Anand engineers the win of an exchange to see off Polgar. Adams fends off a Mamedyarov attack. Eljanov comes close to a win, but lets van Wely off the hook. Aronian grounds down Radjabov’s pawn sacrifice. Carlsen holds Topalov in an anti-Marshall. Kramnik’s Petroff is solid against Ivanchuk, neither player making any headway. Gelfand holds Leko.
Polgar – Anand
Polgar gets a solid position out of a Sicilian Najdorf, much similar to Anand’s typical handling of the structure as White, with a knight installed on d5. Anand gets counterplay down the queenside and manages to keep the only bishop on the board. Polgar builds pressure on the exposed backward d-pawn, and forces Anand to part with his bishop, weakening the light squares around Anand’s central pawns. Polgar gets her knight to d6, backed by all her major pieces, and exchanging her queen for both Black rooks. Anand takes over the initiative and his advantage increases – his pieces coordinate together better than Polgar’s, and Anand engineers the win of an exchange to conclude the game.
Adams – Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov chooses a Steinitz Deferred against Adams’ traditional Ruy Lopez, and emerges with slightly awkward but playable position. Adams goes astray and throws away what was quickly becoming a strong position. Mamedyarov opens up on the kingside and uses the momentum to take over the centre; he takes over the initiative and Adams has to weather a strong attack against his king. Mamedyarov maintains the pressure after Adams temporary activity. But he miscues, and Adams takes the opportunity to relieve the pressure and hold the draw.
Eljanov – van Wely
Eljanov gets aggressive on the kingside of a Slav, but settles down to playing on the queenside. He emerges with a slight edge into an endgame. He grows that advantage to serious proportions. Van Wely sacrifices his d-pawn to unlock his light-squared bishop, and Eljanov returns the favour to keep the position in his favour, just not as close to winning as earlier. Van Wely holds the rook endgame.
Aronian – Radjabov
Radjabov heads into a Modern Benoni against Aronian’s kingside fianchetto. Aronian holds back the e-pawn. Radjabov sacrifices a pawn for counterplay, but its not enough compensation as Aronian bolts down the position and creates some counterplay against the Black king. Radjabov regains his sacrificed pawn but is on the receiving end of two passed pawns. Aronian has little trouble in extracting the full point.
Topalov – Carlsen
Topalov adopts a quiet Anti-Marshall line against Carlsen’s Ruy Lopez, and that gives Carlsen scope in the centre. The battle erupts around Carlsen’s advanced centre. The game resolves into a balanced endgame. Topalov holds a slight edge, but Carlsen fights stubbornly to reverse the situation. Topalov holds the draw.
Ivanchuk – Kramnik
Ivanchuk retains a small advantage from a Classical Petroff, but Kramnik equalises fairly easily. Ivanchuk breaks Kramnik’s blockade of the centre pawns, but Kramnik’s equalising pawn break removes the queens. The flurry of activity sees an exchange of pieces and the tension disappears into a balanced endgame. Ivanchuk accepts a draw.
Gelfand – Leko
Leko obtains an edge against Gelfand’s esoteric Catalan, but quickly re-establishes equality after Leko miscues his light-squared bishop. The battle takes place on the queenside for the c-file. The resulting ending leaves no side with the upper hand.