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Round seven - bad day for Caruana & Grischuk
By WGM Alina l'Ami

25Apart from spectacular moves and well played games, what really makes the spectators’ delight is the permanent change in the classification at the top. Fortunately (for some), the sixth FIDE Grand Prix tournament offered plenty of that so far!

Having reached a joint lead after the pleasant win from yesterday, Caruana suffered a very painful loss against Nakamura, caused by an opening blunder. The American grandmaster displayed the same kind of modesty as after his other win, against Bacrot. He was 'helped by just one bad move of the opponent', that was all.
Round six - Caruana and Gelfand in the lead!
By WGM Alina l'Ami

24Black’s excellent statistics in the previous round did not mark the start of a new trend in the second half of the Grand Prix. Although generally speaking White failed to pose big problems, the overall result favours the first player, with a win and five draws.

As the tournament advances, players seem to be less concerned about specific preparation before each game, possibly in an attempt to keep their minds in good working shape. As revealed during the press conferences, many of them were not familiar in depth with the theory and acted rather in the over-the-board play mode. Or was it more of a generalized effect of surprize in the opening?
Round five - Black's day!
By WGM Alina l'Ami

31Experienced players know that a day off can radically change one’s tournament fate, for better or for worse, depending on the way he spends it.
It is less common though, that a free day may change statistics to such an extent as noticed in the fifth round in Paris. Before yesterday, Black had managed to win only one game, in the fourth round, while White had won six times. Today, both decisive games ended to Black’s favour; quite a diametral change of tendency, is it not?
Cultural day in Paris during the first free day!
By WGM Alina l'Ami

Yesterday afternoon, the participants had discovered that another hidden virtue of playing in the outskirts of Paris was the possibility to visit the Versailles Palace, placed literally around the corner!

While writing these lines, I am still overwhelmed with the feelings left by the visit to the famous palace... And I believe that all the players were deeply impressed, too. We actually got a private tour, with the possibility of asking questions to the guide. And we all took full advantage of it, possibly exasperating him with our never ceasing questions.
Round four - first win for Black!
By WGM Alina l'Ami

15Playing with White has often been referred to as an equivalent of the turn to serve in tennis, but is the right of playing the first move that important really? Looking at the results of the first three rounds in Paris we notice that all the decisive games so far were indeed won by...White!

I believe our hopes for a hard fought tournament are fully justified, those fearing the worse must have relaxed by now, but another intriguing question is looming: will Black win at least one game before the first rest day?
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