Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin. 

Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin. 

Svidler v Nakamura

An English Opening between Peter Svidler of Russia and Hikaru Nakamura of the United States became a strategic battle, with Svidler trying to expand on the queenside, while Nakamura aimed for the kingside. Svidler achieved his aim, but so did Nakamura, as he sacrificed a piece to lift a rook over to the kingside, which he also sacrificed to force a perpetual check. The draw left Svidler on -1 and Nakamura on -2, in what has been a disappointing tournament for both players. 

 

Anand v Caruana

The game between Fabiano Caruana of the United States and Viswanathan Anand of India had potential to shake up the standings and it did as Caruana won to switch places with Anand. The opening was an English, Four Knights Variation and Caruana employed a well-known pawn sacrifice to take control of the center. For a while, it seemed that Anand would be fine, but then Caruana ripped open his kingside with a piece sacrifice. Anand immediately returned the piece to end the attack, but the damage to his structure was irreversible. He eventually was forced to give up an exchange, but Caruana’s initiative persisted, despite the reduced material. Anand resigned in only 33 moves. Anand now trails Caruana and Sergey Karjakin of Russia by half a point. 

  

 

Karjakin v Giri

The game between Karjakin and Anish Giri started as a Meran Variation in the Semi-Slav Defense. The Meran can be very double-edged, but it has also been extensively analyzed, so the chances that either player would be tricked or surprised were fairly minimal. Indeed, both sidestepped any complications and began trading pieces. After only 31 moves, they agreed to a draw, having barely used any time on their clocks. The draw kept Karjakin at +2 and temporarily put him into the lead by himself awaiting the results of the other games. For Giri, it was his tenth draw out of 10 games, in what has become a disappointing performance.  

 

 

Aronian v Topalov

The game between Levon Aronian of Armenia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria was an English Opening (the theme of the round). The game became a strategic battle, with Aronian expanding on the queenside and Topalov angling toward the kingside. Neither player ever really developed an initiative, however, and after a series of exchanges, they ended up in an endgame in which Aronian was a bit worse, but Topalov had no real prospects to break through. After the pawns became locked and the players exchanged queens, they agreed to a draw. Aronian remains on +1, a half point behind the leaders, while Topalov is at -3 and in the cellar. 

 

Read more about the games on worldchess.com.