2021 Grand Swiss, Round 7

 The big news of round 7 was on the top board. After reaching a drawn ending against Firouzja, Najer picked the wrong option, giving up his passed pawn when he didn't need to, and this turned the draw into a loss.

As none of the other games on the top ten boards were decisive, this means that the Frenchman has retained the sole lead that he had at the end of round 4, and has 5½ out of 7. Right behind him on 5 are Vachier-Lagrave, Shirov and Sasikiran, with no fewer than 28 players in the chasing pack on 4½. Among those are five of the initial top ten seeds: Caruana, Vitiugov, Harikrishna, Dubov and Fedoseev.

Also in that chasing pack is Andrei Volokitin, whose win over second seed Levon Aronian has surely ended the latter's chances. He is one of a number of big names who has done surprisingly poorly, along with Peter Svidler and Boris Gelfand, both former top-half finishers in the Candidates, but who are both in the bottom half without having yet won a game.


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