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