FIDE Grand Prix 2022, Berlin: Levon Aronian and Wesley So fight their way out at the top with 3 out of 4 points in Group C and D respectively after four rounds of play.
Meanwhile, Group A saw Hikaru Nakamura maintaining a half-point lead with a quick and short draw against Etienne Bacrot. Group B is interesting as Fedoseev joined Radoslaw Wojtaszek in the lead with 2.5 points.
Group C: Daniil Dubov got a nice victory over Vincent Keymer after Keymer was out prepared in the opening. “It is pretty much an opening win,” opined Dubov after the game. The German opted for a line for which the Russian was well equipped.
In the other Group C game, Levon Aronian was happy to play out a draw against Vidit Gujrathi. Aronian: “I could not recall all my [opening] analysis. I told myself, let me think and find moves like the old style,”
Group D: Wesley So had a smooth victory over GM Leinier Dominguez Perez when the latter made an uncharacteristic blunder with Qg3?.
In the longest game of the day, GM Pentala Harikrishna pressed a slight advantage against GM Alexei Shirov for a long time, who put up a dogged defense to hold the draw.
Group B: Fedoseev converted a surprise game into a full-point victory when Oparin suffered a rare case of “blackout” on the board. Also, Oparin admitted in the post-match interview that he didn’t see Fedoseev’s 19.Qg4.
This allowed Fedoseev to reach 2.5/4, tying for the lead with GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek, who put up a long and hard defense to draw against GM Richard Rapport.
Group A: Bacrot Etienne started the proceeding with the French Defense as Black which he plays almost regularly. But this time around, the position was extra sharp which was cooked just for Hikaru it seemed. Bacrot termed 10…g5 as “a little dubious,” but quipped, “I sometimes play the French because I am French!”
Even though GM Alexander Grischuk seemed to enjoy a slight edge in his game against GM Andrey Esipenko, White could never make any serious progress. The game ended in a draw just after the first time control.