Rauf Mamedov seperated himself from the leaders in the 6th round when he managed a nice win against Frenchman Maxime Lagarde. The Azeri veteran employed a rare 7…h6 move in the mainline King’s Indian and his surprise seemed to pay off.
He sacrificed a pawn shortly thereafter, despite changing queens, and was very quickly ahead in the ensuing endgame.
A flurry of short draws happened in a short period of time at the start of the round. Hovhannes Gabuzyan one of the leaders drew in a very short game vs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. Despite having black, perhaps Nisipeanu should have played on, given that he has no problems after 10…Qd5 and could even claim being better.
Erdos and Abbasov drew their game very quickly, as did Nagy and Yilmaz.
Alexei Sarana played very quickly in the opening vs his countryman Anton Demchenko. In the following position, Sarana still had 1:31 on his clock, indicating he was still in preparation. Black seems to have problems getting castled.
The key moment came later when Sarana took a poisoned pawn.
31.Qxa6? allowed the black knight to roam free 31.Bxf8 was probably still relatively risk-free for white 31…Ng6 and yet again the knight was a key piece for Demchenko who also won nicely with black against Keymer.
With this win, Demcehnko joins Gabuzyan in joint 2nd place with 5 points. Also joining that group was Kacper Piorun. The creative Pole played the McCutheon variation of the French, not the most popular guest on high levels but he played a fantastic game with an interesting endgame where the kings each took great part…
The black king march proved more successful
Finally, young German talent Vincent Keymer was also able to win with black. He transferred a nice piece of opening preparation into a pawn win which he nurtured to a full point. Vincent has recovered from a slow start and is back in the mix of things.
Results of the round:
Pairings of the 7th round