Caruana and Wang Hao Lead at Isle of Man

Fabiano Caruana shares first place with Wang Hao after six rounds of play in the 2019 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss. He will meet Alexander Grischuk on Thursday when the tournament resumes after Wednesday’s rest day.

Caruana started his event with three straight wins, defeating Zhang Zhong, Samuel Sevian, and Alexei Shirov, before surrending two draws to co-leader Wang Hao and “the world’s strongest amateur,” Luke McShane. In point of fact, Caruana was lucky to hold the game against McShane, but he showed steely resolve to hold a bad position that most others would have lost.

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2019.10.14"] [Round "5.1"] [White "McShane, Luke J"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C48"] [WhiteElo "2682"] [BlackElo "2812"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "169"] [EventDate "2019.10.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. d3 O-O 6. O-O h6 7. Kh1 $5 Re8 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. Ng1 Bf8 10. f4 exf4 11. Bxf4 d5 12. e5 Bg4 13. Qd2 Nh5 14. Rae1 Rb8 15. h3 Nxf4 16. Qxf4 Bh5 17. Nd1 Rb4 18. Qf2 c5 19. b3 Rb6 20. Nf3 Rbe6 21. Ne3 Qd7 $6 {Caruana errs in a slightly better position, perhaps underestimating White's idea as played in the game.} (21... Bxf3 22. Qxf3 Rxe5 23. Qxf7+ Kh7) (21... f6 {looks weakening, but White may not have a concrete way to take advantage.} 22. Ng4 Bxg4 23. hxg4 fxe5 24. Rxe5 Bd6 $1 $15) 22. g4 Bg6 23. Ng2 c4 $1 {Trying to find squares for the f8-bishop.} 24. Nf4 (24. dxc4 dxc4 25. Nf4 Ra6 26. e6 Qc6 $13) 24... cxd3 25. cxd3 Bb4 26. Rd1 (26. Re2 $5) 26... R6e7 27. Qxa7 Bh7 28. Qd4 c5 29. Qxd5 Qa7 30. Qc4 Qxa2 31. g5 {McShane is creating plenty of problems for the World #2.} hxg5 32. Nxg5 Qa8+ 33. Kg1 Qc6 (33... Qb7 {(adding protection to the 7th rank)} 34. e6 $5 f6 $8 35. Nf7 $5 ) 34. d4 Bf5 (34... Qh6 35. Nxh7 Qxh7 36. dxc5 Ba5 37. b4 Bc7 38. Nd5 $16) 35. Nd5 (35. e6 $1 {looks convincing:} fxe6 36. d5 $1 Qd6 (36... exd5 $2 37. Nxd5 $18) 37. dxe6 $18) 35... Rd7 36. Ne3 Bg6 37. d5 Qc7 38. Ng4 Qd8 39. e6 $6 (39. h4 $1) 39... fxe6 $6 ({Caruana missed the saving shot} 39... Qxg5 $1 40. exd7 Re4 $1 {when he will sac the rook on g4 and have plenty of counterplay to hold the draw.}) 40. Nxe6 Qb8 {The players have made the time control and while White is winning, it's not going to be an easy conversion. Now Caruana shows some serious defensive skills in holding the game.} 41. d6 Rxd6 42. Nc7+ Rde6 43. Rd7 Kh8 44. Qf4 Qb6 45. Nxe6 Qxe6 46. Rd6 Qe4 47. Qg5 Kh7 48. Qh4+ Kg8 49. Qg3 Kh7 50. Nf2 Qc2 51. Nd3 Be4 (51... Bxd3 52. Qxd3+ Qxd3 53. Rxd3) 52. Qg5 Qe2 53. Nxb4 (53. Nc1 $5) 53... cxb4 54. Rd2 Qa6 55. Qh5+ Qh6 56. Qxh6+ Kxh6 57. Re1 Re5 58. Kh2 Rd5 59. Rxd5 Bxd5 60. Re3 g5 61. Kg3 (61. Rg3 $1 {helps to keep the Black king passively placed.}) 61... Kg6 62. Kf2 Kf5 63. Rg3 Be6 64. Ke2 Bd5 65. Kd2 Be6 66. Rf3+ Ke5 67. Re3+ Kf6 68. Kc2 Bf5+ 69. Kc1 Be6 70. Kd2 Bd5 71. Kc2 Be6 72. Kb2 Bf5 73. Rg3 Be6 74. Rd3 Ke5 75. Re3+ Kf6 76. Re4 Bxh3 77. Rxb4 g4 78. Re4 g3 79. Kc3 Kf5 80. Re1 Kf4 81. b4 Kf3 82. b5 Kf2 83. Kd2 g2 84. b6 Bc8 85. Re2+ 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Caruana rebounded in Tuesday’s Round 6 with this win over Vladimir Fedoseev, choosing an older line of the Rossolimo and perhaps catching his opponent under-prepared.

