FIDE Grand Prix Belgrade Report Day 4: MVL Wins, Takes Lead In Group D
Vachier-Lagrave won his game and takes the lead in Group D. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE Grand Prix Belgrade Report Day 4: MVL Wins, Takes Lead In Group D

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

The fourth round of the FIDE Grand Prix Belgrade saw seven draws and only one win, nearly everything remained at a status quo. This means that GMs Sam Shankland and Dmitry Andreikin remain in the lead in Group A.

In Group B, GM Anish Giri retains his full point lead. In Group C, GMs Vidit Gujrathi and Richard Rapport share the lead, while GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's win in Group D, meant that he breaks the group open and leads by half a point.

How to watch?
You can follow the games of the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix on our Events page. is providing daily commentary on, Twitch, and YouTube. Find all of's live broadcasts at

Group A

After two draws in today's round, Shankland and Andreikin remain in the lead, with GM Etienne Bacrot trailing them by half a point.

In the first game to conclude today, Russians Andreikin and GM Alexander Grischuk faced each other. Despite Andreikin's incentive to win against the struggling Grischuk, and Grischuk's need to win after two losses in the first half of the tournament, the players seemed determined not to hurt each other. In fact, the entire game had been played before more than once. 

In the other game, Shankland had the white piece against Bacrot, in what was easily one of the most interesting games of the round. Black played the Queen's Gambit Accepted but with both players' cooperation, it soon became a complex queenless middlegame.

White seemed to get the better of it but allowed Black to equalize. Black then played a few imprecise moves and then he really got in trouble. Around move 34-36, White definitely missed out on some golden opportunities to take the lead in the group, but once those moments had passed Bacrot confidently steered the game into a drawn endgame. What a battle.

2022 FIDE GP Belgrade
Shankland missed a chance to take the group lead. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Group B

Two very clean draws meant Giri retains his lead over the field.

The game between GM Nikita Vitiugov and GM Pentala Harikrishna saw the players test each other in the Anti-Marshall of the Ruy Lopez. White departed from known theory, amongst other two games by GM Viswanathan Anand, on move 14, but it did not seem to move the needle away from equality, and a draw was agreed upon on move 31, without either playing having held an advantage at any point.

In the encounter between the leader and highest-rated player of the group, Giri, and the lowest-rated player GM Amin Tabatabaei, Giri played the Sicilian and was met by the Rossolimo Variation. Giri played a new idea on move 10 and aside from a single opportunity for White on move 12 to gain a tiny edge, Black seemed to equalize smoothly. Soon after, the players started chopping wood to end up in a dead-drawn rook ending.

2022 FIDE GP Belgrade
Giri (right) keeps the lead in his group. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Group C

Yesterday's win by Rapport against Vidit meant that they shared first place ahead of today's round and with two draws being the outcome today, it change that balance although the players fought hard for the full points.

Today, Rapport defended the black side of a Petroff against GM Vladimir Fedoseev. White played a new idea on move 14 but did not follow up with the most critical, but admittedly somewhat speculative, line on move 16. After that, Black was doing fine, eventually exchanging all the pieces off into a knight and bishop versus two bishops ending where White had an extra pawn but no real winning chances. A solid draw for Rapport. Interestingly, in their encounters in Belgrade, both their games ended in draws whereas Rapport won both games in Berlin in the first leg of the Grand Prix.

2022 FIDE GP Belgrade
Rapport made a solid draw in round 4. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In the last game to finish in today's round, Vidit opted for the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez, something that is surprising me as the most fashionable opening of the event thus far. In a pretty standard line, GM Alexei Shirov chose the rare 10.Nxe4, which is supposed to be mostly harmless, but if you have looked too carefully at it, there will be some obstacles to crawl through.

Vidit managed to do this and equalized. In the rook ending, Shirov tried to present Vidit with some problems to solve, but this too was managed by the resourceful Indian grandmaster.

Group D

Thus far, Group D has only seen draws, so with today's victory Vachier-Lagrave took the lead with two rounds to go.

In his game today, he opted for his usual Najdorf Sicilian against GM Alexandr Predke's 1.e4. Interestingly, after 7.Qf3, the players reached a line that has not previously been seen in MVL's games. Even more surprising was the fact that Predke did not seem to have prepared too carefully either.

On move 10, he opted for Bc4 which is not where the bishop should be in this line, allowing Black to first equalize and then take the initiative. Later in serious time trouble, Predke hallucinated or badly miscalculated the consequences when playing 30.Rxe6. After avoiding a few traps and playing some accurate moves, MVL was two exchanges up and had an easy win. This takes today's game of the day honors: game of the day dejan bojkov

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had good positions in two previous games but was only rewarded with two draws and had undoubtedly hoped to use the white pieces to put a full point on the board against GM Yu Yangyi.

Like Predke yesterday, Yu opted for a Ragozin Variation in the Queen's Gambit Declined but chose a slightly different set-up, which allowed White a small plus. However, after one inaccuracy and one outright mistake, Black actually took over the control of the game. However, one imprecise move by Black allowed White to enter an inferior but holdable endgame—a shame for Yu and lucky for Mamedyarov. 


FIDE GP Belgrade

All Games - Round 4

Previous Coverage:

More from FM chansen64
After Blunder By So In 4th Game, Nakamura Wins The American Cup

After Blunder By So In 4th Game, Nakamura Wins The American Cup

Krush Extends Queenship, Wesley So Defeats Nakamura In Tiebreaker

Krush Extends Queenship, Wesley So Defeats Nakamura In Tiebreaker