Added on 3/23/2022

For the first time since the FIDE Gran Prix started with its first leg, we had eight draws today. But it was not an easy day, at least for some of the talents gathered in Berlin. In Pool A Oparin, held to a draw the on-form Aronian, which is not an easy task, these days. Nakamura has to fight hard to survive against the young Esipenko, who is showing he belongs to the elite.  

 Pool A 1 2 3 4 PTS Nakamura aa 0 1/2   0.5 Aronian 1 aa   1/2 1.5 Esipenko 1/2   aa 1/2 1.0 Oparin   1/2 1/2 aa 1.0  

In Pool B, Mamedyarov and Dubov went for a GM-draw (repetition in the middlegame) in another Giuoco Piano, an opening that seems to be gaining momentum at the top level.

Dominguez and Keymer played a hard-fought game in a Ruy Lopez. Even when they reached a drawn endgame with opposite color bishops, the two players kept on playing, trying to induce the other to error.

 Pool B 1 2 3 4 PTS Mamedyarov aa   1/2 1/2 1.0 Dominguez   aa 1 1/2 1.5 Dubov 1/2 0 aa   0.5 Keymer 1/2 1/2   aa 1.0  

In Pool C, Predke and Wesley So, again in a Giuoco Piano opening, fought to get an advantage, but to no avail. Vachier-Lagrave and Shankland played an interesting game in the Berlin Defense of the Ruy Lopez. A very open and tactical game, but neither succeeded in overcoming his opponent.  

 Pool C 1 2 3 4 PTS So aa   1/2 1/2 1.0 Vachier-Lagrave   aa 1/2 0 0.5 Shankland 1/2 1/2 aa   1.0 Predke 1/2 1   aa 1.5  

In Pool D, Vitiugov and Yu Yangyi took a day off. They repeated very early in a Sicilian. At least it wasn't Giuoco Piano or Ruy Lopez! Giri and Tabatabaei fought a bit more and longer in a Slav.

 Pool D 1 2 3 4 PTS Giri aa   1/2 1/2 1.0 Vitiugov   aa 1/2 1 1.5 Yu Yangyi 1/2 1/2 aa   1.0 Tabatabaei 1/2 0   aa 0.5

Tomorrow the first round-robin ends, with the third round. Play starts at 10 AM EDT - 15:00 Berlin - 14:00 UTC.