Ivanchuk, Fedoseev Start Round 4 With Wins
The first day of the FIDE World Cup's fourth round saw two winners. Vassily Ivanchuk beat Anish Giri in a Petroff, and Vladimir Fedoseev refuted a mistake by Maxim Rodshtein brilliantly.
Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Giri in a Petroff. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
In a new playing hall, smaller and on the second floor of the hotel, the World Cup resumed today with 16 players left. It's fairly international company with five from Russia, three from China, and one from Armenia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United States.
Two of the remaining participants are trying to become the first player to win two cups: Levon Aronian and Peter Svidler.
2017 World Cup | Round 4, Day 1
|Svidler (2756)||Bu Xiangzhi (2714)||½-½|
|Vachier-Lagrave (2804)||Grischuk (2788)||½-½|
|Ivanchuk (2727)||Giri (2777)||1-0|
|Dubov (2666)||Aronian (2802)||½-½|
|So (2792)||Jobava (2702)||½-½|
|Rodshtein (2695)||Fedoseev (2731)||0-1|
|Rapport (2675)||Najer (2694)||½-½|
|Wang Hao (2701)||Ding Liren (2771)||½-½|
Eight boards fit perfectly in the new hall, and the floor is "carpet code" compliant. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
Moving to a new hall probably saved some costs, but it also came with a cost. The players' rest area, for getting drinks and snacks, is an ad-hoc area just outside the doors of the hall, and in the same corridor as where spectators enter. Furthermore, a walk to the toilet means even more potential interaction with spectators or hotel guests. Cheating is unlikely, but the possibility to do so has definitely increased.
The smoking area is not outside anymore, but in the hallway to the elevator. Luckily only Jobava and Grischuk smoke; the smell would have been worse if Kramnik and Kuzubov had still been in the tournament.
The path of spectators and players is divided by a rope line. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
A few of today's games were fairly balanced and ended in draws: So-Jobava, Svidler-Bu, Wang-Ding and Dubov-Aronian. That was good news for the players having Black, although Jobava was slightly disappointed as he had an edge in the endgame.
Grischuk sharing some thoughts with So and Jobava after their game. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
The draw in Daniil Dubov vs Levon Aronian had a surprising final phase, at least for the fans watching it with an engine. Couldn't Aronian just take on b2? He could.
Aronian seemed in a good mood after the game. After all, he was Black, so nothing terrible had happened. The smile on his face probably disappeared in his hotel room after he saw the game with a computer. Yes, his game continuation had led to a draw, but another move would have won.
If this was another gamble by Dubov, he has't run out of luck just yet.
Dubov escaped today, that's clear. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
Vladimir Fedoseev has excellent chances to reach the quarterfinals after a beautiful win with the black pieces today vs Maxim Rodshtein, who had three free days in a row due to the Kovalyov incident. He spent them relaxing in the hotel.
In a Catalan/Queen's Indian, Fedoseev decided to exchange some pawns in the center with 9...c5, after which the game became quite interesting. White might have been a bit better, and with 22.f4 Rodshtein played "optimistically," as his opponent put it.
A balanced game, one error and a beautiful refutation. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
22...e5 was perhaps not fully correct, but a practical pawn sacrifice, and especially tricky as it started an initiative in upcoming time trouble for Rodshtein. Some 13 moves later, the young Israeli, who received best wishes from his compatriot Boris Gelfand yesterday before the latter left for the airport, made the decisive mistake with very little time on the clock.
Fedoseev's finale was wonderful and his comment rather straightforward: "It's always good to have the white pieces when you're one point up!"
Fedoseev had a the best start possible in round four. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
Vassily Ivanchuk could enjoy a rest day with his wife after knocking out Kramnik from the World Cup. That might have been relevant while facing the 25-years-younger Anish Giri. The Dutch GM played the Petroff, following the classical Soviet strategy "draw with Black, win with White." Except that he didn't hold the draw.
Somehow both players managed to surprise each other in the opening. First Ivanchuk spent more than half an hour on one move, and then Giri did the same. Eventually this led to a game where the evaluation fluctuated tremendously, and some strange mistakes were made in time trouble. Giri was the last to make a big error.
A topsy-turvy Petroff in the making. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
By far the best game today was played in the high-profile match between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk. The opening might be called Giuoco Pianissimo, but the game was far from pianissimo!
In the early middlegame both players seemed to be playing for a win, and things got very exciting with MVL's Re1-e3-g3 rook switch followed by a sacrifice on g7. Soon, however, the Frechman felt he was lost, but he couldn't see it yet for his opponent. Grischuk couldn't either. But what a battle this was!
MVL likes to start the game, but Grischuk's eyes are on the screen showing the other games! | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
Great fights today. Impressed with: Jobava's solidity; Bu's calculations; Grischuk's guts; Fedoseev's trickery; and Chukky - just Chukky.— Jonathan Tisdall ( @GMjtis) September 12, 2017
Games from TWIC.
The World Cup takes place September 3-27 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Each round consists of two classical games (four in the final), and possibly a rapid and blitz tiebreak on the third day. The total prize fund is $1.6 million, including a first prize of $120,000. The top two finishers will qualify for the 2018 Candidates' Tournament.
Chess.com relays the games at Chess.com/Live. You can watch also live commentary on Chess.com/TV provided by the Chessbrahs, which includes some of the best commentators on the planet: GM Eric Hansen, GM Robin van Kampen, GM Yasser Seirawan and IM Aman Hambleton.
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