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Round two
By WGM Alina l'Ami

12For our limited human powers, chess is practically inexhaustible. If all the players in the World played continuously for all their lives, this would not necessarily mean that they would produce even two identical games. This does not apply to tournament situations though.

From the point of view of the results, the second round in Paris was an identical copy of the first one: five draws and just one decisive game on the last (sixth) board! And once again, this did not at all mean that the day was boring for the spectators. On the contrary, we had some hard fought games and a lot of creative tension.

The pairing system ensures a reasonably fair distribution of colours throughout the tournament. However, things can be a bit chaotic when it comes to games played between the same opponents along the years. The second round offers two suggestive examples of this kind.
First round
By WGM Alina l'Ami

792A1551Even though we are living in a World of numbers and statistics, the first round results should not deceive us! 
True, one decisive game out of six is not much, and some may say we almost did not see any gladiator's blood flowing. In exchange, the spectacle was worth every single penny, all the games were interesting and hard fought. Draws did not come in easily; we have the extreme case of Nakamura who, with less than a minute on his clock, took big risks in a heroic attempt to avoid a peaceful result.

The positive first round spirit is reflected by the attitude of Anish Giri, the only player who had to drink the bitter cup of defeat. Anish declared himself happy with his play despite the final result in a display of true sportsmanship.
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