The third round was preceded by the news that Nihal Sarin had reached the magical 2600-level, as the second youngest player ever to do so. A very impressive accomplishment and we expect big things from Nihal in the future!
Parham Maghsoodloo took on Tiger Hillarp Persson in a very complicated Sicilian. As the time control approached Tiger’s defence crumbled under pressure from both the Iranian and the clock.
In Nils Grandelius vs. Pentala Harikrishna it was a battle between activity and the superior pawn structure. Nils couldn’t find the best way forward and the Indian grandmaster steered the game to a win with a steady hand.
Nihal Sarin and Gawain Jones got deep into a Ruy Lopez theory exchange. Gawain sacrificed on h3 and the computer said No, but the audience said Yes! However, Nihal avoided the complications and chose a safer route to a shared point through multiple exchanges.
Inventive opening play by Ivan Saric made Dieter Nisipeanu sacrifice a pawn for activity. The compensation evaporated and it looked like the Croatian would win. But after a few inaccuracies it was Ivan who had to go for the draw by perpetual check.
The funniest part of the day was when Parham admitted in the post-mortem to have prepared against the wrong swede – he had spent the morning getting ready to take on Nils Grandelius!?