As the fourth round wraps up I would like to just take a moment here and say that the second game of the first tiebreaks between Morozevich and Tomashevsky was one of the most exciting and nerve wracking games I have ever seen. The game started off slowly with each side doing the cat and mouse. Finally after a slip Tomashevsky had an edge, which he later squandered. Then it seemed as though Morozevich had the edge and had a there was the potential to have a double queen endgame. After some further inaccuracies it seemed that Tomashevsky had the better side of a queen and pawn vs queen ending (which is one of the most difficult endings to defend). Finally after it was all said and done Tomashevsky did the seemingly impossible and won the game in 164 moves. It bears repeating this is one of the most exciting games I have ever seen. It would seem that long drawn-out endings are the flavor of the tournament. I love watching these guys shuffle around waiting for the other one to make a mistake.
Recap of round 4:
16. Morozevich (2736) Vs. 32. Tomashevsky (2709) – what is without a doubt the match-up of the tournament thus far. Morozevich won the fifth game of their match (the ten minute section) in style and was all but prepared to go on to the next round until possessed by the spirits of Rybka, Houdini, Capablanca and Buster Douglas; Tomashevsky did the unthinkable and beat Morozevich. This game was one of the most tense games of the tournament without a doubt and the result was always in the air up until the last 6 or 7 moves of the game. In the first of the blitz games Tomashevsky managed to beat Morozevich in what I considered to be a very dubious position. I think Morozevich got too excited and let his emotions take over too much. Finally Tomashevsky drew the final game (with mate in 1 hanging on the board) and won his match. Evgeny Tomashevsky advances to the elite eight.
8. Kamsky (2763) – 9. Mamedyarov (2761) – Two of the most exciting games in the tournament. In the first Kamsky utterly destroyed Mamedyarov in a fabulous and uncharacteristic attacking game that had flashes of Kaspy and the fireworks you’d normally expect from Tal. The second game nearly gave me a heart attack as we all watched Kamsky completely blow it in what now seems to be the newest fashion in the Grunfeld (playing an early and somewhat primitive h4). Eventually Gata found some magical saving resources that allowed him to save a draw which meant that Gata Kamsky advances to the elite eight.
13. Svidler (2746) – 29. Le (2712) – Peter Svidler eliminated Le in what turned out to be fairly boring match. In the end Svidler was able to prove in the rapid games that he knows his endings, and more to the point Le didn’t. Le had quite a few chances in this match to win games though and it wasn’t a total whitewash. So Peter Svidler advances to the elite eight.
5. Karjakin (2776) – 21. Andreikin (2727) – Again this one wasn’t terribly exciting for the fans. Andreikin did however prove that he does belong with the rest of the heavy hitters in tournament. Largely ignored for most of the tournament Andreikin has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with. Dmitry Andreikin advances to the elite eight.
2. Caruana (2796) – 50. Granda Zuniga (2679) – Caruana proved that he is not a man to be trifled with and routed Granda-Zuniga 2-0. In game two with the white pieces Granda-Zuniga needing to play for a win got a bit too ambitious in the opening and was soundly beaten. Fabiano Caruana advances to the elite eight.
7. Gelfand (2773) – 23. Vachier-Lagrave (2719) – Vachier-Lagrave demonstrated some fantastic chess this match and beat one of the most solid players left in the tournament. What’s remarkable about the games was that Lagrave had complete control it seemed like throughout each game and played very solidly. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave advances to the elite eight.
3. Kramnik (2784) – 19. Ivanchuk (2733) – This one also wasn’t too eventful, Kramnik won his game as black after Ivanchuk struggled in a seemingly innocuous queen and rook ending. Vladimir Kramnik advances to the elite eight.
6. Nakamura (2775) – 22. Korobov (2720) – This one came as quite a surprise. The largely unknown Anton Korobov defeated Nakamura with white and held him to a draw with black. After the game Nakamura tweeted that it was inexplicable how he played 18. … b6 instead of the natural (and probably equal) Nxe5.
Inexplicably overestimating my chances instead of taking a draw with 18…Nxe5. Oh well, life goes on.
— Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) August 21, 2013
A tough loss for American chess. The interview that Korobov gave after the game had ended was interesting to say the least. That guy seems crazier than a box of fruit loops. He did make some comical remarks about going fishing though (because there were 10 or so players swimming in the river). If anything that interview raised more questions than it did give answers. Anton Korobov advances to the elite eight.
Here are my predictions:
I sincerely hope that someone other than Kramnik wins this whole thing. It’d be a real shame to have this whole big tournament only to have a guy like Kramnik qualify (because he’d probably qualify anyways).