Grand Chess Tour - Paris: Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So lead

by Alex Yermolinsky
6/22/2017 – The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour, running from June 21-25 started with exciting chess from the players, and many dramatic reversals. Both Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So took off with 2.5/3, but it was really Carlsen's show as he displayed excellent form on the first day. With many games and snippets, here is the illustrated report by GM Alex Yermolinsky.

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The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot

This year's Grand Chess Tour Series kicked off today with a Rapid/Blitz event in Paris. There will be two more similar tournaments, next week in Leuven and in August in St. Louis. It is interesting how this series, the brainchild of Garry Kasparov, has morphed into a combination of three different kinds of chess. Perhaps, it wasn't Garry's original intention, but as he himself admitted in his recent interview, it's getting harder to find sponsors for classical time control tournaments willing to join the Tour. I guess the organizers in Norway and other places prefer to have their own exclusive event with a full control over selection of participants. Garry talks about adding one more Rapid/Blitz event in 2018 – surely a sign of the times.

The studio area in preparation

Lights! Games! Action!

Before the start of the tournament, the main question was how Magnus Carlsen would respond to his recent string of mediocre (by his standards) results. Magnus gave an emphatic answer by scoring two wins and one draw on the opening day, albeit not without some cooperation from his opponents. First he drew Grischuk with Black in a solid, error-free game. Then came a game against one of his favorite opponents not named Hikaru.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Magnus Carlsen

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B14"] [WhiteElo "2800"] [BlackElo "2832"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bg5 c5 6. e3 cxd4 7. exd4 d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Be2 h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. O-O Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. Re1 b6 14. Nd2 Be6 15. Nf1 Na5 16. Ne3 Rac8 17. Rc1 Rfd8 18. Bd3 Rc7 19. g3 g6 20. Ng2 Nc4 21. Rc2 Re7 22. Qc1 {[#] It appears that Black is in some trouble due to a possible pin on the e-file. Carlsen finds the best answer.} Bf5 $1 ({Not} 22... Kg7 23. Nf4 Bg4 24. Rxe7 Qxe7 25. Nxd5 Rxd5 26. Bxc4 $16) (22... g5 23. f4 $1 { can also become dangerous for Black.}) 23. Rxe7 Bxd3 24. Rxa7 {Shak saw no reason not to take a free pawn.} (24. Rce2 Bxe2 25. Rxe2 g5 $11) 24... g5 $1 { The key move to restrict the white knight as the rook cannot escape.} 25. Rd2 ( 25. f4 Bxc2 26. Qxc2 Nd6 $44) 25... Nxd2 26. Qxd2 Be4 27. Ne1 Re8 {[#]} 28. a4 $4 {Mamedyarov had 9 minutes on his clock to recognize Black's rather transparent threat.} (28. f4 g4 $15) (28. Qd1 $142 {White holds easily, but not more than that.}) 28... Bf3 {There it is. Nothing left to do but resign.} ( 28... Bf3 29. a5 Re2 30. Qd1 Bg4 31. f3 Qe6) 0-1

This win brought Carlsen's advantage in their head-to-head encounters to +17-3=11. Some head scratching for Shak to do.

Magnus Carlsen showed great form on day one

Carlsen's next game was very similar, and it also featured a major blunder on the part of his opponent.

Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2832"] [BlackElo "2796"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bg5 Nbd7 9. a4 b6 10. Nd2 h6 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. Nc4 Bb7 13. a5 $1 {A new idea.} (13. Qd3 O-O 14. Ne3 Rc8 $11) 13... b5 14. Nb6 Nxe4 {MVL is not the kind of guy to back down.} ({Objectively speaking there wasn't much worng with the simple} 14... Rb8) 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Bf3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3 Ra7 {[#]} 18. c4 $1 (18. Qc6+ Kf8 19. O-O g6 {Black's devopment problems are easily solved, and} 20. c4 { is no longer effective on account of} Rc7) 18... d5 $1 {Both players are on top of their game.} (18... bxc4 19. Qc6+ Kf8 20. Qxc4 g6 21. O-O Kg7 22. Rfd1 { offers White a nice, long-term compensation.}) 19. cxb5 Bb4+ 20. Ke2 Bxa5 21. Nxd5 axb5 {This only seems dangerous for Black. Maxime has everything under control.} (21... O-O 22. b4 Bb6 23. bxa6 Bd4) 22. b4 Bb6 23. Rxa7 Bxa7 24. Ra1 Bb8 25. Qd3 O-O {Finally!} 26. Qxb5 {[#]} e4 {Not a bad move in itself, but, perhaps, unnecessary.} ({After the logical sequence,} 26... Qh4 27. g3 (27. h3 Rd8 28. Ne3 Bd6) 27... Qh5+ 28. Kf1 Qxh2 29. Ra8 Bd6 30. Rxf8+ Bxf8 31. Qc6 { one way or another Black would deliver perpetual check}) 27. g3 Be5 $2 { Strangely enough, the bishop is more vulnerable here.} 28. Rd1 Qg5 29. Kf1 $1 f5 (29... Qh5 30. Ne3) 30. Qe2 $5 {A sneaky move that MVL failed to read.} Kh8 $4 (30... Bb8 31. b5 Kh8 {still aiming at f5-f4.}) (30... f4 31. Qxe4 fxg3 32. hxg3 Bxg3 {gets hit by} 33. Ne7+ Kh8 34. Ng6+) 31. f4 $1 {Just like that White wins a piece and the game is over.} exf3 32. Qxe5 Qh5 33. Nf4 Qxh2 34. Ng6+ Kh7 35. Nxf8+ Kh8 36. Ng6+ Kh7 37. Nh4 Qh1+ 38. Kf2 Qxd1 39. Qxf5+ 1-0

This is how without doing anything in particular, Carlsen took the lead and pushed his rapid rating over 2900.One wonders if his opponents will continue their blundering ways, and what happens if they stop.

