Carlsen’s piece sacrifice out of the opening puts Morozevich on the back foot, and the talented Norwegian youth secures the full point. Ivanchuk’s time-trouble denies him a win against Leko. Aronian’s Marshall Gambit pressures Svidler and gains a repetition of position to secure the draw. Anand neutralises Topalov’s Queen’s Indian.
Carlsen – Morozevich
From a Classical Fianchetto against Morozevich’s Kings Indian / Benoni set-up, Carlsen sacrifices a knight for two pawns. One of those pawns, the d-pawn pushes right into the heart of Black’s position to win back his piece. Morozevich gains some compensation because of his dark-squared bishop, but his knights are disarrayed. In the opposite-coloured bishops endgame, Carlsen slowly neutralises Black’s counterplay, and annexes another pawn. Two pawns up, Carlsen converts the endgame after a long struggle.
Ivanchuk – Leko
Ivanchuk surprises Leko with the Scotch game, and Leko’s slightly passive approach hands the initiative to Ivanchuk. Ivanchuk pushes Black’s pieces back, and unleashes a piece sacrifice to shatter Black’s kingside pawns. Unfortunately, because of serious time-trouble Ivanchuk misses a stronger continuation, but the sacrifice is good enough to secure a draw by perpetual check.
Svidler – Aronian
Svidler heads into Aronian’s Marshall Gambit Ruy Lopez – after side-stepping it in Wijk aan Zee – and follow’s Anand’s game against Aronian from the previous tournament. Aronian deviates with 23… Bd3 attempting to set up a pin on the e-file, but Svidler has enough resources to hold the position, and a repetition of position secures the draw.
Topalov – Anand
Back into the Queen’s Indian defence Anand suffered a horrible loss to Topalov in Wijk aan Zee a few weeks ago. Topalov avoids any Anand improvement with 14. Nxe4. Anand steams towards equality as Topalov fails to find stronger continuations.