Round 7

Yet again, no quarter was given during yesterday's 7th round, as from the first 10 boards only 3 games ended in a draw.

rnd7 1

The top 8 boards

On the top board, Arkadij Naiditsch had the white pieces against India's Harikrishna, and after the latter went wrong in the opening, the Azeri player got a very advantageous position. By Harikrishna's own admission, he had gotten a decent position, but had to switch to defending when he missed a move of his opponent. The Indian player reckoned his position was objectively lost at some point, but there were still a few tricks. His luck came when Naiditsch made a few inaccuracies in time trouble, and after reaching the time control, Hari felt his position was already better. And although Naiditsch continued to put up great resistance, the Indian player eventually managed to bring the full point home. You can watch Harikrishna's full interview in yesterday's video report (starting at 6:36).

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Tournament leader Pentala Harikrishna

Since the board 2 encounter between Nigel Short and Laurent Fressinet ended in a draw, Harikrishna is now the sole tournament leader on 6/7. One cannot blame Short for not trying though, as the Englishman unleashed the Evans Gambit in this crucial game! Nigel is well-known for his fondness of romantic openings, but this time the fireworks didn't quite happen and the players signed a draw on move 29.

rnd7 3

Round 7 in full swing at the stunning Royal Hall

Board 3 saw Sargissian comprehensively outplay Tiviakov, while on board 5 the 16-year old Italian GM-elect Francesco Rambaldi (whose title will be approved at the next FIDE Presidential Board) scored a crushing win against Yuriy Kuzubov. On board 4, Alexander Donchenko, another young hopeful, also obtained a very promising position against Granda Zuniga, but had to settle for a draw after his opponent defended tenaciously in a queen ending where he was a pawn down.

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Francesco Rambaldi during his round 1 game

This means that Harikrishna is now the sole tournament leader on 6/7, but he is closely followed by four players on 5.5/7: Fressinet, Sargissian, Short and Rambaldi. In today’s 8th round, Harikrishna will have the white pieces against Sargissian, while Fressinet takes on Rambaldi. On board 3, we will be treated to a clash between two of the greatest English players of all times, Adams and Short.

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A young chess fan waiting for round 7 to end

Today's games kick off at 1.30pm and with only two rounds to go, you would be crazy not to follow the action live here! You can now also replay all the games from previous rounds on the official tournament website. And don't forget to check out the photo albums as well as our YouTube channel, where you will find daily video reports, including interviews with all the top players.

Fiona Steil-Antoni

"I play and prepare on"
GM Hikaru Nakamura
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Latest News

Round 9 Report
Published: 29 Oct 2018

Round 9 Report

John Saunders reports: the 2018 Isle of Man International was won by Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland after a play-off match with Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan. The two players led going into the last round and drew their ninth round game to finish on 7/9 while none of the four players on 6/8 managed to win in order to tie with them. They each take home a cheque for £37,500 with Wojtaszek also receiving a further £500 for winning the blitz play-off. The initial two-game blitz was tied on 1-1 but Wojtaszek chose White in the Armageddon game and duly won. Seven players finished on 6½: Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk (both Russia), Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong (both USA), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Baskaran Adhiban (India).

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Round 8 Report
Published: 28 Oct 2018

Round 8 Report

John Saunders reports: another pulsating day’s chess saw four 2700+ rated players bite the dust, all bar one beaten by players less highly rated than themselves, and in one case more than 200 points adrift. Two leaders emerge from the smoke of battle, Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), who now both have 6½/8, while four more players are half a point behind them and are still in with a chance of a share in the top prize – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Wang Hao (China), Gawain Jones (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA).

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Round 7 Report
Published: 27 Oct 2018

Round 7 Report

John Saunders reports: another remarkable round at the Villa Marina saw the number of leaders increase by one – the same names as per the round six leader board, plus England’s perennial numero uno, Mickey Adams. There was some fantastic chess played, which it gives me great pleasure to report upon. Before we move on, let’s just record the seven leaders’ names for the record: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Wang Hao (China), Arkadij Naiditsch (Azerbaijan), Mickey Adams (England) and Jeffery Xiong (USA) all have 5½ out of 7.

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