Anand extends his lead by beating Morozevich in a tremendous battle and an exquisite finish. Kramnik has an easy draw against Grischuk. Leko’s edge against Aronian isn’t enough for a decisive result. Svidler holds Gelfand with very little trouble.
Anand – Morozevich
Morozevich plays into a well-trodden path of the Sicilian Najdorf. Anand takes control of the d5-square after removing Morozevich’s light-squared bishop. Morozevich counters with a break down the f-file. Anand finds a clever manoeuvre to regroup his remaining knight, with a slight advantage. Anand manages to hold Black’s kingside threats, and creates his own initiative on the queenside. Anand avoids the proffered repetition of position and breaks through on the queenside, whilst conceding the battle for the h-file. Anand’s knight on d5 dominates the position, and he uses that to infiltrate with his queen and remove Black’s central pawns. In the race of passed pawns its Morozevich’s pawn that queens, but Anand finishes off with an exquisite domination of the queen by his own rook and knight.
Leko – Aronian
Aronian emerges from a Queen’s Indian with a Sicilian-like Hedgehog, and a balanced position. Leko gets an advantage thanks to his passed and advanced d-pawn, but Aronian manages to blockade it with a bishop. Aronian sacrifices a pawn to activate his rook, which neutralises Leko’s immediate threats. Aronian rounds up and removes the isolani at the cost of allowing a White rook on the backrank. Aronian takes over the initiative, but the game heads into a rook and bishop ending. Draw agreed.
Grischuk – Kramnik
Out of a slightly unusual 3.d4 Petroff, Grischuk follows a misanalysed idea and finds his plan of keeping the Black king in the centre miscarries after an obvious exchange. Grischuk offers a draw.
Gelfand – Svidler
Svidler is goaded into a Russian Grunfeld via an English opening move order, but its not enough to throw Svidler off as he holds the balance. A draw agreed.