Nigel Short chose an unusual move order which led the game into a Sicilian Dragon with White playing f4. White's development then seemed normal enough, but the Russian found a way to shake up the queenside with a temporary piece sacrifice. With Short trying to hold his various weaknesses together, Nepomniachtchi then smashed through on the kingside with a series of elegant blows.
|Lazaro Bruzon Batista||2668||CUB||0.5-0.5||Evgeny Alekseev||2700||RUS||13||Queen's Indian Defence|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||2741||UKR||0.5-0.5||Leinier Dominguez Perez||2713||CUB||33||Grünfeld Defence|
|Ian Nepomniachtchi||2695||RUS||1-0||Nigel Short||2685||ENG||28||Sicilian Dragon|
Dominguez was able to steer the game away from the main theoretical lines and all Ivanchuk could obtain was a slight advantage in development. However with a symmetrical structure and no weaknesses the Cuban was able to gradually nullify White's nominal advantage.
Bruzon-Alekseev was another quick draw which suggests that these two players prefer to avoid losing any more games rather than seeking their maiden victories.
|Position||Name||Country||Official Rating||Highest ever Rating||Virtual Rating before Havana||World ranking||Age||Points after 7 rounds|
|3rd-4th||Leinier Dominguez Perez||CUB||2713||2721||2713||28||26||4|
|5th||Lazaro Bruzon Batista||CUB||2668||2677||2668||63||28||3|
Only half-a-point separates the leaders with Nepomniachtchi coming up fast. He has to play Dominguez and Ivanchuk in his remaining games, so the race for first place is definitely hotting-up.
Although one gets used to it (to some extent!), his name is still something of a mouthful, so I was wondering if he is known by a dimunitive such as 'Nepi'? Just a thought!
More information in Spanish from the