Richard Rapport kept his cool to score a sensational win over Magnus Carlsen in Round 8 of the Tata Steel Masters. The World Champion overpressed following the missed win against Anish Giri the day before, while the Dutchman also went down in flames after running into some devilish home preparation from Levon Aronian. The final winner of the day was Adhiban, who’s on an incredible 3.5/4 run and ended Dmitry Andreikin’s sequence of seven draws in a row. Wesley So drew to remain sole leader when Pavel Eljanov fell just short.
Magnus Carlsen lost only three classical games in 2016 (to Aronian in Norway Chess, Nakamura in Bilbao and of course Karjakin in New York), but he’s already suffered his first loss of 2017. The identity of his opponent is a surprise, but not a huge one, since Richard Rapport’s obvious talent and flare have made him a player to watch.
After a well-deserved rest day on Monday, Round 9 is again full of intriguing pairings: So-Aronian, Wei Yi-Adhiban, Giri-Rapport and Carlsen-Van Wely. It’s fair to assume Magnus will be out to steady the boat by beating his old friend Loek!