Gang of GMs Lead National Open After Four Rounds
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 7, 2009
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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.