Round 3 result here.
Round 4 pairing is up, with lesser pairing mean more comments can be put in for each the pairing. Here some from chessgames.com’s member ezzy and some trivia I added (in blue color text).
Vachier Lagrave - Gelfand
What a year for Vachier-Lagrave. World junior champion and Biel international winner! has knocked out 2 Chinese players in the world cup, and his reward for a great year is a pairing with the top seed in the tournament Boris Gelfand. They both played 2 draws against each other at the Biel tournament this year.
Meanwhile, Gelfand also had a nice year, having winning the ACP World rapid cup, beating Svidler in final, although Svidler blunders help Gelfand clinched the title. The age different is span quite wide, so also a battle of generation here.
Grischuk - Jakovenko
Grischuk hasn't beat Jakovenko in classical chess, but he beat Jakovenko twice in the world blitz championship this year. Jakovenko therefore will NOT want this to go to tiebreak. Close call this one.
Both had been pushed until tiebreak yesterday so equal preparation.
Laznicka - Mamedyarov
Laznicka is the 61 seed and lowest rated player left in. He's playing 'out of his skin' in this tournament though, beating Morozevich 2-0 in the 2nd round. Another tough challenge against Mamedyarov who is the only player not yet to go to a tiebreak. They have met each other twice before with 1 draw and 1 win for Mamedyarov. Mamedyarov will be the favourite, but so was Morozevich.
Mame is doing a Fischer-like tournament so far, Wang Hao is his strongest opponent so far in term of rating.
Karjakin - Vitiugov
Only played each other once, and that was this year, and a 21 move draw.
Vitiugov seems to be a steadily improving 22 year old. This is his second world cup and usually qualifies through good performances in the European championships, where 3 years running he finished only 1/2pt behind the winners score.
I can't see further than Karjakin though, A major winner this year at Corus!
Gashimov - Caruana
First ever meeting for these two. Gashimov beat 2 Chinese players and Caruana knocked out 2 Cuban's on their way to 4th round. Caruana's route to the 4th round has been extremely impressive beating Bruzon, Dominguez and Alekseev. A fascinating match! Could this be a big breakthrough for another talented youngster?
And again with no intention to be little Gashimov achievement so far, his opponent rating are 2405, 2596 (Zhou) and 2628 (Li Chao) mean average is 2543. Caruana is his strongest test to advance to next round. Gashimov is luckiest in round 1 againt Li Chao, having in line of defeat but survived with a draw. In tie break, the Chinese join a “Smoking Company” with Wang Yue and give one round victory to Gashimov.
Bacrot - Ponomariov
The battle of 2 chess prodigies. They met at the U-12 European championships 1994.
Bacrot beat Ponomariov 2-0 in the 2007 world blitz championship. They drew both their games in the 2006 M-Tel masters. Ponomariov 1.5-0.5 against Bacrot at Biel 2004.
Anyones guess who wins this.
Bacrot last World Cup ended in third round by Karjakin. Yesterday he also enjoy a free game where Wang Yue late for his tie break game.
Shirov - Svidler
The big match of the round! They have played each other 26 times - Shirov leads 6-5 with 15 draws in all types of chess. Shirov beat Svidler at the Aerosvit tournament 2008, but since 2004 all their other games have been draws.
Svidler seems to be hanging on by a thread the last couple of matches. He needs to 'knuckle down' now though.
Pick your favourite.
I will favorite Shirov! Twice runner-up, in final he lost to Anand (2000) and Kamsky (2007). Reaching quarter final in 2002 (lost to Anand) and 1999 (lost to Nisipeanu). His best tournament this year is the MTel Master where he winning over Topalov, Carlsen, Ivanchuck etc. While Svidler is winning the Gibraltar 2009 but play much higher tournament than Shirov this year , like the FIDE Grandprix.
So - Malakhov
Wesley So is the 'headliner' in this tournament so far, knocking out, Guseinov, Ivanchuk and Kamsky. wow!!!! Wesley is causing great excitement around this website with the support from his army of fans. During this tournament I must admit to being a follower of Wesley, but I think the whole chess world is watching him now. He's having the tournament of his life, and good luck to the this young phenominal talent.
Malakhov knows what it's like to win big at a young age. He was the U-14 World champion. Malakhov is now a member of the 2700 club! That doesn't seem to phase Wesley though.
Although Malakhov seem not much known, he is rated above Kamsky. Compare to Ivanchuck’s inconsistency and Kamsky’s downfall this year, Malakhov is on the rising graphic. This is surely the toughest of So opponent so far. Many information tells that Malakhov is also have a non chess full time job, mean he is an “amateur”.
Wesley So is the only non-european participant now.
Age wise, Wesley So (b1993), Fabiano Caruana (b1992),Maxime VL (b1990), Sergey Karjakin (b1990). Gelfand is at 41 (b 1968), Shirov and Svidler is 37 and 33, while the rest in their 20s.