2019 Gibraltar, Round 7: Artemiev the Sole Leader
Monday, January 28, 2019 at 9:15PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 Gibraltar, Vladislav Artemiev

Eight players shared the lead entering round 7 of the 2019 Gibraltar Masters, and when the round had finished there was a single leader.

Levon Aronian took a bye, so he was the first player to finish the day with 5.5/7.

Baskaran Adhiban played "down" in the sense that his opponent, Yu Yangyi, was in a lower score group. But Yu is higher-rated, and despite playing Black won a quick crush, and now he has 5.5 while Adhiban still has 5.

Nils Grandelius defeated Wesley So yesterday and should have beaten Le Quang Liem today, but their game finished in a draw, and they too both have 5.5 points.

Ivan Saric was better for a very long time against David Navara, but never winning. Navara defended well, held the draw, and they too have 5.5 points apiece.

Before getting to the one game where a 5-pointer managed to win, let me note that Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Arkadij Naiditisch, Nikita Vitiugov, Maxim Matlakov, Rasmus Svane, and Kirill Alekseenko all started with 4.5 points and won their games.  That makes 12 players with 5.5 points, all of whom are half a point behind the winner of the game between Vladislav Artemiev and Hikaru Nakamura.

That player, as you already know from the post's title, was Artemiev. The position was perhaps slightly better in the early middlegame when Nakamura went in for complications that seriously worsened the American's position. After another error he was lost, but a subtle error on move 30 gave Nakamura a chance for a beautiful saving move. Unfortunately for him, he missed it, and this in turn gave Artemiev the chance for a beautiful knockout blow. He found it, and after several minutes that were probably spent steaming rather than thinking, Nakamura resigned. (The game, with brief comments, is here.)

Leading round 8 pairings:

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (http://www.thechessmind.net/).
See website for complete article licensing information.