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    Entries in Anish Giri (51)

    Friday
    Mar092018

    Candidates Odds & Ends

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who very, very nearly qualified for the Candidates (by several different means) has written up his own preview of the event, singling out Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian as his favorites. (He's not alone in this, as he acknowledges; many others - and I'd include myself here - are of the same opinion.) He also offers some very high praise of Vladimir Kramnik:

    In my opinion, Vlad is probably the player in the world who best understands chess. You can show him whatever position, his instincts will seldom let him down. He will always find what the evaluation of the position is and which plan to adopt.

    A well-known Norwegian didn't care for this very much, expressing his disapproval on Twitter, and in Kramnik's and MVL's defense came Anish Giri. Giri has two dogs in the fight: first, he and Magnus Carlsen have been exchanging barbed tweets for years now; second, Giri is one of Kramnik's helpers for the Candidates. You can read more about how their little feud progressed at the preceding link; perhaps it has continued on their Twitter feeds in the meantime.

    Returning to more buttoned-up preview material, Jan Gustafsson has a preview series of videos on Chess24, and Chess24 also has a series of articles on the Candidates. In order from the most to the least recent:

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Wesley So, and Sergei Karjakin.

    Happy reading and viewing!

    Monday
    Jan292018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Final Round and Playoff: Carlsen Defeats Giri To Win the Tournament

    The exciting and closely contested 2018 edition of the Tata Steel Masters, held mostly in its traditional site in Wijk aan Zee, concluded in a two-game blitz playoff between Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri. Both played very well in the tournament, and Giri probably played the better chess overall. (Certainly his level was more consistently excellent throughout the tournament, and he can also boast of having beaten the players who tied for third-fourth, half a point behind him and Carlsen.) He can take pride in that, but ultimately moral victories matter less than real ones. Carlsen won their first playoff game very smoothly, and while Giri had some chances in the second game Carlsen's defense was more than up to the task. As a result, Carlsen won his sixth Wijk aan Zee crown, and also, scarily, maintained an unbeaten streak in tiebreaks going back to 2007.

    For Carlsen, it was his first victory in a Classical round-robin event in quite some time, and for Giri it marked a clear return to the world's elite. He gained a whopping 25 rating points, and was very close to becoming the first Dutch player since Jan Timman back in 1985 to win the Wijk aan Zee supertournament.

    Let's go back to round 13. Carlsen had Black against Sergey Karjakin, and was apparently perfectly prepared for Karjakin's novelty in an anti-Marshall, drawing easily. Anish Giri also had Black, against Wei Yi, and he too drew in comfort.

    This gave Shakhriyar Mamedyarov the chance to catch them in a tie for first, if he could beat Viswanathan Anand. Unlike Carlsen and Giri, Mamedyarov had White, and he gave it a good try. Anand defended very well though, and his slight inaccuracy on move 35 wasn't enough to cost him the game. It was a great tournament for Mamedyarov, but not good enough to get him into a playoff.

    Joining Mamedyarov in a tie for third, half a point behind the leaders, was Vladimir Kramnik. He defeated Baskaran Adhiban with Black, though not smoothly. He was in serious trouble, but was bailed out and then some when Adhiban came up with the bad idea of sacrificing the exchange. Instead of a big advantage after 33.Nxb7, Adhiban was just about lost after 33.Rb1? Rc7 34.Rb5 b6 35.Rxa5? bxa5. Kramnik's result was good, he gained rating points (his new rating will be rounded up to 2800), and notched up more wins - 6 - than anyone else in the tournament. Overall though, his play was inconsistent and sometimes shaky, and it will have to be better if he hopes to win the Candidates in March.

    Another half a point back were Anand and Wesley So. So defeated Hou Yifan to finish a successful tournament, while for Hou she finished tied for the worst score in the history of 13-round Wijk aan Zee events. (Ironically, that too was a record of Jan Timman's.)

    The other games were drawn: Caruana-Svidler and Matlakov-Jones. All the games, including the tiebreaks, are here, with my comments to all but Matlakov-Jones.

