Although all the games were drawn, it was still a good, hard-fought final round. The game of the round was Fabiano Caruana's battle with Levon Aronian. Caruana tried a bit too hard to make something happen, and the result was that he lost a piece. Normally the mopping operation would have been a perfunctory task for Aronian, but the game kept going and going. Aronian spent almost no time on his clock and after the time control, had more time than he started with.
This was somewhat foolhardy, however. Had he taken more time just before the time control - he had tons of time to think - he would avoided the crazy complications of 39...a2 40.Re8+ and played 39...Rxh7. Then he can play for the win without any risk, and ought to achieve it. After 42.Rg8 he finally realized that the position was a mess, and thought for 50 minutes or so. He was not happy, and also did not manage to find one of the winning lines (they were not obvious, to put it mildly). He managed to bail out to a slightly worse position, and fortunately for his sanity held the draw.
Magnus Carlsen tried his best to convert a long-term initiative against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, but there was no way to do it, and they also drew a long game (though not as long as Caruana-Aronian). Carlsen and Caruana tied for second, a point and a half behind Aronian.
Hou Yifan had the upper hand against Arkadij Naiditsch, and if she had won she'd have managed to tie for second with the Cars. Naiditsch escaped, and the two of them tied for 4th-6th place with MVL.
Finally, tailenders Georg Meier and Matthias Bluebaum drew a short but interesting game to remain tied for last place.
- 1. Aronian 5.5 (out of 7)
- 2-3. Caruana, Carlsen 4
- 4-6. Naiditsch, Hou, Vachier-Lagrave 3.5
- 7-8. Bluebaum, Meier 2