FIDE Grand Swiss: 7 Players Lead As Caruana Escapes
McShane settles for a draw with Caruana. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE Grand Swiss: 7 Players Lead As Caruana Escapes

| 42 | Chess Event Coverage

Luke McShane had Fabiano Caruana on the ropes in round five of the FIDE Grand Swiss, but after six hours and 41 minutes, Caruana "did a Magnus" and got away with a draw.

Seven players are now sharing the lead with 4/5.

You can follow the games here as part of our live portal, There's daily coverage by GM Daniel King and IM Anna Rudolf, joined by WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni for interviews, on

The show starts daily at 14:50 local time, which is 15:50 (noon) CEST, 9:50 a.m. Eastern and 6:50 a.m. Pacific.

2019 FIDE Grand Swiss commentary

The day after Magnus Carlsen miraculously escaped from a dead-lost position, it was Caruana's turn to do something very similar. Afterward the American grandmaster revealed that he had been close to resigning more than once in the game.

Typically avoiding heavy theory, McShane played the Four Knights. Caruana followed suit with 4...Bd6!? and an original middlegame ensued with heavy pieces and knights for White vs. bishops for Black.

Caruana sacrificed a pawn, but failed to get compensation. Instead it was McShane who got an overwhelming position, and when he won an exchange, the win seemed close.

McShane 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Luke McShane. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

However, like with Kovalev against Carlsen, McShane was handicapped by being low on time. After the trade of queens he needed to make four more moves to reach move 60. The English GM managed to do it, but then probably gave away the win on move 61.

Caruana 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Caruana had good reason to smile. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The two other players that were going into the round on 3.5 points were Wang Hao and Parham Maghsoodloo. Their game was fascinating as well, starting from the moment when the Chinese player sacrificed an exchange on move 24.

Maghsoodloo responded well and had the better chances for a while, but a key moment was move 45 when both players missed a very strong move for White. Wang said he had seen the idea, but forgot about it.

Wang Hao Maghsoodloo 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Wang and Maghsoodloo after their game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

There were three winners among the top-10 boards, and all three of them joined the four leaders.

Alexander Grischuk won his game against Ivan Cheparinov. The Russian player explained that pushing the d-pawn on move 10 was a strange decision by his opponent.

Grischuk Svidler 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Grischuk and Svidler. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

"After 10…d5 we get sort of a King's Indian reversed with two tempi up; one is I am White instead of Black and second is that it's d6-d5," said Grischuk. 

As a result, Black couldn't get a normal piece setup and he was defending for the rest of the game:

Grischuk was interviewed on the live broadcast.

Grischuk gave a simple reason for playing this tournament, even though he has good chances to qualify for the Candidates' Tournament via the FIDE Grand Prix: He simply liked the tournament last year.

The Russian GM couldn't resist making a reference to Anish Giri's late withdrawal from the tournament: "I decided a long time ago [to participate], as you should," said Grischuk. "Not everyone is allowed first to play and then decide not to play. I am not the special one; I am not the chosen one!"

Grischuk 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Grischuk: "I'm not the chosen one." Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Another Russian player is in the leading pack as well. Vladimir Fedoseev defeated the reigning champion, Radek Wojtaszek, and will be Caruana's next opponent.

Fedoseev Wojtaszek 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Fedoseev vs. Wojtaszek. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

And then there is Alexei Shirov. The 47-year-old Latvian-Spanish grandmaster had lost to Caruana on board one two days earlier, but after a win in round four and another one today he's back in the mix. His endgame play was once again exemplary:

Shirov 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Alexei Shirov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Some big names couldn't beat their lower-rated opponents in this round, such as Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura. The latter drew in just 17 moves against Ioannis Papaioannou, who has the reputation of going for quick draws as White against strong opponents.

Carlsen defeated Surya Ganguly, an opponent he had played for the last time back in 2004 at the Dubai Open, where at 13 the Norwegian scored his final grandmaster norm. 

"For sure, I thought since I beat him 15 years ago I should beat him today as well!" said Carlsen.

