There were a number of wild games in this round. Sipos sacrificed a pawn for strong initiatives. However, Naroditsky defended very well to hold. The game between Altounian and Yang was full of complication. Altounian tried hard to win but solid play by Yang earned him 1/2 point closer toward his IM title. Kuljasevic had a small edge in the opening and played very well to score the full point and the lead.

The wildest game of the day was between Esserman and Aleskerov. The battle went back and forth with both sides missing winning chances. At the end a big blunder by Aleskerov in the endgame in time pressure cost him the game.

March 15 10:00am
Round 7

Kuljasevic 1-0 Kleiman
Sipos 1/2 Naroditsky
Altounian 1/2 Yang
Esserman 1-0 Aleskerov
Diamant 1/2 Bykhovsky

Photos so far:

Standings after 7 rounds:

1. GM Kuljasevic, 5.0 (+3)
2-4. IM Naroditsky,
IM Esserman, FM Yang 4.5 (+2)
5-6. GM Bykhovsky, IM Altounian 3.5 (0)
7. GM Diamant 3.0 (-1)
IM Sipos, FM Aleskerov 2.5 (-2)
10. IM Kleiman, 1.5 (-4)

Norm scenario:

FM Yang needs 1/2 point for IM title and 2 / 2 for GM norm.
IM Naroditsky and IM Esserman need 2 /2 for GM norm.
SM Aleskerov needs 2 / 2 for IM norm.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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