Magnus Carlsen claimed world No1 bragging rights again at the Pearl Spring Masters, as he stormed into the lead at the end of the first half while his main rival, World Champion Vishy Anand suffered a shock defeat at the hands of a player who was once dubbed the Carlsen of his day.
The Norwegian teenager's demolition of out of form Veselin Topalov moved him into the lead on 4/5, and also strengthened his claim on the top spot in the world rankings - but surprisingly, he's being chased by rank outsider Etienne Bacrot, after the Frenchman had triple joy with successive wins over Gashimov, Anand and Wang Yue to be just a half point behind the leader.
Like Carlsen, Bacrot was hailed in his youth as a great prospect. Many predicted the young prodigy was destined for greater things when, in 1997, at the age of 14, he became the youngest Grandmaster in history. Immediately his Soviet emigre coach, Iosif Dorfman, who was also a former trainer to Garry Kasparov, boldly proclaimed that his new star pupil was "born to bury Kasparov".
But the only thing that got buried was Bacrot's career at the chessboard. He struggled continually with his game and he never lived up to the early promise of being proclaimed a future world championship candidate. Now late in life, he's showing he can still mix it at the elite level with a superb (and lucky!) display at Nanjing - and especially as many feared he would become the tournament punch bag after his opening round loss to Carlsen!
Recently Chess.FM was delighted to have GM Yasser Seirawan join our live coverage show, as he and fellow GM Joel Benjamin expertly broke down the action for us in round 4. Many ICC members asked if they could somehow listen to the show as they missed it due to it being broadcast during the wee small hours here on ICC. So, for ICC members only, you can listen to all 5 hours of that particular show by clicking here!
Join ICC now to listen to Seirawan and Benjamin from round 4 - and catch all the rest of the live Chess.FM action from Nanjing (plus upcoming Tal Memorial and London Chess Classic) by clicking here!
Rounds 1-9 start at 2:30 PM local time (2:30 AM ICC / 11:30 PM Pacific daylight / 8:30 AM CET), and round 10 at 10 AM local time (10 PM ICC / 7 PM Pacific daylight / 4 AM CET).
Official site: http://www.chess-pearlspring.com/www/chess_pk/2009/en/