Round 4, Game 1: Kamsky, Kramnik and Caruana win

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In the first game of the 4th round Kamsky, Caruana and Kramnik got off to a great start, all winning their games. Kamsky's brilliant win was clearly game of the day!

 By Paul Truong

On the 10th day of competition, only 16 from the original 128 who earned their rights to be in Tromsø still have their sights on the big crown. Any of these elite players is good enough to go all the way. It will be a battle of chess strength, mental toughness, and strong nerves. Interestingly enough, there has never been a repeat winner of the World Cup. This shows how tough this competition is.

 

Round 4 Results

       

FIDE

FIDE

25'+10"

25'+10"

10'+10"

10'+10"

5'+3"

5'+3"

5'-4'

Total

 
 

Round 4

FED

RTG

G1

G2

G1

G2

G1

G2

G1

G2

SD

Score

Qualifiers

16-1

Round 4, Match 1

                         

16

Morozevich, Alexander

RUS

2739

½

                   

1

Tomashevsky, Evgeny

RUS

2706

½

                   

2-15

Round 4, Match 2

                         

2

Caruana, Fabiano

ITA

2796

1

                   

15

Granda Zuniga, Julio E

PER

2664

0

                   

14-3

Round 4, Match 3

                         

14

Ivanchuk, Vassily

UKR

2731

0

                   

3

Kramnik, Vladimir

RUS

2784

1

                   

4-13

Round 4, Match 4

                         

4

Le, Quang Liem

VIE

2702

½

                   

13

Svidler, Peter

RUS

2746

½

                   

12-5

Round 4, Match 5

                         

12

Andreikin, Dmitry

RUS

2716

½

                   

5

Karjakin, Sergey

RUS

2772

½

                   

6-11

Round 4, Match 6

                         

6

Nakamura, Hikaru

USA

2772

½

                   

11

Korobov, Anton

UKR

2720

½

                   

10-7

Round 4, Match 7

                         

10

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime

FRA

2719

½

                   

7

Gelfand, Boris

ISR

2764

½

                   

8-9

Round 4, Match 8

                         

8

Kamsky, Gata

USA

2741

1

                   

9

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar

AZE

2775

0

                   

There are many intriguing matchups in this round. One that popped out of my head is the 2 veterans and rivals, Kramnik and Ivanchuk. These two are capable of beating anyone, and they have for many years. Another one is a pair of former top 5 players in the world, Kamsky and Mamedyarov. One won another US Championship crown while the other just won the World Rapid Championship.

vachier

The first pair to finish was the French superstar and former World Junior Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Boris Gelfand, the runner up of the latest World Championship. They played 27 moves in just a little over an hour and it ended in a perpetual check. I am sure Gelfand does not mind a draw with Black, and stopping the MVL wrecking machine, whose performance rating in the first three rounds was well over 3000!

korobov-naka

The next pair to finish was the top ranked American player GM Nakamura and former Ukrainian Champion GM Korobov. The super solid structure for Black did not give White any serious chance to do damage. After 20 moves of theory they decided to call it a day in just under 2 hours. In this short knockout format one mistake can cause an immediate exit. Therefore, unless there is something clear on the board, most players prefer to play it safe to play another day.

andreikin-karjakin

The third pair to finish was two Russians, Andreikin and Karjakin. Both had a long and intense playoff yesterday. After 18 moves in exactly 2 hours, the position was equal and they decided to have an early night without much happening.

kamsky-mamed

The game of the day is Kamsky vs Mamedyarov. After 17…Ne4 it seemed that Black was able to neutralize White’s threats. That was not the case as the US Champion decided to sacrifice heavy material to blow the position open. After multiple amazing sacrifices Mamedyarov’s position completely broke down and mate was inevitable. This has to be one of Kamsky’s best games ever. Simply amazing!

granda-caruana

Another amazing and complicated game was GM Caruana vs GM Granda. White decided to employ the Scotch. The game quickly turned very difficult for both sides and they used a lot of time to figure things out at the board. The seesaw battle abruptly ended when Granda blundered on move 20 with ...f5, allowing capturing en passant. He immediately resigned after White’s 21st move exf6. The event’s Cinderella is now in another big hole. He must win tomorrow to stay alive for the playoff.

svidler-le

World Blitz Champ GM Le Quang Liem vs reigning World Cup Champ is another interesting matchup. Le got a slight advantage out of the opening but Black misevaluated the position and committed a horrible blunder with 22…Bxd5. Lucky for him, Le did not spot the winning move 23. Rxd5 until after he played 23. exd5. White still had a small advantage but he did not manage to convert. At the end Svidler, who was happy to survive, agreed to a draw by repeating moves.

The two last games of the day were Morozevich – Tomashevsky and Ivanchuk – Kramnik.

kramnik-ivanchuk

The Ivanchuk and Kramnik game was somewhat uneventful. Kramnik happened to go over this line earlier in the day so he was confident. White tried to make things happen but Black was simply too solid. After a series of exchanges they got to an endgame where each had a Q, R and 4 pawns. However, since Black had an outside passed pawn he decided to push on. Ivanchuk inexplicably blundered with 42. Qb4. That led to an immediate loss and Kramnik took full advantage of it to score a full point.

kramnik-press

At the press conference Kramnik jokingly said he would have preferred this win at the Candidates Tournament. In fact, he said even half a point would be fine. Now he will have White tomorrow and all he needs is a draw to move on.

moro-toma

The last game of the day was Morozevich – Tomashevsky. White was pushing to win with a small advantage throughout the game but Tomashevsky’s defense was once again too tough and in the end they agreed to a draw.

Time controls and rules

The time control for each two-game match is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is equal there are two rapid chess tiebreak games, played at a rate of 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds per move. If the score is still equal then two accelerated games will be played, with a time control of 10 min + 10 sec. If the score is still equal two more games will be played at 5 min + 3 sec. If the winner is still not determined then a final Armageddon game with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black, with a 3 sec increment after move 60, will be played. In this game Black has draw odds (i.e. he wins if the game is drawn).