Added on 1/22/2022


And here we are again. After the Djokovic quarrel that divided the public opinion, the COVID-19 restrictions landed on chess and made it to the headlines. Daniil Dubov today forfeited his game with Anish Giri. After learning that someone in the Polish GM inner circle tested positive, the organizers asked Daniil to play with a mask to protect his opponent. Dubov refused and didn't show up at the board, losing the game. Here is the organizers' official statement:

It's sad to think that such a potential good chess game could not occur. Daniil will probably be back at the board tomorrow when the PCR test will give its result. Back to the played chess, we have a new leader! Guess who? Yes, you're right. Photo credit Lennart Ootes

In a thrilling round, with four decisive games (including Giri's), Magnus beat Praggnanandha with the black pieces. In the post-game interview, the Norwegian ace said:

"I think I really messed up toward the end of the game, at least practically speaking. I allowed this Ng6 stuff. I was struggling to find a way and gave him too many counter-chances."

But then the champion added, "I think I was better most of the game."


Van Forest bounced back to defeat one of the leaders, Indian Vidit. Photo credit Lennart Ootes

The young Dutch GM said,

"It's like I am on a rollercoaster!"

And it's understandable: Jorden won three games, lost three, and drew one. For sure, he's not making his tournament dull!


Fabiano finally won his first game, against Duda.  Photo credit Lennart Ootes

Caruana is struggling a bit, and this much-needed win allows him to get back to 50%.



Quite an eventful day in Wijk aan Zee! The standings now see Magnus on the lead solo, with 5.0/7. Mamedyarov follows half a point behind. At 4.0, we find Rapport, Giri, and Esipenko. Fabi, Karjakin, and Van Foreest at 3.5. Tomorrow Round 8, at 8 AM EST - 14:00 local (CET).