Candidates Tournament 2018 – Rounds 4 and 5

Grischuk-three

ALEXANDER GRISCHUK – THE MAN OF THE HOUR

Rounds 4 and 5 of the Candidates Tournament 2018 have just finished and they have left the spectators with mixed feelings. Whereas round 4 continued where round 3 has left us, round 5 was the cold shower. Considering that the aftertaste of the 5th round is still very much present, we have decided to proclaim Alexander Grischuk as the hero of these two rounds, as he played two extremely interesting and fighting games.

Report and game analysis follows.

Round 4

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar – So, WESLEY

The only non-game of the round. Shakh once again went for the Qc2 Nimzo Indian and once again, just like in round two, failed to set his opponent some real problems. A draw was quickly agreed.

kRAMNIK, vLADIMIR – cARUANA, FABIANO

After his brilliant performance in round three, Kramnik quickly became the tournament favourite number one. However, already after the game against Caruana, this status was shaken – such is the competition and cost of a lost game in the Candidates.

In the opening, Kramnik played Boris Spassky’s favourite Qe2 move against the Petroff. In the queenless middlegame, he played to riskily, and Caruana gained an appreciative advantage. Kramnik was forced to sacrifice a piece and a fascinating ending appeared in which he had four connected passed pawns on the queenside, but Caruana had his trumps on the kingside. In complications, Kramnik was the last to make a mistake.

Kramnik_lost
Kramnik immediately after the game. As Kasparov once said: “Chess is a mental torture”

kARJAKIN, sERGEY – aRONIAN, lEVON

After his terrible defeat the day before, Aronian quickly bounced back by doing the same to Karjakin. Sergey simply mixed the lines of a sharp Vienna and was virtually lost after 16 moves.

gRISCHUK, ALEXANDER – dING, lIREN

A mind-boggling encounter in which Grischuk went for his favourite Anti-Moscow Gambit. He repeated a knight sacrifice played by Topalov back in 2008 in his game against Kramnik at Corus Chess Tournament.

Analysis can describe better than words what an encounter that was.

Round 5

Ding, Liren – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar

Quiet Catalan, quickly resolving to a draw.

NEXT, PLEASE!

Caruana, Fabiano – Karjakin, Sergey

A different version of Catalan, draw all the same.

NEXT, PLEASE!

So, wesley – Kramnik, Vladimir

Kramnik defended with his customary Nxd5 against the Queen’s gambit and So was unable to create anything tangible. In the end, Kramnik was even slightly pressing, but in the end, the game ended peacefully.

Aronian, Levon – Grischuk, Alexander

Alexander Grischuk was the hero of the round. With yet another unorthodox opening (Benoni) he created a fighting position. True, he was risking quite a lot and was most objectively losing, but what a game nevertheless, what richness in variations, what a beautiful queen sacrifice hidden in the forest of the variations.

Make sure you check the press conference after the game – Grischuk’s reactions are priceless:

Our analysis of the game:

 

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