Topalov and Anand lead Corus at the first rest day. Topalov disposes of van Wely in a typically aggressive affair. Gelfand presses Bacrot and reaps a full point. Kamsky walks into a mating trap after defending tenaciously. Kamsky blunders after a long tenacious defence against Aronian.
Topalov sacrifices the exchange out of the opening and gains the two bishops (following in the tracks of John van der Wiel in 1999 Dutch Championships). He manoeuvres his minor pieces into very active positions around the heart of the White position. Van Wely struggles to develop his light-squared bishop, and when he does, Topalov’s pieces are already bearing down on the White king. Black regains the exchange and retains the initiative. Van Wely succumbs to the pressure.
Bacrot – Gelfand
Bacrot finds himself on the receiving end of a Gelfand powerplay right out of a Queen’s Gambit Slav. Gelfand’s uncastled king looks untouchable, and Gelfand slowly nurses a tiny advantage. His rooks start to dominate, doubling up on the d-file, and Bacrot suddenly finds himself in a spot of trouble, and invests an exchange to dig himself out. After that, Gelfand’s rooks and king impose themselves enough forcing Bacrot to resign.
Kamsky – Aronian
Aronian gets a big edge out of an exchange Ruy Lopez after Kamsky’s insipid play reaps no rewards. Kamsky defends doggedly, and draws the game into a Queen and bishops on same colours ending. Aronian still pressing hard. Kamsky blunders on move 72 which loses his queen.
Sokolov – Anand
Short draw right out of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted.
Adams – Karjakin
Adams quickly got a definite edge out of a positional Sicilian Najdorf, but the position petered out towards equality.
Leko – Ivanchuk
Leko played the unusual looking 8.Qe2 from a Classical French which gives Black immediate equality. He builds toward a d4-d5 pawn push. Leko gets an edge but Ivanchuk quickly snuffles it out. Draw agreed shortly thereafter.
Mamedyarov – Tiviakov
Mamedyarov miscues in the middle game against Tiviakov’s Nimzo-Indian and finds himself a piece for two pawns down. He manages to get both rooks on the seventh rank forcing a perpetual check.