Sinquefield Cup 2015 – Round 4

More exciting chess in Saint Louis in Round 4, one decisive game, but all the games brimming with quality and fight.

The winner of the day was Aronian who demolished So with black in a Nimzo-Indian. Another opening disaster for So, who fell victim to an idea by Leko. Sometimes I get the impression that on this level things look like a Big Brothe… and now it’s perhaps best to leave it to the readers which letter to use to finish the sentence, “l” or “r”. My point is that it seems that everybody has had relationships/relations/collaboration/something else, with everybody and you never know who’s going to hit whom and with whose idea. The game was a great attacking game by Aronian, who must be very pleased that finally he’s showing some good chess and results.

Another player who is struggling this year, but who still hasn’t found his stride, is Grischuk. He’s losing almost 40 rating points since the beginning of the year. He tried to catch Topalov in a Najdorf, but he suffered from what I know all too well – he didn’t remember his preparation precisely. And when that happens it’s difficult to control yourself not to try to remember. Grischuk failed to remember and practically forced a draw – not that he wanted to, but because he missed a simple move in the line that happened in the game. Trying to remember and trying to calculate almost never go well together.

The duels between the World Champion and the brave Giri are always more interesting before they start, mainly due to the latter’s twitterades. What happens in the games is almost always the same – at the first possible moment Giri tries to make a draw. And succeeds. Carlsen usually manages to surprise Giri in the opening, this time with the Sveshnikov Sicilian, but Giri is theoretically well-prepared so he quickly went for a harmless sideline and drew comfortably. At least this time he won’t boast about his wife knowing something that Carlsen doesn’t.

Caruana and Anand drew in the Moscow Variation in the Slav where things seemed balanced throughout. Anand complained of imprecisions creeping in in his calculations, so he should be satisfied with the result. I got the impression that Anand played too straight-forwardly for a draw, but luckily for him he didn’t get into troubles that can easily happen when playing for a draw in this manner.

The Frenchman (Vachier) and Nakamura drew a wild KID Saemisch where at one moment white could obtain a strong, possibly decisive attack. An exciting game, as the most KIDs are, that both players should be fine with. Draw, after all, and no matter what the Frenchman thinks, is an integral part of the game of chess and a well played game can often lead to a satisfying draw.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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