Recap Article

2019 Paris Rapid & Blitz Recap Day 4

The rest day clearly reinvigorated the players, and they provided us with nine rounds of exciting chess. MVL maintained his lead, but had a rough blitz result by his high standards. Grischuk had a rough day at the office,while Hikaru dominated and Fabiano also had a good day. Let’s see how the leaders fared today.

MVL score 50% overall, which was enough to maintain a lead in the event, but was not a great showing for the world blitz #1. He says that the turning point was his loss to Grischuk in the 2nd game, where he blew a completely won position. After that he struggled to find his form, losing bad games to Hikaru and Anish as well. Despite this, he picked up enough points not to lose ground, and will still be the favorite going into Day 5. If he plays to his usual standard, you’d expect him to stay ahead of the pack and pick up a win in Paris.

Grischuk is known for his blitz expertise, but he really had an off day. Despite his amazing comeback victory against MVL in game 2, he shed a lot of points today. In fact, after the MVL victory he didn’t win another game. He’s currently tied for 2nd with Nepo, but unless he improves on his play, it is unlikely he’ll be able to make much progress. Still, we know how well Sascha is capable of playing, so you’d be unwise to count him out.

Nepo had a strong showing in the blitz portion, scoring 5.5/9 and catching Alexander to tie for 2nd in the process. He had a rough loss to Mamedyarov, but otherwise didn’t lose any games. He defended well when he had the worst of it, and converted his strong positions to full points. Ian will no doubt have his eyes on the prize on the final day.

The American #1 started the day on 50%, but he made up some ground with a strong showing today, scoring 5.5/9. He nearly finished the day on 4 wins in a row, but was finally held to a draw by Grischuk in the final game, leaving him in a tie for 4th place. If he continues to show this form tomorrow, there is no doubt he could make a powerful impact on the standings.

Vishy started the day tied for 3rd, and with a 50% score in the blitz is currently tied for 4th. He played some very nice games, but also suffered from a few bad blunders to keep him from scoring higher. He’s still in position to shoot for the top positions with a strong result on the last day.

If the whole event was blitz, the U.S. Champion would be a happy guy. He won the day with a dominating 6.5/9, making a particular statement by winning his last three games. He’s currently tied for 4th with Fabi and Vishy. There is no doubt he’ll continue to move up in the standings if he shows the same form tomorrow, and it is only a poor rapid showing that kept him from the very top of the standings.


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GM Gukesh D & GM Viswanathan Anand
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