21-year-old Spaniard David Anton beat Veselin Topalov in Round 9 of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters to take the sole lead before Thursday’s final round. He’s been here before, since he was also the only player to take the sole lead in the 2016 Masters! The 8 players half a point back include Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Boris Gelfand, but also Ju Wenjun, who spent her 26th birthday beating Hou Yifan and crossing 2600 for the first time in her career.
The fight for first is simple. If Anton beats Adams he wins with no need for a playoff. Any other outcome on the top board will leave one of the players on 8/10, which only Gelfand, MVL, Edouard, Nakamura, Yu Yangyi, Ju Wenjun or Cheparinov can match – if they win! As always in Gibraltar, a tie for first place will result in a rapid playoff.
Round 10 starts four hours earlier than usual at 11:00 CET.