Report of round 4
It was a day full of wins and losses, twists and turns, but still one game stood out head and shoulders above the rest. World Champion Viswanathan Anand used the black pieces versus 2nd seed Levon Aronian to create an evergreen that left all present in awe, not in the least Magnus Carlsen who called it “mind blowing”.
As the Indian Grandmaster explained afterwards, he used the preparation for his World Championship's match against Boris Gelfand from last year. A novelty on move 12 was the prelude to a series of sacrifices starting with 15...Bc5! Aronian plunged into deep thought, but was unable to solve his problems and after 16.Be2 Nde5! 17.Bxg4 Bxd4 18.Kh1 Bxg4 19.Nxf8 Anand crowned his attack with the beautiful 19...f5! and White was unable to stop the black queen from joining the attack.
Joining Anand at 3 out of 4 is the world's highest rated player ever, Magnus Carlsen, who slowly but surely increased the pressure on Pentala Harikrishna's position until it finally gave away. Harikrishna resigned before Carlsen could deliver the knock-out with 50.Nxf6!
Also at three points is Sergey Karjakin who was lucky to escape after misplaying the opening against Hikaru Nakamura. The American Grandmaster was carefully nurturing his extra pawn into a winning queen endgame, until one slip let the Russian off the hook.
The best Dutchman after 4 rounds is Loek van Wely who moved back to 50% at the expense of his countryman Erwin l'Ami. The latter sacrificed an exchange on the black side of a Trompovsky, but never got anything to show for it. Also back on an even score is Wang Hao of China who used the advantage of a strong bishop over a stray knight to take down his fellow student at Beijng University, You Hifan.
Italy's Fabiano Caruana bounced back from yesterday's loss at the hands of Anand by utilizing a 4-to-2 (!) central pawn majority to down Ivan Sokolov. The most balanced game of the day was the draw between Anish Giri and Peter Leko. The latter equalized easily in an endgame that arose after only a handful of moves.
In Group B leaders Sergey Tiviakov and Richard Rapport opened a gap after winning once more. Tiviakov used his superior pieces to outplay Predrag Nikolic, while Rapport used a nice tactical motive to create havoc in Sergey Movsesian's position: After18.Ne4 Nc6 19.Bg5 Qd8 Black missed the cunning 20.Bg4! and White won easily.
In Group C Argentina's Fernanda Peralta moved into clear first with 3,5 out of 4 after beating Holland's Lisa Schut, runner-up at the World Youth Girls Under 18 Championship (behind Russia's Aleksandra Goryachkina, also playing in this group).