Level with Carlsen is Wesley So, also with 2.5/3. Actually, it's 5/6, as rapid games in this tournament count twice as much as blitz games to give some balance to scoring in two different disciplines. Wesley's path to a good start was even rockier. He could have easily lost the following game in the first round

Fabiano Caruana set up great positions against So and Nakamura , completely winning, but slipped at the crucial moment

Fabiano Caruana vs Wesley So

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D73"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2812"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nf6 5. c4 c6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Qb3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 O-O 10. Nd2 e6 11. e4 Nc6 12. e5 b6 13. O-O Ba6 14. Re1 Rc8 15. Qd1 Re8 16. a4 Na5 17. Re3 Qd7 18. h4 Nc4 19. Nxc4 Bxc4 20. h5 a5 21. Ba3 b5 22. Bd6 bxa4 23. Bf1 Bxf1 24. Kxf1 Rc4 25. Kg2 Bh6 26. Rf3 Rec8 27. Qd3 Bg5 28. Rh1 Kg7 29. g4 {[#] Critical moment.} Qb7 {A bit careless, but who would spot White's idea?} (29... Rxc3 30. Qxc3 Rxc3 31. Rxc3 h6 {is safe for Black, but most likely drawish.}) 30. hxg6 fxg6 31. Rf6 $3 {Fantastic concept.} Bxf6 ( 31... Rxc3 32. Rxh7+) (31... Rg8 32. Qf3 h6 (32... Rcc8 33. Rf7+ Qxf7 34. Rxh7+ ) 33. Rxe6 Rcc8 34. Rf6 {White looks winning here.}) 32. exf6+ Kg8 (32... Kxf6 33. Be5+ {will cost Black his queen.}) 33. Be7 $1 R4c7 (33... Rf8 $142 $16) 34. Bd6 $2 {In time trouble Caruna slips up.} (34. f7+ $1 {was winning:} Kg7 (34... Kxf7 35. Rxh7+) 35. Qe3 Rxe7 36. Qe5+ Kxf7 37. Rxh7+ Ke8 38. Qh8+ Kd7 39. Rxe7+ Kc6 40. Qg7 Rc7 41. Rxe6+ Kb5 42. Qxg6 Rxc3 43. Qb1+ Rb3 44. Qc2 {and White should wrap it up soon.}) 34... Rxc3 35. Qe2 Qf7 36. g5 h5 $19 37. Qb5 e5 38. Bxe5 Qe6 39. Rh4 Qf5 40. Qxd5+ Kh8 41. f7+ Kh7 42. Qb7 Qxg5+ 43. Bg3 {[#] Seizing his chance So finishes in style.} Rxg3+ $1 44. fxg3 Rc2+ 45. Kf3 (45. Kh3 Qf5+ 46. g4 Qd3+) 45... Qf5+ 46. Ke3 Rc3+ 47. Ke2 Qd3+ 48. Ke1 Rc1+ 49. Kf2 Rc2+ 0-1

