Three Black wins in Moscow

In play (official site)
After the third round, Levon Aronian has joined the lead after beating Vassily Ivanchuk with the black pieces in a Spanish Berlin. Apart from Ian Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin is also up there on 2/3. Peter Svidler won with his favourite Grünfeld Defence against Hikaru Nakamura.

Viswanathan Anand and Ian Nepomniachtchi were the first to finish, with Black obtaining perpetual check against White's exposed king.

Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlsen also led to a draw in a similar fashion, but only after wild complications. Carlsen decided to sacrifice the exchange to release the pressure, which led to Kramnik playing the remainder of the game with his knight in the corner. The Norwegian walked his king from the centre to the queenside in a bid to get organized, whereupon Kramnik switched wings with his queen which earned him a draw.

Peter Svidler took the initiative with an exchange sacrifice which enabled him to place White's centre under siege. Nakamura gave back the material, but could do no better than get an endgame a couple of pawns down for the more active king. Svidler had no problems converting his advantage in the knight endgame, as White's king was too distant to put up much resistance.

Peter Svidler

Levon Aronian's win came after he provoked Ivanchuk to advance his 'e' and f-pawns. This rebounded on the Ukrainian, as his centre became weak and was soon gobbled up by the thankful Armenian.

The last game to finish was a tense struggle between Boris Gelfand and Sergey Karjakin, which turned in Black's favour towards the first control. Then despite his dangerous-looking rooks, Gelfand suffered due to a pin on his knight, and had to make all sorts of contortions with his major pieces to save the steed. Although Gelfand stayed as active as he could, Karjakin's extra pawn and superior minor piece enabled the young Russian to gradually overcome the defence.

Here is a summary of the third round games:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening description
Boris Gelfand ISR 2744 0-1 Sergey Karjakin RUS 2763 59 Open Catalan
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 0-1 Peter Svidler RUS 2755 48 Grünfeld Exchange 7.Bc4
Viswanathan Anand IND 2811


Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2730 27 Grünfeld (Russian Variation)
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2775 0-1 Levon Aronian ARM 2802 57 Spanish Berlin
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800


Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 41 English (Botvinnik)

The table after the third round:

Place Name Country Rating Points
1-4 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 2
1-4 Levon Aronian ARM 2802 2
1-4 Sergey Karjakin RUS 2763 2
1-4 Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2730 2
5-7 Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 1.5
5-7 Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2775 1.5
5-7 Peter Svidler RUS 2755 1.5
8-9 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 1
8-9 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 1
10 Boris Gelfand ISR 2744 0.5

Details of the earlier games:

The first round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening description
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758


Boris Gelfand ISR 2744 34 Queen's Gambit Declined 5.Bf4
Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 0.5-0.5 Sergey Karjakin RUS 2763 42 Nimzoindian 4.Qc2
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2775 1-0 Peter Svidler RUS 2755 61 Grünfeld 4.e3
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 0-1 Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2730 53 English Symmetrical
Levon Aronian ARM 2802 0.5-0.5 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 57 Queen's Indian 4.g3 Ba6

The second round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening description
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 1-0 Boris Gelfand ISR 2744 38 Slav Defence 4.e3
Sergey Karjakin RUS 2763


Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 43 Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be2
Peter Svidler RUS 2755


Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 23 Caro-Kann Advance
Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2730


Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2775 76 Sicilian Sveshnikov
Levon Aronian ARM 2802


Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 49 Queen's Gambit Tarrasch

Both of today's photos are our own and were taken last week in Porto Carras.

More information from the official site:

Live games from 2pm local time

12 noon Paris, Madrid

11 am London

6am New York

3am Los Angeles

10pm Sydney 

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