Round five, four decisive games, but all very important for the situation in the pools, with one round to go.
In Pool A, Aronian won relatively easily with Esipenko, who is not having a good tournament. Surprisingly, Esipenko played wrongly his opening, a Nimzo-Indian. By move 13, the Russian was lost, and nobody can give Aronian +4 and hope to survive.
Oparin, who instead is playing good chess, seemed to hold Nakamura in a drawish territory, but the American wizard pulled off a Carlsen-like strangling endgame, taking home the full point.
Tomorrow Nakamura plays Esipenko, and Aronian plays Oparin. If both the leaders draw, we will have tiebreaks on Tuesday, March the 28th.
In Pool B we had two draws. The standings see Mamedyarov and Dominguez leading with 3.0/4. Tomorrow, Mamedyarov plays Dubov and Dominguez plays Keymer.
In Pool C, two decisive results. Wesley So defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Sam Shankland won against Predke. So and Shankland now lead with 3 points, one whole point ahead of MVL and Predke. Tomorrow Shankland plays MVL and Wesley So plays Predke. In the case of two draws, So and Shankland will play the tiebreaks.
In Pool D we had two draws, which leave the four players with 2.5 points! Yu Yangyi had the game vs. Tabatabaei in his hands, with a seemingly unmatchable advantage. But then the Chinese lost the thread of his play and allowed the young Iranian to find a perpetual check.
Tomorrow, March 28th, is the last round of the Pools. Play starts at 9 AM EDT - 15:00 Berlin (CEST) - 13:00 UTC