Nakamura & Ivanchuk lead after spectacular 4th round Reggio
After a bloody round with three decisive games, Vassily Ivanchuk and Hikaru Nakamura are sharing the lead in Reggio Emilia. Ivanchuk beat Alexander Morozevich in a brilliant game, Nakamura won against Anish Giri with Black in a King's Indian. Fabiano Caruana jumped to 4th place after beating Nikita Vitiugov, also with Black.
In the past year there have been many talks, again, about the (short) draws in chess - especially after the Candidates matches in Kazan. Chess journalists also discuss this matter frequently during tournaments, and most of them agree on one point: one of the best ways to avoid (a high number of) short and boring draws is to invite players known for their creative style and fighting spirit. The tournament in Reggio Emilia might not be a 'super tournament' at all levels yet, but this aspect is something the Italians understand very well!
Two of the most popular chess players out there met each other behind the board in round 4: Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Morozevich. Including rapid, blindfold and blitz they had met 46 times since 1994, according to Megabase 2012. The score is slightly better for Ivanchuk, and he improved this a bit further on Friday with what we would like to call a brilliant victory.
From a 5.d3 Ruy Lopez Ivanchuk found a splendid pawn sacrifice at move 25 on the queenside to divert the opponent's queen and build up a kingside attack. He then allowed his bishop trapped on h6 because it would always keep back rank mates in the position, continued with a piece sac that kept that black queen out of play a bit longer, and finished with a nice mating attack. OK, the engines point out a few quicker wins for Ivanchuk but we don't care.
Morozevich allowed his opponent to execute the mating move, which was indeed a pretty one. (Much nicer than last year, when Morozevich played until mate with bare king against knight and bishop for Ivanchuk.)
After his game against Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura tweeted:
The Kings [sic] Indian Defence lives!
Well, at least it's more accurate than something along the lines of 'is a killer' or 'rulez'. :-) In the game White seemed to have a nice advantage, but after some calculating errors on Giri's side the position collapsed quickly. The young Dutchman is struggling to find his best form, while Nakamura played yet another fine game.
After some unfortunate moments in the early rounds, Fabiano Caruana finally got his full point. Thanks to the football score system he jumped to 4th place. Nikita Vitiugov repeated a line from the Trompovsky in which he had beaten Wang Hao last year, but, as always, Caruana had done his homework well. That wasn't the whole story: Vitiugov's knight sacrifice wasn't that bad, but the Russian GM missed some chances to make things really messy.
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 4 Standings
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 4 Standings (classical)
Reggio Emilia 2011 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||27.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 6||02.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 2||28.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 7||03.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 3||29.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 8||04.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 4||30.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 9||05.01.12||15:00 CET|
|Round 5||31.12.11||15:00 CET||Round 10||06.01.12||13:00 CET|
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