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Nepomniachtchi, Salem, Svidler Win In Geneva Round 4

Nepomniachtchi, Salem, Svidler Win In Geneva Round 4

In round four Teimour Radjabov maintained his slim lead at the FIDE Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland. The winners of the day were Peter Svidler, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Salem Saleh.

Teimour Radjabov made some remarks about the slightly late arrival of Salem Saleh at the start of round four. | Photo: WorldChess.

On Sunday the top three boards ended in draws, which means that Radjabov's plus two score is still good enough for clear first. Svidler is now among the players on plus one, and his win over Adams removed the English player from that group. Nepomniachtchi is back to 50 percent after beating Hou Yifan, whereas Rapport lost his third game in a row. 

Geneva Grand Prix | Round 4 Results

Bo. No. Fed Name Rtg Pt. Result Pt. Fed Name Rtg No.
1 12 Radjabov 2724 ½ - ½ 2 Harikrishna 2737 8
2 4 Grischuk 2761 2 ½ - ½ 2 Aronian 2809 1
3 2 Mamedyarov 2800 2 ½ - ½ 2 Eljanov 2739 7
4 5 Svidler 2749 1 - 0 2 Adams 2736 9
5 11 Gelfand 2728 ½ - ½ Giri 2775 3
6 10 Li Chao 2735 ½ - ½ Jakovenko 2703 14
7 6 Nepomniachtchi 2742 1 1 - 0 1 Hou Yifan 2666 16
8 17 Riazantsev 2654 1 ½ - ½ 1 Inarkiev 2707 13
9 18 Salem 2638 ½ 1 - 0 ½ Rapport 2694 15

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The few online spectators who left comments alongside World Chess's video broadcast (suddenly, for round four, with commentary by the relatively unknown GM Alexander Volzhin) weren't too happy with what they had paid for.

Ian Nepomniachtchi scored the first win of the day against the only female player in the field, Hou Yifan. The Russian player decided to go for the Anti-Berlin with 4.d3, which is sometimes combined with castling queenside these days.

He had prepared the novelty 10.Na5!? but still called it a "very unbalanced, very unclear position." He was critical of some of his next moves, and made it sound like he bluffed a bit in the early middlegame!

Hou "believed" her opponent, didn't make the most of her chances and got low on time. "At some point I managed to trick her, but I believe White was somewhat better anyway," said the winner.

FIDE Press officer Goran Urosevic interviewed Ian Nepomniachtchi after the game.

Peter Svidler won a nice game against Michael Adams, although Svidler wouldn't be Svidler if he wasn't a bit critical of his own play. After 24.Bxh7 White is just winning, but Svidler admitted that shouldn't have become so sharp and unclear. "That's my conversion technique, we've seen it before."

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Svidler was just winning after he took on h7. | Photo: WorldChess.

Black's problems started with the unfortunate move 16...Qc4, after which White could force a favorable queen trade with 17.Rc1! and "Black is completely discoordinated, so he's actually facing some immediate struggles to even hold the material," said Svidler. "I think Mickey just made a couple of really unfortunate decisions."

FIDE Press officer Goran Urosevic interviewed Peter Svidler after the game.

The most interesting win, and one of the best games of the tournament so far, was Salem Saleh's first victory of the tournament, over Richard Rapport—now the third consecutive loss for the ever-creative Hungarian.

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A disastrous start in Geneva for Rapport. | Photo: WorldChess.

Rapport's opening was typically extravagant, and this time it might have played a role in the problems he faced. "I was surprised, but it was quite a pleasant surprise," Salem said about 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 and some of the moves that followed. He felt he got a better version of some known lines.

The game soon became a tactical mayhem with dozens of forcing variations that needed to be calculated. Salem was up to the task, and managed to come out of the scrimmage with extra material. The technical phase was a bit scary, but also there, the number player of the United Arab Emirates performed adequately.

FIDE Press officer Goran Urosevic interviewed Salem Saleh after the game.

Geneva Grand Prix | Round 4 Standings

Rk. SNo Fed Name Rtg Perf Pts.
1 12 Radjabov, Teimour 2724 2955 3
2-7 1 Aronian, Levon 2809 2819 2,5
2-7 2 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2800 2816 2,5
2-7 4 Grischuk, Alexander 2761 2825 2,5
2-7 5 Svidler, Peter 2749 2814 2,5
2-7 7 Eljanov, Pavel 2739 2821 2,5
2-7 8 Harikrishna, Pentala 2737 2817 2,5
8-13 3 Giri, Anish 2775 2707 2
8-13 6 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2742 2707 2
8-13 9 Adams, Michael 2736 2722 2
8-13 10 Li Chao 2735 2759 2
8-13 11 Gelfand, Boris 2728 2766 2
8-13 14 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2703 2746 2
14-16 13 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2707 2632 1,5
14-16 17 Riazantsev, Alexander 2654 2599 1,5
14-16 18 Salem, Saleh 2638 2627 1,5
17 16 Hou Yifan 2666 2520 1
18 15 Rapport, Richard 2694 2373 0,5

Round five pairings: Mamedyarov-Radjabov, Aronian-Svidler, Eljanov-Grischuk, Harikrishna-Nepomniachtchi, Adams-Li Chao, Jakovenko-Gelfand, Giri-Riazantsev, Inarkiev-Salem, and Hou Yifan-Rapport.

The Geneva Grand Prix takes place 6-15 July in the Hotel Le Richemond in Geneva. The prize fund is €130,000 / $148,520. The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.

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