John Saunders reports: Round nine, the penultimate round of the 2020 Gibraltar Masters, took place on Wednesday 29 January at the Caleta Hotel. If round eight was a little dull, this was a major contrast with a whole host of decisive results among the leading pairings, and some of the draws were highly entertaining.
The pairings between the four leaders were draws, but anything but dull. Wang Hao versus David Paravyan opened with a Sicilian, Moscow variation, and started to get lively when Wang Hao went into a line which allowed his opponent to take a pawn on f2 with a knight. The problem was that the knight had a problematic escape. Nevertheless, Paravyan found a way to emerge with two minor pieces for a rook. Only then did the game calm down and eventually a draw was agreed.