Another long day here, so I'm afraid that only a brief summary of the round 4 action from the London Chess Classic is forthcoming. (Sorry.) Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri, the leaders coming into the round (and exiting it as well) both enjoyed a small pull at varying times in their games, but neither could make anything of it. Kramnik enjoyed some extra space and a solid - or rather, solid-looking - center on the white side of a Gruenfeld against Fabiano Caruana, but a very nicely timed tactical sequence by the world's #2 allowed him to liquidate into a drawn ending. (The star move: 20...Nxd4!)
Viswanathan Anand had a pull against Giri, but when he couldn't figure out how to make anything of it he had to switch over to defense. Ultimately he succeeded, and that game was drawn as well.
With a win over Hikaru Nakamura Mickey Adams could have leapfrogged them into first place, but he was ground down very nicely by Nakamura. Nakamura is now within a point of the leaders, who play each other in the final round, with Giri having White. If they draw and Nakamura manages to beat Caruana, he'll end up in clear first. In fact the situation is a little complicated given the tournament's 3-1-0 scoring, and in fact every player except for Caruana(!) could still wind up at least tied for first! Here are the last round pairings, and the scores:
- Adams (4) - Anand (4)
- Caruana (3) - Nakamura (5)
- Giri (6) - Kramnik (6)
If either Giri or Kramnik wins, that player will take clear first. If they draw and Nakamura wins, then Nakamura takes clear first. If they draw and Caruana scores, then Adams or Anand could tie for first with a win. In case of a tie, who wins on tiebreaks?
The first tiebreaker is number of games won. If Adams is in a tie for first, he wins, as he'll have two wins compared to Giri's and Kramnik's one. If Anand wins and ties for first, then he takes first by the second tiebreaker, which is wins with Black. (Giri & Kramnik both got their one win with White.) If Giri & Kramnik are the only ones in the first place tie, then they have to play an Armageddon game, as they are tied on all three tiebreakers (the third was head-to-head; they drew). In that game White will have six minutes plus an increment of two seconds per move while Black gets 5' + 2" and draw odds.