Zurich R4: Carlsen Wins Again, Anand & Aronian Also Score

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 2/2/14, 11:49 AM.

Magnus Carlsen also defeated Fabiano Caruana on Sunday and so the World Champion reached the splendid score of 3.5/4, or rather 7.0/4 as in Zurich the players get two points for a win and one for a draw. Vishy Anand scored his first victory of the tournament against Boris Gelfand, while Hikaru Nakamura suffered his second loss in a row at the hands of Levon Aronian.

Today must have been a special day for Levon Aronian. Main sponsor Oleg Skvortsov has invited many special guests to his tournament, but today a very special guest came to the Savoy Hotel to watch the round: French/Armenian singer (and songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat, as Wikipedia adds) Charles Aznavour. No introduction needed, so instead here's a video of the concert Aznavour gave on his 80th birthday, on 22 May 2004:

Born in Paris (to Armenian immigrants) as Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian, the 89-year-old legend chatted with Aronian before the round, played 1.Nf3 for his chess friend and then took a seat in the first row to watch the games of round 4. Having Nick Schilder at Tata was nice, but this was simply extraordinary!

Aznavour chatting with Aronian...
...making the first move...
...and then watching the games

Aznavour saw Aronian win a fine game against Hikaru Nakamura. The world #2 decided to play a line in the Fianchetto King's Indian which he had looked at long ago. “The line doesn't offer White much but Black has to play very precisely,” said Aronian. White had two pawn islands against three for Black, and more active pieces. Soon he got a passer on a6 and with it a winning position.

It seemed that Nakamura hadn't fully recovered yet from the drama the other day when he said: “Somehow I felt I could play any move and I would lose today.”

The round saw three winners, and one of them was Vishy Anand. The Indian hadn't won a classical game since his game with Alexander Morozevich at the Tal Memorial (though it must be noted that after that event he only played the match with Carlsen.) While keeping objectivity, it's good to see Anand back to playing the chess he's capable of!

In a Slav with 4...Bg4, the middlegame was quite sharp due to opposite castling. Gelfand might have missed a chance on move 22, when he could push his e-pawn. Instead, he employed a dubious knight maneuver which gave Black the opportunity to grab the initiative. Anand won the ensuing ending with heavy pieces remarkably quickly - he was surprised about it himself as  well.

Magnus Carlsen won another entertaining game with the white pieces today. He defeated Fabiano Caruana in an opening that's not always leading to such interesting play: the trendy Berlin Ruy Lopez with 4.d3 and 5.Bxc6. Caruana's queenside castling was slightly risky, and with a strong positional exchange sacrifice the World Champion got a position where he could play for two results.

“It was a fun game. After the opening I was attacking and it was really difficult for him to defend and that's why he collapsed in the end. It wasn't that spectacular and my moves were suggesting themselves, but that doesn't mean it's easy to defend,” said Carlsen.

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Results & pairings

Round 1 30 January 15:00 CET Round 2 31 January 15:00 CET
Carlsen 1-0 Gelfand Gelfand ½-½ Caruana
Aronian 1-0 Anand Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana Carlsen ½-½ Aronian
Round 3 1 February 15:00 CET Round 4 2 February 15:00 CET
Aronian ½-½ Gelfand Gelfand 0-1 Anand
Nakamura 0-1 Carlsen Carlsen 1-0 Caruana
Caruana ½-½ Anand Aronian 1-0 Nakamura
Round 5 3 February 13:00 CET
Nakamura - Gelfand
Caruana - Aronian
Anand - Carlsen

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2872 ½ 1 1 1 7.0/4
2 Aronian,Levon 2812 ½ 1 1 ½ 6.0/4
3 Nakamura,Hikaru 2789 0 0 ½ 1 3.0/4
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2782 0 ½ ½ ½ 3.0/4
5 Anand,Viswanathan 2773 0 0 ½ 1 3.0/4
6 Gelfand,Boris 2777 0 ½ ½ 0 2.0/4

Photos © Maria Emelianova. The Zurich Chess Challenge consists of five rounds of classical chess, played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). You can follow the live games here on the official website. 

16730 reads 43 comments
8 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Great tournament for Carlsen and Anand. Carlsen's game was fascinating, it almost looked like a Rossolimo Sicilian in the opening.

  • 3 years ago


    Yeah, I was disappointed at Nakamura's comments about "any move losing today," especially since he was playing such a world class player as Aronian. Naka has had two lesser results, including this one, but can get it turned back around. Is he playing in the US Championship?

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen is doing incredibly well, I think he will pass 2900 by the end of the year.

  • 3 years ago


    Another lousy tournament for Boris.  Although it seems everybody but Carlsen and Aronian are having a lousy tournament here.

  • 3 years ago


    just imagine If Kramnik had won his last round game at the candidates (vs Ivanchuk I guess)

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    I hope Magnus wins tomorrow! 7.0 / 8.0 would be an impressive score! He might indeed hit his 2900!

  • 3 years ago


    vs4560 Well said!!! Hahahahah

  • 3 years ago


    Second time in two days that someone tried opposite side castling against Carlsen. For Nakamura, it was logical and almost worked. For Caruana, it was basically forced because of Carlsen's intense pressure on the kingside as of move 20. In both cases, the result is the same. Carlsen is thought of as a positional player but few others even among the top guys seem able to keep up with him in tactical positions.

    Anyway, congratulations to Carlsen on his live rating record! And to Aronian on his very impressive personal best. Notable that two of the top three highest ELO ratings of all time were achieved today.

  • 3 years ago


    It'd be great to see Anand beat Carlsen tomorrow, but it probably won't happen.

  • 3 years ago


    Naka's arrogance doesn't have limits and he always makes a super fool of himself everytime he says something - no exceptions. With this game he has definitely proved that his form is indeed temporary after all and his class (as a club level player passing cheap comments) is super permanent.

      Biggest threat to Magnus huh! I have to agree to that. He beats Magnus dominantly to the zeroe's at the scoresheet - a feat Magnus can never achieve even if he sleep plays.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen certainly looks in imperious form...

    I would say that Aronian has best chance to win the Candidates, but if Kramnik could instead do that, he would have a better chance against Carlsen due to his experience at the highest level playing Match-play not tournament play.

  • 3 years ago


    ... Levon Aronian also defeated Hikaru Nakamura on Sunday, while Fabiano Caruana suffered loss at the hands of Magnus Carlsen.  

  • 3 years ago


    It's also worth noting that Carlsen and Aronian are both playing at an extremely high level; today both reached new personal highs on live rating lists (carlsens is also the current highest ever.)  Live ratings: Carlsen -2882.6, Aronian 2835.5.

  • 3 years ago


    nice day to anand :)

  • 3 years ago


    like magicianpaul said is 7.0/8 and not 7.0/4

    magnus !!!! 

  • 3 years ago


    It seems like CP6033 is right. I think that Kramnik may have the best shot, but he doesn't seem to be playing at the level he played at just last year. Who knows?

  • 3 years ago


    FsharpAsharpInfinity  carlsen you mean? Levon Aronian can! i think that right now the Only two people who could possibly take the title from Carlsen are Vladamir Kramnik and Levon Aronian/

  • 3 years ago


    carlsen is a MONSTER in chess. No one can stop him

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