Carlsen steams ahead

Another Carlsen win as he makes his mark on the Pearl Spring event, just (you may remember!) as he did last year.
Anand again beats Topalov in a Queen's Gambit, just as he did in the last round of their World Championship Match.
Bacrot moves up from sixth to third.

In the Petroff, Wang Yue gave up a couple of pieces for a rook and pawns. He was probably counting on his eighth rank pressure to hold the balance but unfortunately his rook became trapped whereupon Carlsen had little difficulty in converting his advantage.

Topalov's play seemed listless as Anand emerged from the opening with a solid comfortable game. Indeed it was soon Topalov who had difficulties, as his king remained in the centre. The queen and rook pseudo-endgame proved to be lost for White as Anand's pieces were too active.

The World Champion was amongst today's winners
A technical win by Etienne

Gashimov seemed to lack ideas in an opening where the queens came off and the Frenchman simply pushed his a-pawn to generate queenside play. Most of the game then revolved around the question of whether or not Bacrot could make something of his queenside in the rook and bishop endgame. He ultimately won despite being down to his last pawn.

Here is the third round summary:

Magnus CarlsenNOR28261-0Wang YueCHN2732Petroff Defence
Veselin TopalovBUL28030-1Viswanathan AnandIND2800Queen's Gambit Declined Lasker
Vugar GashimovAZE27190-1Etienne BacrotFRA2716English Opening

Here are the standings after the third round:

1Magnus CarlsenNOR28262.5
2Viswanathan AnandIND28002
3Etienne BacrotFRA27161.5
4=Veselin TopalovBUL28031
4=Wang YueCHN27321
4=Vugar GashimovAZE27191

Today's three winners are ahead of the pack.

Here is a summary of previous rounds:

Round 1:

Viswanathan AnandIND28000.5-0.5Wang YueCHN2732Slav/Grünfeld
Magnus CarlsenNOR28261-0Etienne BacrotFRA2716Scotch Opening
Veselin TopalovBUL28030.5-0.5Vugar GashimovAZE2719Slav Defence

Round 2:

Wang YueCHN27320.5-0.5Vugar GashimovAZE2719Nimzoindian Defence
Etienne BacrotFRA27160.5-0.5Veselin TopalovBUL2803Nimzoindian Defence
Viswanathan AnandIND28000.5-0.5Magnus CarlsenNOR2826Spanish Breyer

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