GMs Jaan Ehlvest, Alexander Ivanov, and Former US Champion Joel Benjamin emerged from the pack to grab the lead with two rounds to go by winning their 7th round games (6 points overall). Ehlvest plays
Ivanov next, while, in an interesting move, Benjamin had previously scheduled a bye in Round 8. Twelve players are right behind the leaders with 5.5.
Here are some key 8th Round matchups:
Ivanov; Minasian vs. Timoshenko; Atalik vs. Novikov; Yermolinsky vs. Finegold; Shabalov vs. Miles; Serper vs. Bologan; Akopian vs. Blatny; Sevillano vs. Kacheishvili;
Sagalchik vs. David; Sammour-Hasbun vs. Hauchard; Payen vs. Fedorowicz; Fishbein vs. Ostos; Sherzer vs. Paschall; Goldin vs. Muhammad; Wojtkiewicz vs. Lein; Formanek vs.
Christiansen; Ruiz vs. Gurevich