During yesterday's 6th round, we were treated to a galore of decisive results on the top boards! From the first five boards, only the board 4 encounter between Granda and Sargissian ended in a draw.
The first players getting ready for their game at 1pm
On the first board, the 300-point difference between Harikrishna and Zumsande showed, as the Indian eventually overcame his opponent. Next to them, Fressinet took advantage of Grandelius' suboptimal handling of the opening to beat the young Swedish player.
Laurent Fressinet is one of the four leaders on 5/6
On board 3, Naiditsch convincingly outplayed Melkumyan, while the board 5 encounter between Short and Movsesian was the last game of the day to finish. Last year's winner Nigel Short seems to be in fine form here yet again, as he took the better of the Armenian, whom he had never beaten before.
Short-Movsesian and Harika-Howell were the last two games to finish
This means that with 3 rounds to go, we now have four leaders on 5/6: Harikrishna, Fressinet, Naiditsch and Short. There are however 7 players hot on their heels, as they trail the leaders by just half a point, and these are Sargissian, Granda, Kuzubov, Tiviakov, Donchenko and Rambaldi.
Video producer Vijay Kumar and ACP Board Director Yuri Garrett
Today Naiditsch will have the white pieces in the top board encounter against Harikrishna, while Nigel Short faces Laurent Fressinet. Board 4 will feature an interesting clash of generations, as the young Donchenko takes on Granda Zuniga.
In other news, I was lucky to be taken on a little sightseeing tour yesterday morning and was stunned by the absolute beauty of the island. So if the strength and quality of the tournament is not reason enough for you to come and play in the Isle of Man next year, just have a look at the following pictures!
Yours truly in Niarbyl