Sochi R7: Six draws, Karjakin beats Al-Modiahki

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
After a bomb exploded about 40 km away from the venue in Sochi, it seemed the players were even more cautious than usual. No less than six games ended in a draw and Karjakin won a drawn endgame against Al-Modiahki.

"A bomb explosion in Sochi killing two", now that's something that might cause worries among chess fans, and justfully. Luckily it happened about 40 km from where the venue of the tournament is located, and locals don't even call the area Sochi.

As reported by several media, a 31-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were killed and thirteen wounded yesterday, after detonation of a bomb device around 10:25 AM, on a beach in the village of Loo, north of Sochi.

Eyewitnesses have said that the bomb was hidden in a bag lying on the road that the woman tried to pick up. The blast could be heard a kilometer away. It was the second deadly blast in the last five weeks in Sochi, after a device exploded in an apartment building in Sochi on July 2, killing two people and injuring more than 30.

As to the question why a bomb explodes in Sochi, connections to the current tension in Georgia as well as the 2014 Olympics have been suggested. Let's hope the Sochi tournament hall will stay a safe area for the top chess players and journalists.

Six games ended in a draw yesterday, and it should have been seven, as Al-Modiahki missed many chances to draw a queen ending against Karjakin.


The drawing percentage has increased even more, to a current 70%. By now it's safe to say that the Sofia Rule doesn't have an effect on the number of draws, only on the length of the games. It's up to the chess fans to decide whether they prefer it like this.

Reasonably short and dull draws were Ivanchuk-Gashimov and Aronian-Jakovenko. Wang Yue-Cheparinov was quite interesting, and the Bulgarian-formerly-known-as-the-second-of-Topalov is really playing an excellent tournament, as he was much better with Black in an Anti-Moscow Gambit.


Radjabov-Kamsky started promising, and the American's classical treatment of the position, playing for the dark squares and blockade of White's passer, was a joy to watch. Unfortunately the pawn formation became closed soon afterwards, and with it the fun was over.


Navara had some slight problems after he entered the 6.Bc4 line of the Najdorf against Svidler, with which he had no experience. The Czech was worse until a few moves before the end in a rook ending, but used a nice stalemate trick to reach the draw.


Boris Gelfand recovered well from yesterday's disappointing game against Radjabov, and playing the black pieces he was better throughout his game against Grischuk. However, the Muscovite defended accurately and saved the half point.


Round 7 results Karjakin - Al-Modiahki 1-0 Radjabov - Kamsky ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Grischuk - Gelfand ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Wang Yue - Cheparinov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Navaraa - Svidler ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Ivanchuk - Gashimov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Aronian - Jakovenko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


Photos ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky. Below you'll find the games of the seventh 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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