Morozevich’s determined play overcomes Ivanchuk. Svidler registers his first win of the tournament with an elegant win over Leko.
Ivanchuk – Morozevich
Ivanchuk reprises the Scotch Game, the opening that almost secured him a win against Leko in the first round. Morozevich is the master of old openings, and its no surprise he emerges from the opening with an edge. Morozevich uses his edge to open queenside lines against the castled White king. Ivanchuk scrambles to secure the queenside. With a delicate knight manoeuvre, Morozevich aims his major pieces at the White king as the minor pieces disappear off the board. The pressure down the a-file gets transformed into a position where Black has strong passed pawns on the kingside. A small combination sees Black give up the two rooks for a queen, and Ivanchuk throws in the towel.
Leko – Svidler
In a standard Najdorf position Leko employs the unusual move 11. Qe1 vacating a square that can be used by a harassed White knight. Svidler has a tiny nagging edge thanks to the tangled position of White’s pieces. Leko’s manoeuvre to win a pawn opens his own position to great danger, and Svidler with the initiative builds strong pressure in the centre with his two bishops. Svidler’s combination of passed pawn and queenside pressure forces major weaknesses in Leko’s position, which collapses shortly thereafter.
Topalov – Carlsen
Topalov employs a symmetrical English – an interesting choice against the youngster. Carlsen gets an open and free position, and his minor pieces entice Topalov to retreat his queen far out on the kingside. The queen emerges deep in the heart of Black’s queenside, but Carlsen calmly forces a repetition of position and a draw.
Anand – Aronian
Anand prefers to avoid Aronian’s Marshall as the game heads into a typical anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez. Aronian’s queenside expansion ratchets open the a-file, and one set of rooks disappear. Aronian consolidates and the position is equal. A draw agreed.