Chess candidates, round 4 results

Leko and Kramnik both won again, meaning they qualify for the last eight. Carlsen, after his tremendous win yesterday, lost to Aronian today, putting him in extreme difficulties with only two games remaining. Adams won a tense and sharp game over Shirov, with black, which makes him favourite to emerge from that match. Bareev and Grischuk look almost certain to win their matches against Polgar and Malakhov respectively, after both winning again today. Indeed, today saw 6 decisive games from 8 matches, a fairly unusual happening at this very high level of chess.

I must confess, I am boggled at times by how top players play. Genuinely, I cannot understand a lot of their games! And I am an average club player, rating 1786. I am not a beginner by any means, but certainly have a lot still to learn.

To illustrate what I mean, look at the Aronian-Carlsen game, and look at the four moves Carlsen makes with his rook from 21….Rd8-d5, 22…Rd5-c5, 23…Rc5-c8, and finally, to cap a remarkably deep (!?) series of moves, the sweet 24…Rc8-d8. After four moves of the rook, it is back to where it started. If this is good chess…well, I am confused. Surely if the rook belonged on d8, then it should have been left there? Of course, white did some moves while black was moving his rook aimlessly about. I respect totally these players and if there is a problem here it is undoubtedly my amateur lack of understanding. I’ll try and study it later today to see if I can figure it out!

 Aronian-Carlsen, Rnd 4 Candidates Match

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 b6 5. a3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 Bb7 7. e3 O-O 8. b4 d5 9. Bb2 Nbd7 10. Bd3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 c5 12. O-O Rc8 13. Qe2 Qe7 14. Rfc1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 h6 16. Ba6 Bxa6 17. Qxa6 Rxc1+ 18. Rxc1 Nb8 19. Qc4 Rd8 20. h3 Ne8 21. b5 Rd5 22. Qe2 Rc5 23. Rd1 Rc8 24. Qf3 Rd8 25. Rc1 Nd6 26. a4 e5 27. Nf5 Nxf5 28. Qxf5 f6 29. Qe4 Qf7 30. Ba3 Kh8 31. Kh2 Kg8 32. Bd6 Qd7 33. Bc7 Rf8 34. Rc2 Re8 35. Rc4 Qf7 36. Bd6 Rd8 37. Rc7 Nd7 38. Qc6 Qe6 39. Rxa7 Kf7 40. Qxb6 1-0

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