Ehlvest-Christiansen, 1-0. This matchup of Grandmasters started with a bit of intrigue after an irregular line in the Scotch Game occurred after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bb4+ 5. c3 Be7!? (Schiller suggested 5…Bc5 as an attacking line) 6. Nf5!? Bf6 7. Ne3, each moving the same piece several times in the opening. However, the prolific author appears to have misjudged white's opening and was stating that black was clearly better in the opening. In reality, white held a slight advantage throughout the opening as Ehlvest had a grip on the d5 square and enjoyed tremendous space. Christiansen realized this and sought to free himself with 19…c5?! but ended up yielding control of the central files. In addition, black's a5-pawn was terribly weak and would eventually fall. A pawn down and the inevitable loss of another, Christiansen resigned after 33.Rd8+.
Perelshteyn-Muhammad, 1-0. Perelshteyn remembers the last time he played Muhammad; it was the 2002 World Open, a game ending in complete disaster as Muhammad crushed his King's Indian. Well… this is a new day and Perelshteyn wanted to level the score. The game started out as a Ruy Lopez and the only question these days is which of the many systems would black employ against this popular opening. Muhammad chose the aggressive Arkhangelsk's Defense with 7…Bc5!? As is typical with the Ruy Lopez, pawns are not immediately exchanged, but each side maneuvers to obtain a favorable and flexible position. After it was apparent that Perelshteyn was going for a direct attack after with 18.Qh5 and 19.Rf3, Muhammad attempted to lock the center by sacking a pawn with 19...d5. This worked temporarily as the two players spent some time shuttling their pieces back and forth. White cashed in his grip on the e-file after 36. h5 g5 37. Qf3 Ra7?? (37…Kg7) 38. fxg5 Bxg5 39. Re6! winning the a6-pawn. White's king marched up into a dominating position, played a deflection sacrifice of 55.d6+! to make way for the king's invasion. Muhammad resigned before Perelshteyn was able to gobble all of his queenside pawns.
Yudasin-Paschall, 1-0. This was the shortest game of the round and was indicative of the tough time Paschall has had in this tournament. Having played ambitiously, he has nothing to show for it. In this interesting opening, both players followed main theory and reached typical formations. Paschall may have gone wrong with 16…Rc8 and 17…Rc7 which allowed white to win the h4-pawn. Perhaps 16…h4 would kept a dynamic equality. After white was able to force the queens off the board, Paschall didn't care to play out another 20 moves only to watch the h-pawn scoot up the board for another queen.
Round Five Games (playable and downloadable)
All Games (PGN download)
Standings: Krush, Perelshteyn, 3½; Bluvshtein, Christiansen, Ehlvest, Yudasin, 3; Simutowe, 2; Akobian, 1½; Muhammad, 1; Paschall, ½.