Morozevich outplays Anand, but stumbles on the final straight, allowing Anand to take the whole point. Ivanchuk’s original hard work is undone by two blunders, giving Carlsen the whole point. Svidler’s active play subdues Topalov into a draw. Aronian withstands Leko’s charge.
Anand – Morozevich
Morozevich adopts a Breyer against the seemingly rare Closed Ruy Lopez. Morozevich is the first to deviate with a virtually unplayed 14… c6. Anand decides to fix the central pawn structure, allowing Black his thematic queenside play. Anand’s kingside pressure gains him an advantage, forcing Morozevich to defend carefully. Anand’s pressure fizzles and gradually Morozevich gains the upper hand. But Morozevich stumbles on the way to time control, and Anand seizes the point in the semi-endgame.
Ivanchuk – Carlsen
The opening leaves known theory on move 7 with Ivanchuk forging a new path. Ivanchuk gradually nurtures an advantage before seizing control of the centre with a strong position. But Ivanchuk goes astray in his customary time trouble, missing a tactic that swings the game into Carlsen’s favour. A second blunder by Ivanchuk seals his fate.
Topalov – Svidler
Topalov avoids Svidler’s Grunfeld by holding back with an English set-up. Svidler temporary sacrifices a pawn to free his position, and activates his pieces. Svidler breaks up Topalov’s play for an advantage with another pawn sacrifice, and his active pieces secure a draw.
Leko – Aronian
The Bogo-Indian is a rare guest at SuperGM level, but Aronian handles it with aplomb. The middle game resembles a fashionable line of the Queen’s Indian. Leko’s Stonewall set-up succeeds in forcing a rook into the heart of Black’s queenside. Leko sacrifices an exchange to open up Black’s king to a heavy piece attack, and regains material by eliminating Black’s centre pawns. After a brief flurry of activity from Aronian, Leko holds the endgame with the exchange down.