Gang of GMs Lead National Open After Four Rounds
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 7, 2009
Two of the GMs leading after four rounds, Izoria and Kacheishvili. Photo Jennifer Shahade, courtesy Dujiu Yang
A gang of GMs lead the National Open (June 5-7, Las Vegas) after four rounds. Tomorrow's two final rounds will be key to dividing the $100,000 prize pool. Watch it live here. Tied at the top with 3.5/4 are Evgeny Bareev, Zviad Izoria, Loek Van Wely, Tigran Petrosian, Varuzhan Akobian, Gabriel Sargissian and Georgi Kacheishvili. Round 4 was surprisingly indecisive on the top boards, with six of the eight games ending in draws, many of them hard-fought. But Akobian did not follow the pack and managed to win over GM Jesse Kraai, who was coming off a great round three victory of his own over GM Jaan Ehlvest.



Also victorious in round four were GM Georgi Kacheishvili and GM Gabriel Sargissian, who won a marathon game against IM Irina Krush .



 In round three, Van Wely, Bareev and Izoria won their crucial games to put them in a perfect position going into Saturday night's round.



Petrosian had a particularly tough schedule as he took the Las Vegas gamble of playing in the 2-day section. His first round opponent was the notorious GM basher IM Emory Tate and in round two, Petrosian faced a 2500+ Mexican IM, Dioniso Aldama. After winning those two games, he got through GM Nikola Mitkov. All while wearing a Scarface T-shirt.

 Look for more photos and the final story from Las Vegas on CLO. Check out the official website here, for standings, pairings, live games and more.