Topalov is in the lead, with Anand and Karjakin half a point behind. Karjakin wins a smooth game against Mamedyarov. Kamsky succumbs to the Spanish torture, allowing Leko a pleasant sacrifice. Topalov wins after Sokolov’s attack fails to pay dividends. Aronian blunders horribly which van Wely converts to win after a long and ardous endgame.
In a classical Chigorin Ruy Lopez, Leko manages to contain Black’s counterplay down the queenside. He starts building up pressure on the kingside, and manages to get a knight right into the heart of the Black position. Kamsky finds his queenside pieces completely cut off from the kingside. Leko continues to press against the king and crowns the pressure with a clever sacrifice which decisively ends the contest.
Karjakin – Mamedyarov
Karjakin gets and edge out of a Steinitz Ruy Lopez, and translates that into a better minor piece endgame, Karjakin steadily nurses his advantage by regrouping his knight to a strong square. Black has no defence to losing his a-pawn. Mamedyarov resigns.
Topalov – Sokolov
Topalov gets a definite edge on the White side of an Archangel Ruy Lopez, but Sokolov infuses the position with a piece sacrifice which gives him a strong centre. He invests another piece to initiate a whirlwind attack against the White king, but Topalov holds steady and calmly. Black’s attack erodes and he has nothing for the sacrificed material.
Aronian – van Wely
Aronian emerges from a Semi-Slav middlegame with a definite advantage, but he overestimates the strength of Black’s passed d-pawn and blunders horribly. Van Wely plays a pleasant queen sacrifice which forces the queening of the pawn. In the resulting position Black has two minor pieces and queen against a rook and queen. Van Wely nurses his advantage in the face of stubborn pressure from Aronian through a long endgame. Van Wely finally manages to advance his queenside pawn chain and find a safe haven for his king in the centre of the board. An awesome performance by van Wely.
Anand – Adams
Anand’s d4 break in the anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez gives Black a threatening queenside pawn-structure. This gives Black an advantage. Adams seizes the moment to mobilise the queenside pawns. A draw agreed a few moves later with Adams retaining his advantage.
Gelfand – Tiviakov
Tiviakov emerges from a Queen’s Indian with a solid position. He temporarily sacrifices a pawn for better play, and wins it back moves later. Gelfand opts for a repetition of position.
Ivanchuk – Bacrot
In a Semi-Slav Queen’s Gambit, Ivanchuk’s lively piece play with his knights on the queenside is inventive. He sacrifices a pawn to gain tempo for his knights and soon emerges with a slender advantage. After the queens are exchanged, Ivanchuk’s rooks and bishops dominate the position. He wins his pawn back but his advantage diminishes. Equality reach, the game is agreed drawn.