A rocky day for the "A" group, with Nepomniachtchi following Carlsen's example: dumping a rook after ten moves. It is hard to know what to make of it. Either the ladies there are astonishingly lovely, or there is something odd being placed in their food (watch it Anish!). Speaking of whom, he played a rare line of the Nimzo-Indian against Nakamura in which he allowed his queenside pawn structure to be destroyed, in exchange for some gaping holes for his pieces. Hikaru had a tough time of it, and eventually swapped down to a rook endgame a pawn down. Giri pressed on for 20 moves but was unable to swing the balance in his favor and a draw was eventually concluded.
Shirov's confidence has been shot after his untimely defeats, and it showed in his game against Vachier-Lagrave. He set himself up to go for maximum threats and activity, but chose the wrong direction (precisely what one would not expect of him) and his position quickly degraded beyond repair. The best game of the round was Anand's very fine victory over Wang Hao. Anand played an extremely strong positional piece sacrifice which was also a novelty, and though it is perfectly possible this was the result of home preparation, the line is almost unheard of in GM practice, so it is also quite possible the move was one of brilliant inspiration. Either way, a great and convincing game, that brought him to parity with Nakamura for the lead. Below is a 10-minute excerpt of GM Daniel King's Daily Roundup on Playchess.
In the "B" tournament, McShane finally dropped a half-point before the rest day tomorrow, though he continues to lead by a full point, and in the "C" tournament, GM Vocaturo is also leading with 3.5/4.
"A" tournament games in PGN
"B" tournament games in PGN
"C" tournament games in PGN