Topalov outplays Ivanchuk. Anand gains a strong advantage, accepts Carlsen’s offering and converts it to a whole point in an Anti-Moscow. Radjabov’s aggression secures a quick draw with Aronian. Shirov counters Leko’s central pressure and earns a well-played draw.
Topalov – Ivanchuk
Topalov’s English Attack against Ivanchuk’s Sicilian Najdorf triggers off a game of chicken. Topalov bails out first, leaving Ivanchuk a little constricted on the dark squares. Topalov unravels his pieces first and takes the initiative on the queenside. Ivanchuk sacrifices a pawn seeking counterplay in the centre. Topalov converts to a winning minor piece ending, and he makes no mistake forcing a decisive result.
Carlsen – Anand
Carlsen challenges Anand in the Anti-Moscow Semi-Slav, reminding Anand of the painful loss he suffered against Radjabov earlier in the year in Corus Wijk aan Zee. Anand keeps his king in the centre and develops around it. Carlsen has some compensation for the sacrificed pawn. Anand gets a strongly entrenched knight deep into Carlsen’s position, and with his queenside pawns ties up Carlsen’s position. Carlsen invests an exchange to whittle down Anand’s queenside pawn phalanx. Anand forces the queens off and converts the rook vs bishop endgame.
Aronian – Radjabov
Aronian offers a fianchetto King’s Indian, but Radjabov prefers an English/Sicilian set-up and frees his position quickly. Radjabov forces a reduction of pieces by an exchange combination. Both sides are happy to split the points.
Leko – Shirov
Leko gets a trademark pressure against the backward d-pawn in a Sicilian Najdorf. Shirov wedges open the f-file for his rooks, but leaves Leko in firm control of the light squares which hold back Black’s weak hanging pawns. Shirov’s kingside play forces Leko to exchange down, and Shirov’s active king arrives to hold the Black center for a draw.