CHESSANYTIME

Carlsen assures

Magnus seems worried! (official site)
Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Morozevich played out a fairly solid draw, with neither player able to obtain better than drawish simplification. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave sacrificed a rook for long-term attacking chances and it paid off! Alexei Shirov demonstrated fine endgame technique in grinding out a win over Fabiano Caruana.

In fact Yannick Pelletier's king was so open it felt that Vachier-Lagrave could play with the draw in hand, although it seemed to casula observers that he almost lost control at one point. The combined attacking power of rook and queen was eventually too much for the Swiss star to cope with.

The Vienna variation was a sharp choice by Morozevich, who really needed to win if he was to win the event, but it is also quite theoretical and many lines have been well-analyzed until late in the game. Simplification towards a rook endgame led to a draw, which leaves Carlsen on top of the tournament table.

Alexei Shirov outplayed Fabiano Caruana and was on top for most of the game. His two-bishop pressure netted him a pawn and then it was a question of trying to break down Caruana's fortress in the Knight versus bishop endgame. He was able to invade by 'dodging and weaving' with his king, when a route finally became available.

The round 8 summary:

White Rating Results Black Rating Moves Opening
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  2722 1-0 Yannick Pelletier  2590 43 French Rubinstein
Magnus Carlsen 2821 ½-½ Alexander Morozevich 2694 35 Queen's Gambit Vienna
Fabiano Caruana  2711 0-1 Alexei Shirov 2714 82 French Tarrasch

The standings after round 8:

Rank Name Country Rating 1w 1b 2w 2b 3w 3b 4w 4b 5w 5b 6w 6b Points
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2821 * * ½ ½  1 1 . 0 1 . 1 1 6
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 ½ ½  * * ½  ½  1 1 1 ½  . 5.5
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 0 0 ½ ½ * * ½ . 1 1 . ½  4
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 1 . 0 0 . ½ *   ½ ½  1 ½ 4
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 . 0 0 . 0 0 ½  ½  *   ½ 1 2.5
5 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 0 0 . ½ ½ . ½  0 ½    2

The classification according to the Biel points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw) is as follows:

Position Name Country Rating Biel Points
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2815 17
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 14
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 10
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 10
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 6
6 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 4

 The rate of play:


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