Awesome Aronian Still Tops Amber
As the best chess players in the world enter the finishing straight of the Amber tournament, Lev Aronian holds a commanding position at the head of the field.
With just two rounds to go, the popular Armenian increased his lead over his nearest rival Magnus Carlsen to a full point.
Aronian's victim in today's ninth round was Vladimir Kramnik, who is having a tournament he will want to forget as soon as possible. Aronian won the blindfold game and their rapid clash ended in a draw, leaving Aronian as king of the hill with 13 points, and Kramnik down in the dumps with just 6.
The big clash between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand saw the champion win the blindfold game only for Carlsen to return the favour by taking the rapid.
In a similar fashion Hikaru Nakamura managed a blindfold win over Veselin Topalov only to lose the return game in the rapid. Ditto for Vugar Gashimov and Boris Gelfand in their match.
In fact, the only other match-loss in round nine came when Anish Giri lost his rapid game against Alexander Grischuk.
Chess.com will have live coverage of round ten on Wednesday 23 March for Platinum and Diamond members starting 6:20 Pacific Time in the US.
The final rounds pit Aronian against Topalov and Karjakin, while Carlsen faces Grischuk and Gelfand. The results on day nine:
The standings after day nine:
Aronian and Kramnik have had VERY different tournaments
Carlsen and Anand swapped wins
Topalov and Nakamura also traded wins...
...as did Gashimov and Gelfand
Giri losing his rapid game with Grischuk