Sorry, 2700s And 2800s: Vidit, Shirov Lead In IOM
How does a tournament go from 16 perfect scores down to just two in one day?
You can thank some tenacious and resourceful defense from a few underdogs, the top-seeded 1.5 defeating the low-seeded 2.0, and one GM even taking the day off!
When all the tribulations ended on day three of the Chess.com Isle of Man International, only GMs Santosh Vidit and Alexei Shirov came away clean. They both lead with 3.0/3 and consequently will face off in round four.
There was also a tricky result. Van Foreest beat a 2700! But wait, it wasn't GM Jorden van Foreest in his game against GM Hikaru Nakamura, it was little brother Lucas van Foreest who dealt GM Wang Hao his second upset loss.
Today we saw the Van Foreest's through the trees. Brothers Lucas and Jorden (pictured) went 1.5/2 vs. a pair of 2700s.
So what happened to GMs Caruana, Nakamura, et al. on this maddening day? In the case of those two, they both allowed better positions to slip through their fingers.
Fabiano Caruana's misfire was much the more dramatic.
Games via TWIC.
Instead of us taking you through the key moments, why not hear the players themselves? Here's their thoughts on the live show:
GMs Fabiano Caruana (left) and Nils Grandelius are joined by an excited GM Sergei Movsesian in the post-mortem...
...which continued down the hallway on the way to the commentary room.
Nakamura cradled an edge for perhaps the last 50 moves, but the "elder" Van Foreest held a long ending.
Back to the leaders. Vidit played quickly and confidently against yet another young Dutchman, GM Bejamin Bok. Even after the novelty 13...Bb7, Vidit needed only two minutes to play the best move, simply capturing the b-pawn.
GM Benjamin Bok (left) goes into the tank against GM Santosh Vidit after the energetic 5.h4 in the Gruenfeld.
Here's an interview with Vidit after his game:
Whereas Vidit played like a speed demon, the veteran Shirov labored early on. The Latvian spent 20 minutes on his eighth move, only to have his Italian opponent respond with a 43-minute think. Combined, that's more than one hour for one move, or shall we call it a "three-cappucino think"?
GM Alexei Shirov (left) will rise to board one tomorrow.
In the end, GM Sabino Brunello couldn't quite recover from the development lag. Just when it seemed he had, his back rank proved to be an assailable final weakness.
GM Sabino Brunello needed more than two-thirds of an hour just for his eighth move.
Some other 2700s getting back on track today included GMs Michael Adams and Pavel Eljanov who both won. GM Peter Leko ceded his second draw, as GM Jan-Christian Schroeder proved himself worthy against top-flight opposition for the second day in a row.
GM Wesley So also righted himself, beating an FM with relative ease. The most interesting part of his technique? He rode sidesaddle for most of the game.
After yesterday's draw, GM Wesley So cowboyed up by riding sideways in his chair.
The early leaders for the top women's prize (or perhaps even overall placements of course!) are GM Hou Yifan and IM Elisabeth Paehtz. After mentioning her in our round one report, the latter drew yesterday and convincingly defeated a near-2700 today.
This win added to a rough afternoon for the Armenians, who suffered this upset and also two draws by GMs Gabriel Sargissian and Sergei Movsesian, where they were tiny ratings favorites.
Just for completeness, here's that other surprise result from Van Foreest—Lucas that is. You can let us know in the comments which was a bigger shocker. Little brother Lucas beating GM Wang Hao, or rising phenom and Dutch Champion Jorden holding the draw as Black against Nakamura.
IM Lawrence Trent, like Paehtz, is chasing his third GM norm. Here's some of his thoughts after getting back on track with a win today:
The Shirov vs Vidit clash in round four will truly be multi-generational. Shirov (44) is more than twice as old as Vidit (who turns 22 later this month). The year Vidit was born, 1994, was also the year of Shirov's peak ranking, when he rose to number two in the world.
As for Grandelius, his "reward" for holding a draw against Caruana is a matchup with Nakamura in round four. Here's the full pairings list.
Will wearing a Chess.com hoodie to a Chess.com-sponsored tournament get you in the report? Yes it will, Georg Meier.
|1||9||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||2686||3||7,2|
|13||16||GM||Salem, A.R. Saleh||2650||2,5||-0,1|
|15||18||GM||Granda Zuniga, Julio E||2648||2,5||1,1|
|16||21||GM||Howell, David W L||2644||2,5||3,7|
|19||24||GM||Van Foreest, Jorden||2615||2,5||5,9|