The leader stumbles!

Eljanov's roller-coaster ride continues as he loses with White to Ponomariov. The other winners were Mamedyarov who came out on top in a sharp struggle against Alekseev and Akopian against Inarkiev.
The jostling for position on the leaderboard has led to a tightening of the ranks!

The Catalan is in fashion, especially with Anand employing it three times against Topalov. A common reaction is to play ...Bb4 followed by ...Be7, but this didn't work out that well for Alekseev against Mamedyarov. However Ponomariov instead retreated to d6 with his bishop, an idea that I am unfamiliar with and one that ultimately netted him the whole point.

In today's eighth round the leader lost and the winners were amongst the lower placed players.

Game No.NameRatingResultNameRatingOpening
1Peter Svidler27350.5-0.5Vassily Ivanchuk2741Petroff's Defence (C42)
2Dmitry Jakovenko27250.5-0.5Peter Leko2735Nimzoindian Defence (E58)
3Boris Gelfand27410.5-0.5Teimour Radjabov2740King's Indian Defence (E92)
4Pavel Eljanov27510-1Ruslan Ponomariov2733Catalan/Bogoljubov (E01)
5Vladimir Akopian26941-0Ernesto Inarkiev2669Slav/Grünfeld (D94)
6Shakhriyar Mamedyarov27631-0Evgeny Alekseev2700Catalan/Bogljubov (E11)
7Vugar Gashimov27340.5-0.5Wang Yue2752English opening (A14)

The longest and most amazing game was Akopian against Inarkiev as complications led to White having a queen (and the initiative) against rook, bishop and knight. What a tremendous fight!

Jakovenko looks happy. @ official site

In the eighth round there was a bunching effect and now there are just four players on 'plus one' who share the lead:

RankingNameCountryPresent RatingPoints
1st-4thPavel EljanovUkraine27514.5
1st-4thVugar GashimovAzerbaijan27344.5
1st-4thDmitry JakovenkoRussia27254.5
1st-4thPeter LekoHungary27354.5
5th-11thEvgeny AlekseevRussia27004
5th-11thBoris GelfandIsrael27414
5th-11thErnesto InarkievRussia26694
5th-11thShakhriyar MamedyarovAzerbaijan27634
5th-11thRuslan PonomariovUkraine27334
5th-11th7th-10thTeimour RadjabovAzerbaijan27404
5th-11thWang YueChina27524
12th-13thVassily IvanchukUkraine27413.5
12th-13thPeter SvidlerRussia27353.5
14thVladimir AkopianArmenia26943

Now there is only 1.5 points separating top from bottom. So it's still anybody's tournament!

Leko: I didn't expect that! @ official site

For further information on this event, I suggest that you go to the official tournament site.

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