He's on a roll!

Alexei Shirov has done it again! It might be a while since anyone has won their first four games in the A-group in the Corus tournament.
A day full of exciting tussles.

Group A

Unlike yesterday, nobody managed to win with Black, but there were two white wins and five draws in round 4.

However despite the large number of halved points there were many entertaining games.

Shirov had a new idea up his sleeve against the Petroff and this led to some middlegame pressure. Later a piece sacrifice (for all the kingside pawns) fatally opened up Black's king. Another stylish Shirov victory.

Ivanchuk and Van Wely indulged in a sharp Najdorf where the Dutchman sacrificed the exchange in the complications. Ivanchuk was able to successfully defend his own king whilst building up an attack against the Dutchman's.

Karjakin-Caruana and Dominguez-Leko both featured the Spanish and led to draws, but weren't exactly in the same style. The first was a dull exchange variation whereas the latter was a delightful Marshall gambit with a plethora of sacrifices coming from the Cuban to force a perpetual check.

Nigel Short played in something of an eccentric manner in his game against Carlsen but everything seemed to hang together to earn him half the spoils.

Nakamura played a Leningrad set-up against which Anand ventured an early b4. The tense middlegame seemed to give White a pull but Nakamura reacted actively and was able to engineer lively play that led to mass simplification.

Kramnik-Tiviakov was mysterious in that an isolated queen's pawn position seemed to go badly wrong for Kramnik, so much so that Tiviakov won a pawn. Any Kramnik 'compensation' didn't seem particularly concrete at first sight but he soon managed to land a nice combination. The complications that followed were exciting before they led to an equal endgame.

Viswanathan AnandIND27900.5-0.5Hikaru NakamuraUSA2708A81Leningrad Dutch (early b4)
Magnus CarlsenNOR28100.5-0.5Nigel ShortENG2696B01Scandinavian with 2...Nf6
Vassily IvanchukUKR27491-0Loek van WelyNED2641B96 Sicilian Najdorf
Alexei ShirovESP27231-0Jan SmeetsNED2657C42Petroff's Defence
Vladimir KramnikRUS27880.5-0.5Sergey TiviakovNED2662E21Nimzo indian with e3
Sergey KarjakinRUS27200.5-0.5Fabiano CaruanaITA2675C69Spanish Exchange
Leinier DominguezCUB27120.5-0.5Peter LekoHUN2739C89Spanish Marshall

Here are the standings after the fourth round.

Ivanchuk joins Carlsen and Nakamura in second place but already a whole point behind the runaway leader.

1Alexei ShirovESP27234
2=Vassily IvanchukUKR27493
2=Hikaru NakamuraUSA27083
2=Magnus CarlsenNOR28103
5=Viswanathan AnandIND27902
5=Vladimir KramnikRUS27882
5=Sergey KarjakinRUS27202
5=Leinier DominguezCUB27122
9=Peter LekoHUN27391.5
9=Fabiano CaruanaITA26751.5
9=Sergey TiviakovNED26621.5
12=Nigel ShortENG26961
12=Loek van WelyNED26411
14Jan SmeetsNED26570.5


The leaders drew in their individual encounter and are now just ahead of three of today's winners Harikrishna, L'Ami and Howell.

Reinderman and Akobian are struggling somewhat.

Erwin l'AmiNED26151-0Varuzhan AkobianUSA2628D34 Queen's Gambit Tarrasch
Parimarjan NegiIND26210.5-0.5Wesley SoPHI2656B43 Sicilian Paulsen
Penteala HarikrishnaIND26721-0Arkadij NaiditschGER2687A08Reti's opening
Liviu-Dieter NisipeanuROM26810.5-0.5Anna Muzychuk SLO2523B33Sicilian Sveshnikov
Dimitri ReindermanNED25730-1David HowellENG2606A20English Opening
Ni HuaCHN26570.5-0.5Anish GiriNED2588)C42Petroff's Defence
Emil SutovskyISR26660-1Tomi NybackFIN2643C92 Spanish Zaitsev

It's still early days and this is the closest of the three tournaments with the top 12 only separated by 1.5 points.

1=GMNi HuaCHN26573
1=GMAnish GiriNED25883
3=GMPenteala HarikrishnaIND26722.5
3=GMErwin l'AmiNED26152.5
3=GMDavid HowellENG26062.5
6=GMArkadij NaiditschGER26872
6=GMLiviu-Dieter NisipeanuROM26812
6=GMWesley SoPHI26562
6=GMTomi NybackFIN26432
6=GMParimarjan NegiIND26212
11=GMEmil SutovskyISR26571.5
11=IMAnna MuzychukSLO25231.5
13GMVaruzhan AkobianUSA26281
14GMDimitri ReindermanNED25730.5

Group C

Li Chao and Robson continue to dominate the C-Group in a day with six decisive games.

Soumya SwaminathanIND23230-1Li Chao-bCHN2604B67Sicilian Richter-Rauzer
Robin van KampenNED24561-0Sjoerd PlukkelNED2279C41Philidor's Defence
Kjetil LieNOR25471-0Daniele VocaturoITA2495A10 English Opening
Nils GrandeliusSWE25150-1Benjamin BokNED2322 A16English Opening
Abhijeet GuptaIND25770.5-0.5Zhaoqin PengNED2402D10Slav Defence
Ray RobsonUSA25701-0Stefan KuipersNED2340B33Sicilian Sveshnikov
Robin SwinkelsNED24951-0Marya MuzychukUKR2447A04Reti v Dutch

Swinkels is the best placed of those players who are seeking a GM-norm.

1=GMLi Chao-bCHN26043.5
1=GMRay RobsonUSA25703.5
3=GMAbhijeet GuptaIND25772.5
3=GMKjetil LieNOR25472.5
3=IMRobin SwinkelsNED24952.5
3=GMDaniele VocaturoITA24952.5
3=GMZhaoqin PengNED24022.5
8IMRobin van KempenNED24562
9=IMNils GrandeliusSWE25151.5
9=FMStefan KuipersNED23401.5
9=FMBenjamin BokNED23221.5
12WGMMarya MuzychukUKR24471
13=WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND23230.5
13=-Sjoerd PlukkelNED22790.5

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