Svidler v Topalov
By the admission of the players themselves, sometimes the best moves don’t make the best games for spectators.
Such was the case with the Svidler vs Topalov match, which saw the symmetrical variation in the Berlin – an opening that does not often end in a decisive result.
“My hope was that he would do something more exciting,” said Svidler in the post match press conference. But Topalov, after his bruising defeat to Anand yesterday, was perhaps more concerned about regrouping in round 2 than engaging in another furiously complicated middle-game.
Anand v Aronian
No heroics from the Tiger today after Anand settled for half a point against Aronian. But with two games today still to finish, he could retain the lead after two rounds of the Candidates.
A fashionable variation of the queen’s gambit declined saw both players operate within their comfort zones for the first half of the game before material was quickly swapped off.
Despite black being a pawn down when a draw was agreed, the odd coloured bishops meant a decisive result was always going to be impossible.
Both players seemed fairly happy with the outcome and an early dinner.
Giri v Caruana
Fabiano Caruana became the top American player at the Candidates despite only drawing with white against Anish Giri.
With only two wins from the eight games so far played over the two rounds, Caruana’s second draw is hardly a disaster, but he must be disappointed that he couldn’t overcome his Dutch opponent.
Nakamura’s time pressure may have played a part and in the end the game looked drawn long before the end.
Karjakin v Nakamura
Hikaru Nakamura had a very bad day at the office in round 2 of the Candidates, losing to Sergey Karjakin.
Lacking in accuracy for most of the game, the hotly tipped American sacrificed a knight for a pawn in what turned into an appalling blunder to give up the point to his Russian opponent.
“Basically I did many things wrong today,” Nakamura said in the press conference after the game.”
He didn’t get many people arguing with him.
The full games and PGN files can be found at www.worldchess.com