Riazantsev and Jakovenko edge ahead

Dmitry Jakovenko wins his third White and is joined on 4/6 by Alexander Riazantsev whose victory against Ivan Sokolov was another very sharp battle. The other leaders (after five rounds) failed to win: Karjakin drew quickly, Sutovsky after a fight and Vitiugov went down to Jakovenko.

Alexander Riazantsev sacrificed a pawn against the Chebanenko Slav in order to keep his opponent's king in the centre. In return, Sokolov gave up the exchange in order to get his king to safety and seemed to have obtained plenty of play, until he was rocked back by a combination involving a queen sacrifice. The queen was taboo but then Black was in trouble anyway due to the weakness of his back rank.

Number 2 seed Jakovenko showed his expertise in technical positions as he maintained a space bind against Nikita Vitiugov's Semi-Slav and was eventually able to pick off a pawn in the endgame.

Alexander MotylevRussia27040.5-0.5Sergey KarjakinRussia2739
Emil SutovskyIsrael26610.5-0.5Baadur JobavaGeorgia2715
Sergei RublevskyRussia27040.5-0.5Arkadij NaiditschGermany2686
Dmitry JakovenkoRussia27251-0Nikita VitiugovRussia2707
Alexander OnischukUSA2699?Victor BologanMoldavia2668
Alexander RiazantsevRussia26741-0Ivan SokolovBosnia-Herzegovina2654

Alexander Motylev may have won the event last year, but drawing all of his games (many of them rather quickly) isn't a sign that he is particularly determined to repeat that achievement!

More exciting was the complex endgame between Emil Sutovsky and Baadur Jobava where White had an extra pawn but the fight for the initiative was the most important feature. The race in the rook ending led to a repetition.

The longest game was Rublevsky-Naiditsch which was very double-edged throughout and led to the book draw (that is, almost always at GM level!) of 'pawnless Rook and Knight versus Rook'.

PositionNameCountryRatingWorld rankingAgePoints after 4 rounds
1st-2ndDmitry JakovenkoRUS272521264
1st-2ndAlexander RiazantsevRUS267458244
3rd-4thSergey KarjakinRUS273914203.5
3rd-4thEmil SutovskyISR266175323.5
5th-6thNikita VitiugovRUS270732233
5th-6thAlexander MotylevRUS270434303
7th-10thVictor BologanMDA266864382.5/5
7th-10thBaadur JobavaGEO271526262.5
7th-10thSergei RublevskyRUS270433352.5
7th-10thArkadij NaiditschGER268647242.5
11th-12thAlexander OnischukUSA269938342/5
11th-12thIvan SokolovBIH265483412

There were no moves coming through from the Onischuk-Bologan game, so I'm not sure what happened. Either there was a technical fault, or perhaps the game has been postponed (until tomorrow?). So in the table, for ten of the players the points total is out of six rounds, whereas Bologan and Onischuk both have a game in hand.

The snappily dressed American, Alexander Onischuk @ http://www.chesspro.ru

More later, as I will further investigate this mystery!

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You may also like to investigate the following site Chesspro However it is in Russian!

The eighth round will start on Wednesday (after the rest day on Tuesday) at 10am (London), 11am (Paris) or 3pm (local time).

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