Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Svidler v Topalov

The game between Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Peter Svidler of Russia was entertaining because both players are uncompromising. It started out as a Ruy Lopez, with Topalov employing an anti-Marshall system. The tension built until Topalov broke in the center, but Svidler struck right back. Wild complications ensued, with both players being aggressive. In the end, neither could gain an edge and the game was drawn. 

 

Aronian v Anand

The game between Viswanathan Anand of India and Levon Aronian of Armenia was very important for the overall standings. Anand, who was White, employed the quiet Italian game. He got a slight edge in the opening and then, in his trademark style, he gradually began to improve his pieces while constricting Aronian’s space. Though Aronian wriggled and was able to exchange pieces to alleviate his cramped position, he never was able to fully recover as Anand had locked down the light squares on the queenside. Anand finally engineered a breakthrough on the opposite wing. He was able to create a passed pawn and, in the end, Aronian had to give up his one remaining rook to stop it from promoting, after which he resigned. With the victory, Anand is now tied with Sergey Karjakin for the lead, while Anand has dropped a half point behind the leaders. 

 

Giri v Caruana

The longest game of the day was also the longest of the tournament, but it would not have been if Anish Giri had found one of several ways early on to win his game against Fabiano Caruana of the United States. In a sharp and heavily analyzed opening, Caruana misplayed it badly and was busted out of the opening. Giri had one or two paths to victory, but he seemed to be scared by ghosts and kept missing his chances. Finally he squandered his last best chance and although he still had an extra pawn, it was increasingly difficult for him to make progress, particularly as Caruana kept finding the best moves. After seven hours, and nearly 100 moves, with neither player having much time on their clocks, Giri repeated the position three times and Caruana claimed a draw. So Giri squandered yet another golden opportunity and has now drawn all his games, while Caruana is still at +1 and only a half point behind the leaders. 

 

Karjakin v Nakamura

In the game between Hikaru Nakamura of the United States and Karjakin, Karjakin once again employed the Queen’s Indian Defense, showing that it is his primary weapon against 1. d4 for this tournament. Unlike a couple of the previous games in which he played the Queen’s Indian, he had little trouble equalizing against Nakamura. Though the game had its interesting moments, neither player ever had a clear edge and the game was drawn shortly after the first time control was reached. The draw puts Karjakin temporarily into the sole lead.

 

Read more about the games on worldchess.com