Kramnik’s pawn grab comes to grief against Carlsen. Polgar converts the endgame against Adams. Eljanov catches Topalov out in a Modern Benoni. Anand lets a strong advantage lapse to a draw against van Wely. Radjabov and Leko head straight for the draw. Aronian cannot make the extra pawn count against Ivanchuk. Mamedyarov gets an easy draw against Gelfand using the Closed Sicilian.
Kramnik – Carlsen
Carlsen heads into a Hedgehog against Kramnik’s English. Carlsen manoeuvres effectively inside his confined position, centralising his pieces. With the centre well guarded Carlsen strikes out with a kingside expansion. Kramnik gets caught out pawn-grabbing on the queenside which allows Carlsen’s rook into White’s position. With a clamp on the kingside and active rooks on the queenside Carlsen squeezes Kramnik’s position and is two pawns up when Kramnik tenders his resignation.
Adams – Polgar
Polgar surprises Adams with a Petroff. Adams gains some pressure on the kingside, but this is quickly defused. Polgar takes over the initiative thanks to her control of the e-file and potential backrank mate threats. She holds an edge into the pawn endgame thanks to a better pawn structure. She polishes off the endgame and Adams resigns in a zugzwang position.
Eljanov – Topalov
Topalov essays the Modern Benoni, and in turn Eljanov forces Topalov into a combination, sacrificing a piece to remove White’s kingside pawns and have the makings of a kingside attack. Topalov gains some compensation but seems reluctant to seize the initiative, preferring to build up steadily. Instead of embedding a knight into the heart of White’s position Topalov exchanges it off. He relies on the power of his dark-squared bishop. Eljanov’s regrouping pushes Topalov back, he forces the exchange of Topalov’s dark-squared bishop. Eljanov finishes off with a series of threats against the Black king, forcing a resignation.
van Wely – Anand
Anand gets a protected passed-pawn in the centre right out of an old main-line Queen’s Indian. By blockading the semi-open e-file and starting a pawn advance on the kingside Anand holds on to his advantage all the way through to the endgame. Anand has two connected central passed pawns against van Wely’s protected passed d-pawn. But Anand misses a chance to convert his advantage, with van Wely finding the most accurate reply leaving Anand with nothing more than a draw.
Radjabov – Leko
Both players enter into a long variation of the Queen’s Indian that leads straight to a drawn position.
Aronian – Ivanchuk
Aronian emerges with a big edge in a Queen’s Gambit Accepted against Ivanchuk, thanks to a passed pawn on the queenside. He manages to exchange off a pair of rooks and the queens whilst still maintaining his pawn advantage. Aronian finds he can make no more progress, and the points are shared.
Mamedyarov – Gelfand
The Closed Sicilian makes a guest appearance against Gelfand. The f-file opens up and pieces get exchanged off rapidly. The endgame looks tepid so the players take a draw.