A review of the 8th round.
The round was a very tense struggle with some missed chances and unexpected twists and turns. The main events took place in Heinemann - Halkies and Krasenkow - Baenziger
Josefina lost the initiative after the opening and had to defend a difficult position for some time. Now she has a chance to consolidate the position. 31.Re2 Na5 32.Qe1 Nc6 33.Nf1 gave white a reasonable chance for a draw (if 33...d4 34.cxd4 Nxd4 then 35.Re7). But she chose 31.a5.
After 31...Qb5! 32.Re2?! (too late) c4-+ grandmaster got a winning position which he converted into a full point, but not without difficulties: 33.Re7 Rde8 (33...Qc5!) 34.Rc7 Rc8 (34...Nc5!?-+) 35.Re7? (More stubborn was 35.Rxc8 Rxc8 36.Nf5) Qc5! 36.Rxb7?! (36.Re2 Nxa5-+) Qxf2+ 37.Kh2 Nd2 38.Qg4 Nf3+ 0-1.
The game of the leaders for a long time looked very good for Fabian, who quickly seized the initiative with the black pieces. But he failed to find a concrete way. Lacking time, he went for a seemingly simple ending with the opposite-coloured bishops, hoping to force a draw there.
Grandmaster finds a way how to complicate this position.
Now Black suddenly has to solve some problems. The most convincing way to the draw was difficult to find: 45...dxe4 46:Rd6+ Ke7 47.Bc5 Kf7 48.Bd4 looks good for white, but black plays bxa4 49.Rxf6+ Kg8 50.bxa4 exf3=.. Instead Fabian prepared a big blunder:
45...Rd8? 46.Rc2 Rd6?? Black still could fight with 46...Be8. Now it's over. 47.Rxc6!+- 1-0.
Before the last round, Michal Krasenkow leads by 1 point, ahead of the 5 players: Khenkin, Halkias, Weishaeutel, Baenziger and Koelle. Tomorrow he plays Anatoli Vaisser.