    Final Standings:

    • 1. Carlsen 9 (and 1.5-.5 in the playoff vs. Giri)
    • 2. Giri 9
    • 3-4. Kramnik, Mamedyarov 8.5
    • 5-6. Anand, So 8
    • 7. Karjakin 7.5
    • 8. Svidler 6
    • 9. Wei Yi 5.5
    • 10-12. Jones, Caruana, Matlakov 5
    • 13. Adhiban 3.5
    • 14. Hou Yifan 2.5

    Sunday
    Jan282018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 12: Carlsen and Giri Lead Entering the Last Round

    The penultimate round of this year's Tata Steel Masters event was a fighting one...mostly. The game between Gawain Jones and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was a bit of a shocker, though. Not from Jones's side of the board: as the underdog in every game, and having lost three of his last four games, it's not surprising that he'd be happy to get a quick draw, even with White. But for Mamedyarov it's really odd. He was a significant favorite by rating and in good form, yet he played the Petroff and stumbled into a draw by repetition after just 12 moves. Maybe he assumed that Jones would play more ambitiously with White? Whatever the story, it was a terrible result for Mamedyarov, as both his main rivals won.

    The first of the two to win was Anish Giri, who dispatched Baskaran Adhiban with relative ease. After 17...Qb6(?) 18.Be3 Giri had a nice edge - maybe Adhiban missed that after 18...Ng4 19.Qe4! Black couldn't take on e3 as the bind following 20.Qe8+ Bf8 21.fxe3 would be fatal. So he had to give up a pawn several moves later, and Giri managed to convert his advantage. Amusingly, the secret was to return the pawn some moves later to establish a new bind, and this one wound up costing Adhiban a piece and the game.

    For Magnus Carlsen, the win took a lot longer, and was yet another demonstration of his unmatched endgame prowess. The game went straight from the opening to the ending, and after 23 moves the players were down to a rook apiece and opposite-colored bishops, with three pawns apiece on the kingside and Carlsen enjoying an extra pawn on the queenside. The pawn looked worthless though: he had an a-pawn and doubled c-pawns against Black's a- and b-pawns. A draw, surely? For most of us, yet; in fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see even some titled players call it a day at that point. Carlsen's 24.Rd1 did keep a slight edge though, and while Matlakov's response was understandable it may not have been the best idea, as it gave Carlsen additional targets. Still, a draw was much likelier than a win for White, but the game went on and on, and Carlsen is Carlsen.

    Thus Giri and Carlsen lead Mamedyarov by half a point entering the final round. If Viswanathan Anand had won against Wesley So, he would have caught up with Mamedyarov. To his misfortune, he had nothing special prepared for So's Open Ruy Lopez. In a very well-known line they followed an Adams-Giri game from last March for 27 moves. In that game, Adams played 28.Ra8 and a draw was agreed after White's 31st move. In this game, Anand played 28.Rd1, and a draw was agreed after Black's 32nd move.

    Anand is therefore in fourth place, where he was caught by Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik bounced back from his loss to Sergey Karjakin in the previous round by defeating Fabiano Caruana - an impressive comeback. Kramnik could have won the queen ending sooner than he did, but despite an excess of caution he never let the win slip.

    The other games were drawn: Peter Svidler split the point with Karjakin in 32 moves, while Hou Yifan-Wei Yi drew in 45.

    The games (unannotated today, sorry) are here, and these are the pairings for the last round:

    • So (7) - Hou Yifan (2.5)
    • Mamedyarov (8) - Anand (7.5)
    • Matlakov (4.5) - Jones (4.5)
    • Karjakin (7) - Carlsen (8.5)
    • Caruana (4.5) - Svidler (5.5)
    • Adhiban (3.5) - Kramnik (7.5)
    • Wei Yi (5.5) - Giri (8.5)

    No fewer than five players still have a shot at first, but on paper Giri probably has the best chances to win the event. In case of a tie, there will be a two-game playoff - a pair of 5'+3" games - followed by an Armageddon game, if necessary. (I'm not sure what happens in case of a three-way [or even four-way] tie. Maybe the top two by tiebreak play the two-game match, and the third place finisher is out?)

    Finally, a quick check-in on the Challengers group. Vidit Gujrathi and Anton Korobov had been tied for a while, but in round 12 Vidit won and Korobov drew, so the former leads by a half point entering the last round. (Recall that the winner is promoted to next year's Masters tournament.) The players have approximately equally strong opponents in the last round - Vidit faces Jorden Van Foreest, while Korobov gets Dmitry Gordievsky. (Both JVF and DG are 2620-something.) But Vidit has White and Korobov Black, so it looks good for Vidit to join the top players next year.

