The focus of today's round clearly laid on the clash of the leaders: Would Nakamura be able to beat Anand with the white pieces and thus take over the lead? But the Indian stood firm and even took over the initiative, so in the end it was the American who had to force a draw. The draw offered a chance for the rest of the field to catch up - and two of them grabbed it brilliantly.

Nakamura - Anand started with a Grunfeld reversed, an opening that is said to be a little uncomfortable for black. Nakamura appeared to be surprised by Anand's opening choice and spent some time to think about the best way to react, but although he chose a highly interesting pawn sacrifice, Anand was very well prepared and most likely had most parts of the opening phase standing on his board at home already. The Indian's pawn structure got weakened, but in return he got the bishop pair and a dangerous passed-pawn as compensation. Facing black's active pieces threating to intrude his camp, Nakamura sacrificed a pawn to enter an ending with rook and opposite-colored bishops that was impossible to win for Anand.

Shirov - Aronian impressive showed that, despite it's reputation of being a drawish opening, the Berlin Wall can become very nasty for white if he presses too much. Maybe Aronian had Shirov's temper in mind when he decided on today's opening, who knows. Shirov tried to force an attack against the Armenian king, but Aronian defended with impressive coolness and after the smoke cleared it became evident that it was Shirov's king who was in mortal danger. Trying to reduce the pressure, Shirov gave up two pawns, but his counterplay petered out and Aronian won.

Kramnik - Giri was THE game of the day. Starting with a modest Réti again, the Russian slowly increased his pressure on Giri's queenside by taking over the control over the dark squares. Giri defended very well, but with very precise play Kramnik forced one weakness after another and, exactly when the right moment had come, broke through in the center with d4-d5 after which, according to the engines, white was clearly winning. However, Kramnik missed the correct continuation and thus brought Giri back into the game. Pressing for a win, Kramnik gave up his queen for two black rooks - and immediately after that, Giri made a seemingly active queen move that allowed Kramnik to carry out a winning combination with the beautiful move Rc7. Facing mate or decisive material losses, Giri had to resign.

After the penultimate round, Anand is still one point ahead of Nakamura, who was joined by Kramnik. Aronian is at 50 percent now and Giri and Shirov share last place.

Round 4 - Sunday, February 14th, 6pm

White BlackRes.
Vladimir Kramnik-Anish Giri2:0
Alexei Shirov-Levon Aronian0:2
Hikaru Nakamura-Viswanathan Anand1:1

The last round will start tomorrow at 3pm with another clash of leaders: It will be Anand vs Kramnik. Stay tuned!

Round 5 - Monday, February 15th, 3pm

White BlackRes.
Viswanathan Anand-Vladimir Kramnik1:1
Levon Aronian-Hikaru Nakamura0:2
Anish Giri-Alexei Shirov1:1

Rapid after Round 4

1.Viswanathan Anand (IND)27847.015.00
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA)27877.015.00
3.Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)28016.013.50
4.Levon Aronian (ARM)27924.07.50
5.Alexei Shirov (LAT)26843.08.00
6.Anish Giri (NED)27983.07.00



Download all games from round 4 (PGN)