After losing a winning position the other day, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov avoided another loss today as he escaped from a difficult endgame against David Navara. All other games were also drawn in round four of the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerbaijan.
The fourth round started with something odd. From different openings, two games finished at almost the same time, and in almost the same final position.
Sergey Karjakin vs Alexander Grischuk was an Exchange Gruenfeld starting from 1.Nf3. It was already there that Karjakin was surprised as 1...d5 allows 2.d4 "and there are some openings that Alexander doesn't usually play," he said.
The middlegame was very symmetrical, but looked simpler for Black than it was. Grischuk was fortunate to have looked at it earlier this week.
"I got slightly lucky because it's the line I looked at before the game against Ding Liren," said Grischuk.
Grischuk was fortunate that he could use preparation for an earlier game.
Grischuk said he found the only clear way to play while "everywhere Black is worse otherwise." He argued that White would have been significantly better if he could have gotten both a2-a4 and h2-h4 on the board.
Grischuk didn't think the quick draws are a big problem, except if someone really plays one after another.
"Just one or two or three is fine," he said. "Even Botvinnik said that you should not try to show your maximum in each game; you should try your maximum in the competition or maybe even in the season."