Anand takes the sole lead thanks to a drifting Leko. Karjakin surprises with a knight sacrifice to win against Bacrot. Topalov fights back to an advantage but errs into a drawn position. Ivanchuk’s pressure slowly eats away at Kamsky’s position.
Leko gets equality out of the Sicilian Najdorf. After an exchange of most of the minor pieces Anand has a tiny advantage. Black starts to drift, regrouping with his queen on the kingside. Anand plays 28. Ne1 and Black finds himself with too many pawn weaknesses to defend. Leko sacrifices a pawn and tries to defend actively, but Anand is in full control with a strongly centralised queen right in the heart of the Black position. This results in White gaining a powerful passed d-pawn. The combination of a strong passed pawn and a mating attack on the Black king forces Leko to resign.
Bacrot gets the slight edge on the Black side of a Zaitsev Closed Ruy Lopez. Bacrot blunders with 26… Bg6 and is forced to part with his queen for a rook, leaving White firmly in control of the position. Karjakin converts that into a win.
Topalov – Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov surprises Topalov with a confident start in a Ruy Lopez that gains a rapid equality. Topalov sacrifices the exchange to deny Black the initiative and gain some play down the d-file. After active play Topalov has an advantage, and more than enough compensation for the exchange. After the first time control Topalov miscues, and offers a draw.
Ivanchuk – Kamsky
Kamsky adopts the Sicilian Kan again, and Ivanchuk plays the Maroczy bind. Black gets equality by the thematic …b5 break. The flurry of exchanges that follow leave White with the better hold of the centre. White’s pressure nets him a pawn. Further pressure allows him to enter a winning bishop versus knight pawn ending.
Gelfand – van Wely
Main-line exchange Grunfeld, and Gelfand sacrifices his a2-pawn for a lead in development. His rapid development forces Black to ditch the exchange, which results in an equal position. A draw agreed a few moves later.
Aronian – Adams
A quiet Nimzo-Indian leads to a balances position. White grinds away and nets himself a pawn, but has to give it up to remain active. After an exchange into a queen and pawns ending finds Black with an initiative thanks to his outside passed pawn. But White has enough play to force a perpetual.
Tiviakov – Sokolov
Tiviakov gets a tiny edge out of a Ruy Lopez, but Black’s active play brings the position to equality. Tiviakov sacrifices a piece to set up a flurry of exchanges that leave the position level. Draw agreed a few moves later.