A hat-trick for sharp-shooter Shirov

Alexei Shirov wins again to retain a perfect score with Nakamura hot on his heels after beating Short.
An ominous sign for the others is that Carlsen wins again.
Today there were a remarkable four wins with the Black pieces in the A-group.


So three draws and four wins for the least favoured colour! Shirov, Nakamura, Carlsen and Ivanchuk were the winners with Black, an unusual scenario but in each case they were playing lower-ranked opposition.

Shirov reacted very aggressively to Tiviakov's anti-Sicilian and sacrificed a pawn, before regaining it quickly as Shirov engineered some favourable complications. He soon obtained an attack and finished the game with a king-hunt. Entertaining stuff!

Nakamura made Short's attempt to sharpen the struggle look inadequate. Another loss for the Englishman that won't do his shaky confidence much good.

Carlsen managed to liven up a Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation with a surprising pawn sacrifice. Van Wely is not one to shirk from complex play, but here the Dutchman was outplayed as Carlsen steered the game into a favourable double-rook ending.

Ivanchuk reacted dynamically to Smeet's early Bxf6 against the Najdorf. Nakamura was successful with this yesterday but here Smeets didn't have an answer to the Ukrainian's model counterplay.

Caruana got nothing against Kramnik's ultra-solid Petroff.

Dominguez kept a slight pull and even won a pawn against Anand's 'Modern Archangel'. However he was unable to win the ending with only pawns on one wing.

Leko played an ambitious pawn sacrifice against the Queen's Indian, but Karjakin timed a counter-sacrifice that equalized.

Summing up:

Leinier Dominguez CUB27120.5-0.5Viswanathan Anand IND 2790C78Spanish (Modern Archangel)
Peter Leko HUN 27390.5-0.5Sergey Karjakin RUS 2720E15Queen's Indian Defence
Fabiano Caruana ITA 26750.5-0.5Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2788C42Petroff's Defence
Sergey Tiviakov NED 26620-1Alexei Shirov ESP 2723B23Sicilian (with an early Nc3, Bb5)
Jan Smeets NED 26570-1Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2749B96Sicilian Najdorf
Loek van Wely NED 26410-1Magnus Carlsen NOR 2810D37Queen's Gambit Declined (Exchange Variation)
Nigel Short ENG 26960-1Hikaru Nakamura USA 2708B58Sicilian Classical

Here are the standings after the third round.

1Alexei ShirovESP27233
2=Hikaru NakamuraUSA27082.5
2=Magnus CarlsenNOR28102.5
4Vassily IvanchukUKR27492
5=Viswanathan AnandIND27901.5
5=Vladimir KramnikRUS27881.5
5=Sergey KarjakinRUS27201.5
5=Leinier DominguezCUB27121.5
9=Peter LekoHUN27391
9=Fabiano CaruanaITA26751
9=Sergey TiviakovNED26621
9=Loek van WelyNED26411
13=Nigel ShortENG26960.5
13=Jan SmeetsNED26570.5


Emil Sutovsky ISR 26570.5-0.5Erwin l'Ami NED 2615
Tomi Nyback FIN 26430-1Ni Hua CHN 2657
Anish Giri NED 25880.5-0.5Dimitri Reinderman NED 2573
David Howell ENG 26060.5-0.5Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu ROM 2681
Anna Muzychuk SLO 25230-1Penteala Harikrishna IND 2672
Arkadij Naiditsch GER 26870.5-0.5Parimarjan Negi IND 2621
Wesley So PHI 26560.5-0.5Varuzhan Akobian USA 2628

In a day with many draws there were few changes to the standings. Anish Giri maintains his first place, but with Ni Hua's winning against Nyback (with black of course!) he now has to share the top spot. Naiditsch is the only other player on a plus score.

1=GMNi HuaCHN26572.5
1=GMAnish GiriNED25882.5
3GMArkadij NaiditschGER26872
4=GMLiviu-Dieter NisipeanuROM26811.5
4=GMPenteala HarikrishnaIND26721.5
4=GMEmil SutovskyISR26571.5
4=GMWesley SoPHI26561.5
4=GMParimarjan NegiIND26211.5
4=GMErwin l'AmiNED26151.5
4=GMDavid HowellENG26061.5
11=GMTomi NybackFIN26431
11=GMVaruzhan AkobianUSA26281
11=IMAnna MuzychukSLO25231
14GMDimitri ReindermanNED25730.5


The higher ranking players are gradually making their way up the leader board.

Robin Swinkels NED 24951-0Soumya Swaminathan IND 2323
Marya Muzychuk UKR 24470.5-0.5Ray Robson USA 2570
Stefan Kuipers NED 23400-1Abhijeet Gupta IND 2577
Zhaoqin Peng NED 24020.5-0.5Nils Grandelius SWE 2515
Benjamin Bok NED 23220-1Kjetil Lie NOR 2547
Daniele Vocaturo ITA 24951-0Robin van Kempen NED 2456
Sjoerd Plukkel NED 22790-1Li Chao-b CHN 2604

Three players share the lead and only GMs are now on plus scores.

1=GMLi Chao-bCHN26042.5
1=GMRay RobsonUSA25702.5
1=GMDaniele VocaturoITA24952.5
4=GMAbhijeet GuptaIND25772
4=GMZhaoqin PengNED24022
6=GMKjetil LieNOR25471.5
6=IMNils GrandeliusSWE25151.5
6=IMRobin SwinkelsNED24951.5
6=FMStefan KuipersNED23401.5
10=IMRobin van KempenNED24561
10=WGMMarya MuzychukUKR24471
12=WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND23230.5
12=FMBenjamin BokNED23220.5
12=-Sjoerd PlukkelNED22790.5

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