It was another day of aggressive chess in Tashkent, and those who started the game with an advantage didn't necessarily finish it that way.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came up with an interesting but possibly dubious novelty in the Gruenfeld, and Boris Gelfand seemed to have a significant advantage. It soon slipped away though, and later it was "MVL" who stood better and could have obtained a rook ending with a solid extra pawn. He missed his chance too, and the game wound up drawn. Another drawn game with shifting fortunes was the battle of the Americans (thinking hopefully here): Fabiano Caruana had an extra pawn, and while Hikaru Nakamura had some compensation Caruana probably could have extinguished it with a sufficient stretch of precise play. By the end, however, Nakamura was even pressing a little, though it wasn't enough.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played an offbeat Vienna against Rustam Kasimdzhanov and was worse, but as the game grew more complicated and time grew short it was hard for Kasimdzhanov to keep Mamedyarov's initiative under control. A couple of serious errors later, Kasimdzhanov lost.
The other decisive game was won by Dmitry Andreikin, against Sergey Karjakin. Andreikin went for a sharp line of the Torre Attack, and while his opponent's initial reaction was good the decision to play 15...Ke7 and 16...g5 was not. Between the light-squared weaknesses and the exposed king plenty could go wrong, and after 28.c5! Black soon collapsed.
Jobava-Jakovenko and Giri-Rajdabov were more stable draws, and you can replay all the games, with my comments, here.
Round 7 Pairings:
- Caruana (2.5) - Gelfand (2)
- Kasimdzhanov (1.5) - Nakamura (4)
- Radjabov (3) - Mamedyarov (3.5) (count on a draw)
- Karjakin (2.5) - Giri (3)
- Jakovenko (3) - Andreikin (4)
- Vachier-Lagrave (3.5) - Jobava (3.5)