Bc5 Ruy Lopez. In a Queen's Indian against Laurent Fressinet, Ivanchuk was lucky to survive what was probably a lost position around move 30, and even won in the end. This way the Ukrainian joined Boris Gelfand in the lead. The other games, including the big clash between Grischuk and Caruana, ended in draws. Thursday is a rest day in Élancourt.
***Update: here's Jason Stoneking's video from Paris!***
Most people believe in the advantage of the first move, and the data of millions of chess games show that White simply scores slightly better. Still, the fact that it took four rounds to have a black win in Élancourt didn't mean much. However, even that black win should have been a white win...
Fressinet was well on his way to score his second win in the tournament, as his aggressive middlegame play worked out well. Ivanchuk was basically outplayed, and the players agreed that 30.Qe2! would have been close to winning. In the endgame White was also slightly better, but a series of small mistakes even led to a loss for the Frenchman.
The big game of the round was of course the clash between Grischuk and Caruana as each of them can still qualify for the 2014 Candidates by winning this last GP alone. The game didn't disappoint; in a reversed King's Indian Attack Grischuk played a promising pawn sac and quickly reached a better ending. The Russian GM then gave two pieces for a rook, because he saw he would end up with two extra pawns. At the press concerence it was established that either 39.g4 or 39.g3 would have resulted in a technically winning position for White; in the game Caruana escaped with a draw.
Leinier Dominguez beat Anish Giri in a bit of a strange game. The Dutchman followed his preparation and played the first twenty moves without thinking, but then he must have mixed up the move order or something like that, because instead of 21...Rxe3 his 21...Rb6? could be answered by 22.Rf3! and White suddenly remained a pawn up.
Anish Giri: mixing up moves | Photo © Leslie McAllister
Wang Hao played the Réti against Nakamura and an interesting structure came on the board when White took on e4 with the d-pawn. Play became quite concrete when the Chinese GM sacrificed a pawn, but Black was fine after the accurate 21...a5!.
Ponomariov-Tomashevsky was a Stonewall Dutch where the Russian was a solid as always. Each time a top player handles it like this and gets a relatively easy draw, one wonders why this opening isn't more popular.
Bacrot decided to test Gelfand in "World Championship territory": the 3.Bb5 Sicilian that appeared several times between Anand and Gelfand last year in Moscow. The Frenchman deviated from one of these games on move 14 but his different setup of pieces didn't make much difference and the Israeli GM easily equalized.
Live video with press conferences
Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Results & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 CET||22.09.13||Round 2||15:00 CET||23.09.13|
|Round 3||15:00 CET||24.09.13||Round 4||15:00 CET||25.09.13|
|Round 5||15:00 CET||27.09.13||Round 6||15:00 CET||28.09.13|
|Round 7||15:00 CET||29.09.13||Round 8||15:00 CET||30.09.13|
|Round 9||15:00 CET||02.10.13||Round 10||15:00 CET||03.10.13|
|Round 11||14:00 CET||04.10.13|
Paris Grand Prix 2013 | Round 4 standings