Sochi R9: Wang Yue beats Radjabov, joins lead with Cheparinov

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
It's about time to stop mentioning the Beijing Olympics and the Chinese number 8, and start confirming that Wang Yue is just a very strong chess player. Once more he showed fine technique in a bishop ending, and defeated Radjabov to take over the lead. He's topping the standings with Cheparinov, who easily drew Ivanchuk.

Despite another day with six draws and just one win, we must say that the 9th round was a pretty entertaining one. Except for the obligatory quick draw of course, and it seems Ivanchuk's new energy only lasted for one round, as he drew unambitiously against Cheparinov.

The Bulgarian is not to blame of course - his 2nd Grand Prix is just superb, especially keeping in mind he started with a dismal 0 out of 4 in the previous one.

First seeded Vassily Ivanchuk: drawing most of his games quickly

But the excitement had already started at 15:01 hrs, actually. David Navara surprised Boris Gelfand, and put a smile on everyone's face, by employing the King's Gambit, a favorite opening of his famous namesake David Bronstein.

David Navara: trying his luck in the King's Gambit

Being faced with the opening for the very first time in his career, the Israeli thought for about ten minutes and then opted for a super solid set-up that unfortunately removed any romantic flavour from the position.

The game of the round was, of course, Wang Yue-Radjabov. The Chinese employed a once popular, but now very rare Saemisch Variation of the King's Indian. And the game kind of confirmed the theoretical status: Black is doing fine with the gambit line 6...c5! - as is known for about ten years already.

But on the 19th move, Radjabov made a serious error and ended up in a worse bishop ending. Which is no pleasure at all against the Chinese grandmaster, who already gave a show of his excellent endgame technique in the previous round. Although he looked quite nervous in the final phase, Wang Yue converted his advantage to a full point quite convincingly.

Wang Yue's succesful formula thus far: a combination of solid play and strong technique

Instead of describing all of them, let's quickly move on to the games themselves, as always, to be replayed below. Actually all of them are worth watching, but perhaps the most spectacular lines are given to the game Aronian-Svidler.

Svidler & Aronian's post-mortem, using yours truly's laptop. Peter was entering the moves with amazing speed. Grischuk is one of the kibitzers.

Round 9 results Wang Yue - Radjabov 1-0 Ivanchuk - Cheparinov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Grischuk - Kamsky ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Aronian - Svidler ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Karjakin - Gashimov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Al-Modiahki-Jakovenko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Navara - Gelfand ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?


Photos ?Ǭ© Mark Gluhovsky & 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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