Svidler’s Grunfeld knightmare continues as he succumbs to Topalov. Leko and Aronian take draws. Bacrot gets very lucky and wins on time against Ivanchuk
Leko – Vallejo
Leko plays an English attack against Vallejo’s Sicilian Najdorf. Vallejo emerges with a slight advantage and Leko is forced to sacrifice a pawn. He sacrifices another pawn to open lines against the black king castled on the kingside. Vallejo offers a draw in a position where Leko probably has a decisive attack, and Leko agrees to split the points.
Topalov – Svidler
Topalov adopts a classical exchange variation against Svidler’s Grunfeld, and emerges with a slight advantage that quickly grows in light of an extra passed c-pawn. White dominates the queenside and pushes Svidler’s queen all the way back to the f8 square. Svidler sacrifices an exchange to get his queen back into play and remove the problematic c-pawn. Topalov regroups and targets the f7-pawn from the seventh rank and the f-file. His major pieces all aiming at the black king when Svidler resigns.
Ivanchuk – Bacrot
Bacrot emerges from a Semi-Slav with a balanced position. Ivanchuk’s insipid knight manoeuvres look striking but offer no concrete advantage. In a complicated position Ivanchuk emerges with a sizeable advantage, but fails to make it to move 40 in time, giving Bacrot a fortuitous win.
Radjabov – Aronian
Aronian’s Ragozin System against Radjabov’s Queen’s Gambit gives White an excellent centre. When Radjabov is on the verge of taking advantage on the queenside, Aronian sacrifices a pawn to switch his queen across to the kingside where White has weakened his pawn cover in an effort to stall the encroaching black knight. Aronian sacrifices a knight to remove the pawn cover around the White king and takes a perpetual check.