History was made today at the ACP Golden Classic when, at 1 pm CET, Liem Le Quang, Anna Muzychuk, Emil Sutovsky and Krishnan Sasikiran sat down to resume their previously adjourned games. Long had it been since this had not happened in a top-level tournament.
In the first game to finish, Le Quang and Muzychuk soon settled for a draw, when the Vietnamese Grandmaster had verified that Muzychuk had done her homework. The sealed move was, not surprisingly, 48...Rxd2+, after which the position acquires a technical flavour. With the support of the home analyses, Anna held the pawn ending with no hesitation at all and Liem could only agree to split the point on move 79 after having tried out all possible tricks.
Quite a different story was written in the second game, that between Sutovsky and Sasikiran. The position was a full fledged middlegame still ripe with possibilities. Sutovsky's sealed move was 41.Qd3, much in the style of the previously "timid" moves. However, after the home analyses, the players battled it out amazingly and, in the eyes of the beholder, the position kept tilting in favour of one or the other grandmaster depending on the crazy lines each was able to calculate. The game eventually ended in a draw by repetition on move 61 after another two and a half hour of intense play, and was a well deserved prize to the player's hard-fighting spirit. Interestingly enough, both Grandmasters admitted that they were completely on their own after only 3-5 moves of play into the adjournment session, although the computer surely did help them in spotting some interesting tactical motives they had to either avoid or go for.
The fourth round was thus the only one so far to produce three draws.
The second adjournment session was a much faster affair. Not surprisingly, Muzychuk and Kamsky agreed to a draw only few moves into their adjournment, while Le Quang easily countered Jobava's attempt at mudding waters, bringing home the full point. What is interesting here is the different approach of the players in this last game, which still presented White with (admittedly few) practical chances: Jobava basically refused to analyze the position at home, because the objective lines churned out by the computer would have disheartened him and inhibited him from trying out any single trick on the board; Le Quang, to the contrary, had to carefully check every variation in order not to let the win slip away.
The final showdown is set for tomorrow. Ivanchuk leads the pack with 4/6, followed by Kamsky on 3,5. Sutovsky and Muzychuk are on 3, Le Quang on 2,5, Sasikiran on 1 and Jobava trails behind with 0,5. Muzychuk-Ivanchuk, Jobava-Kamsky and Le Quang-Sutovsky is the menu for the last round.