Round 7 can be dispensed with fairly quickly, as not only were all five games drawn, it doesn't even seem that anyone had even a moderate advantage, except for half a move in the game between Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler. After 31...Rc4?! (31...Bf8 was better, and only very slightly in White's favor) Anand had 32.Rxd6!, when Black would have been in some trouble. Instead, 32.c3? left him without an advantage, and the game was drawn shortly after the time control.
Round 6 was another story entirely. Four of the five games were drawn, and the tournament lead changed hands. Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in good style, with the decisive moment coming on move 37. Mamedyarov's 37...Qc5 was as natural as could be (especially if he was in time trouble), overprotecting the knight in anticipation of 38.Qc8 (as played in the game), but it was much better to play 36...Qc3 instead. Black wants to swap off a pair of rooks with 38...Re1+, which also leaves White's king more vulnerable. White would retain excellent chances, but in the game it was just over: 37...Qc5? 38.Qc8 Rxh5 and now White put his second rook to good use with 39.Rxf8+! Qxf8 40.Rd8, winning Black's queen. Black couldn't achieve a fortress afterward, and Nepo got the full point.
The full point, and the lead, because Anish Giri lost to Levon Aronian on the black side of an English. The final position may not seem so bad at first, especially if one thinks that Black is giving up on account of a line like 34...Re8 35.b8Q Rxb8 36.Nxb8. If that represented best play for both sides, Giri certainly would have continued. The problem is that 34...Re8 loses immediately to 35.Ne7+! followed by 36.Nc8, cutting off the rook, while if 34...Rd1+ followed by 35...Rb1 White can again cut off the rook, this time by 36.Nb4. Black can eliminate the b-pawn with 34...Rb8! 35.Nxb8 Nc5, but since he'll be two pawns down after 36.Nc6 Nxb7 37.Nxa7 Giri's resignation was appropriate after all.
Two other games were decisive. Peter Svidler obtained a serious opening advantage on the white side of a Reti against Li Chao and steadily increased it from start to finish. That brought Svidler back to an equal score, while Vladimir Kramnik went to +1 by giving poor Boris Gelfand his fifth defeat in a row. ("Olympic rings", as the joke goes.) Kramnik has been very successful in this event with 1.e4, and this game was no exception. Despite Gelfand's enormous experience in the Najdorf, Kramnik won the theoretical battle and obtained a clear advantage after the opening. Gelfand's 21...Rc6? was the losing move, and while Kramnik could have more easily with different 27th and 28th moves (27.Bxa6 Qxa6 28.Nb4 followed by 29.Qxb6, 30.Nd5+ and 31.Nxb6 was the first improvement, and 28.Bxa6 Qxe4 29.Nd5+! was the second) his approach was good enough. Opposite-colored bishops are sometimes overrated as a drawing weapon, and in this game Gelfand never had a chance to save the ending.
The fifth and last game, between Evgeny Tomashevsky and Viswanathan Anand, finished in a draw.
Two rounds remain; here are the pairings for round 8:
- Kramnik (4) - Tomashevsky (2.5)
- Svidler (3.5) - Gelfand (1)
- Nepomniachtchi (5) - Anand (4)
- Aronian (4) - Li Chao (3.5)
- Giri (4.5) - Mamedyarov (3)