World Championship 2007 Round 7: Anand beats Grischuk to lead the tournament at the halfway stage

Morozevich and Leko draw in a long struggle where neither side could build a strong enough advantage to draw clear. Anand bests Grischuk in a pawn-chain fevered Anti-Marshall. Gelfand puts the question to Kramnik, and for the first time Kramnik looked to be in a spot of trouble before getting stuck in to gain a draw.

Morozevich – Leko

Its Leko’s turn to deal with Morozevich’s Scotch game, he opts for a quieter line that keeps the position balanced with Leko taking a slight edge. Morozevich stifles out this edge and gains a tiny edge of his own. In the drawn out middle game Leko grafts to improve his position and he has a stronger advantage going into the endgame. In the queen and minor piece ending Leko forces a draw by repetition.

Anand – Grischuk

Anand dives into the Anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez again, this time against Grischuk. Grischuk gets a temporary initiative on the queenside pushing back Anand’s light squared bishop. Anand gradually pushes Black’s pieces backward as he gains space on the kingside and in the centre. The queens get exchanged, leaving Anand with a massive kingside pawn structure, and Grischuk has to stop to defend the weak points in his position. Anand breaks through on the kingside and uses it to get his passed d-pawn rolling. Grischuk tries to throw up a defence, but White’s seventh rank rook keeps Black’s king holed up on the kingside. Anand wins by combining his passed d-pawn with mating threats against the Black king.

Svidler – Aronian

Svidler surprises Aronian with an exchange Ruy Lopez and gets an advantage. Aronian finds an unusual freeing manoeuvre, and Svidler plays a careless move which dissipates his advantage, and a draw is agreed on move 20.

Kramnik – Gelfand

More play in the Anti-Moscow Semi Slav where Kramnik concentrates on pure development rather than initiating an early tactical battle as with Anand’s game against Aronian in round 2. Gelfand whips up a kingside attack bolstered by his knight and rook, and indirectly by his fianchettoed light squared bishop. Kramnik tries to defuse it by keeping tight control of the light squares around his king. Gelfand emerges with an advantage. Kramnik holds tight as Gelfand’s advantage slides away and the game heads into a rook and minor piece endgame where both sides agree to a draw.

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