Sochi R8: Ivanchuk, Kamsky & Wang Yue win

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
In Chinese culture, 8 (?•‚Ķ¬´?جº?í?¶??í) is a lucky number because it sounds like the word "prosper" or "wealth" (?•?‚Äò - short for "?•?‚Äò?®¬¥¬¢", Pinyin: f?Ñ?). It was certainly not a coincidence that the Olympic Games were opened yesterday, and perhaps it wasn't a coincidence either that Wang Yue scored his first victory in Sochi!

While latest developments in South-Ossetia have turned from "tensions" into "war", the 2nd Grand Prix Tournament in Sochi, just 50 km north of the Russian/Georgian border, just continues to be a calm and quiet chess event. It's strange to read about it in the news, and watch the images on CNN, and to realize that this "separate world" we live in, inside a 5-star hotel, is actually pretty close to the battlefield. But what can we do besides reporting on the fights that are taking place on the 64 squares...

The first game to finish was, as it was so often, Ivanchuk's. But this time the top seed had not drawn his game, no, instead he had scored an incredibly quick win against Peter Svidler. It was the first time the Ukrainian showed his game in the press room and he too didn't really know yet what had happened!

The other two victories were scored in endings - fortunately opening preparation is still not everything, these days. Kamsky saw most of his advantage he had built up against Al-Modiahki disappearing, until the Quatar player allowed the liquidation into a worse ending - in which the American left him no chance.


It doesn't happen too often, but Boris Gelfand was already worse, with the White pieces, around move 25. His Chinese opponent was clearly inspired and played a very strong and instructive ending, showing no merci to the Israeli grandmaster.


We don't have to explain to chess fans that draws can be as fascinating as victories, and Radjabov-Grischuk, and especially Jakovenko-Karjakin were confirming it once more. Do replay those games as well!


At the moment of writing, the 9th round is well on its way, with two top matches: Wang Yue-Radjabov and Cheparinov-Ivanchuk. (And what about Navara playing the King's Gambit against Gelfand!?) The tournament is really getting exciting now!

Round 8 results Kamsky - Al-Modiahki 1-0 Svidler - Ivanchuk 0-1 Gelfand - Wang Yue 0-1 Radjabov - Grischuk ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Jakovenko - Karjakin ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Gashimov - Aronian ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Cheparinov - Navara ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


Photos ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky. 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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