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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Alekhine Chess R8: Gelfand Leads



The penultimate, 8th round of the Alekhine Memorial was played in St. Petersburg on April 30th. The young St. Petersburg Grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov celebrated his first victory. With Black pieces he outplayed the French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who was undefeated and shared the first place before the start of the round. St. Petersburg spectators applauded the local player after the game.

Another St. Petersburg Grandmaster, the World Cup winner Peter Svidler made a relatively easy draw as Black against the World Chess Champion Vishy Anand. Soon after that another draw occurred in Fressinet-Aronian. Ding Liren from China and Michael Adams from England played a very complicated and hard-fought game, which ended peacefully.

The longest game of the round was played between Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. It was also very important for the tournament situation. Kramnik demonstrated a strong novelty and obtained a big advantage. Gelfand defended very tenaciously, as drawing the game would make him a sole leader of the tournament. After seven hours of play, following the series of mutual errors, the game was finally drawn. The last round of the Alekhine Memorial is played on May, 1st.

Results of the round 8: Vachier-Lagrave – Vitiugov 0-1, Kramnik – Gelfand, Fressinet – Aronian, Dong Liren – Adams, Anand – Svidler – all draws.


The standings after eight rounds: 1. Gelfand – 5; 2-5. Adams, Anand, Aronian, Vachier-Lagrave – all 4.5; 6-7. Vitiugov, and Fressinet – both 4; 8. Kramnik – 3.5; 9. Ding Liren – 3; 10. Svidler – 2.5.


The 9th round games: Gelfand – Anand, Aronian – Vachier-Lagrave, Adams – Kramnik, Vitiugov – Ding Liren, Svidler – Fressinet.

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