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GRENKE Classic R3-4: Richard Rapport increases his sole lead, Magnus and Keymer miss wins

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/03/2024

Richard Rapport (ROU) increased his sole lead at GRENKE Chess Classic 2024. He drew against Vincent Keymer (GER) in an interesting battle in the third round. Then he defeated Daniel Fridman (GER) in round 4 to stay a full point ahead of the rest 3/4. The world no.1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) drew against the reigning world champion, Ding Liren (CHN) in a highly anticipated match up. Carlsen missed a win against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) in the following round. Speaking of misses, Keymer had the biggest miss of the day when he could not manage to beat the world champion despite having a decisive advantage for the better part of the endgame. Classic Round 5 and 6, Open Round 1 will start today from 6:30 p.m. local time, 11 p.m. IST. Photos: Angelika Valkova/GRENKE Chess Classic

An eventful day

Richard Rapport (ROU) is in sole lead 3/4. He is followed by Ding Liren (CHN), Vincent Keymer (GER) and Magnus Carlsen (NOR) at 2/4 each. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) and Daniel Fridman (GER) are at 1.5/4 each.

Magnus Carlsen and Vincent Keymer missed wins in Round 4

Round 3: Vachier-Lagrave - Fridman: 0-1

The last time Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 2755) and Daniel Fridman (GER, 2575) faced each other in a tournament was nearly a decade ago. Fridman won only once against the Frenchman back in 2006. It seemed like this time also MVL will score a win as he had a decisive advantage in the rook and minor piece endgame.

Position after 40.Rd3

37.d5 Bd7 38.d6? White did the one thing he shouldn't have done, fixing his pawns in the dark squares. 38...Be6? 39.Nd5 White again has the upper hand Kf8 40.Rc3 and once again White lost his advantage.

Position after 46.Na3??

46.Ra3?? was the final mistake by White Rb3 forced the exchange of rooks. The resultant knight vs bishop endgame is winning for Black and he won.

Daniel Fridman (GER) scored his first win against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) at a tournament since 2006

Sebastian Hirsch, CEO of GRENKE, made the ceremonial first move of Round 3 on Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren's board

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) - Ding Liren (CHN): 0.5-0.5

Richard Rapport (ROU) - Vincent Keymer (GER): 0.5-0.5

Round 4: Richard - Fridman: 1-0

Richard Rapport (ROU, 2708) played two rated games against Daniel Fridman (GER, 2575) and he had won neither. It was for the 'Artist' to change that.

Position after 20...Rc1

Black had his e7-knight under attack already. 20...Rc1 did not help his case as it increased the vulnerability of the d3-knight. 21.Qd2 Nc6 22.Ra3 Ncb4 23.Ne1 Nxe1 24.Qxc1 Nbd3 25.Rxe1 and it's over.

Richard Rapport (ROU) scored his first-ever win against Daniel Fridman (GER) to increase his sole lead

Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave, Round 4

Position after 29.Nc7!

28...exf4? allowed an excellent move 29.Nc7 Black cannot take it due to Rxd6 threatening Rxh6#. Even though Black can save the checkmate threat, White manages to recover the material and maintain his decisive advantage. 29...Rg8 30.Rxg8+ Rxg8 31.Nxe6 Rg1+ 32.Bd1 Rf1 33.Rxd6 f3 34.Nf4 Bg4 35.Ng6+?

Position after 35.Ng6+?

35.Nh5! would have been winning for White. 35.Ng6+? loosened the grip Kg7 and Black managed to escape with a draw.

Britta Wirtz, CEO of Messe Karlsruhe, made the ceremonial first move of Round 4

Ding - Keymer

Position after 44.Kc4

Vincent Keymer (GER, 2627) was winning the better part of the endgame against the reigning world champion, Ding Liren (CHN, 2818). The Germany no.1 made a critical mistake n the above position which cost him a half point. Find out the correct continuation for Black which Keymer missed.

Round 4 in progress
Day 2 impressions | Video: GRENKE Chess

Replay Round 3-4 games

Round 5 pairings

Daniel Fridman - Ding Liren

Vincent Keymer - Magnus Carlsen

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Richard Rapport

Round 6 pairings

Daniel Fridman - Vincent Keymer

Ding Liren - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Magnus Carlsen - Richard Rapport


6 players, double round robin (two games with reversed colors against each player)

Time control: 45 minutes per game, with a 10 sec increment from move 1

No draw offers before move 40

Places 1, 3 and 5 will be decided in 2 games with reversed colors. In the case of a score of 1-1, a tiebreaker decides: 2 games 10+2 (10 minutes + 2 sec increment per move), if necessary 2 more games 5+2, if then necessary: Armageddon (6 minutes for White, 5 minutes for Black, in case of a draw the Black player wins).


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