Round 2 explodes to life with Topalov smashing through to van Wely’s king. Radjabov fails to dispose of Karjakin from a very promising position. Shirov blunders badly against Kramnik. Aronian outplays Ponomariov in a queenless middlegame, Svidler eventually makes it to the winning line against Tiviakov in a scrappy game. Anand defends cooly against Motylev’s thee-pawn sacrifice. Navara’s pressure pays off as Carlsen buckles.
Svidler – Tiviakov
Tiviakov’s Centre Counter leaves Svidler with a slight edge despite Black’s apparent activity. Svidler misses a few opportunities of substantially increasing his advantage, but retains the advantage. In a complicated struggle both sides miss the most accurate moves as the game swings wildly between equality and Svidler having a serious advantage. Finally Tiviakov’s position collapses, and Svidler converts the endgame.
Aronian – Ponomariov
Aronian plays a fashionable fianchetto in the Classical Nimzo Indian and gets a position to his liking – piece-play in a queenless middlegame. Aronian holds a definite advantage as Ponomariov struggles to develop his pieces. Aronian gains entry to the seventh rank with a rook, and Black is helpless in warding off the threats. After losing two pawns, Ponomariov throws in the towel.
Topalov – van Wely
In a swashbuckling Sicilian Najdorf, Topalov’s attack connects with van Wely’s king quicker than Black’s attack. Topalov quickly dispatches his opponent with a succession of threats and blows.
Radjabov – Karjakin
Radjabov secures an advantage on the White side of a Queen’s Indian, and forces the exchange of Black’s queen for a rook and bishop, and into a substantially winning endgame. Somehow Karjakin holds the endgame and earns a draw as the position dissolves into a drawn pawn endgame.
Kramnik – Shirov
Kramnik transposes into a Russian Grunfeld and gains a small advantage. He increases his advantage by taking control of the c-file. Shirov blunders material and resigns immediately.
Motylev – Anand
Anand essays the poisioned pawn variation of the Sicilian Najdorf, and accepts three pawn sacrificed from Motylev, at the expense of not being able to develop his queenside. Motylev generates a dangerous attack, but Anand cooly defends as White fails to connect with the Black king. A final blunder forces Motylev’s resignation.
Carlsen – Navara
In a Classical Exchange Grunfeld, Carlsen emerges with an advantage, but Black’s energetic play and White’s overextended centre allows Navara to grab the exchange. White’s centre crumbles under Black’s pressure, but Carlsen manages to hold his position together, but Navara’s kingside attack forces the exchange of queens and Carlsen finds himself the wrong side of a decisive endgame.