Stavanger: Five draws in round four

by André Schulz
4/22/2016 – The fourth round of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament was the first without any decided games. Perhaps Pentala Harikrishna, who played against Nils Grandelius, came closest to a win but his advantage vanished after he forced the Swedish Grandmaster to give his queen for rook and minor piece. With 3.0/4 Magnus Carlsen remains sole leader.

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Magnus Carlsen (Photo: Gegga)

The fourth round was the last round before the first rest day. And Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao was the one who had to play against the World Champion - with White. Li Chao answered Carlsen's Queen's Gambit Slav with the exchange variation - not a system to play for a win at all costs. After 14 moves the position was almost symmetrical - the only difference was that Li Chao had played his queen's rook to the c-file whereas Carlsen had decided to move his king's rook to the c-file. However, the structure did not offer much play and gradually one piece after the other was exchanged which finally led to a rook ending in which Carlsen forced a repetition of moves and a draw.

Anish Giri and Levon Aronian discussed a well-known and often played lined of the Queen's Gambit with Bf4, in which White tries to squeeze Black's position with c5. With this opening the players rekindled a discussion which they had begun at the Candidates Tournament in Moscow. However, with 14... Qb7 deviated from the previous game - apparently he was not too keen to know what Giri had prepared.

Black wound up in a slightly cramped position (which is not unusual in this line) but gradually managed to free himself. White was settled with an isolated pawn on d4 but as this was no serious disadvantage the game finally ended in a draw.

Anish Giri (Photo Gegga)

Pavel Eljanov and Veselin Topalov played a line of the Tartakower-Variation of the Queen's Gambit which might trigger memories to the 6th game of the legendary Fischer-Spassky match in Reykjavik 1972. But the Eljanov-Topalov took a different course than its predecessor. One piece after the other vanished from the board and the game soon petered out to a draw.

The two pursuers of Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Vladimir Kramnik, had the chance to catch with the World Champion - if they won and Carlsen drew. Unfortunately they played against each other which reduced the chances that they might catch up to Carlsen. 

The first topic of the game was - yes, indeed, the Berlin Defense, or, to be more precise, the attempt to play the Berlin Defense. But the French Grandmaster preferred 4.d3, which led to the usual patterns. Kramnik brought his bishop to c5 and then followed ideas which had been seen in a couple of previous, in which Black copied White's usual strategy in the Spanish: Black played the bishop to c7 and the knight to g6. This led to a complicated, rich game, in which both sides were looking for chances. But after a long game the point was split.

 

The game between Nils Grandelius and Pentala Harikrishna led to positions which you rarely see in top tournaments. The Indian Grandmaster opted for the Rubinstein-Variation in the French and after 6.Bxf6 recaptured with ...gxf6. Later both kings castled queenside. But before Black did he had lost the pawn on h7 - though he got very active piece play in return. Black's pressure became so great that White was forced to give his queen for rook and minor piece - but then Black gradually gave his advantage away and the game ended in a draw.

 

Results of round 4

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Pavel Eljanov
 
2760 ½ - ½ GM Veselin Topalov
 
2780
2 GM Chao B Li
 
2751 ½ - ½ GM Magnus Carlsen
 
2844
3 GM Anish Giri
 
2793 ½ - ½ GM Levon Aronian
 
2786
4 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
 
2785 ½ - ½ GM Vladimir Kramnik
 
2801
5 GM Nils Grandelius
 
2637 ½ - ½ GM Penteala Harikrishna
 
2753

Games of rounds 1 to 4

 

 

 

Standings after four rounds

Schedule and results of Norway Chess 2016

Round 1 Tuesday 19 April
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Nils Grandelius
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Pentala Harikrishna
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Li Chao
Anish Giri
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Veselin Topalov
 
Round 2 Wednesday. 20 April
Nils Grandelius
½-½
Levon Aronian
Li Chao
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Anish Giri
0-1
M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Pavel Eljanov
½-½
Pentala Harikrishna
Round 3 Thursday 21 April
Pentala Harikrishna
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Li Chao
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Nils Grandelius
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Anish Giri
M Vachier-Lagrave 
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
 