    Tuesday
    Jan232018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 9: Man Bites Dog (Giri Wins and Everyone Else Draws)

    What is this world coming to? Anish Giri defeated Maxim Matlakov today with Black thanks to big errors on White's 25th and 35th moves, and now he's the sole leader of the Tata Steel Masters tournament. It's only a half-point lead over Magnus Carlsen and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and four rounds remain, but it's better to be half a point ahead of the field than half a point behind the leader. With four wins in total, including wins over Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik, he's having a great tournament, and has a very real shot at becoming the first Dutch player to win the country's most prestigious annual tournament since Jan Timman did it 33 years ago, in 1985.

    Of the draws: not all of them were solid affairs that started equal and stayed that way. That was, however, the story of the other games featuring the pre-round co-leaders. Carlsen drew on the black side of a Breyer against Viswanathan Anand (the line they used to test around the turn of the decade), while Mamedyarov was unable to achieve anything with White against Kramnik in an Italian game. Other games had more adventures, and I'll leave their exploration to all of you. The games, with my notes to Giri's game, are here.

    Tomorrow (or today, depending on where you are) is the second road game, and will be followed by a rest day. Here's what's on tap for round 10: 

    • Hou Yifan (1.5) - Baskaran Adhiban (2.5)
    • Wei Yi (3.5) - Fabiano Caruana (3.5)
    • Anish Giri (6.5) - Sergey Karjakin (5)
    • Vladimir Kramnik (5.5) - Maxim Matlakov (4)
    • Peter Svidler (4.5) - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (6)
    • Magnus Carlsen (6) - Wesley So (5.5)
    • Gawain Jones (4) - Viswanathan Anand (5) 
    Sunday
    Jan212018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 8: Giri Beats Mamedyarov, Carlsen Blunders a Piece and Wins Anyway; All Three Lead

    Did we jinx Shakhriyar Mamedyarov? Did he, like Icarus, fly too close to the sun? If it was too soon yesterday to crown him the heir apparent, it's likewise too soon today to say that he's getting dragged back to the chase pack behind Magnus Carlsen. What we can say is that his one point lead over the rest of the field at Wijk aan Zee is gone after a terrible game against Anish Giri. Giri started off 2-0, and after a series of mostly very short draws, apparently thought it might be fun to try to win again once again - and he succeeded. He's now tied for first with Mamedyarov, and...

    Magnus Carlsen. Just about everything about his win over Gawain Jones was absurd. First, he said he was surprised by Jones's Dragon. That would make sense if one changed one word in the last sentence: Jones (or rather, Jones's). Jones wrote two major books on the Dragon a couple of years ago, and has played more than 100 games with it that have reached the databases. It's not that Jones can't play any other opening - he does - but for the Dragon to come as a surprise to any of his opponents is crazy. Even crazier is that Carlsen just blundered a piece, full stop, on move 17. It wasn't some sort of Alpha Zero-deep idea; it was what an old friend of mine would call a stick-an-ice cream cone-on-your-forehead moment. But the biggest absurdity of them all is it hardly mattered. Jones was winning, but six moves later the position was unclear, and another six moves later Carlsen was completely winning. Jones may be the lowest-rated player in the field, but he's still a great chess player in the mid-2600s. He had an even score in the tournament coming into this game, but no matter: Carlsen can blunder a piece against a 2640-50 player in good form and still win going away. (It's reminiscent of the New England Patriots in the NFL, whose combination of excellent play and seeming deal-with-the-devil quality and quantity of good luck over the past 17 years or so is mind-boggling.)

    In other games, featuring (comparatively) normal human beings, most of the other games were drawn, and most of them were quick draws. Only one other game had a winner, and that was Fabiano Caruana coming back from a lost position against Hou Yifan to gain the full point. Caruana has had a horrible tournament, which included the first part of his game in this round, but fortunately for him Hou is having an even worse tournament. She still has just one point, and lost 19 rating points in the tournament so far.

