Chess

Sharjah Grand Prix: Mamedyarov wins to catch Vachier-Lagrave

The fourth round of the FIDE World Chess Sharjah Grand Prix was played today at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Michael Adams in an aggressive display of the Queen’s Gambit Exchange variation. White got better out of the opening, but black has put up an inspired defence. Only in the time trouble Adams erred by missing 35…b4 and white duly converted the advantage.

Li Chao improved on an earlier game of GM Kuzubov to achieve certain advantage against Evgeny Tomashevsky. The Russian was a little bit conservative, missing the most principled moves, for example 17…exd4 with next 18…c5. Also, black could have tried for more complicated 33…Nxd1 34. Bc6 (34.Qxb6!?) Nxf2 with next 35…Rxc6. Li Chao did not allow further opportunities and quickly wrapped up the game.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Round 4 results:
GM Nakamura Hikaru 2785 – GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796 ½ – ½
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766 – GM Adams Michael 2751 1 – 0
GM Aronian Levon 2785 – GM Riazantsev Alexander 2671 ½ – ½
GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2709 – GM Ding Liren 2760 ½ – ½
GM Eljanov Pavel 2759 – GM Hou Yifan 2651 ½ – ½
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2749 – GM Grischuk Alexander 2742 ½ – ½
GM Hammer Jon Ludvig 2628 – GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2709 ½ – ½
GM Li Chao B 2720 – GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2711 1 – 0
GM Rapport Richard 2692 – GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2656 ½ – ½

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov are in the lead with 3 points each, followed by Hikaru Nakamura on 2,5 points.

Round 5 pairings:
GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766 – GM Nakamura Hikaru 2785
GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2796 – GM Aronian Levon 2785
GM Ding Liren 2760 – GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2749
GM Grischuk Alexander 2742 – GM Eljanov Pavel 2759
GM Adams Michael 2751 – GM Hammer Jon Ludvig 2628
GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2709 – GM Li Chao B 2720
GM Riazantsev Alexander 2671 – GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2709
GM Salem A.R. Saleh 2656 – GM Hou Yifan 2651
GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2711 – GM Rapport Richard 2692

The top two finishers in the four-tournament series, which will also include competitions in Moscow, Geneva and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, will qualify for the Candidates tournament next year to select a challenger for the World Championship. There are 24 players in the competitions, with each playing three of the four tournaments.

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