Shirov outplays Topalov in the double-rook endgame. Aronian benefits from an Ivanchuk double-blunder to scoop a point from nothing. Leko’s solid play is sufficient to split the points with Carlsen. Radjabov’s activity in the Schliemann Ruy is enough to secure a draw against Anand.
Shirov – Topalov
Topalov gains a slight edge out of a Sveshnikov Sicilian. Shirov starts to take a hold of the queenside with his piece activity, forcing Topalov to reduce into a semi-endgame with a bad bishop, but Topalov manages to get into a double rook endgame. But its Shirov’s rooks that take over the board, and its the entry of his king deep into the Black position that coverts the position into a whole point for Shirov.
Ivanchuk – Aronian
Ivanchuk side-steps Aronian’s Marshall with 8.d4, and the game dissolves into a double bishop middlegame. Ivanchuk nurtures a small advantage and builds on it by circling around Black’s isolated d-pawn. Aronian blunders under the pressure, but Ivanchuk misses the win of a piece, but still has a large advantage plus two extra pawns. And then Ivanchuk trips up, dropping a piece and misses forcing a perpetual check. Aronian gains a fortuitous point.
Carlsen – Leko
Carlsen’s side-line in the Classical Nimzo-Indian gives the opening edge to Leko, but his subsequent careful play lets the opportunity to cement his advantage dissipate. Although Carlsen has a slight edge, Leko’s solid play prevents it from becoming a danger, and the points are shared.
Anand – Radjabov
Radjabov gains a pair of raging bishops plus some kingside pressure from Schliemann’s Gambit of the Ruy Lopez. Anand counters by a queenside pawn expansion, attempting to contain the bishops. Radjabov gets all his pieces developed and regains his sacrificed pawn. His centralised pieces is sufficient to convince Anand to split the points.