Sochi R11: Four wins, Aronian grabs lead

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
After a huge blunder committed by his opponent Boris Gelfand, Armenian GM Levon Aronian entered the press room with a modest smile. A few hours later it turned out that he's now the only player on 7/11.

The 2nd Grand Prix Tournament has seen more drama than the average episode of ER by now. Yesterday it was Boris Gelfand who needed medical help, a shrink or a drink.

In what looked like a dead drawn position (but actually a bit easier to play for White), he forgot about his back rank (don't we all do that every now and then?) and lost a full piece.


The next game to finish was Al-Modiahki-Svidler, and once again the Quatar player was struggling right from the beginning and then outplayed slowly but surely. A Svidler who's not feeling well is still a very strong chess player! Mohamad's start was not bad (2.5 out of 5) but in the last six games he only managed to add one draw. Still, he's not far away from his his expected score...


Wang Yue, one of the other leaders, got into trouble against Kamsky. It looks like the American spoilt a winning advantage in timetrouble ("as usual", he said - another good reason to arrive in time at the board perhaps!? Well, who am I to judge, perhaps I am underestimating the value of last-minute preparation).


The games between Ivanchuk and Radjabov are usually exciting, and yesterday's meeting was no exception, despite the peaceful outcome. The Ukrainian employed a variation that was used by Smyslov and after Black's thematic pawn sacrifice e5-e4! (creating a strong square on e5 and usually also intended to paralyze White's king's bishop) both sides couldn't create big threats, despite many pieces still present on the board.


Navara-Grischuk was a very good draw, and Jakovenko, well, apparently he decided that he'd played enough draws by now, and it was time for a win! Actually it was Gashimov who can blame himself, because the suicidal Rxd5? led to a lost pawn endgame by force.


And if that wasn't enough yet, the last game to finish was also the most complicated, by far. Karjakin had a small advantage for a long time, but in timetrouble the position became highly unclear. The endgame looked a bit better for Cheparinov, but after some inaccuracies on his part, it was Karjakin who won in the end.


Round 11 results Aronian - Gelfand 1-0 Karjakin - Cheparinov 1-0 Al-Modiahki - Svidler 0-1 Jakovenko - Gashimov 1-0 Wang Yue - Kamsky ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Navara - Grischuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Ivanchuk - Radjabov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


Here are the pairings of the last two rounds:

Round 12, August 13 Kamsky - Gashimov Svidler - Jakovenko Cheparinov - Al-Modiahki Gelfand - Karjakin Radjabov - Aronian Grischuk - Ivanchuk Wang Yue - Navara
live at !

Round 13, August 14 Navara - Kamsky Ivanchuk - Wang Yue Aronian - Grischuk Karjakin - Radjabov Al-Modiahki - Gelfand Jakovenko - Cheparinov Gashimov - Svidler

Photos ?Ǭ© ChessVibes. Below you'll find the games of the eighth round (with commentary by GM Sergey Shipov and myself), followed by videos by Robert Fontaine and G?ɬ©rard Demuydt of Europe-Echecs.


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