    Here are the games, and here are the pairings for round 9, on Tuesday: 

    • Jones (3.5) - Hou Yifan (1)
    • Anand (4.5) - Carlsen (5.5)
    • So (5) - Svidler (4)
    • Mamedyarov (5.5) - Kramnik (5)
    • Matlakov (4) - Giri (5.5)
    • Karjakin (4.5) - Wei Yi (3)
    • Caruana (3) - Adhiban (2) 

    Some comments on the round 9 games, going from top to bottom.

    Jones-Hou Yifan: It's a nice opportunity for Jones to get back on track against a player who is really suffering. If he can get back to 50% it would be a terrific achievement.

    Anand-Carlsen: Anand has done pretty well against Carlsen lately, so this could well add some intrigue to the tournament.

    So-Svidler: So has been lurking close to the leaders. Svidler is not an easy pairing for anyone, but if he can win it could put him into a tie for first.

    Mamedyarov-Kramnik: Or not: Mamedyarov has a very good score against Kramnik - the ex-champ is pretty close to becoming an official "customer". As long as he's able to play his normal chess without being too discouraged from the Giri loss, he'll have excellent chances to gain a full point. (How good is his score? From 2013, including all time controls, Mamedyarov's score is +8-1=6, and four of those draws were in 2013. And just counting classical games, Mamedyarov has scored 3.5 points in the last four games.)

    Matlakov-Giri: Giri hasn't shown any ambition with Black in this tournament, so unless Matlakov self-destructs quickly a draw can be expected.

    Karjakin-Wei Yi: If Karjakin hopes to compete for first he has to start winning, and Wei Yi hasn't played particularly well so far. We'll see if Karjakin has any ambition left for the tournament, or if he's already looking ahead to the Candidates.

    Caruana-Adhiban: I'm sure Caruana will play for the full point, to boost his confidence and his rating going into the Candidates. The first half of the tournament (after his round 1 draw with Carlsen) was awful, but if he can salvage it with a strong finish he can feel good about his chess heading into the second biggest event of the year.

    A note about the Challengers' tournament. Anton Korobov had been a convincing leader, with his only real rival Vidit Gujrathi a full point behind. No longer: Korobov lost with White (from a winning position) against Bassem Amin, and now he and Vidit share first with 6/8. The winner gets promoted to the Masters' tournament next year, so there's a lot at stake for them in the last five rounds.

    Wednesday
    Jan172018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 2

    I won't offer a full summary of the round 2 action, but here are the games, some of which have been annotated for your entertainment and instruction. Rounds 3 and 4 will gradually make their appearances as well.

    If you can remember all the way back to round 1, there were three winners: Giri, Kramnik, and Anand. The first two faced off, and while Giri has generally been one of Kramnik's customers, in this round the roles were reversed. Giri had all the fun, and Kramnik collapsed badly before the end of the time control. The world champion notched his first (and through round five, only) victory of the event against Adhiban. Adhiban plays lively chess, but perhaps hoping for a solid draw against the world champion played the Scotch Four Knights with White. Carlsen equalized without any problem, and when Adhiban failed to play 25.c3 his position fell to pieces. The third winner on the day was Mamedyarov (at the moment the world's #2 player); he defeated Hou Yifan (who is having a terrible tournament with just half a point out of five). I didn't analyze this last game, but did offer some comments on the marathon battle between Wei Yi and Svidler. Wei Yi was on the verge of winning, but a moment of carelessness allowed the 45-time Russian champion to eke out a draw. (Yes, I'm exaggerating; he has "only" won eight Russian titles.)

    Saturday
    Jan132018

    Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 1: Anand, Kramnik, and Giri Win

    For Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, the stories were similar: they played very well against strong but somewhat lower-rated opponents (Maxim Matlakov and Wei Yi, respectively), had some hiccups once they achieved a serious advantage, but eventually managed to convert anyway. Anish Giri's win over Hou Yifan was a bit different: they kept trading pieces all the way down to a king and pawn ending, and although the position was (and had long been) equal, Hou needed to make one precise move to hold the draw. Somewhat short of time, she failed to do so, and Giri joined the winner's circle in the last game of the day.

    The other games, including the marquee matchup between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, finished peacefully. Peter Svidler had some chances against Baskaran Adhiban but let them slip. Wesley So was surprised in the opening by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and chose a safe reply that allowed his opponent to equalize without any difficulty. Finally, Gawain Jones played a chicken line in the opening against Sergey Karjakin, with White offering a draw by repetition on move 12. Was this nervousness, fear, or a psychological trick? Karjakin declined the repetition, and Jones later obtained an edge, though only briefly, and the game was drawn before the first time control.

