Anand rejoins Topalov in the lead, Karjakin still half a point behind. Anand outplays Bacrot in an ending, pressuring Bacrot into a blunder. Aronian is too much for Mamedyarov to handle.
Bacrot handles Anand’s direct approach of the Queens Indian well, and emerges from the opening with a definite advantage. He bails out of a tacit draw by repetition, and continues building on his advantage. Anand’s piece play in the endgame is breathtaking, and soon he has the advantage. Bacrot cracks under the pressure and blunders, losing a piece.
Adams – Leko
Adams adopts the c3 Sicilian as White, Leko equalises comfortably. Leko finds the strong move …Qc4 which convinces Adams into a repetition of position. Short draw.
Mamedyarov – Aronian
Aronian emerges from a Queen’s Indian with hanging pawns, and wastes no time in using them to constrict White’s piece activity. His strongly centralised knights give him a definite edge. White is compelled to part with an exchange to remove one of the knights, leaving Black with a strong advantage. Aronian dominates the position with his two rooks, and enters a much better endgame which he converts.
Sokolov – Kamsky
An exchange variation of the Queen’s Gambit Slav sees a balanced position. Kamsky has White’s queenside activity well under control. A short draw.
Tiviakov – Karjakin
Another c3 Sicilian. Tiviakov boldly sacrifices a pawn to destroy Black’s centre, and gets a strong edge in the middle game targeting the multitude of weak Black pawns. Karjakin reduces his disadvantage with some good queenside activity. Tiviakov drifts a little. Game agreed a draw shortly thereafter.
Topalov – Gelfand
Topalov wheels out his unusual Petroff Defence variation and again, as against Bacrot, gets nothing from the opening. The game quickly moves to a balanced ending, but Topalov engineers some play to keep it interesting. Gelfand is up to the task, and meets Topalov head-on. Draw after a repetition of position.
van Wely – Ivanchuk
From a classical Nimzo-Indian Ivanchuk quickly offers an exchange of queens, and accepts a weakened kingside pawn structure. His middle game plan involving strongpointing the c4 square works out fairly well, and that gains him a small advantage. He turns that into a win of a pawn, which he quickly gives back to enter a very promising rook and pawn endgame. van Wely defends doggedly and actively. He sacrifices a pawn and forces Ivanchuk to conceed a draw by repetition of position.