Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Svidler v Aronian

The game between Levon Aronian of Armenia, who had been one of the co-leaders for several rounds, and Peter Svidler of Russia, who was on -1, was an odd one. Svidler, who was Black, executed his strategy to play solidly and trade off some pieces, but somehow Aronian still got a dangerous attack against Svidler’s castled king. Svidler tip-toed around some mine fields and seemed to solve his problems, but then he sacrificed a pawn for little compensation. Just as he seemed to have taken control, Aronian started to play badly — simply retreating and allowing Svidler to infiltrate White’s position with his queen. Aronian then erred, allowing Svidler’s rook to join the attack. Faced with having to lose his queen, Aronian resigned.

Aronian is now a full point behind Fabiano Caruana of the United States with only three rounds to go. His chances of winning the Candidates may have been dealt a death blow. Meanwhile, Svidler finally recorded his first victory after having spoiled good positions several times earlier in the tournament. 

 

Anand v Karjakin

A long game between Viswanathan Anand of India and Sergey Karjakin of Russia had a big impact on the standings. Karjakin was one of the co-leaders and Anand trailed by half a point. 

The game between Caruana and the tailender, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, was complicated throughout as the players went into one of the tactical variations arising out of the Symmetrical English. Topalov sacrificed an exchange to gain lasting pressure, but he gradually lost control of the position and it seemed that Caruana would unwind and be able to use his material advantage. But Caruana got into time pressure as the first time-control approached and misplayed the position. It seemed that Topalov might even be better at the end, but Caruana offered a draw and Topalov accepted.

 

Nakamura v Giri

Anish Giri of the Netherlands achieved another completely winning position, this time against Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. The opening was the quiet Italian game and Giri gradually outplayed Nakamura to achieve a complete bind in the center and on the kingside. Giri, who has been frustrated by his inability to win games in which he has a huge advantage, decided to be more aggressive and “went for the kill” as he said afterward in the press conference. But he had miscalculated and Nakamura has enough resources to beat off the attack. So Giri drew again, while Nakamura remains on -2. 

 

 

Caruana v Topalov

The game between Caruana and the tailender, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, was complicated throughout as the players went into one of the tactical variations arising out of the Symmetrical English. Topalov sacrificed an exchange to gain lasting pressure, but he gradually lost control of the position and it seemed that Caruana would unwind and be able to use his material advantage. But Caruana got into time pressure as the first time-control approached and misplayed the position. It seemed that Topalov might even be better at the end, but Caruana offered a draw and Topalov accepted.

 

Read more about the games on worldchess.com