Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.

Levon Aronian outplayed Anish Giri and became the sole leader of the tournament with 3 points. 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Peter Svidler drew their game and are now sharing the second place together with Hikaru Nakamura, Pentala Harikrishna, Ding Liren and Dmitry Jakovenko, who won their games and moved to a plus one score.

According to Levon Aronian, his opponent had to exchange queens in the opening to stop White’s ambitions in plotting an attack on the King’s side. Anish Giri delayed bringing his knight from a5 back into the game – at the same time White rounded up his pieces and got ready to break through.

Intuition told the Armenian Grandmaster that the knight sacrifice was correct and he made this decision rather quickly. Anish Giri could have put more resistance after 24.Rg4, but most probably missed 27.d6! in the line which occurred during the game.

Hikaru Nakamura was not sure that after spectacular 20.Qd6 his position was better, but kept on some dance on the Queen’s side. “Psychologically it was very hard for him,” explained Nakamura. After few inaccurate moves, Teimour Rajabov, who tries to qualify for the Candidates, ended up in a lost position.

Jon Ludvig Hammer decided to play in a creative style against one of the most creative chess players Richard Rapport. After 11…g5 12.Bd3 gf the Norwegian Grandmaster reached his goal: situation on the board became complicated. “Maybe it was not the best idea, but I thought it looked interesting… My defence was worse than Richard’s attacks,” Jon Ludvig Hammer said after the game.

Ding Liren, who was trying to get on his feet after St. Louis, eventually won his first game in the tournament. The Chinese Grandmaster was pleased to find such critical moves as 16…g5 and especially 18…Rg7, which took him more than 40 minutes of thinking. His opponent Ernesto Inarkiev could not cope with all threats and after 19. Nf3 his position became lost.

Pentala Harikrishna orchestrated a fatal attack on the King’s side and defeated Francisco Vallejo Pons.

In the longest game of the round Dmitry Jakovenko defeated Pavel Eljanov in the rook endgame after almost 7 hours of play. Pavel sacrificed a pawn in the opening, but could not prove the sacrifice worthy.

Watch Round Five broadcasted tomorrow at https://worldchess.com/gp2017/. 

Photos from day four by Valeriy Belobeev are available here