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2019.10.15"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Fedoseev, Vladimir3"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2664"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2019.10.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. c3 e5 6. d4 cxd4 7. cxd4 exd4 8. Bf4 Nge7 9. Bd6 O-O 10. Nbd2 a6 11. Qa4 Ra7 12. Bd3 b5 13. Qc2 Bb7 14. a4 bxa4 15. Rxa4 a5 16. h4 Ba6 17. Bxa6 Rxa6 18. b4 Na7 19. Qc5 Nac8 20. Bc7 Qe8 21. b5 d6 22. Qc4 d5 23. Qc5 dxe4 24. Nxe4 d3 25. Ra3 Re6 26. Nfg5 Nf5 27. Nxe6 Qxe6 28. Ra4 Re8 29. b6 Qd7 30. Qxa5 Nxb6 31. Bxb6 Qc6 32. f3 d2 33. Bf2 Bh6 34. Ra3 Qc2 35. Qd5 Qc1 36. Ra7 Rf8 37. Ra1 Ne3 38. Bxe3 Bxe3+ 39. Kh1 Qc7 40. Qd3 Bh6 41. Qd4 Rd8 42. Nf6+ Kh8 43. Nd5+ Kg8 44. Ra8 1-0 [/pgn]
While Caruana and Wang are the only two players at 5/6, they are trailed by a pack of seven at 4.5/6, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, and Alexander Grischuk. After three consecutive draws in rounds 2-4, Carlsen suffered the indignity of having to play off the top boards and among the hoi polloi, but wins over Surya Shekar Ganguly and Alexei Shirov have propelled him back towards his more accustomed atmosphere.

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2019.10.15"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Shirov, Alexei"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2876"] [BlackElo "2664"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2q3rk/p2rb2p/1p2b3/2p1Pp2/P2p1B2/2P2B1P/2PR1QPK/3R4 w - - 0 25"] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "2019.10.10"] 25. cxd4 cxd4 26. Rxd4 Rxd4 27. Rxd4 Bc5 28. c3 Bxd4 29. cxd4 Qd7 30. Qd2 Bd5 31. e6 Qxe6 32. Be5+ Rg7 33. Qc3 Bxf3 34. Qxf3 Qe8 35. Qxf5 Kg8 36. Bxg7 Kxg7 37. Qg5+ Kf8 38. Qf4+ Ke7 39. Qe4+ Kf8 40. Qxh7 Qxa4 41. Qf5+ Kg7 42. Qe5+ Kf7 43. h4 1-0 [/pgn]
With this win Carlsen keeps his unbeaten streak of 96 games alive.

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The field in Douglas is absolutely chock-a-block with talent, and every round features mouthwatering matchups between some of the world’s elite. One of the most interesting games from Round 6 features the hero of the FIDE World Cup, Nikita Vitiugov, and his cunning piece sac against Matthias Bluebaum.

