Anand secures a draw against Ivanchuk to take sole first place. Morozevich completes an amazing comeback dragging himself from the bottom of the table to second place with a decisive rout of Svidler. Leko’s last position is consoled with a win against Carlsen.
Anand suffered only one defeat – against Aronian. His two smooth wins over Carlsen certainly helped remove the main threat to first place. Morozevich after starting with early two losses, came back strongly in the second half of the tournament. It would have been even better had he converted his tremendous French position against Topalov in Round 7. Carlsen impressed in his second major super GM tournament – leading the tournament for most of the way. His double reverse against Anand is the only blip on his achievement here.
Topalov’s typical second-half storming comeback failed to materialise, he struggled against Morozevich, blundered against Carlsen and Ivanchuk. Since his World Championship match against Kramnik last year, Topalov has been in the doldrums. Perhaps the rest of the field are starting to understand how to play against Topalov?
Ivanchuk – Anand
Both sides get free unhindered development from a Queen’s Indian, but Ivanchuk has a small edge. Ivanchuk focuses in on the d6-hole in Anand’s position. Anand manages to stave off a White knight landing on the weak square, and by completing the hedgehog set-up he has his position solidly under control, and both players agree to a draw.
Svidler – Morozevich
Morozevich’s energetic queenside expansion in the Classical French catches Svidler off guard. Svidler plays into Black’s hands by forcing an exchange of dark-squared bishops which activates Morozevich’s knights. Svidler’s retreat tangles up his pieces. Morozevich sacrifices a pawn to open the d-file and bring his rooks in. Svidler’s king is stuck in the centre. Svidler invests an exchange in an effort to garner some counterplay, but this merely allows Morozevich to demolish Svidler’s kingside. Svidler is busted.
Leko – Carlsen
Leko handles Carlsen’s Queen’s Indian sideline comfortably, and emerges from the opening with an advantage. Through a pin on the Black rooks Leko creates a passed d-pawn for himself. Carlsen creates a neat mating cheapo, but Leko deflects it easily. Leko forces his rook through to the seventh rank with a clever tactical manoeuvre, and simplifies into a winning endgame.
Topalov – Aronian
In a Queen’s Indian position, played by both players earlier in the tournament, Topalov deviates first with 16. cxb6. Players agree to a draw shortly thereafter.