David Howell emerged as the sole leader after 8 rounds played at the European Individual Chess Championship 2017 in Minsk.
The English defeated David Anton Guijarro with Black pieces and leads the tournament with 7 points. A very sharp line of Italian game was played, and after the opening it seemed White had the edge, but with few inaccurate moves, Anton lost his advantage, and went into worse position. Howell eventually captured the exchange, and won the game in the endgame.
Standings after 8 rounds:
1 Howell 7 points
2-3 Cheparinov and Demchenko 6.5 points
4-18 Rodshtein, Fridman, Artemiev, Anton, Tomashevsky, Dubov, Jones, Matlakov, Shimanov, Mikaelyan, Aleksandrov, Salgado, Motylev, Jobava and Romanov 6 points, etc.
WGM Olga Girya, IM Alisa Galliamova and IM Elisabeth Paehtz are the best women players with 4 points.
Top pairings of the 9th round:
Howell vs Demchenko, Cheparinov vs Matlakov,Jones vs Jobava, Rodshtein vs Shimanov, Tomashevsky vs Salgado, Romanov vs Artemiev, Motylev vs Fridman, Mikaelyan vs Anton, Aleksandrov vs Dubov, Navara vs Ivanisevic, etc.
The organizers provided live broadcast of 100 boards, along with professional commentary in English and Russian, done by Evgeniy Miroshnichenko and Sergey Shipov. Live games can be followed on the Official Website of the Championship, or through the ECU website, section LIVE.
The European Individual Championship 2017 is a qualification event for the next World Cup. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 22 players will qualify. The total prize fund is 100 000 EUR, including the special prizes.
The Championship takes place from 29th May to 11th June in the Sports Palace in Minsk.
The event is organized by the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk City Executive Committee and Belarus Chess Federation under the auspices of the ECU.