Vitiugov-Bluebaum (photo chess.com/Emelianova)

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2019.10.15"] [Round "6.7"] [White "Vitiugov, Nikita"] [Black "Bluebaum, Matthias"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A18"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2643"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2019.10.10"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. d4 e5 8. Nf3 exd4 9. Bg5 Qe6+ 10. Be2 Be7 11. Nxd4 Qe4 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. O-O O-O 14. Re1 Qf6 15. Bf3 Qa6 16. Bd5 c6 17. Bxf7+ {Vitiugov sacs a piece, banking on an attack that leans heavily on the absence of Black defensive pieces in the 'kill zone.' } Kxf7 18. Qh5+ Kg8 19. Re8 Qxc4 $2 (19... Qa3 {is the only way for Black to try and survive:} 20. c5 $1 Qxc3 (20... Na6 21. Rxf8+ Kxf8 22. Qxh7 Qxc3 23. Qh8+ Kf7 24. Qh5+ $11) 21. Rae1 Bd7 22. Rxf8+ Kxf8 23. Nf3 $13) 20. Rxf8+ Kxf8 21. Re1 Bd7 22. Qg5 Qxc3 23. Qd8+ Kf7 24. Nf3 h6 25. Ne5+ (25. Re7+ $1 Kg6 26. Ne5+ $18) 25... Ke6 26. Kf1 Kd6 27. Nxd7 Qd3+ 28. Kg1 Nxd7 29. Qxa8 Qd2 30. Rf1 Qxa2 31. Qxb7 Qa4 32. Qb2 Nf6 33. Re1 Qa5 34. Qd4+ Nd5 35. Qe5+ 1-0 [/pgn]
Vitiugov has seemingly shaken off the disappointment of his exit from the World Cup, and it will be interesting to see how he performs the rest of the way in the Grand Swiss. Team America Caruana is one of 12 Americans playing at the Isle of Man. The top scorer after six rounds, excluding Caruana, is Hikaru Nakamura at 4/6.

Hikaru Nakamura (photo chess.com/Emelianova)

With four draws thus far, Nakamura does not seem a likely bet to win the tournament and claim the seat in the 2020 Candidates, but if anyone can go on a hot streak quickly, it’s the American champion. Perhaps his sharp round six win over Alexander Riazantsev is a harbinger of things to come.

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss"] [Site "Douglas ENG"] [Date "2019.10.15"] [Round "6.17"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Riazantsev, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B19"] [WhiteElo "2745"] [BlackElo "2645"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2019.10.10"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Qc7 13. Ne4 O-O-O 14. g3 Be7 15. Nxf6 Nxf6 16. Qe2 Rhe8 17. Kb1 Nd7 18. Rhe1 Kb8 19. c4 Ka8 20. c5 Qc8 21. Qc4 Nf6 22. Ne5 Rf8 23. Qa4 Rd5 24. Nc4 Bd8 25. Bf4 Rxh5 26. Re3 a6 27. Nd6 Qc7 28. Nxb7 Qxb7 29. Rb3 Nd5 30. Rxb7 Kxb7 31. Qb3+ Kc8 32. Qb8+ 1-0 [/pgn]

Wesley So, Jeffery Xiong, Ray Robson, and Alex Lenderman are all at 3.5/6, while Sam Shankland, Gata Kamsky, and Sam Sevian are all on even scores. Full American Results after 6 Rounds American Pairings for Round 7


Quick Links Main Tournament Page Tournament Schedule Pairings and Results Replayable Games and PGNs American results Live Twitch stream (10 am EDT Rounds 1-10, 8:30am for Round 11)

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In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

"Hoi polloi is an expression from Greek that means the many or, in the strictest sense, the people. In English, it has been given a negative connotation to signify deprecation of the working class, commoners, the masses or common people in a derogatory or ironic sense. Synonyms for hoi polloi, which also express the same or similar distaste for the common people felt by those who believe themselves to be superior, include "the plebeians" or "plebs", "the rabble", "the masses", "the dregs of society", "riffraff", "the herd", "the canaille", "the proles", and "peons"." -Wikipedia

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] our last report, posted after Round 6 of the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss, we noted that Nakamura was at 4/6 with […]

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