Russian GM Mikhali Antipov holds on to his lead at the World Champions Group at the Ísey Skyr Chess Festival in Hotel Selfoss after the 3rd round.

The white pieces turned out to be very meaningful in the 4th round with 4 points out of the possible 5 being pocketed. This follows 4.5 out of 5 in the 2nd round so there is some work to be done with the black pieces!

Antipov leads with 2.5 out of 3

Antipov was the first one to finish his game in the 3rd round. He surprised his opponent, Sergei Zhigalko, by playing the Berlin defence for the first time in his life. Antipov had no problems and was even close to getting more than a draw….perhaps best if you just watch him explain it to you!

Leitao can be happy with 2 points out of 3

Rafael Leitao’s game was next to finish as he defeated Sara Khadem. He felt almost apologetic afterwards that Sara had lost the game. Leitao played the English opening and we have the Mikenas attack. Black seemed to be very close to equal but a big mistake in an endgame cost Sara the full point.

Sara played here 27…Rb7? and had to resign after the x-ray tactic 28.Ba3 Hcxb5 29.Hxd5 1-0

Rafael also dropped by the live commentary and shared his game.

The last three games all lasted over 40 moves and towards the timetrouble phase. Steingrimsson and Lomasov where never really in big time trouble and agreed a draw on move 40.

Héðinn and Lomasov with the draw

Yet again Semyon seemed very well prepared and his energetic move 9…b5 seemed to bring him an equal game soon after.

Semyon possibly had a slightly better position in the middlegame but it wasn’t much and the last 25-30 moves the game seemed completely equal so both players were happy to draw once the time control was reached.

Stefansson played his best game of the tournament

Hannes Stefansson played a fantastic game against the talented Egyptan Ahmed Adly. Stefansson excels in pure positional games and he put his faith in his strong fluid center which transformed into a passed d-pawn and Stefansson didn’t allow Adly any counterplay, a truly Karpovian effort!

Dinara got her first win in the 3rd round

Helgi Gretarsson had a solid start as the bottom rating seed with two solid draws vs the top two seeds. Dinara on the other hand had two tough losses and especially the loss in the 2nd round when she literally walked into mate in one in an equal endgame. Dinara played aggressively with white again even though that strategy backfired against Antipov. This time around the pressure yielded a position where black had to take on tripled pawns.

Dinara had great compensation for a pawn and soon she won it back and had a very nice positional plus. She managed to nurture that plus into a promising double rook endgame and she managed to sail the point home fairly safely and without allowing counterplay.

3rd round results

Standings after 3 rounds

The 4th round features a battle of 2nd and 3rd place as Lomasov meets Leitao.