2019 Wijk aan Zee, Round 8: Carlsen, Anand Win and Lead
Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 12:14PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 Wijk aan Zee, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Fedoseev

The logjam at the top has broken up a bit, and now it's the current world champion and his predecessor who head the tournament table in the 2019 edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament with +3 scores. Magnus Carlsen crushed Richard Rapport, obtaining a large positional advantage with he transformed into a powerful kingside attack; while Viswanathan Anand took advantage of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's blundering not just one but two simple tactics involving the d5 square.

Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi were part of the first-place tie entering the round, but paired with each other they drew speedily, in just 17 moves. Anish Giri was the last member of the pentumvirate(?), but he was never getting more than a draw as Black against Santosh Vidit Gujrathi. Teimour Radjabov trailed the leaders by half a point entering the round, but he too took the round off, also drawing in 17 moves (with Black) against bottom seed and co-cellar dweller (with Vladimir Kramnik, but not any more!) Jorden Van Foreest.

So today's draws were all pretty lame, but this was compensated by the presence of four decisive games. Two have already been mentioned, and the other two were Vladimir Fedoseev's win over Sam Shankland and Jan-Krzysztof Duda's victory over Kramnik, who no longer weighs the same as a duck but is sinking like a stone. (Ask your parents.)

The games are here (with some comments). Tomorrow is a rest day, and on Tuesday they'll contest round 9, with the following pairings:

It looks like a round that could have lots of decisive games - let's hope so.

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