Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Picture provided by WORLD CHESS Press Office; Evgeny Pogonin.

Karjakin v Topalov

The first two games to finish in Round 12 changed the leaderboard, as has happened in each of the last four rounds. One day after losing to Viswanathan Anand of India, Sergey Karjakin of Russia bounced back by beating Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. Karjakin, who was White, capitalized on risky and ultimately poor play by Topalov to win his third game of the tournament. 

 

Anand v Nakamura

Anand, who was tied for the lead heading into the round, had Black against Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. Unfortunately for Anand, he ran into a great piece of home preparation by Nakamura, who baited him into a risky advance on the kingside. After only 15 moves, Anand’s position was already lost. He resigned by Move 26. It was Anand’s third loss of the tournament and Nakamura’s second victory.

 

Caruana v Aronian

The game between Fabiano Caruana of the United States and Levon Aronian of Armenia was also important for the standings. Caruana began the round tied for the lead, while Aronian was a full point behind.  Caruana, who was White, used an anti-Marshall plan in the Ruy Lopez. Following an unusual sequence of exchanges, Caruana gained a pawn majority in the center, but Aronian had a pawn on c3. With some difficulty, Aronian was able to protect that pawn. After exchanges left each side with a queen, rook and pawns, it seemed that only Caruana had any chances to win. But Aronian organized a pawn breakthrough on the kingside that gave him a pawn on h2. After a forced exchange of queens, it seemed that Caruana was in trouble, but his pawns saved him as Aronian could never attack them without losing his h pawn or allowing Caruana’s center pawn to advance, so the players agreed to a draw. 

 

Svidler v Giri

A long game between Peter Svidler and Anish Giri of the Netherlands never strayed far from equality and was drawn after 85 moves. Both Svidler and Giri remain at 50 percent, which almost mathematically eliminates from winning. It was also Giri’s 12th draw. 

Read more about the games on worldchess.com