Carlsen’s powerful siege of Topalov’s position claims a well-earned point. Leko misses good chances, and goes down against Anand. Ivanchuk gets a perpetual in a battle with Radjabov. Aronian is satisfied to split the points with Shirov.
Topalov – Carlsen
Carlsen gains an opening advantage by adopting an Alekhine against Topalov, and wins a pawn. Topalov is tied in knots trying to hold off Black’s initiative. Carlsen’s passed pawn, supported by his king, keeps Topalov tied up. With the aid of some tactics, Carlsen strengthens his grip, and Topalov runs out of space and moves. A powerful performance from Carlsen.
Leko – Anand
The Sicilian Najdorf rapidly heads into an endgame with Leko slightly on top. Leko lets his advantage whittle away by taking a passive approach to the endgame. Leko finally starts seizing the initiative on the queenside, which leads to the win of a pawn, but hands the initiative and strong counterplay to Anand. Anand’s central passed pawn mass proves more powerful than Leko’s connected queenside passed pawns.
Radjabov – Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk’s Taimanov Sicilian transposes into a Classical French. Ivanchuk gets his queenside pawns moving toward the White king. Radjabov builds up in the centre sacrifices a pawn to break Black’s central pawn structure. Radjabov breaks through, demolishing Ivanchuk’s queenside, but Ivanchuk has enough counterplay to secure perpetual check.
Aronian – Shirov
After a rapier-like clash in the English Opening transposing to an Old Indian-like position, the tension eases just as rapidly, and the players take an early draw.