We have a fight of continents between Hikaru Nakamura and Wang Hao! Surprisingly, Hikaru chooses a quiet line with double fianchetto 2.g3 and 4.b3. Wang Hao had a pretty safe position and waited the time control to see a big blunder (45.Nxa4??) from the American player.
Alexander Grischuk and Peter Leko in pursuit of Gelfand have white pieces today and will try to reduce the gap. Alexander avoids the main weapon of Michael Adams (Marshall gambit) and goes for 6.d3. White opened quickly the centre forcing black to give away a pawn. In compensation, Adams had pair of bishops. It was enough to secure the draw in the endgame.
The last game of the day sees Veselin Topalov facing Dominguez. Tonight, Silvio Danailov (manager of Veselin) arrives in London. Veselin is facing the 4…a6 Slav defence and decides to take immediately space with 7.Ne5 and 8.f4. Topalov took gradually the advantage, sacrificed a piece to win beautifully on the endgame.
Back to business today with the only leader of the tournament, Boris Gelfand (3,5/5), playing against Vasily Ivanchuk. The Israeli player went for an aggressive line against Queen’s Indian, sacrificing a pawn very early in the game. Both players said ti was a complicated game and finally the draw was agreed before the time trouble, on move 25.
The Uzbek player Kasimdzhanov plays the Azeri Mamedyarov in one of the latest modern lines of the Meran. The position became very sharp when Mamedyarov decided to develop his initiative on the King’s side, pushing his “f” and “h” pawns. The 38th move was a terrible blunder from the Uzbek player and “Shak” jumped on the opportunity to score a full point.
Peter Leko plays Giri in a very fashion line of Sicilian Najdorf. Peter gives a pawn quickly in order to have initiative and two bishops. Anish started the counter attack on the “a” file and managed to equalize. Both players decided than to repeat quickly the moves and agreed for a draw.
All photos used in this report kindly provided by Ray Morris-Hill Photography ( www.rmhphoto.eu )