photo report and details
Four rounds of the Nanjing Pearl Spring chess tournament have passed and still no clear leader has emerged. With a very high draws percentage (all games in rounds 3 and 4 were drawn), Aronian and Bu Xiangzhi have 2,5/4, Topalov and Movsesian have 2,0/4, and Ivanchuk and Svidler have 1,5/4.
The local star GM Bu Xiangzhi (who is assisted by the Chess Olympiad board 4 GM Li Chao) started the tournament with a very important win against GM Movsesian with black. He then went on to draw a difficult game with GM Topalov and a quick round 3 draw with GM Peter Svidler. A solid play in round 4 against GM Ivanchuk gave another draw to the Chinese player.
GM Topalov played with desire his first two games (although they finished draw), but spoiled the good impression with a very fast draw against GM Ivanchuk and not very ambitious play against GM Movsesian he is currently mid of the table with 4 draws.
GM Ivanchuk, who is unfortunately making more headlines with the doping scandal, has had difficult first rounds in Nanjing. A draw against GM Movsesian, a heavy loss against GM Aronian, and a quick draws with Topalov and Bu Xiangzhi hinted that this might not be Ivanchuk’s tournament.
GM Movsesian and GM Aronian protagonized one of the shortest games of the tournament, provoking IM Perunovic and Goran Urosevic to state, “Movsesian and Aronian have blitzed through the last 10 moves… to simplify the game to the level where one would long to watch Petroff just for some heart race.” Both players, however, achieved important victories against GM Svidler and GM Ivanchuk respectively.
The story of GM Svidler was not much different in round 3 where he quickly signed a draw with Bu Xiangzhi. Still, Svidler is only a point from the leaders despite the fact he is at the bottom of the table.
Here is a photo report from the Sina chess blog with a special touch on the stars in the playing hall, the organization, and interesting details.
The beautiful Pear Spring venue
Players pass through strict security checkpoints before the start of the round
GM Ye Jiangchuan and WGM Shen Yang are commenting the games. They are often joined by WGM Gu Xiaobing and GM Li Chao (who is helping Bu Xiangzhi)
Local newspapers are devoting long materials on the Pearl Spring tournament
The games are every day live on Sina TV
14 years old new GM Hou Yifan, who is a fan of GM Bu Xiangzhi, is in the hall as well
Yifan Hou is making photos before the start of the round