Topalov chalks up his first win by running Ivanchuk out of moves. Aronian wins a minor piece endgame against Svidler. Leko holds comfortably against Bacrot, and Radjabov draws an exciting game against Vallejo Pons.
Ivanchuk – Topalov
Topalov equalises easily in an exchange variation of the Slav defence. He starts operations by annexing space down the queenside. Ivanchuk is playing quietly, and allows Topalov to take over the c-file. Topalov builds up his advantage toward a definite edge. Topalov switches to nailing down the kingside, Ivanchuk is already short of moves, and blunders, allowing Topalov to sacrifice a knight to gain full access to the back-rank. Ivanchuk sacrifices an exchange to get at the Black king, but resigns when it becomes clear that the Black king has a passage to safety.
Aronian – Svidler
Aronian gets a small edge out of an esoteric line of the Grunfeld after the queens get chopped off quickly. Svidler swops off his strong bishop and accepts a bad bishop. Aronian seizes some space on the kingside, and his pieces are better placed in the minor piece endgame. And Aronian converts it to a winning like coloured bishops endgame.
Bacrot – Leko
Leko equalises in a Queen’s Indian, but Bacrot gets in a central pawn advance which gives him a slight edge. Leko keeps things solid, neutralising Bacrot’s advantage, and both sides agree to a draw.
Radjabov – Vallejo Pons
Out of a Semi-Slav both sides aim for a complicated but balanced struggle. Vallejo’s kingside attack is countered by Radjabov’s central and queenside piece play. Vallejo breaks through and wins an exchange, but White’s position offers more enough compensation to keep the game balanced. In the endgame, Vallejo’s rook pair just manages to keep the balance. The game ends in a draw after Radjabov sacrifices his rook for Black’s last pawn.