Round 8 was an especially exciting day yesterday at Harpa as the tournament saw the visit of the great Garry Kasparov. Before the round there was a book signing session and the number of people who queued up for this was simply incredible!
Kasparov also held a short speech before the start of the round (in which he mentioned he would be very brief because he himself hated everyone who was doing speeches before a round when he was a young kid) and played the first move on the top board encounter between Bassem Amin and Li Chao. In this game the Chinese GM stopped Bassem’s great run in this tournament as he convincingly outplayed him with the black pieces.
The 2nd board encounter was an interesting draw between Gawain Jones and Arkadij Naiditsch, while on board 3 things went very wrong for Samy Shoker from the early stages in his game against Richard Rapport.
On board 4 Mohamed Ezat managed to draw Mikhail quite comfortably with the black pieces and with this result he secured his 9-rounds GM norm with one game to go. Mohamed is so far unbeaten, has a rating performance of 2653 and is gaining some impressive 24 rating points! Many congratulations to him!!
On boards 6, 7 and 8, Robin van Kampen, Eric Hansen and Helgi Olafsson all won their respective games and thereby joined the group of players on 6.5/8.
This means that after 8 rounds Li Chao is the new tournament leader on 7/8 and he is followed by a group of 6 players on 6.5/8: Amin, Rapport, Naiditsch, Hansen, Van Kampen and Olafsson.
With only 2 rounds to go, things are definitely going to heat up here today in Reykjavik so make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action starting from 16.30!