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

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

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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. 


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