Live reporting: round 8

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Last update: 19.18 CET

Also the eighth round has one top match on the program: Topalov-Anand. The Indian can't really afford a defeat anymore and Topalov naturally likes to join Radjabov in the lead. The two gentlemen are fighting it over the board in a Queen's Indian. Ponomariov surprised Van Wely with a Knight's Tango, Tiviakov again played a Accelarated Dragon (this time against Shirov), Radjabov-Aronian have the Ragozin Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, Kramnik-Carlsen a Catalaan, Motylev-Svidler a very sharp 3.f3 Gr?ɬºnfeld and the Marshall Declined again joined the party, in Karjakin-Navara.

Update: 14.59 CET: It's clear which game the two gents Topalov and Anand are following today: Sasikiran-Motylev, Aeroflot open (Moscow) 2006. There 19.Nc4 Rad8 20.Ra2 Rd5 was played and it was a draw at the end. Topalov went 19.b4, which doesn't look very dangerous. So Ponomariov put his knight on c6 in a position where you wouldn't recommend that for novices, and Loek seems to have a small plus. The line in Shirov-Tiviakov left the theory quickly, and after 14...Bxc3+!? it's interesting to see whether White's bishop pair is indeed not so strong. (At the moment it isn't.) What's happening in Radjabov-Aronian doesn't look bad for Black and Carlsen is already in trouble against Kramnik.

Again we can already offer you footage of the start of the round:

Update 15.49 CET: today GM Erik van den Doel is here and I asked him about his opinion of some positions. He thinks Topalov has a slight advantage because Anand can't really break free. The move c6-c5 will for the moment not be possible, and so Black can do almost nothing. Loek's extra pawn is quite difficult to convert and Doel wasn't sure if Radjabov's extra pawn passed pawn meant enough compensation. Shirov just sac'ed a pawn to improve his white-squared bishop. For the rest we can say that a lot of interesting fights are going on!

Update 16.54 CET: TOPALOV BEATS ANAND. Suddenly there was '1-0' in the television screen in the press room, when the journalists ran to the door that's between the hallway and the playing stage. An emotional Anand kwam just came outside with his coat already on. Somebody asked: "Vishy, what happened?" and the Indian just replied: "I resigned, that's what happened." The position wasn't lost yet, so it came in handy that Topalov wanted to do some explanation with the demo board. We'll try to put this early press conferene online as soon as possible. The conclusion for now: it wasn't lost yet but it was like hell playing it with Black.

And about the other games: Navara is doing great again and especially his 24...Nc4 was a 'royal move', as Arne expressed it. Shirov is back, with a beautiful combination that gave him a good or even won ending oops, that look was too superficial, it's a draw now. Aronian is consolidating more and more and Carlsen is more okay that I thought, although Kramnik still has the advantage. Svidler seems to be winning because the pawn on d5 is dead lost.

Update 18.44: Aronian won his ending against Radjabov fantastically, so Topalov is now leading the field. Unfortunately Aronian isn't giving a press conference. The reason? He had an appointment with friends and he was already late...! Svidler wins again and is now doing excellent (also rating wise). It went wrong with Van Wely but the opposite coloured bishop ending with a pawn up was not won for Ponomariov. Karjakin-Navara will probably be a draw.

Together with Danailov and Cheparinov, Topalov stayed in the press room for a while. At first, they were following Radjabov-Aronian closely, helped by some laptop screens of journalists who are all using either Fritz or Chessbase. You could say the company Chessbase is the Microsoft of the chess world. Its general manager, Frederic Friedel, is here too and with him, Topalov had an amusing conversation. The Bulgarian suddenly shouted at Friedel that Fritz9 isn't stronger than Fritz10Fritz10 isn't stronger than Fritz9, and for that he gave the proof that he had analysed a Kramnik game with both engines. Then it was Friedel's turn, who tried to convince Topalov that Rybka isn't better than Fritz.

Meanwhile, forest shoot and uploaded some extra footage of today's round:

Update 19.18 CET: Karjakin did win at the end, after Navara went astray around the first time control. His 40...Bc6 wasn't the best move and simply 41...Ra8 would have kept some advantage, and then 45...Ba4? was a big mistake.
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