Kamsky takes the short draw, while Topalov siezes the opportunity to win the tournament outright by demolishing Bacrot in an exciting game. Ponomariov and Anand fight an intense battle through to an exhausted standstill.
Svidler – Kamsky
More Anti-Marshall Ruy’s with both sides saddling themselves with doubled d-pawns after an initial exchange of knights. The rooks are soon to follow as the game heads into an early bishops and queen ending. A quick repetition of moves secures a comfortable draw.
Topalov – Bacrot
Bacrot tries the same Slav variation that Kamsky failed to hold against Topalov earlier in the tournament. Topalov acquires the bishop pair after a lengthy knight manoeuvre, and manages to restrict the Black king in the centre. After opening the e-file, with a pawn sacrifice, Topalov presses home his attack on the now vulnerable Black king. Bacrot manages to exchange of queens but it doesn’t defuse Topalov’s initiative. Topalov’s two rooks dominate the position after a superb pseudo pawn sacrifice that open’s up Black’s queenside. Bacrot’s pieces are tangled up and so he fights hard for counterplay, but in vain as Topalov’s rooks retains control. Two pawns down and still facing mating threats, Bacrot throws in the towel.
Ponomariov – Anand
Ponomariov battles to retain a tiny edge against Anand’s super-solid Queen’s Indian. But a pawn sacrifice sees Ponomario detonate Black’s kingside pawn structure. Anand defends actively and tenaciously and slowly makes the extra pawn count. In an intense battle all over the board it is Anand that emerges with an advantage, the minor pieces and queens endgame sees Anand two pawns up. Its Ponomariov’s turn to defend tenaciously, and he battles into an opposite coloured bishops ending. A fascinating and exciting encounter.