Anand leads after catching Ivanchuk off balance. Karjakin beats Kamsky in a neat game. Gelfand powers past Adams, and Topalov cleans up a pawn endgame after a Bacrot blunder.
Ivanchuk – Anand
From a symmetrical position out of an English opening Ivanchuk gets an advantage and is tempted by a partially poisoned a-pawn that sucks in his bishop. As Ivanchuk battles to extricate the bishop, Anand centralised his pieces and pushes the White queen out of the centre. A blunder from Ivanchuk invites Anand to break into the kingside with a mating attack.
Kamsky’s unusual 4… a6 allows Karjakin to adopt a Maroczy bind. Kamsky’s hedgehog formation is a little passive, allowing White a free hand to build up his position. After due preparation Karjakin breaks into Black’s position with 24.c5 where Whites active knight reduces Black to shuffling his rook on the back rank. Kamsky can’t avoid a decisive entry of the White rook on the seventh rank, so resigns.
Gelfand – Adams
Adams emerges from the Black side of a Catalan with a tiny disadvantage. Gelfand’s intricate sequence of moves throws him on further on the back foot. Gelfand gets a nice position with his queen strongly placed on d4. Reluctant to exchange queens, Adams tucks it safely out of the way on e8. Gelfand’s centralised queen allows him to generate threats on both sides of the board, and Adams finds himself powerless to prevent the loss of a pawn. Gelfand mops up with a strong kingside attack.
Aronian – Leko
Leko’s Queen’s Indian gives him a solid position out of the opening, and uses the activity of his minor pieces to blunt White’s attacking options. Peace concluded by a threefold repetition of pieces.
Topalov – Bacrot
Topalov choses a quiet sideline of the Petroff and gains nothing except a white king castled queenside. After Black defuses the pressure on his king the game heads into a queen and pawns ending. Topalov plays actively on the queenside and Bacrot blunders and exchanges into a lost pawn ending.
Tiviakov – van Wely
Van Wely quickly establishes a equality out of a c3 Sicilian. Quick draw.
Mamemdyarov – Sokolov
Mamemdyarov quickly gets the upper hand out of a Queens Gambit, and wins a very hot pawn. Sokolov manages to get enough compensation for the pawn and the game drifts into a repetition of position.