Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave missed a golden opportunity to beat Alexander Grischuk and go on top of the standings as all the games in the fourth round of the Fide Candidates 2020 tournament in Yekaterinburg, russia, ended in draws.

Vachier-Lagrave looked set to clinch the fourth-round encounter with his opponent making a blunder under time pressure as he had 14 moves to make in just two-and-a-half minutes to reach the time control break.

However, the Frenchman missed a simple chance to tighten the noose when he played 30.Ba3+ instead of 30.Re4 and allowed Grischuk to not just escape the trap but also easily split points in the four-rook ending.

The result meant that Vachier-Lagreve continued to remain in joint lead with Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and China’s Wang Hao with 2.5 points. Grischuk, with four consecutive draws, was tied second with Fabiano Caruana.

Caruana, who had lost to Ding Liren in the earlier round, tried his best to get the better of Nepomniachtchi’s Gruenfeld defense after 55 moves.

Ding drew with white against Anish Giri, while Wang and Kirill Alekseenko agreed to split points after 41 moves in their first duel ever.

Standings after round four

Rank Name Rating Points
1 Nepomniachtchi,I 2774 2.5
2 Vachier-Lagrave,M 2767 2.5
3 Wang,H 2762 2.5
4 Grischuk,A 2777 2.0
5 Caruana,F 2842 2.0
6 Alekseenko,K 2704 1.5
7 Ding,L 2805 1.5
8 Giri,A 2763 1.5