Then came another gift, courtesy of wild-card invitee Etienne Bacrot.

Admittedly, it is a strange image to see Garry Kasparov making the inagural move in a game. Yet, there he is, with Almira Skripchenko behind the microphone, starting the game between France's top two players, Etienne Bacrot and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Etienne Bacrot vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A45"] [WhiteElo "2708"] [BlackElo "2796"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "180"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d5 $5 {A breath of fresh air.} 5. e5 Ne4 { [#]} 6. Na4 $5 {Wow. The idea is to trap the black knight in the middle.} ({ I could only think of} 6. Nxe4 dxe4 7. Bb5+ c6 8. Bc4 c5 9. Ne2 Nc6) ({and} 6. Bd3 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. h4 Nc6 9. h5) 6... c5 $5 {MVL shows imagination to match the opponent's, and more.} (6... f6 7. f3 Ng5 8. Bxg5 fxg5 9. Qd2) 7. c3 cxd4 $3 8. f3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Qa5 10. Qxd4 Nc6 11. Qd1 Nxe5 {Two pawns for a piece, good center, and pieces coming into play quickly - what's not to like?} 12. Bd2 Nc4 (12... O-O 13. Nb2 (13. Ne2 Nd3#) 13... Bf5 14. Ne2 Qa3) 13. Bxc4 dxc4 14. Ne2 O-O 15. Nb2 Rd8 16. Qc1 Bf5 17. O-O Rac8 18. Re1 b5 19. Nd1 Bd3 20. Nf2 {[#] White finally managed to return that hapless knight into action, but there comes a tactical shot} Bxe2 21. Rxe2 Rxd2 $1 22. Rxd2 Bxc3 23. Re2 Bxa1 24. Qxa1 c3 25. Qc1 b4 26. Qc2 Qc5 27. g4 a5 28. Kg2 Rc7 29. Nd3 Qd6 30. Ne5 Rc5 31. Nd3 Rd5 32. Nf2 Qd7 33. Qe4 Kg7 34. h4 Qd6 35. g5 a4 36. Qc2 Qd7 ( 36... a3 $1) 37. a3 $1 {Bacrot defended heroically, and White is close to equality now.} Rd2 38. Rxd2 Qxd2 39. Qe4 Qd6 (39... c2 40. Qe5+) 40. Qc4 $1 e5 41. Nd3 bxa3 42. Qxc3 Qd4 43. Qxa3 e4 44. fxe4 Qxe4+ 45. Kg3 Qe3+ 46. Kg2 Qe4+ 47. Kg3 Qe3+ 48. Kg2 Qd2+ 49. Kg3 h5 50. Nf2 $2 $138 (50. gxh6+ Qxh6 (50... Kxh6 $2 51. Qf8+) 51. Nf4 g5 $11) 50... Qd4 51. Qf3 Qd6+ 52. Kg2 a3 53. Ne4 Qd5 54. Nc3 (54. Qc3+ Kh7 55. Qf3 $11) 54... Qd2+ 55. Kh3 a2 56. Nxa2 Qxa2 57. Qc3+ Kh7 58. Qd4 {[#] What a nightmare of a game for Bacrot. He knew it would never end.} Qe6+ 59. Kg3 Qf5 60. Kg2 Qb1 61. Qc4 Qb2+ 62. Kg3 Kg7 63. Kf3 Qe5 64. Qb4 Qf5+ 65. Kg3 Qd3+ 66. Kf4 Qh3 67. Qd4+ Kg8 68. Ke5 Qf5+ 69. Kd6 Qe6+ 70. Kc5 f5 71. Qd8+ Kf7 72. Qh8 Qe7+ 73. Kd5 Qe6+ 74. Kc5 Qe8 75. Qh7+ $2 (75. Qf6+ Kg8 76. Kd4 {is still a draw.}) 75... Ke6 76. Kd4 Qd7+ $1 {MVL's calculation of the resiulting pawn ending was right on the money.} 77. Qxd7+ Kxd7 78. Kd5 Ke8 $1 79. Kd4 Kd8 80. Kc4 Ke7 81. Kd5 Kd7 82. Ke5 Kc6 83. Kf6 f4 84. Kxg6 f3 85. Kh7 f2 86. g6 f1=Q 87. g7 Qf7 88. Kh8 Kd7 $1 89. g8=Q Qxg8+ 90. Kxg8 Ke6 0-1

