After another day of rapid, a surprising new leader has emerged. Wildcard Anton Korobov is not well known in the chess elite but he is the highest rated rapid player in the tournament and now he leading the tournament. The Ukrainian had a phenomenal day defeating Viswanathan Anand and Wesley So, while Anish Giri stumbled in the fifth round and lost to another wildcard, Vladislav Artemiev. Tomorrow is the final day of the rapid as the tournament will move on to the blitz portion.
Standings after round 6. In the rapid a win is worth 2 points, a draw is 1 point and a loss is 0
Anish Giri maintained his lead with a win over Le Quang Liem in a complicated Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian. The Dutch player’s extra bishop against his opponent’s three pawns was too powerful in the middlegame, allowing him to unleash an attack against his opponent’s weak dark squares. Coming to the round, there was a tie for second place between Anton Korobov, Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand. Korobov separated himself from the pack by defeating Anand in 27 moves by pushing his “g” pawn down the board and creating a mating net around his opponent’s king. Aronian saved his game against Vladislav Artemiev, who wasn’t able to find a win with only seconds left on the clock. The Armenian star was joined by Fabiano Caruana in a tie for third place, after the latter defeated Sergey Karjakin in a marathon 99 move endgame. Wesley So bounced back from a tough first day with a win over Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a topsy turvy game.
President of the Romanian Olympic and Sports committee, Mihai Covaliu, making the ceremonial first move in Anish Giri vs Le Quang Liem
Giri suffered his first loss of the tournament against Artemiev after he went pawn grabbing with his queen, leaving his king vulnerable. Artemiev’s attack played itself out, forcing his opponent to resign ten moves later. This round 5 result blew the tournament wide open, allowing Korobov to catch him after a comfortable draw against Mamedyarov. Caruana joined the duo for a tie for first after finding a beautiful checkmating pattern with his knight pair while leaving his queen en prixe. Anand put himself only a point behind the leaders after converting his extra pawn against Aronian. The game between Karjakin and So ended in a 25 move draw.
Korobov described his middle game position against as strategically lost in the postgame interview, thus forcing him to seek complications. So let his advantage slip away then allowed a big turnaround in the game by leaving his back rank weak. So resigned after realizing that his only options were either parting with his queen or allowing a checkmate. Giri’s game against Anand was quite balanced, but the draw unfortunately put the long time leader a full point behind Korobov. Caruana wasn’t able to keep pace and lost to Artemiev, by making the same mistake Giri did in the previous round - putting his queen out of the game and leaving his king alone surrounded by the enemy pieces. Aronian and Karjakin drew Mamedyarov and Le Quang Liem respectively in quite uneventful games.
Anton Korobov the new leader after Day 2