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Carlsen and Aronian simplify quickly to a draw

Carlsen - Aronian

The most expected game of the tournament finished rather quickly at the IET in London. The seventh round encounter between the two leaders left the top of the standings unchanged due to a 41-moves draw.

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Magnus Carlsen, who had the advantage of the white pieces, opened with 1.c4. The variation chosen led the position to one of the main lines of the Catalan. White traded the important light-squared bishop and developed his pieces logically and calmly. Black defended his weaknesses effectively, not leaving any holes for the opponent to penetrate.

The focus of the position turned to the c5-square, as both players tried to control this point with their pieces. On move 20, Levon Aronian advanced his pawn to this important square in what IM Aman Hambleton called a “draw offer in disguise”. A massive process of simplification followed and the players agreed to a draw on move 41.

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