Such illogical outcomes will sure add ammunition to the opponents of speedier time controls. I personally think it's growing pains. Once rapid chess becomes more wide-spread the players will get a hang of managing their clocks better.

Think of a bright side. Rapid chess encourages and rewards risk. Even if it doesn't work out and you lose a game, so what? Another one starts in a few minutes time. Players are happy to be relieved of long hours of drudge work in preparation for tomorrow's game, and that's how we get to see wild sacrifices right out of unexplored opening lines.

Wesley So vs Etienne Bacrot

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "2.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2708"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "127"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 {This obscure opening line is getting more and more attention through the efforts of Vishy Anand.} 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. e3 c6 (4... Nf6 5. b4 $5 {Giri}) 5. d4 cxd5 6. dxc5 Qa5+ 7. Bd2 Qxc5 8. Qg4 g6 9. b4 $5 {Wesley's innovation.} (9. cxd5 Qxd5 10. Bc4 Nf6 11. Qh4 Qd6 12. Nf3 Nc6 13. e4 $44 { Psakhis-Sokolov, 1992}) 9... Qd6 10. cxd5 Nf6 (10... Qxd5 11. Rc1 Nc6 12. b5 Nce7 13. Nf3 {is the idea.}) 11. Qc4 Na6 12. Rc1 $1 b6 (12... O-O 13. b5) 13. Nf3 (13. Qxc8+ Rxc8 14. Rxc8+ Ke7 15. Rxh8 Nxb4 16. Rc8 Ne4 {gives Black a lot of counterplay. On paper White has more than enough for a queen, but his forces are poorly developed.}) 13... Bb7 14. e4 O-O 15. a3 Rfc8 16. Qd3 Rxc1+ 17. Bxc1 Rc8 18. Bd2 Nc7 19. Qb1 {[#]} Ncxd5 $1 {The only way to handle this position. Black must break out before White is fully mobilized.} 20. exd5 Qxd5 21. Be2 (21. Qb2 Qe4+ 22. Be2 d5 23. Qb3 h6 $5 ({White is prepared for} 23... d4 24. Ng5) 24. Bxh6 d4 25. Ng5 $4 Rc1+) 21... e4 22. Nh4 $5 {This is the beauty of Rapid chess - people aren't afraid of taking chances.} ({The most practical choice would be} 22. Be3 {but once he returns his extra piece White only has enough for equality.} exf3 23. Bxf3 Ne4 24. O-O Qe6) 22... g5 23. Qb2 Ne8 24. Nf3 exf3 25. gxf3 {[#]} Ng7 ({Also good was} 25... Qe6 $1 26. Rg1 (26. Bxg5 Bxf3 27. Rg1 Bxe2 28. Qxe2 Kf8 $17) 26... f6 27. f4 Bf3 28. Be3 Bxe2 29. Qxe2 Ng7 30. fxg5 f5) 26. Rg1 h6 27. f4 Qe4 28. fxg5 h5 29. Qb3 Ne6 30. Be3 Nd4 31. Bxd4 Rc1+ {A step in the wrong direction. Objectively, Black is winning, but in a real game situation he shouldn't have given White even a trace of counterplay.} ({The powerful centralization of the black pieces would decide the outcome after} 31... Qxd4 32. Rg3 Rc1+ 33. Bd1 Be4 34. g6 d5 35. gxf7+ Kf8) 32. Kd2 Rxg1 33. Qc3 Rxg5 34. Be3 Rd5+ 35. Kc1 Rd6 (35... Bc6 $17) 36. b5 Rd5 37. Qc7 Re5 $2 $138 38. Bd3 Qxd3 39. Qb8+ {[#]} Re8 $2 {Incomprehensible. I suspect Etienne just touched his rook and forgot his king was in check.} (39... Kh7 40. Qxe5 Be4 41. Qxh5+ Kg8 42. Qg5+ Bg6 43. Qd8+ Kg7 44. Qc7 Qxa3+ { and Black keeps playing for a win.}) 40. Qxe8+ Kg7 41. Qe5+ Kh7 42. Qxh5+ Kg8 43. Qg5+ Kh7 44. Qh4+ Kg8 45. Qg3+ Kh7 46. Qh4+ Kg8 47. Bd4 Qxa3+ 48. Bb2 Qc5+ 49. Kb1 Qf5+ 50. Ka1 f6 51. Bxf6 Kf7 52. Bb2 Be4 53. Qh8 Bd3 54. Qg7+ Ke6 55. Qg8+ Qf7 56. Qb8 Qxf2 $4 {Oh, no.} 57. Qe5+ Kf7 58. Qd5+ Ke8 59. Qxd3 Qxh2 60. Qe4+ Kd8 61. Bf6+ Kc8 62. Qa8+ Kc7 63. Qxa7+ Kd6 64. Qb8+ 1-0

Bad enough start for Bacrot, but Caruana's was even worse. Fabiano's time management was simply atrocious today. We already saw how he turned a won position into a lost one against Wesley in one move. The next game was even more painful.

