The seventh round was full of swings and surprises. It was clear the players came to fight after the rest day here at the World Champions Group of the Isey Skyr Chess Festival.
Three decisive games where on offer and the drawn games could each have ended decisively. Semyon Lomasov fell out of the lead after a horrifiic endgame blunder against his countryman Antipov.
Steingrimsson vs Stefansson
Steingrimsson played with great urgency in the opening and got a nice attacking position. Black neglected the development of his queenside.
Steingrimsson played powerful enough to get a winning position but a few “soft” moves slipped in the could have cost him the easy win.’
33…h6? was too much (Ne6 or Be6 would have kept black in it) 34.Bxf7! and black collapsed soon after with a skewer on the c-file.
Khademalsharieh vs Adly
Somehow this became a marathon game when an opposite colored bishop endgame that could have been agreed drawn on the spot was played for some 50-60 moves. This couldn’t have been frustrating on Adly’s part as he was the one fighting for the draw most of the game.
Sara had a very nice endgame position vs IQP and held the bishop pair. She lost a bit of control when she allowed black to get rid of the pawn weakness with 36.Ke2? d4! if instead she would have kept the blockade on d4 or protected the b3 pawn she would have had good chances to press for the win.
Leitao vs Dinara
Leitao played more or less a model game for this variation. He squashed any attacking attempts on the kingside and broke through on the queenside. I am sure Leitao lost some sleep trying to figure out how he didn’t win this nicely played game.
White seems to be able to select a winning plan and his top two moves show an evaluation of +13 in the computers. Somehow too many safe moves and indecisiveness allowed Dinara to defend in the end.
Zhigalko vs Gretarsson
This game was dynamically equal for a long time until black played… 30…Dd8 where there followed 31.exf5 gxf5 and this position:
The shot 32.Nxe5 gave white an advantage and the move 33.Bf7! was a very nice touch.
Lomasov vs Antipov
A crucial game between good friends. They however didn’t come to this game with the intention of just drawing. Antipov wants to win the tournament! He got a slightly better endgame but winning it seemed very difficult.
The crucial position arrived a bit later. This could be the turning point of the tournament. Lomasov needed 1.5 out of 3 for a GM norm and was on the top of the table. The move 45.Bxe6 would have kept him on top and needing only 1 out of 2 for the norm. The pawn ending is drawn with some nice opposition moves. Instead and inexplicably he played 45.Bxa6?? and the bishop soon got trapped and black won only 13 moves later. What did Lomasov miss? Did the nerves take over?
Super important win for Antipov in any case who now leads with Adly.
Broadcast of the 7th round
Games of the 7th round (pick games by clicking the blue dots)
7th round results
Standings after 7 rounds
8th round pairing