Carlsen gains a point over Topalov after Topalov resigns in a drawn position – Carlsen had missed a winning line, but nevertheless played extremely well. Aronian’s piece play and sacrifices bewitches Anand. Svidler bails out to a draw in Leko’s Marshall. Ivanchuk’s Berlin stands up to Morozevich’s scrutiny.
Carlsen – Topalov
Carlsen nurses a slight advantage from a Semi-Slav. On the first time control Carlsen has a good handle of the position, Topalov missing a few equalising opportunities. Carlsen embarks on a kingside attack by opening the g-file and creating a battering ram with his h-pawn. This forces Topalov backwards and Carlsen sacrifices the d5-pawn gaining time for his attack. He misses a winning line, and Topalov resigns missing a drawing resource.
Aronian – Anand
Aronian takes a slight edge from a Queen’s Gambit Accepted / Catalan opening. Anand misses his chance at equality, and Aronian seizes the opportunity to create a threatening pawn centre, backed by both of his bishops. Anand looks close to equalising, but as the pieces come off, Aronian’s passed d-pawn becomes a monster, and the a-pawn is threatening. Aronian sacrifices a piece, followed by a rook to ensure both pawns can be shepherded through. Anand sacrifices back material leaving Aronian in a winning endgame with an extra exchange.
Svidler – Leko
Svidler allows a Marshall attack, and Leko opts for 17… f5 avoiding any prepared improvements over Svidler’s earlier game with Aronian. All of Leko’s pieces build up against the White king, and Svidler plays it carefully, and both sides take a draw by repetition.
Morozevich – Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk adopts the Berlin Defence against Morozevich’s Ruy Lopez and locks down White on both wings. Although Morozevich gets a knight posted on d5, Ivanchuk’s hold of the position is enough for equality. Morozevich can’t make any progress, and a repetition of position concludes the draw.