The world champ took some risks today. "I am not sure I would recommend this whole 10.a4 business because when you go a2-a4 and g2-g4 there is no good way to castle, and in the Sicilian king safety is very important," he said.

Ganguly Carlsen 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Carlsen-Ganguly. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen said that his opponent played "a little too positionally in the opening." Carlsen got the better chances after throwing in 18.a5 b5, which improved White's king safety and left Black with little counterplay.

It was a "tough fight," said Carlsen. "I think I was always likely to end up ahead there. But yeah, it was another tough game but compared to yesterday it was a walk in the park," he said. 

Carlsen was interviewed on the live broadcast.

With this win, Carlsen's unbeaten streak reached number 95, the same streak Mikhail Tal managed in the early 1970s.

"For sure, I'm thinking about it," Carlsen admitted. "Now it's been so many games that you cannot help to want to get that record, but from the way I'm playing it doesn't seem like that's what I care about. Every game has been so crazy. It was so easy to see yesterday that I was lost and even today it was a very tricky position."

So how did he reach 95? "Quite a bit of luck I think. I think over this 95-game streak I've shown very good resilience in defense in some games, and to be honest in some games I've just been pretty lucky. My opponents have missed some pretty easy wins."

Carlsen 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Carlsen showing his win today on the live broadcast. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen also explained how he had gotten in such a terrible position yesterday.

"He actually reached for the rook, and then I saw: oh oh, Rae1," Carlsen said. "I realized I am just probably lost. It was very unpleasant. He took a couple of more minutes before he actually made the move and I am sitting there thinking: 'I have 1:30 on the clock and I am completely lost; I mean how you can you be so dumb?'

"Then I made a couple of more mistakes because I couldn't really adjust. Then afterwards there were so many good continuations for him but he probably got nervous; then he got low on time and then anything can happen. It was obviously an escape you don't get every day," Carlsen said.

In this round there was the pairing between "master" Peter Leko and "apprentice" Vincent Keymer, Leko's fifth opponent younger than 23. It wasn't surprising that the game ended in a quick draw between the coach and his student. 

Keymer Leko 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Keymer playing his trainer Leko. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

For Ivan Saric, it's been even worse. The Croatian grandmaster has basically been playing the World Youth U16, with five opponents that age or under: Lance Henderson, Keymer, Gukesh D, Raunak Sadhwani and today (a loss against) Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Saric Abdudsattorov 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Saric playing Abdusattorov as Black. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Vishy Anand won convincingly against Axel Bachmann of Paraguay and is now a point behind the leaders.

Finishing with another Indian player but of a new generation, here's Nihal Sarin's quick win vs. Anna Zatonskih:

Nihal showed his game in the live broadcast.

FIDE Grand Swiss | Round 5 Standings

1-7: Wang Hao, Caruana, McShane, Fedoseev, Grischuk, Shirov, Maghsoodloo 4

8-21: Adhiban, Bluebaum, Abdusattorov, Anton, Carlsen, Alekseenko, Vitiugov, Karjakin, Aronian, Gelfand, Akopian, Kryvoruchko, Dreev Lenderman 3.5

(Full standings here.)

FIDE Grand Swiss | Top pairings

Caruana vs. Fedoseev
Maghsoodloo vs. Grischuk
Wang Hao vs. McShane
Carlsen vs. Shirov
Karjakin vs. Kryvoruchko
Aronian vs. Dreev
Vitiugov vs. Bluebaum
Gelfand vs. Adhiban
Alekseenko vs. Akopian
Lenderman vs. Anton
Anand vs. Abdusattorov

(Full pairings here.)

Find the top games of round five for replay here:

Anna Rudolf Daniel King 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss
Commentators Anna Rudolf and Daniel King. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Rakesh Kulkarni contributed to this report.

Previous reports:

More from PeterDoggers
Honorary Grandmaster Title Posthumously Awarded To Sultan Khan

Honorary Grandmaster Title Posthumously Awarded To Sultan Khan

Wei Yi Wins 2024 Tata Steel Chess Masters In Thrilling Tiebreak

Wei Yi Wins 2024 Tata Steel Chess Masters In Thrilling Tiebreak