Topalov crunches tournament leader Kamsky. Anand’s solid draw against Svidler is enough to put him in joint first at the half-way stage, one point clear of Topalov and Svidler
Topalov – Kamsky
Out of a Slav Defence full of feints and nudges, Topalov emerges with a slight edge thanks to a prepared e4-break. Kamsky splits the two dominating White central pawns, but Topalov sacrifices a pawn followed by the exchange which destroys the pawn formation around Kamsky’s king. Topalov’s attack gradually breaks through Black’s position as Kamsky’s king is hustled back to the centre. Kamsky resigns when mate is inevitable.
Svidler – Anand
Svidler adopts the anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez against Anand, but Anand gets his queenside play rolling quickly after weakening White’s queenside pawn structure. The two bishops gives Svidler compensation for his shattered queenside, and he uses them to claw his way back into the position. And both sides seem content to repeat the position claiming a draw.
Ponomariov – Bacrot
Ponomariov opts for the a4 anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez, Bacrot plays a little insipidly allowing Ponomariov to instigate some kingside threat. Bacrot defends and the game heads into a major piece endgame where Ponomariov takes a draw by repetition.