The World Champions Group at the Ísey Skyr Chess Festival is heading for a rest day with the conclusion of the 4th round. Before the round Mikhail Antipov lead with 2.5 out of 3 but an early draw in his game allowed his fellow Russian Semyon Lomasov to catch up. Let’s have a look at what happened in the games.

Dinara Saduakassova – Hannes Hlífar Stefánsson

Stefansson equalized fairly easily with black against the Catalan borrowing a relatively modern idea which has been played a few times by Karjakin among others.

8…c6!? looks clumsy but an early …c5 played as a pawn sacrifice threatens to win the pawn back and when/if that happens black usually has no problems whatsoever. This is what happened and a quick draw was agreed.

Mikhail Antipov – Héðinn Steingrímsson

Antipov played 1.e4 and the Italian game resulted. Antipov probably was slightly better early on but didn’t find the best plan and soon the game was equal and even better for black. Shortly after reaching the required 20 moves to agree to a draw, one was offered and accepted.


Helgi Áss Grétarsson – Sara Khadem

Sara employed the modern 3…a6 in the Queen’s gambit declined. A line that Carlsen has played with good results. The line avoids well-trodden theory but the resulting structures are still fairly classical. In this game, neither side made any headway and a draw by threefold repetition was the logical conclusion to a well-played game.


Ahmed Adly – Sergei Zhigalko

The craziest game of the round for sure! Adly gained a nice time edge vs Zhigalko early on as they entered a fianchetto Benoni. Zhigalko seemed to play it quite well and was on the verge of taking over when insanity entered the building. Adly probably felt like he would be worse if he didn’t do anything and seeing that Zhigalko was down to a minute on the clock he went “all-in”


The move itself is bad, but the idea of playing for his opponents time was probably justified 23…dxe5 24.f5 such a breakthrough is well known since the famous game Penrose-Tal. Here however white has no pieces to support an attack. In what follows Adly sacrifices a piece and puts everything he can find on the fire to confuse his opponent.

It looked like Zhigalko was avoiding all the tricks and consolidating to a winning ending when he hesitated and his flag fell. In the final position, Bd4+ and then Bc5 is winning for black but the move he made as the flag fell …f4 probably leads to a draw with best play.

Semyon Lomasov – Rafael Leitao

The last game to finish was the game between the 2nd and 3rd placed Lomasov and Leitao. Lomasov yet again impressed with nice opening play and seemed to get the better of his opponent. Leitao had to take on what looked like an inferior structure but defended well. Lomasov turned on the screws but then Leitao found a way to give up two pieces for a rook. This idea could have led to a draw with perfect play when for a few moves Lomasov took the foot of the pedal. However when he took his chances again he never let Leitao back into the game and in the end, forced the Brazilian to resign.

Results of the 4th


Pairings for 5th round on Sunday