26.e4! will stay in Carlsen's mind for a while, after today. that was the move that marked the game that the World Champion lost with Rapport. Carlsen losing a game makes the news immediately. Last year he lost only 3 games. Yesterday we said that missing mate in 3 against Giri could have dented a mark in Carlsen's confidence. We were wrong. Today Carlsen started like a raging bull, wanting to win so badly, most probably to remove that bad taste the previous round's game had certainly left in his mouth. But something went wrong, and Rapport got a clear advantage at move 26. Magnus tried hard to resist, but Rapport didn't let his advantage slip and won the game. Now, out there everyone is crying about this loss: "Is this the beginning of the end of Magnus?"; "Magnus loses a lot of rating points, and now Caruana is VERY close. Will 2017 be the year of the decline?". What an exaggeration. We chess lovers tend to make a big deal of what is probably nothing but a bad moment. It is normal that after Carlsen's absolute dominance in the last decade we now expect him to be invincible, but Magnus is a young human being, not some sort of chess machine. He will be back, of course he will! And we will be there in adoration of this magnificent talent again, and again.
Aronian played at his best, to wipe Giri off the board in a very good game for the Armenian champion. Giri found himself out of good moves, with Levon pressing and pushing in good style, leaving nothing for the young Anish. Giri, after his miraculous save yesterday, might have been a bit tired, but this does not diminish Aronian's beautiful game.
Adhiban, the lowest rated participant, surprised the public today by winning a very good game against the strong Russian GM Andreikin. Now the 25-year old Indian GM sits at +1, in good company: Carlsen, Aronian and Karjakin!
Tomorrow is a rest day. Some of the players need to gather their ideas, to get a break from the stressful pace this long tournament forces them to keep up with.
Play resumes Tuesday at 7:30 am EST -- 13:30 CET.
After 8 rounds, and with 5 rounds to go, So leads solo with 5.5 points, followed by Eljanov and Wei Yi half a point behind. Then at 4.5 Carlsen, Aronian, Karjakin and Adhiban.
Winner of today's New In Chess sponsored Trivia is fremskak. Congratulations!
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