Wijk aan Zee 2018, Round 7: Mamedyarov Wins Again, Leads by a Full Point
Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 3:41PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2018 Wijk aan Zee, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had a great 2017 (apparently he had the best TPR for the entire year - see the last entry), and he's starting 2018 the same way. With his easy win today over Wei Yi he has scored a hat trick, moving to +4 overall and a full point lead over his closest pursuers. The tournament still has six rounds left and Mamedyarov will face Carlsen soon, but for now everything is coming up roses for him.

He was not the only winner on the day - there was a lot of blood spilled on the boards. Viswanathan Anand came into the round tied for second, but lost badly, with White, to Vladimir Kramnik. Now it's Kramnik who is part of a second-place tie. Another player who has entered the tie for second is Magnus Carlsen, who defeated tournament tailender Hou Yifan. Carlsen had a significant advantage early on but let it slip. Hou defended well for a long time, but Carlsen kept posing problems and eventually broke his opponent's resistance. The other two players in the tie are Wesley So and Anish Giri, who faced each other today. Giri fought his way out of a difficult position and made a draw.

The final decisive result saw Sergey Karjakin defeat Fabiano Caruana. Caruana seemed to blunder a pawn shortly after the opening, and Karjakin converted without much trouble. Karjakin is half a point out of the tie for second, while Caruana is near the bottom with a -3 score.

The day's other games were draws between Maxim Matlakov and Baskaran Adhiban, and between Gawain Jones and Peter Svidler. Jones is the lowest rated player in the event, far lower-rated than everyone but Hou and Adhiban (who are in last and next-to-last, respectively), but it doesn't look like it. He's still on 50%.

The games (some annotated, some not) are here. These are the round 8 pairings:

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (http://www.thechessmind.net/).
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