While it did not help to go up the ladder in the 10-player round-robin tournament, the easiest of the draws with black kept Harikrishna in the top 15 of world rankings and the Indian would look up to the last round positively when he meets Safarli Eltaj of Azerbaijan. For the record, Harikrishna remained on his 50 per cent footing in another super tournament and the Indian will be hoping to do better when his next opportunity arrives in China where is slated to play the next big event.
It was a Queen’s Indian defense as black that did the trick for Harirkishna as black. Radjabov tried to find some value in a pawn sacrifice but it materialised to nothing as Harikrishna knew his game well. As it turned out the draw was written on the wall well before the players signed the peace treaty on move 32.
The biggest news of the day was Fabiano Caruana losing to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of United States in what what was the game of the day. Caruana lost with white, leaving Anish Giri to Join him as leader and Mamedyarov just in proximity. Caruana on 5.5 points shares the lead with Giri now who was held to a draw by women’s world champion Yifan Hou of China. Mamedyarov follows the two leaders a half point behind while Sergey karjakin is fourth on the standing on 4.5 points in his kitty.
Harikrishna comes in next with four points from eight games and the duo of Mamedov of Radjabov share the sixth spot with 3.5 points apiece. With just one more round to come, Safarli Eltaj and Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine are tied eighth on three points while Yifan is at the bottom having just 2.5 points to her credit.
Results Round 8: Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 3.5) drew with P Harikrishna (Ind, 4); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 5.5) lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 5); Anish Giri (Ned, 5.5) drew with Yifan Hou (Chn, 2.5); Safarli Eltaj (3.5) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5); Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 3.5) drew with Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 3).