SIMPLECHESS

Nepomniachtchi wins again, but Ivanchuk stays ahead

Two wins in a row take Ian Nepomniachtchi into equal second with Nigel Short.
One point ahead of them is Vassily Ivanchuk on 5/7 who drew quickly.

Alekseev steered the game into a well-known 'Grandmaster draw variation' and obviously wasn't in the mood for a fight.

The other draw involved Dominguez Perez and Nigel Short. Although Dominguez has only made draws so far one can't blame him for trying as he sacrificed his c-pawn seeking a lead in development. He stopped the Englishman from castling and so Short had to maintain his central pawn while he tried to catch up in development. Dominguez has sufficient activity to break open the position and regain his pawn, but Black's position was solid and simplification led to opposite bishops.

WhiteRatingCountryResultBlackCountryRatingNo. MovesOpening
Evgeny Alekseev2700RUS0.5-0.5Vassily Ivanchuk2741UKR13Slav Exchange
Ian Nepomniachtchi2695RUS1-0Lazaro Bruzon Batista2668CUB40Spanish Berlin
Leinier Dominguez Perez2713CUB0.5-0.5Nigel Short2685ENG27Catalan opening

The game of the day was clearly Nepomniachtchi's model win over Bruzon. The Cuban played an early ...g5 to restrain the typical White kingside advance. This seemed to be reasonable enough at first, while both sides manoeuvred for position, but later Nepomniachtchi found a way to exchange off Black's g-pawn and then advance his f-pawn pushing Black's pieces into disarray. So perhaps the ...g5-advance is fatally flawed after all?

PositionNameCountryOfficial RatingHighest ever RatingVirtual Rating before HavanaWorld rankingAgePoints after 7 rounds
1stVassily IvanchukUKR27412787272612415
2nd-3rdIan NepomniachtchiRUS2695Actual269542194
2nd-3rdNigel ShortENG26852712268348454
4thLeinier Dominguez PerezCUB27132721271328263.5
5thLazaro Bruzon BatistaCUB26682677266863282.5
6thEvgeny AlekseevRUS27002725271137292

None of the three lower placed players have won a game whereas Nepomniachtchi and Short have now both managed two.

Ivanchuk still has to play Nepomniachtchi a second time, and so his lead is far from being totally secure.

More information in Spanish from the

Official site

There is still time, but can either of Nepomniachtchi or Short catch Ivanchuk?

Ian on a roll! @ chessbase
Nigel has two Whites remaining @ worldpress

Published on , Updated on