Reports | August 04, 2008 20:59

Sochi R4: Cheparinov retains lead

Some interesting games, two decisive results and one very dramatic game - that was the fourth round of the Sochi Grand Prix in a nutshell.

Radjabov surprised Svidler by playing the Dragon, but in timetrouble the Azeri grandmaster erred. After strong opening play, Navara had reached a winning position against Al-Modiahki, but the Czech lost anyway, as a result of playing too quickly. Cheparinov retains his lead of half a point.

For Dragon fans, it was not a good day yesterday. Not only did Vishy Anand crush Magnus Carlsen in their first rapid game in the Grenkeleasing final in Mainz (more about that later), but Radjabov's try in the sharpest Sicilian was unsuccessful as well.

Although he improved upon theory with a very interesting exchange sacrifice, a big mistake later on decided the game in White's favour. Svidler was pretty satisfied with his play and gave the impression that sometimes doesn't hurt to play a game totally unprepared!

A truly dramatic finish was seen in Al-Modiahki - Navara, in which the Czech had reached a winning position after strong opening play (a novelty on move 6!), but then started to play too quickly in his opponent's timetrouble - a mistake many of use often make.

Navara revealed this after the game in the press room, which he always visits, win or loose, like a true sportsman! All the more disappointing that he lost this game.


Again, five draws in this fourth round - the drawing percentage is quite high now: 69%, despite the Sofia Rule. But it's not that surprising, since there's no weak player in this tournament and when the position is a dead draw, and both players think so, they will find a way to finish it quickly anyway.

But don't get me wrong: four of these draws were interesting fights - especially "board 1", Cheparinov-Gelfand. And Jakovenko-Wang Yue, which looked like a draw all the time, suddenly attracted attention after the inaccurate 55...h5 by the Chinese grandmaster. After the game Jakovenko thought it might be losing, but during lunch today he told me I didn't find a win. "But it was certainly a mistake!" he added.

Round 4 results
Svidler - Radjabov 1-0
Al-Modiahki - Navara 1-0
Karjakin - Ivanchuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Kamsky - Aronian ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Gashimov - Grischuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Cheparinov - Gelfand ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?
Jakovenko - Wang Yue ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

[table=336]

All photos ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky. Below you'll find the games of the second round (with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov and myself), followed by videos by Robert Fontaine and G?ɬ©rard Demuydt of Europe-Echecs.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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