Three more draws in round 4 Linares

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Three more draws in fourth round LinaresThe standings in Linares remained unchanged after three more, and this time rather uneventful draws in round 4. Alexander Grischuk and Veselin Topalov maintained their shared lead, going into the first rest day.

The 27th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez “Ciudad de Linares" takes place February 12-25 in Linares, Andalucia, Spain. As a result of the financial crisis, the event went back to the (nowadays almost universal) formula of six players, double round-robin.

This year Veselin Topalov (2805), Levon Aronian (2781), Boris Gelfand (2761), Vugar Gashimov (2759), Alexander Grischuk (2736) and Francisco Vallejo Pons (2705) play. The rounds start at 16:00 CET; rest days are on the 17th and the 22nd. The rate of play is 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20, then 20 minutes for the rest of the game, wit 30 seconds increment starting from move 61. The Sofia rules for offering a draw apply in Linares for the first time.

Round 4 report by Rick Goetzee

Topalov and Grischuk still in the lead The patience of chess fans was put to the test at the start of today's round as the opening moves came through with a 15 minute delay. Real addicts were trying to spot the moves on the webcam of the official tournament site. Then the moves came up on the same site and showed that Gelfand had played Qc4 on his first move after which Topalov replied with the strong 1...Bc6.

It later turned out that these moves were indeed played but only on the 9th move. Gashimov had allegedly played 1.d5 with White and it was clear from the webcam that Aronian was struggling to find a good reply to that move. Soon afterwards the technology was back working properly.

Gelfand-Topalov was a Catalan of which the first fifteen moves were copied from game 4 of the World Cup final in December. Like against Ponomariov, Gelfand chose a calm approach in an attempt to squeeze Topalov in the middlegame. It didn't work out as planned as it was in fact Topalov who did the squeezing.


It never amounted to much and the players reached an equal rook endgame. Play had to continue till the time control as draw offers before move 40 are not allowed. On move 40 the draw was agreed. Topalov must be very satisfied with the start of his campaign: three draws with Black and a nice win in his only game as White.


In Grischuk-Vallejo we saw one of the main lines of the 6.Ne5 Slav in which Black sacrifices a piece for three pawns. Grischuk took over an hour for 19.Kc2 and was in serious time trouble from move 25. Rather disappointingly, the game suddenly ended in a repetition of moves. According to GM Jon Speelman White could have run away with his king to g1, win the black b-pawn and push his c-pawn, with winning chances. With only a few minutes left on his clock Grischuk was probably happy to allow the move repetition.


Photos © María José Sánchez Rivera

Gashimov and Aronian played an Anti-Marshall and soon reached a queenless middlegame. Aronian slightly outplayed his opponent and got a better position because of his space advantage and better pieces. This was especially clear after thirty moves, when Speelman commented: 'All black's pieces are better than their white counterparts.' Gashimov had to play accurately in time trouble and proved himself up to the task. After the time control a simply drawn endgame was reached.

Wednesday is a rest day with round 5 scheduled for Thursday 4pm local time.

Games round 4 with brief annotations

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Linares 2010 | Pairings and results

Linares 2010 | Round 4 Standings


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