A mixed strength round robin finished yesterday in Edmonton, in Canada, and was won by Pentala Harikrishna with an impressive score of 7.5/9. He was undefeated and finished ahead of three players: his fellow 2700s Vasil Ivanchuk and Wang Hao, and his countryman Surya Ganguly. American Sam Shankland finished a further half a point back with 6 points; two points ahead of the highest-placed non-GM.
Entries in Pentala Harikrishna (2)
There are now only 13 3-0 scores in the current installment of the Masters section of the Gibraltar Chess Festival, and I will focus on five of them in this post: Hikaru Nakamura, Pendyala (or Pentala or even just "P.") Harikrishna, Wei Yi, Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun.
Nakamura defeated Tamir Nabaty in good technical style - a la Carlsen, one might say, though Nakamura was adept at winning such games before Magnus Carlsen took over the chess world. As a result he is currently the highest-rated three-pointer, and if he wins tomorrow/today against Nils Grandelius he will pass Vladimir Kramnik to reach the #8 spot in the world. He is current 2.1 points behind him, and 6.6 points behind the new American #1, Wesley So.
Harikrishna made it to 3-0 by winning a spectacular game against Ioan-Cristian Chirila, featuring an interesting pawn sac that may just refute Chirila's (probably unintended) novelty on move 8. Harikrishna will play Michael Roiz in round 4.
Wei Yi is the real top story, as his victory against Bela Khotenashvili brought him to 2701.7 on the live list, making him the youngest player in chess history to break the 2700 barrier. The previous record-holder? Magnus Carlsen. Wei Yi, who just last week won the Challengers group at Wijk aan Zee, is just 15, and will not turn 16 until June 2. Next up for him: Ju Wenjun - about whom more a bit later.
Finally, the women's #5 player, Ju Wenjun (like Wei Yi and Hou Yifan, she is from China), reached her 3-0 score by drubbing the 18-year-old Hungarian superstar Richard Rapport. That was a very big win for her, and now she'll get another 2700 as her reward, her countryman Wei Yi.
The five games can be replayed here (sans notes), but for those of you who subscribe to ChessLecture.com I think I'm going to record a video of the Harikrishna game early next week (I don't know how long it will take before it's posted, though - probably another week or two after that).