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Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 (4)

Carlsen and Aronian both convincing round 4 winners in Zurich

Norwegian tv2 norge reporter Lars Sivertsen interviewing Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Tarjei J. Svensen

Norwegian tv2 norge reporter Lars Sivertsen interviewing Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Tarjei J. Svensen |

Magnus Carlsen moved to 3.5/4 with a nice win against Fabiano Caruana but that's not enough yet to win the Classical part of the Zurich Chess Classic as Levon Aronian is only half a point behind after his defeat of Hikaru Nakamura. Could we be seeing a year long rivalry culminating in an Aronian-Carlsen title match in November? Viswanathan Anand also put in a convincing performance against Boris Gelfand.

Carlsen beat Caruana in a Berlin Defence overcoming the drawish tendencies in a very nice way. Whilst 12...Qd7 isn't a terrible move Peter Leko in commentary and Carlsen afterwards thought it suspicious with 12...0-0 to be preferred. Carlsen prevented kingside castling and 18.d4 tried to open things up. 22.Rxf7 was an exchange sacrifice by Carlsen carving open Caruana's king. "It was always going to be more than enough compensation" and whilst Caruana defended well for a long time it was always going to be difficult to defend and Carlsen thought 33...Rc8 was the decisive error. 41.d5! was the final blow forcing the win.

"Carlsen needs to play more games like this. This was the chess equivalent of picking up your opponent and throwing him through a window." Jonathan Tisdall on twitter in an irresistible quote.

Levon Aronian also won beating Hikaru Nakamura who seemed very down after his game against Carlsen the day before and in no mood to put up much resistance. Aronian thought his Panno Variation against the King's Indian shouldn't give him all that much but after 12...c6?! and 13...cxd5 Nakamura was already close to being positionally busted. Aronian wasn't sure he played absolutely the best after that but he finished crisply.

Viswanathan Anand already looked much more like his old self in round 3 and today he played a very fine game as black against Boris Gelfand in a very sharp Slav Defence. It wasn't so much even his win against a struggling Gelfand it was the crispness and clarity of his play. It's been some time. He faces Carlsen in the final round with the white pieces.

Round 4 Standings: Carlsen 3.5pts/4, Aronian 3, Nakamura, Caruana, Anand 1.5, Gelfand 1. (totals will be doubled up and added to the final day rapid results)

Round 5 pairings: Nakamura-Gelfand, Caruana-Aronian, Anand-Carlsen.

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Zurich SUI (SUI), 29 i-4 ii 2014 cat. XXIII (2801)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2872 * ½ 1 1 . 1 3126
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2812 ½ * 1 . 1 ½ 3 2995
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2789 0 0 * ½ 1 . 2722
4. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2782 0 . ½ * ½ ½ 2715
5. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2773 . 0 0 ½ * 1 2703
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2777 0 ½ . ½ 0 * 1 2616
Round 4 (February 2, 2014)
Carlsen, Magnus - Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 47 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Aronian, Levon - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 45 E63 King's Indian 6...Nc6
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 36 D11 Slav Defence

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