    In the Challengers event Korobov, Gordievsky, and Jorden Van Foreest all won, the latter defeating...Lucas Van Foreest. So much for brotherly love!

    The Masters (top section) games, plus Gordievsky's game and the battle of the siblings, are all here with my generally brief comments.

    Round 2 Pairings (Masters section only):

    • Hou Yifan (0) - Mamedyarov (.5)
    • Matlakov (0) - So (.5)
    • Karjakin (.5) - Anand (1)
    • Caruana (.5) - Jones (.5)
    • Adhiban (.5) - Carlsen (.5)
    • Wei Yi (0) - Svidler (.5)
    • Giri (1) - Kramnik (1)

    Friday
    Aug112017

    Ongoing and Completed Events: Gelfand-Inarkiev, the British Championship, and Giri-Ding Liren

    1. The classical and rapid chess rematch between Boris Gelfand and Ernesto Inarkiev has gone much better for Inarkiev this year than last. (Non-Russian readers may prefer this link.) Last year Gelfand won both 4-2 at both time controls, but this year has been another story. Gelfand leads in the classical games 3-2 thus far, but is trailing in both of the rapid time controls. In 25'+10" he's down 3-1, and in 10'+10" he's down 2.5-1.5. Nevertheless, his most recent win in classical chess was something special - have a look.

    2. When I last left off with the British Championship, Luke McShane and John Emms were the co-leaders after round 7. Each had six points and were paired for the penultimate round. They drew, and were caught by Gawain Jones, who defeated Nicholas Pert. In the last round McShane had White against Jones, and they drew. If Emms would have beaten David Howell with Black, he would have become the British Champion for the first time - and at the age of 50. A draw would have put him into a playoff, but he lost. Thus Howell joined the tie for first with 7 points, and so did Craig Hanley thanks to his win with Black against Zhou Yang-Fan. And the playoff winner was...Gawain Jones, who had previous won the title in 2012.

    3. The four-game match between Anish Giri and Ding Liren may have slipped under the radar for most readers, as it was overshadowed by the Sinquefield Cup, but whenever two players rated near 2780 face off it's worth taking note. Giri won the match 2.5-1.5, winning game two on the black side of the ubiquitous Giuoco Piano.

    Wednesday
    Jun142017

    Norway Chess, Rounds 6 & 7: Aronian Surging Forward With a Bang, Carlsen Going Out With a Whimper

    Round 6 (on Monday) and round 7 (on Wednesday) were both exciting and eventful, and after a slow start the Norway Chess tournament has become very lively. There were two wins in round 6 and three in round 7, and it's nice to see that the decisive games have all been well-played by the winners.

    Hikaru Nakamura had been leading after round 5, but he was caught in round 6 by Levon Aronian, who promptly went by him with a second straight win in round 7. In round 6 Aronian beat Vladimir Kramnik pretty badly on the white side of a Semi-Tarrasch when the latter underestimated the danger to his queen on g4. That was a clean victory, slightly contrasted with his win over Sergey Karjakin in the next round. Aronian was never in danger, but his play was rather speculative. Karjakin got caught up in the speculative atmosphere, which proved unfortunate. In particular, 28.Rg6 only managed to get the rook in trouble, and in the lead up to the time control things went from bad to worse, and Aronian dispatched him most efficiently.

    Things are going even more poorly for Magnus Carlsen, who is tied for last place with 2.5 points out of 7. He lost in round 7 to Kramnik, who bounced back nicely from his loss to Aronian with a surprisingly easy win against the world champion. This put Kramnik back into second place on the rating list, and what's incredible is that he's only 6.4 points out of first. Carlsen has been #1 in the world on every list since July 2011 (and on most of the lists going back to January 2010), but he's just one more loss and one more Kramnik (or Wesley So, or maybe even Aronian win) from falling to #2. Back to the Kramnik-Carlsen game: Kramnik played sharply, but Carlsen was fine until his 25th move. After 25...Bxf2+ he would have been fine with correct play; after 25...Qxf2+, however, and his further error on move 27, he was simply lost, and Kramnik was up to the challenge.

