Kamsky levers himself off the bottom of the tournament table with a win against a self-destructing Mamedyarov – the only decisive game of the round. Ivanchuk burgles Gelfand, but misses out on the full point. Topalov walks into an Anand opening preparation, and a short draw ensues.
Topalov – Anand
Anand improved on Sokolov’s play against Topalov in round 7 in an Archangel Ruy Lopez. Topalov declined a piece sacrifice, and after a mass of exchanges there was nothing else to play for.
Mamedyarov – Kamsky
Kamsky gets a tiny edge on the Black side of a Schlecter Grunfeld, and grabs a hot pawn. He defends stubbornly and eeks his way to another pawn. Then Mamedyarov self-destructs.
Gelfand – Ivanchuk
Gelfand gets burgled in the early middle game, losing a piece to some ingenious Ivanchuk manoeuvring. Ivanchuk misses a quick win, and his great advantage erodes through the endgame until Gelfand eventually pulls a miracle and gets into a drawn rook and pawn endgame.
Karjakin – Aronian
Karjakin gets a good advantage on the White side of a Closed Ruy Lopez, but fails to capitalise on it. Draw agreed a few moves later.
Sokolov – Bacrot
A Queen’s Gambit Slav rapidly dissolves into a balanced rook, bishop and pawns endgame. Draw.
Tiviakov – Leko
Tiviakov essays a Guico Pianissimo against Leko and emerges with a slight initiative. A draw is agreed when Leko drains that initiative down to nothing.
van Wely – Adams
van Wely wins a pawn in a Queen’s Indian, but Adams has the initiative. Through some crafty manoeuvres, van Wely retains the extra pawn right the way through to the endgame, but Adams’ bishop proves stronger than van Wely’s knight, and he secures a draw.