M-Tel R8: all games drawn

PeterDoggers
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Round 7 in SofiaIn round 8 of the M-Tel Masters in Sofia all games ended in a draw. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov executed the first move in Dominguez-Topalov, which turned out to be the most interesting game of the day. With two more rounds to go, Carlsen and Shirov lead with 5 out of 8, followed by Topalov who has half a point less.

The 5th M-Tel Masters takes place May 12-23 in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's a six-player double round-robin with Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves and then another hour to finish the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so draw offers can be made only through the chief arbiter in the case of a threefold repetition, perpetual check or a theoretically draw position.

Round 8

In all honesty not much can be said about today's eighth round. In both Ivanchuk-Carlsen and Shirov-Wang Yue, the players quickly reached a drawn ending that was played out for another thirty moves or so without much happening.

Dominguez-Topalov was better; from yet another 6.h3 Najdorf it seemed that Black didn't have any problems in the early middlegame. Instead of going for a haunt on pawn g5 (which might have been a bit risky), Topalov sacrificed an exchange for full control over the dark squares. Quite a logical concept since White had weakened his king's position with b2-b3, but it wasn't enough for an advantage, and just before the time control the Bulgarian decided to force the draw.

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Round 8 in Sofia

Magnus Carlsen, still leading the field...



Round 8 in Sofia

...together with Alexei Shirov



Round 8 in Sofia

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov arrived in Sofia today...



Round 8 in Sofia

...for a meeting with the board of directors of the Grand Slam tournaments.



Round 8 in Sofia

At the meeting opportunities for collaboration between FIDE and the Grand Slam will be discussed.



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