Round 4 Friday 22 April
Nils Grandelius
½-½ Pentala Harikrishna
Anish Giri
½-½ Levon Aronian
Pavel Eljanov
½-½ Veselin Topalov
Li Chao
½-½ Magnus Carlsen
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½ Vladimir Kramnik

 
Saturday 23 April – Rest day

School tournament
Science Factory, Sandnes

 
Round 5 Sunday 24 April
Vladimir Kramnik
  Pavel Eljanov
Veselin Topalov
  Nils Grandelius
Magnus Carlsen
  Anish Giri
Levon Aronian
  M Vachier-Lagrave
Pentala Harikrishna
  Li Chao
Round 6 Monday 25 April
Anish Giri
  Pentala Harikrishna
Pavel Eljanov
  Nils Grandelius
M Vachier-Lagrave
  Magnus Carlsen
Li Chao
  Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
  Levon Aronian
 

 
Tuesday 26 April – Rest day

Round 7 Wednesday 27 April
Nils Grandelius
  Li Chao
Magnus Carlsen
  Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian
  Pavel Eljanov
Pentala Harikrishna
  M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
  Anish Giri
 
Round 8 Thursday 28 April
Levon Aronian
  Magnus Carlsen
Pavel Eljanov
  Li Chao
M Vachier-Lagrave
  Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
  Pentala Harikrishna
Anish Giri
  Nils Grandelius
Round 9 Friday 29 April
Nils Grandelius
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
-
Pavel Eljanov
Veselin Topalov
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Li Chao
-
Anish Giri
Pentala Harikrishna
-
Levon Aronian
 

 
Friday 29 April – Blitz

There will be a blitz match and rapid chess Friday April 29 after Round 9 if two players share first place. If there are more than 2 players sharing first place a new match will take place Saturday 30.

Live commentary on Playchess

Day and round English German
Round 4 Friday 22 April Daniel King Oliver Reeh
Round 5 Sunday 24 April Simon Williams Thomas Luther
Round 6 Monday 25 April Yannick Pelletier Thomas Luther
Round 7 Wednesday 27 April Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
Round 8 Thursday 28 April Yannick Pelletier Klaus Bischoff
Round 9 Friday 29 April Daniel King Klaus Bischoff

Links

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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diegoami diegoami 4/23/2016 08:44
The Indian Grandmaster opted for the Rubinstein-Variation in the French and after 6.Bxf6 recaptured with ...gxf6 ... wiedergenommen.
Now we know they write the articles in German first !
pncsgm pncsgm 4/23/2016 03:03
Thanks Hawkman
Hawkman Hawkman 4/23/2016 11:45
"pncsgm 6 hours ago
What rating change has happened?"

1 Carlsen 2854.6 +3.6 2878.0 2915.0 25
2 Kramnik 2803.0 +2.0 2799.0 2830.4 40
3 Caruana 2801.2 +6.2 2829 i 2665.0 23
4 ↑1 Vachier-Lagrave 2792.4 +4.4 2784.0 2871.4 25
5 ↓1 Giri 2789.8 −0.2 2738.0 2822.0 21
6 Nakamura 2787.3 +0.3 2846.0 2883.0 28
7 Aronian 2781.5 −2.5 2739.0 2797.6 33
8 ↑2 So 2780.5 +7.5 2652.0 2726 i 22
9 ↓1 Karjakin 2779.0 0.0 2818.0 2801.0 26
10 ↓1 Ding Liren 2777.8 +0.8 2704.0 2875.0 23
11 Anand 2770.0 0.0 2795.0 2764.0 46
12 ↑2 Svidler 2762.0 0.0 2733.0 2754.0 39
13 ↓1 Eljanov 2760.4 −4.6 2645.0 2658.6 32
14 ↑1 Li Chao 2758.3 +3.3 2648.0 2623.8 27
15 ↓2 Harikrishna 2757.5 −5.5 2706.0 2758.6 29
16 Topalov 2756.0
pncsgm pncsgm 4/23/2016 05:25
What rating change has happened?
1