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Ivanchuk, Fedoseev Start Round 4 With Wins

The first day of the FIDE World Cup's fourth round saw two winners. Vassily Ivanchuk beat Anish Giri in a Petroff, and Vladimir Fedoseev refuted a mistake by Maxim Rodshtein brilliantly.

In a new playing hall, smaller and located on the second floor of the hotel, the World Cup resumed today with only 16 players left. It's a fairly international company with five from Russia, three from China, and one from Armenia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United States.

Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Giri in a Petroff. | Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova.
Two of the remaining participants are trying to become the first player to win two Cups: Levon Aronian and Peter Svidler.

Moving to a new hall probably saved some costs, but it also came with a cost. The players' rest area, for getting drinks and snacks, is an ad-hoc area just outside the doors of the hall, and in the same corridor as where spectators enter. Furthermore, a walk to the toilet means even more potential interaction with spectators or hotel guests. Cheating is unlikely going to happen, but the possibility to do so has definitely increased.

The smoking area is not outside anymore, but in the hallway to the elevator. Luckily only Jobava and Grischuk smoke; the smell would have been worse if Kramnik and Kuzubov would still have been in the tournament.

A few of today's games were fairly balanced and ended in draws: So-Jobava, Svidler-Bu, Wang-Ding and Dubov-Aronian. That was good news for the players having black, although Jobava was slightly disappointed as he had an edge in the endgame.

The draw in Daniil Dubov vs Levon Aronian had a surprising final phase, at least for the fans watching it with an engine. Couldn't Aronian just take on b2? He could.

Aronian seemed in a good mood after the game. After all, he was Black, so nothing terrible had happened. The smile on his face probably disappeared in his hotel room after he saw the game with a computer. Yes, his game continuation had led to a draw, but another move would have won.

If this was another gamble by Dubov, he has't run out of luck just yet.

Vladimir Fedoseev has excellent chances to reach the 1/4 finals after a beautiful win with the black pieces today vs Maxim Rodshtein, who had three free days in a row due to the Kovalyov incident. He spent them relaxing in the hotel.

In a Catalan/Queen's Indian Fedoseev decided to exchange some pawns in the center with 9...c5, after which the game became quite interesting. White might have been a bit better, and with 22.f4 Rodshtein played "optimistically," as his opponent put it.

22...e5 was perhaps not fully correct, but a practical pawn sacrifice, and especially tricky as it started an initiative in upcoming timetrouble for Rodshtein. 13 moves later the young Israeli, who received some best wishes from his compatriot Boris Gelfand yesterday before the latter left for the airport, made the decisive mistake with very little time on the clock.

Fedoseev's finale was wonderful and his comment rather straightforward: "It's always good to have the white pieces when you're one point up!"

Vassily Ivanchuk could enjoy a rest day with his wife after knocking out Kramnik from the World Cup. That might have been relevant while facing the 25 years younger Anish Giri. The Dutch GM played the Petroff, following the classical Soviet strategy "draw with Black, win with White." Except that he didn't hold the draw.

Somehow both players managed to surprise each other in the opening. First Ivanchuk spent more than half an hour on one move, and then Giri did the same. Eventually this led to a game where the evaluation fluctuated tremendously, and some strange mistakes were made in timetrouble. Giri was the last to make the biggest error.

By far the best game today was played in the high-profile match between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk. The opening might be called Giuoco Pianissimo, but the game was far from pianissimo!

In the early middlegame both players seemed to be playing for a win, and things got very exciting with MVL's Re1-e3-g3 rook switch followed by a sacrifice on g7. Soon, however, the Frechman felt he was lost, but he couldn't see it yet for his opponent. Grischuk couldn't either. But what a battle this was!

Author: Peter Doggers, Chess.com
Source: https://www.chess.com/news/view/ivanchuk-fedoseev-start-round-4-with-wins

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