With Nakamura and Rapport already qualified for the Candidates, the tournament has lost most of the thrill, but there is money at stake, and obviously prestige.
Today the four musketeers played the first game of the semifinals.
Nakamura had White against Mamedyarov, and Welsey So had White against Tabatabaei.
Nakamura and Mamedyarov played a Petrov, exchanging queens very early in the game. the exchanges continued and by move 22 the players were already into a drawish endgame. It was clear that only a blunder could have changed the outcome. That didn't happen, and the two super-GMs agree to a draw on move 30.
On the other board, So and the young Iranian Tabatabaei played a QGD, and the game was substantially equal until move 22, when Tabatabaei started playing inferior moves, allowing Wesley to get an advantage. So played very precisely, and was able to bring his queen into the enemy territory, to wreak havoc.
tomorrow Tabatabaei is in a must-win situation, to drag the semis into the tiebreaks. The Iranian will play with the white pieces, but his task remains hard and complicated.
Tomorrow, March 31, at 9 AM EDT - 15:00 Berlin (CEST), 13:00 UTC, the second game of the semifinals.