Hikaru Nakamura also had a solid start with 2.0/3

Fabiano Caruana vs Hikaru Nakamura

[Event "GCT Rapid Paris 2017"] [Site "Paris FRA"] [Date "2017.06.21"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2785"] [Annotator "AlexYermo"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2017.06.21"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 Nd7 {A slightly unusual move order.} 5. O-O Ngf6 6. c4 dxc4 7. Na3 Nb6 8. Nxc4 (8. Ne5 $5 {Fressinet-Svane, 2016}) 8... O-O $6 ({Black doesn't seem to be in bad shape after the knight trade:} 8... Nxc4 9. Qa4+ c6 ({not} 9... Bd7 10. Qxc4 Bc6 11. Ne5 $1) 10. Qxc4 Be6 11. Qc2 Bd5 $11) 9. Na5 $1 {A typical maneuever, one of Kramnik's favorites. The knight will exert strong pressure on Black's Q-side.} c6 10. b4 Nbd5 11. a3 {[#]} c5 $5 {Don't you love Rapid?} 12. dxc5 Ne4 13. Ng5 $1 ({I don't know how far the players could see after} 13. Qc2 {but} Nxc5 {seems Black's best:} (13... Bxa1 14. Bh6 Bg7 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Qxe4 Nf6 17. Qe5 $16) 14. Qxc5 (14. Bb2 Bxb2 15. Qxb2 Na4 16. Qd2 Ndc3 17. Qe3 $14) 14... Bxa1 15. Bh6 Bf6 $1 16. Bxf8 b6 {etc.} ) 13... Nec3 (13... Bxa1 14. Nxe4 Bg7 15. Qb3 Nc7 16. Rd1) 14. Qc2 b6 15. Nc6 Qd7 16. e4 ({Very strong was} 16. b5 Nxb5 17. Bxd5 Bxa1 18. Rd1 Nd4 19. Qa2) 16... Ba6 17. exd5 Bxf1 18. Kxf1 Nxd5 19. Bxd5 Bxa1 20. Bb2 {[#] This has the looks of a miniature win by White.} e6 (20... Bxb2 21. Qxb2 Rae8 22. Nxf7 $18) 21. Bxa1 exd5 22. Ne5 Qe7 (22... Qf5 {staves off mate, but the ending after} 23. Qxf5 gxf5 24. Nd7 {looks totally hopeless.}) 23. Ng4 f6 24. Bd4 (24. c6 Rae8 25. Qd2 $18) 24... bxc5 25. bxc5 Kg7 26. h4 h5 27. Ne3 Rad8 {[#] I can symphatize with Caruana's time trouble here, but the three minutes he had left should have been enough to put this game away.} 28. c6 ({More hands-on is to play for mate:} 28. g4 Rh8 29. c6) (28. Ng2 Kh6 29. Nf4 Rg8 30. Nfe6 fxg5 31. Nxg5 Rde8 32. Qd2) 28... Rd6 29. c7 $2 (29. g4 Qe8 30. Qb1 Rxc6 31. Qb7+) 29... Rc8 30. Nf5+ gxf5 31. Qxf5 Qxc7 32. Qh7+ ({Even in case of the best move} 32. Bxf6+ Rxf6 33. Qh7+ Kf8 34. Qh8+ Ke7 35. Qg7+ Ke8 36. Qxf6 Qc4+ 37. Kg1 d4 { White can no longer win this game.}) 32... Kf8 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Qh7+ Ke8 35. Qxh5+ Kd7 36. Nf3 Kc6 37. Qf5 Qd7 38. Qb1 Qg4 39. Kg2 Qe4 40. Qb2 Kd7 41. Bxf6 Rb6 42. Qd4 Rf8 0-1

I hope Fabiano gets a good night's sleep and comes back strong tomorrow.

I would also note the appearance of the seemingly in-form Topalov, who scored 4/6, a solid performance by Grischuk, and Mamedyarov's return to 50% by beating Karjakin in round three. There's plenty of chess left for all these guys to join the fight for top places.

Links

You can use ChessBase 14 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to replay the games in PGN. You can also download our free Playchess client, which will in addition give you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.



Yermo is enjoying his fifties. Lives in South Dakota, 600 miles way from the nearest grandmaster. Between his chess work online he plays snooker and spends time outdoors - happy as a clam.
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jonkm jonkm 6/23/2017 01:34
What??? Wesley So is not leading. Magnus and Nakamura are leading after Day 2. Hard to tell where Chessbase is at since there is no mention of which round you're at.
hserusk hserusk 6/22/2017 03:12
Didn't most of these guys just play in Norway?
No rest for the elites and no work for the plebs is just way we like our chess, thank you!
Resistance Resistance 6/22/2017 01:31
The will to win... What a great game between Etienne and Maxime. That's how you should always play, my friend.
plotinoab plotinoab 6/22/2017 10:36
It would be nice to have the full list of results, standing, and the usual basic statistic at the end of the report - that was great by the way.
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