Anton Demchenko of Russia caught up to Rauf Mamedov with a nice win against Alexander Donchenko in the 7th round. Demchenko and Mamedov now lead the pack with 6 points out of 7. Rauf Mamedov was offered a short draw on the top board with the black pieces against Kacper Piorun, which he accepted.
7th round underway but a quick draw on board 1 as we see Piorun and Mamedov walk from the table. pic.twitter.com/JPze8h7KL8
— ReykjavikOpenChess (@ReykjavikOpen) September 1, 2021
This opened the door for other players to catch up. Demchenko took his chance!
Demchenko played a nice positional game against Donchenko, sacrificing a pawn but retaining a powerful king’s bishop. That king’s bishop was then sacrificed at the right moment:
35.Bxg6! was the hammer blow.35…fxg6 36.Re6 Rh6 and 37.Rxd6!
A nice motive as the hanging rook on a7 is black’s undoing. The game didn’t last much longer.
First to do that was David Navara.
Evgeny Romanov also took his chances vs Daniele Vocaturo. A strange Sicilian turned into what seemed like a pretty favourable Maroczy bind type of structure for white. The game was basically over pretty early, a clinical win by Romanov.
Nidjat Mamedov also caught up after a CRAZY game vs Maxime Lagarde!
Finally, Mustafa Yilmaz from Turkey took his chances. He hung to an extra pawn that Spartak Grigorian sacrificed early in the opening and simply held on to it until the endgame where he converted.
A game on board 35 featured a cool triple sacrifice on the same square. Iulian Baltag, Romanian IM, had black against Kaido Kulaots.
Here 29…Ndxe5! was a very nice move. White can’t take 30.dxe5 on account of 30…Qc5+ when …Ne3 and …Rxg2 follow with carnage.
A few moves later, against the e5 square was key…
35…Nge5 was a nice way to simply but oh no, Iulian wasn’t done!
39…Nxe5 for an encore! 40.Rxe5 and 40…Rfxg3 prompted resignation. Nice scalp by Baltag.