Topalov leads alone thanks to an awesome demolition of Aronian. Leko falls to van Wely’s bishop pair. Topalov’s two exchange sacrifices blow Aronian out of the water. Bacrot overcomes Kamsky’s resistance.
Topalov surprises Aronian by opening with his queen’s pawn. In the ensuing Queen’s Indian, Aronian equalises. Topalov’s expansion in the centre leads to an Aronian push-back which entices Topalov to close the centre. An unexpected exchange sacrifice from Topalov leads to a position where Topalov has compensation in the form of two connected passed pawns. One of those passed pawns reaches the seventh rank, and a second exchange sacrifice from Topalov sees the other passed pawn join its companion. His two bishops and active king dominate Aronian’s two rooks.
van Wely – Leko
Leko equalises out of a Classical Nimzo-Indian, but van Wely keeps up the pressure in the queenless middlegame. Van Wely nurtures his tiny advantage, thanks to his bishop pair. As the pieces are exchanged off, van Wely’s bishops get stronger and stronger. He breaks up black’s kingside pawn structure with a pawn sacrifice. Black can’t hold back the threats from the two White bishops.
Sokolov – Adams
Adams has a comfortable position on the black side of a Classical Queen’s Indian. A pawn sacrifice secures Sokolov the bishop pair, but Black has sufficient resources to steer the game into a balanced rook and pawns ending.
Mamedyarov – Anand
A Queen’s Indian sees Anand equalise comfortable. Draw agreed when the heavy pieces are exchanged.
Gelfand – Karjakin
An Open Catalan sees a short draw after a repetition of position.
Tiviakov – Ivanchuk
Both players emerge from a Ruy Lopez with solid positions. Tiviakov’s attempt to pursue the advantage is neutralised, and the pieces start to come off. After some active play in the knight and pawns endgame, Tiviakov concludes by a perpetual check.
Bacrot – Kamsky
Kamsky tries the Sicilian Kan again, but Bacrot avoids the testing Maroczy bind opting instead for active piece play. In a tactical exchange sees Bacrot win two pawns. Kamsky battles hard and wins back a pawn, but in the queen ending, White’s more active queen and king combine to force the loss of Kamsky’s passed pawn.