Round 6

Things are heating up at the Villa Marina, as yesterday’s round 6 saw no less than 9(!) decisive results on the top 10 boards!


           The participants of all three sections have moved to the magnificent Royal Hall for rounds 6 and 7

Board 1, which was remarkably the last game of the round to finish, was an extremely fighting draw between Tiviakov and Vachier-Lagrave. The French player had a minimal edge in a rook endgame, but Tiviakov defended accurately and a draw was eventually agreed after 75 moves and almost 7 hours of play.


                            Tiviakov and Vachier-Lagrave fighting it out in an otherwise empty playing hall

On boards 2 and 3, Sargissian and Jones both won a pawn in their games against Marin and Vaisser and went on to duly convert their advantage into a full point, thus joining Vachier-Lagrave in the lead.

While board 4 saw a rather peaceful draw between Hawkins and Fridman, the board 5 encounter between England’s number 1 and 4 was fought out until the bitter end. David Howell’s assessment after the game was that he had gotten some edge out of the opening, but then thrown that away somewhere (the computer suggests 26...Bf2 instead of 26...Bxd4). However, he didn’t miss the next opportunity that presented itself when, short on time, Mickey Adams went astray with 38...fxe5, allowing White to get a passed pawn and a winning advantage.


                                              David Howell pondering his next move against Mickey Adams

On board 6, Fressinet racked up a third consecutive victory as he inflicted his first loss on Kobo Ori, while on boards 7 and 8, Nigel Short and Gil Popilski got the better of Boruchovsky and Van Foreest respectively, both with the black pieces.

Another game that got my attention was the crazy board 19 encounter between Tal Haimovich and Radoslaw Jedynak. Don’t let the fact that this game was a draw mislead you, as the computer’s evaluation fluctuated between +14 and -4! Definitely a game worth playing through, and as usual you can do so here:

So after yesterday’s round Sargissian and Jones have joined Vachier-Lagrave on 5/6, but they are closely followed by no less than 6 players on 4.5/6: Fressinet, Tiviakov, Howell, Short, Fridman and Popilski.

36      37

                       Gabriel Sargissian                                                                          Gawain Jones

On today’s programme we have Vachier-Lagrave facing Sargissian with the white pieces on board 1, while board 2 sees another clash between top English GMs as Gawain Jones takes on David Howell.

With just 3 rounds to go, the players will be particularly eager to show their best chess, so make sure you don’t miss out when the games kick off at 1.30pm:

Finally, let me also remind you that you have until Sunday to try and solve the original endgame study composed by Yochanan Afek and dedicated to our tournament.

38      39

                           Yochanan Afek                                         A sneaky shot of Alan Tate mulling over the study

Fiona Steil-Antoni (Press Officer)

"I play and prepare on"
GM Hikaru Nakamura
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