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Morozevich pounces

Morozevich and Vachier-Lagrave (official site)
Alexander Morozevich beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave for the second time in Biel, and is hard on the heels of Magnus Carlsen at the top of the table. However, with Carlsen continuing his winning ways, the Russian stays in second place. Fabiano Caruana won his first game, against Yannick Pelletier, and so moves off the bottom.

In the seventh round Alexei Shirov avoided the Berlin Defence with the 'solid' 4.d3, but the game soon became complicated. The Spanish GM found himself nominally a pawn up, but he had a doubled isolated couplet that were well blockaded in an opposite bishop middlegame.

In the late middlegame, a series of tactical flurries gradually tipped the balance in the favour of Carlsen.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played an enterprising pawn sacrifice against Alexander Morozevich's Russian System. However after he had rounded up his opponent's d-pawn, his rook became trapped in enemy territory. The Frenchman thus had to struggle on the exchange light but, after the exchange of queens, Morozevich could unravel and the result was no longer in doubt.

The sharp 8.Rb1 version of the Exchange variation was tried by Yannick Pelletier in today's other Grünfeld Defence. The Swiss played had an advanced passed pawn, but this was blockaded and Caruana spurned a repetition to try and exploit his active rooks.

The late middlegame didn't look that clear, but Fabiano Caruana was able to grind down his opponent in the Rook and Bishop pseudo-endgame.

The round 7 summary:

White Rating Results Black Rating Moves Opening
Yannick Pelletier 2590  0-1 Fabiano Caruana 2711 66 Grünfeld Exchange Rb1
Alexei Shirov 2714 0-1 Magnus Carlsen 2821 60 Spanish with d3
Alexander Morozevich 2694 1-0  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722 43 Grünfeld (Russian System)

The standings after round 7:

Rank Name Country Rating 1w 1b 2w 2b 3w 3b 4w 4b 5w 5b 6w 6b Points
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2821 * * . ½  1 1 . 0 1 . 1 1 5.5
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 ½ . * * ½  ½  1 1 1 ½  . 5
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 0 0 ½ ½ * * ½ . 1 . . ½  3
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 1 . 0 0 . ½ *   ½ ½  ½ 3
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 . 0 0 . . 0 ½  ½  *   ½ 1 2.5
5 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 0 0 . ½ ½ . ½  . 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 16
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 13
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 7
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 7
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 6
6 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 4

 The rate of play:


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