I'll start with a correction requested by the Chief Arbiter Ignatius Leong regarding a previous round report. He advised that the GM norm and IM norms are subject to performance ratings of 2600+ and 2450+ and not to the old system of categories.
Fierro Baquero Martha
Yildiz Betul Cemre
This means that some players are within striking distance of norms.
GM Dzagnidze's performance has now gone down to 2576 following her loss yesterday with white against WGM Shen Yang who is proudly representing her home city Nanjing. WGM Shen Yang had previously played the Slav and after White got nothing in the opening, black had a comfortable game. In the following position white played 23.Bxd5? and the endgame she was eventually outplayed.
GM Sebag took the opportunity to play catch up and she squeezed out a win against WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz of Turkey who is having a somewhat unfortunate tournament. Again, Betul had a playable game but unfortunately towards the time control made a number of erros resulting in another loss.
GM MARIE SEBAG sharing the lead after 7 rounds
GM Xu Yuhua bounced back from yesterday's game with a nice win in a Catalan against Ju Wenjun. Black got some pressure out of the opening and started to turn the screws. White blundered horribly on move 25 when 25.Rxd4 would have held it.
The top seed GM Zhao Xue also joined the pack at the top but had to struglle against IM Marta Fierro. White could have secured equality at several times in the game and even near the end of the game, a study like manouevre could have saved her. In the diagram below white played Rxf6+ and lost as the rook could not get back in time. However, 63.Ra7+ Kg6 64.h5+ Kxh5 65.Nxf6+ and white will probably draw. Full analysis can be found in the games link below.
GM Zhu Chen made the win look easier than it was against an in-form WGM Baira Kovanoval. Black defended well but her passive position eventually spelled dividends for white. The white pawn structure (g2-c6) from the 22nd move till the end of the game is quite special. One wonders if any reader can identify any game where there was a more extended pawn structure with g2-b7!?
Last but not least, we had another long draw between WGM Mungutuul and IM Lilit Mkrtchian. The Armenian player equalised early out of the opening but there were very little opportunities to create much in the game and a draw was a fair result.
Full games and analysis of round 7 can be found here