Aronian and Leko lead after great 4th round in Jermuk

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Jermuk GPAronian and Leko are leading the Jermuk Grand Prix with 3/4 after a great fourth round, in which they both won their White games, against Kamsky and Karjakin respectively. Ivanchuk moved to shared third place thanks to a wonderful attacking game against Alekseev. Full report.

The 5th tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series takes place in Jermuk, Armenia. It's a 14-player round-robin with Aronian, Jakovenko, Leko, Gelfand, Bacrot, Kamsky, Karjakin, Eljanov, Alekseev, Akopian, Ivanchuk, Cheparinov, Inarkiev and Kasimdzhanov. More info on the GP and Jermuk in our preview.

Round 4

The fourth was clearly the best round so far, with three wins and a number of interesting draws. Game of the day was Aronian-Kamsky that started with a very irregular and therefore highly interesting opening: 1.c4 g6 2.e4 e5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 (already a novelty!) and now after 5...exd4 the amazing 6.a3!?. Black's king and surrounding dark squares looked shaky from the start and so credit should go to Kamsky for avoiding a mate, but Aronian finished it off anyway by liquidating to a won ending. Smooth play by the top seed!

Jermuk GP

Aronian explaining his victory with Lilit Mkrtchian next to him



Before that, Leko had scored the first victory of the day, with White against Karjakin. The tournament website suggests that the Hungarian might have been inspired by the arrival of his wife Sofi. In any case, it's clear that Leko is clearly picking the fruits of his broad opening repertoire by now. "The best way of meeting the Petroff is to play 1.d4" is a Shirov quote, if I remember correctly, and it might be the case for Karjakin's Najdorf too! In a Queen's Indian the now Russian GM got into trouble quickly and was looking at a hopeless position around move 23 already.

Jermuk GP

Signing an autograph for a young chess fan... Leko's wife Sofi on the right



Another cool encounter was Ivanchuk-Alekseev in which the Ukrainian beautifully refuted Black's set-up with not one, but two knights on the rim. The knight is a very good defender so leaving both of them that far from the king is playing with fire, as was demonstrated in great style by Ivanchuk.

Tigran Petrosian's live commentary is a bit disappointing (nothing at all around the star move 21.Nd5!) and makes us wondering whether Sergey Shipov's approach of focusing one just one game isn't preferable. Anyway, it seems that 23...Re8 might have been the decisive mistake but the position was very difficult to defend already.

Jermuk GP

Ivanchuk explaining his win with typical gestures



The draw between Bacrot and Eljanov was played out till bare kings and all in all it was quite an instructive Zaitsev Ruy Lopez, starting with the fight for the d5 square, then a rook ending and even a pawn ending to conclude with. Jakovenko and Gelfand was theory for exactly half of the game and soon after Black had equalized, the players went for a repetition.

Akopian couldn't break through Kasimdzhanov's Petroff despite trying hard, which included a pawn sacrifice in return for nice centralization and a silly black knight on b7. Poor Inarkiev spoilt a probably winning position for the third time in a row against Cheparinov. Watching the game live I spotted 36.Qe3! but the Russian must have totally forgottten about his g2 pawn there.

Round 4 games



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Round 4 Standings

Jermuk Grand Prix 2009


Jermuk Grand Prix 2009 | Schedule & results



All photos © Arman Kharakhanyan

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