    Kramnik is tied for third place with Anish Giri, with four points, half a point behind Nakamura and a full point behind Aronian. Giri played the Accelerated Dragon/Dragon hybrid against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round 7, and while MVL is one of the best calculators in the world and a player who loves sharp, imbalanced positions this just wasn't his day. He neither took proper care of his king nor got his own attack off the ground fast enough, and lost a short, one-sided game.

    The last decisive game of rounds 6 and 7 came from round 6. Viswanathan Anand (the last person not named "Magnus Carlsen" to be classical world champion or rated #1 in the world [in classical chess]) repeated the same anti-English line he lost with against Giri in round 4, but this time he was fully successful with it against Fabiano Caruana. Caruana's queenside play got nowhere, while Anand successfully broke through on the kingside on the way to a queenside mating attack.

    The decisive games mentioned above can be replayed here, with my comments. Here's what's coming up in round 8:

     

    • Nakamura (4.5) - So (3.5)
    • Carlsen (2.5) - Karjakin (3)
    • Vachier-Lagrave (2.5) - Kramnik (4)
    • Aronian (5) - Anand (3)
    • Giri (4) - Caruana (3)

     

     

     

    Saturday
    Jun102017

    Norway Chess 2017, Round 4: Three Winners, and it Could Have Been Five

    Today's was the best round yet from an entertainment perspective, with three wins from five games. Hikaru Nakamura's win over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave makes him the clear leader with 3 out of 4, while Levon Aronian is the hero of the round after defeating Magnus Carlsen in a great game with sacrifices. Anish Giri also won, and quickly against Viswanathan Anand, while Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana should have defeated Sergey Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik, respectively.

    Nakamura - Vachier-Lagrave was a Najdorf, and White went for one of the unusual sidelines that has cropped in recent years, playing 6.Bd3 e5 7.Nde2. While that's unusual, the race between White's queenside expansion and Black's counterplay on the kingside is one sort of typical Najdorf middlegame. On this occasion Black's kingside play wasn't dangerous - at least when one defends as accurately as Nakamura did in this game. (Your mileage may vary.)

    Aronian found an interesting new idea against the Semi-Slav in 10.Bc2, which is aimed against Black's ...e5-e4 ideas. After 24 minutes, Carlsen played 10...Rd8, and after spending 24 minutes on his next two moves, Aronian sacrificed the exchange and a pawn with 11.a3 Bxa3 12.Rxa3. After 12...Qxa3 13.c5 Black's queen is shut out of the game, both to its detriment and the rest of Black's army as well. This became evident when Aronian went for the Greek gift sacrifice 17.Bxh7+, resulting in a large advantage. Aronian's next dozen moves or so were the best ones, and while he made an inaccuracy on move 29 Black's position was extremely difficult to hold, and Carlsen failed to take advantage of his one chance.

    The first two games ended before the first time control, and so did Giri-Anand. Anand has reputedly had some difficulties against the English in recent years, and he had some troubles in this game as well. Giri was outplaying Anand in the middlegame and had a won position until he chose 29.g5 rather than 29.Rh5. The error was more than compensated by an even bigger mistake by Anand on move 31. The former champion had to play 31...Qxh4, giving up a piece but getting enough pawns and positional compensation to save the game. Instead, 31...Nc5 lost on the spot: 32.g6 Qd7 33.Bb4, and Black has no good defense against d4.

    As for the draws, So was crushing Karjakin until his careless 34.Qxc4??; instead, any move defending the rook (e.g. 34.Re2) would have won easily. The problem was that 34.Qxc4 allowed 34...Nf6, giving Black enough activity to survive. After this both sides played great chess, with So setting Karjakin a series of very difficult problems to solve, and Karjakin rose to the occasion every time. Caruana too was winning against Kramnik, and from early on. Kramnik's 15th and 16th moves were errors, but after that he went into Tal mode, blew a thick fog over the board, and Caruana couldn't manage to put him away.

    The games are here, with annotations to Aronian-Carlsen. Here's what's on tap for round 5:

    • Karjakin (2) - Caruana (2)
    • Anand (1) - So (2)
    • Carlsen (1.5) - Giri (2)
    • Vachier-Lagrave (1.5) - Aronian (2.5)
    • Kramnik (2.5) - Nakamura (3)